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If you’re considering shelling out $300 or more for Apple’s new Magic Keyboard, you may be happy to know that if you’ve also purchased AppleCare+ for your iPad Pro, then the Magic Keyboard gets covered in the exact same plan, not only extending its warranty period by another year, but qualifying it for accidental damage and handling coverage.
At only $129 — or $5.99/month — Apple’s AppleCare+ for iPad Pro is actually a pretty amazing deal when you consider that the equivalent coverage for Apple’s current iPhone models costs considerably more and doesn’t provide any accessory coverage at all beyond the included EarPods.
By contrast, when you purchase AppleCare+ for the iPad Pro, you not only get coverage for the iPad Pro and its battery, but also for any Apple-branded iPad keyboard, including both the Smart Keyboard Folio and the new Magic Keyboard, an Apple Pencil, and even the USB cable and power adapter and an AirPort base station (should you still happen to have one).
AppleCare+ provides a one-year extension on any in-warranty repair coverage, but perhaps its biggest benefit is that you also get coverage for up to two incidents of “accidental damage from handling” (ADH) as significantly discounted prices.
To put this in perspective, if you were to crack the screen or otherwise damage your iPad Pro without AppleCare+, it would cost you up to $649 to service a 12.9-inch model, or $499 for the 11-inch version. With AppleCare+, you only pay $49 for up to two Service Events within a 24-month coverage period.
However, this coverage also extends to the Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil. Apple hasn’t published full service pricing for the Magic Keyboard yet, but the ADH fee under AppleCare+ is only $29 for an “Apple-branded iPad keyboard” or an Apple Pencil; the normal out-of-warranty service fee for an Apple Pencil is $109.
A Small Catch
That said, there is a small catch here when it comes to accessory coverage. Not only do you only get two Service Events in total (not two per device or accessory), but should you damage your iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard in a single incident, Apple will still count that as two separate Service Events. From the AppleCare+ Terms and Conditions:
“ADH Service for an iPad Input Device will count as a separate Service Event from ADH Service of your iPad and count towards your two Service Events, even if both your iPad and an iPad Input Device are damaged at the same time.”
So considering how much higher repair costs are for the iPad Pro itself, it may be worth considering saving your ADH Service Events to cover the main device, but it’s still a good option to have, and a choice you won’t have to make until you’re actually faced with it.
There are a few other more obvious exclusions to the ADH coverage with AppleCare+, which basically come down to the fact that it only covers accidental damage, so Apple has every right to refuse coverage (or charge full prices) if it becomes apparent that you were wilfully abusing the device or using it in a way that wasn’t recommended by Apple. Repairs for merely cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect the functionality of the device aren’t covered either, so you can’t simply bring your device in because it’s scratched up and expect Apple to do something about it.
Loss or theft isn’t covered either. While Apple does offer an enhanced AppleCare+ plan for iPhone users that adds loss and theft protection, this plan isn’t available for the iPad. Further, there’s also no coverage for damage from things like fires and earthquakes, although you can usually recoup repair costs resulting from those kinds of events with more traditional insurance policies anyway.
All of that having been said, it’s important not to underestimate the value of the longer warranty period either. While there are no guarantees, Apple usually gives customers the benefit of the doubt if a device simply stops working and doesn’t have any obvious signs of damage.
This means that if a problem pops up with your Magic Keyboard more than a year from now, having AppleCare+ means you’re much more likely to get it serviced for free, since it will still be under the extended AppleCare+ warranty coverage. These kinds of repairs under AppleCare+ don’t count against your ADH Service Events, since they don’t involve accidental damage.
While by all reports the Magic Keyboard is solidly built, it’s still a mechanical device, with not only the keyboard itself to consider, but also the hinges. This means it’s more prone to problems than the iPad Pro, so you’re more likely to benefit from extended repair coverage.
How to Buy AppleCare+
Unfortunately, you can’t buy AppleCare+ with the Magic Keyboard itself, but if you’re adding a Magic Keyboard to an older 2018 iPad Pro that already has AppleCare+ coverage, it will inherit that coverage — although it won’t extend beyond the original two year period unless you keep paying for AppleCare+ as a monthly subscription.
However, if you’re ordering a new iPad Pro from Apple, you can add AppleCare+ to the shopping cart during the checkout process and you’ll be covered right from the start. Note that you do not need to purchase the Magic Keyboard or Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro for these accessories to qualify for coverage.
If you’re already bought a new iPad Pro, you can still add AppleCare+ to it for up to 60 days after the original date of purchase, and again your Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil will be covered at the same time. The easiest way to do this is to go into the Settings app right on your iPad, where you should see a message near the top telling you that AppleCare+ is available, along with a countdown of how many days you still have left to purchase it.
From here, you can go through the purchase process right from your device, since Apple presumably has enough information from its own internal iOS diagnostics to know if your device is eligible or not.
This is by far the easiest way to purchase AppleCare+ for a device after the fact, but if you don’t want to go this way, or the option isn’t showing up for some reason, you can still purchase AppleCare+ online, at an Apple Store, or by calling Apple Support. In all of these cases, you’ll either have to run a remote diagnostic on your iPad, or if you’re going into a store, submit it for a quick inspection by an Apple Genius. Since this is basically an insurance policy, you can’t buy AppleCare+ after you’ve already damaged your device just to get cheaper repairs.