Apple Quietly Made Huge Changes to AppleCare+ and How You Pay for It
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Have you ever wished that you could get AppleCare+ coverage on your devices indefinitely? Thanks to a recent change on Apple’s part, now you can. But that’s not all.
Apple has quietly added the option to pay for an AppleCare+ extended warranty on iOS and Apple Watch devices monthly until you cancel the plan or Apple is unable to service your devices. That’s a major change.
Previously, AppleCare+ offered a monthly payment option, but only for a 24-month (or two-year) duration. After that, your AppleCare+ coverage would end with no option to extend your coverage.
‘Pay Monthly Until Canceled’
But now, a slight wording change (first spotted by a 9to5Mac reader) has essentially turned AppleCare+ into a monthly subscription that you can continue paying for as long as you’d like. Specifically, Apple says you can “pay monthly until canceled.”
It appears that the month-to-month payment option will cost more than just paying for a two-year period outright. Still, the new monthly payment option is a good idea for users who’d like to keep their devices protected for an extended period of time.
Apple also appears to have removed the option to pay for a set amount of coverage by month. In other words, you can now only buy two years of AppleCare+ for one lump sum or pay monthly for coverage until you explicitly cancel it.
It’s also important to note that you’ll get coverage for two incidents of accidental damage for every 24 months of service. If you keep your AppleCare+ monthly plan for more than 25 months, you’ll get two additional incidents.
Although we used the word “indefinitely,” there’s also no guarantee that your coverage will last forever if you keep paying for it. Apple even explicitly says that if it runs out of service parts, it’ll cancel your service. It’ll provide you with 30 days prior written notice, however.
The monthly payment option also only applies to Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad devices. There’s no similar option for Macs, Apple TVs or other Apple products.
Additionally, there doesn’t currently seem to be a way to switch a standard two-year AppleCare+ plan over to a monthly plan. The monthly option is for new purchases only — and you still only have 60 days after the time of purchase to add coverage.
Why Apple Made This Change
As far as why Apple made this change, it’s pretty obvious. AppleCare+ is part of Apple’s Services category. And since Services is largely expected to overtake the iPhone as Apple’s primary cash cow, adding a monthly payment option could boost that category even further.
It probably also ties into Apple’s general sustainability plan. Despite theories of planned obsolescence, Apple says it engineers its devices to last as long as possible to minimize its impact on the environment.
With what is basically indefinite extended warranty, users may be more inclined to hold onto their devices for longer.