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It’s not like anybody needs another reason to purchase an M1 MacBook Pro instead of an Intel variant, but Apple’s offering you one anyway in the form of more affordable AppleCare+ plans.
The prices of AppleCare+ plans for the M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro have just dropped by between $20 and $50, depending on the model — a discount that will not be enjoyed by users of the Intel-based MacBook Pro models.
For instance, AppleCare+ for the MacBook Air is now priced at $199, down from $249.
Technically speaking, this drop also applies to the Intel MacBook Air — although Apple no longer sells that version new, it’s still available at many third-party retailers.
Apple is also selling refurbished models of the Intel MacBook Air, which are also fully eligible for AppleCare+. For the MacBook Pro, however, Apple has now split AppleCare+ into two separate plans.
A new AppleCare+ plan for a 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1) is now priced at $249, while the original plan is now dubbed AppleCare+ for 13-inch MacBook Pro (Intel) and remains at the $269 price. Likewise, AppleCare+ for the 16-inch MacBook Pro is still $379.
It’s not clear if this is just about M1 Macs being easier to service. After all, Apple hasn’t lowered the prices of AppleCare+ for the M1 Mac mini or the 24-inch M1 iMac. Further, the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro is still only the entry-level model, with specs that are more similar to the M1 MacBook Air than its more expensive Intel siblings. Still, the lower $199 price makes AppleCare+ an even more affordable option for MacBook Air buyers, and this is even more true for students and educators, since Apple’s new Back to School promotion is offering a 20% discount on AppleCare+, bringing the price down to around $159.
Despite the lower price, the AppleCare+ terms remain the same as before, with MacBook owners getting three years of warranty coverage and technical support, plus two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months. The service fees for accidental damage haven’t changed, however. Screen or external enclosure damage will still cost $99 per incident, while other damage will set you back $299.
In addition to the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, AppleCare+ also covers included accessories such as the power adapter, plus an Apple USB SuperDrive, if you own one. What’s more, users who recently purchased AppleCare+ for their new MacBook Air or MacBook Pro may be able to get in on the lower rate.
According to MacRumors, these customers can contact Apple Support to arrange to cancel their current AppleCare+ plan and receive a refund so that they can purchase the new plan at the lower price. Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t said exactly how recently you need to have purchased AppleCare+ to qualify for the lower price.
Even though Apple offers pro-rated refunds for AppleCare+ at any time, you can’t normally add a new AppleCare+ plan to a Mac more than 60 days after its original purchase date, so we’d imagine that you’ll still only be able to switch to the more affordable AppleCare+ plans if your Mac is still new enough to be eligible for AppleCare in the first place.