If you’re the type of person who always drops your phone, AppleCare Plus may have turned out to be a much better deal. Like MacRumors states that the service now covers “unlimited repairs to protect against accidental damage”. According to an archived version of the AppleCare Plus page from last month, you were limited to “two instances of accidental damage protection every 12 months.”
Before you throw your phone in the air in celebration, though, keep in mind that service fees and deductibles still apply — a screen or back glass repair will cost $29, while “other accidental damage” will set you back $99. Additionally, Apple’s fine print clearly notes that damage must be caused by “unexpected and unintended events” to qualify for AppleCare Plus.
The service itself, perhaps a little surprisingly, is still the same price. (Though that was a recurring theme during Apple’s event on Wednesday). Getting it for a brand new iPhone 14 Pro will cost $9.99 per month or $199 for two years, the same price it cost to cover the iPhone 13 Pro. However, covering the iPhone 14 Plus costs more than covering the regular iPhone 14 or iPhone 13: it’s $8.99 per month versus $7.99 per month — or an extra $30 if you buy the two-year plan.
The service upgrade isn’t just for the phones Apple announced Wednesday. You can also get it for iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 as well as for the rest of Apple’s lineup. Yes, it will also cover you if you keep accidentally sending your AirPods through the laundry, knocking your iPad off the counter, breaking your watch in a fall, or sitting on your MacBook Pro. (Applies to the Apple TV and HomePod Mini as well, but I have a hard time imagining how you’d break a device that usually just sits around the house.) I couldn’t find any examples of the cost of increasing coverage, despite getting AppleCare Plus for the Apple Watch Ultra it costs a little more than the Series 8.
The change also backfires. I purchased AppleCare Plus for my iPhone 12 in December 2020 and received an email from Apple on Friday telling me that my plan “now protects your covered device against unlimited incidents of accidental handling damage.” The email went on to say that the extra protection was at no extra cost and that I didn’t need to do anything to activate it.
One last important thing to note: if you get AppleCare Plus with theft and loss protection, replacements for stolen or lost iPhones are still limited to two per year. You’ll still get unlimited repairs, but if you completely lose your iPhone more than twice a year, you’re out of luck—not that it sounds like you had much luck to begin with.
Update September 9, 9:45 PM ET: Updated to note that AppleCare Plus changes are retroactive.