The cost associated with the Applecare Protection Plan are quite steep, especially for the budget conscious student, or the working class family.
Prices are as follows:
MacBook Pro/PowerBook: $579
iPod Nano/Shuffle: $59
Mac Pro/PowerMac: $419
Mac Mini: $229
What it is: The Applecare Protection Plan, commonly known as APP, is essentially the extended warranty for your Mac. It’s benefits are two-fold, providing an extended parts and labour coverage, as well as expert telephone support for all Mac applications/hardware queries. It must be purchased and registered within the standard Apple warranty, and is one of the best accessories you can get for your Mac. It also covers any displays purchased with your MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro. Additionally, it also covers an Airport Card, Airport Extreme/ Express/Base Station, and any Apple RAM.
Parts and Labour Coverage: This is vitally important. I’ve seen far too many people NOT puchase the Applecare, and fall into major strife later on when their screen starts displaying weird patterns. If you think about it, the Applecare sells itself based on the fact that it covers all of your parts, plus the labour charges. Even if you replace just one part outside of that 1-year standard warranty, the APP has already paid for itself.
World-class Telephone Support: The second benefit of APP, this is one of the most unused features of APP. Most people that purchase APP don’t realise that they have one of the best telephone support networks at their fingertips. Normally, your Mac comes with 90 days of complimentary phone support that usually comes out of India (no offence intended), where their performance is judged on the number of calls they take. Now, with the APP, that phone support changes to world-class phone support that comes out of Australia, where their performance is judged by the number of problems solved. These are good people trying to help you!
Bundled Extras: TechTool Deluxe from Micromat. This is an all-in-one diagnostic utility, used by many Apple Certified Repairers. Very handy to have.
Negatives: I know, $579 is a lot to lay out on something you may never use! If you do the math, it works out to be roughly 80 cents a day, outside of that 1 year period. Of course, the price is scaled to what kind of computer it is, ie. portables have the potential to cost Apple more in terms of Parts and Labour, so the APP for MacBook/ MacBook Pro costs more.
Other notes: APP for iPod, iPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, AppleTV, only extends the warranty for another year, bringing it to two years total. All other products are extended by two years, bringing total warranty coverage to three years.
Warranty is transferable in the sense that if you sell your computer, the APP goes with it.
APP is applied to the serial number of the machine, so if you buy an APP with your MacBook Pro, you can use that unregistered APP with your PowerBook.
No, you can’t use APP for MacBook with a MacBook Pro.
Normally, your Mac comes with a global one year warranty. If you Mac was bought on your behalf though your School or University, your Mac would have come with an EDU warranty, which is three years parts and labour. The important thing to note here is that the warranty for your EDU machine IS NOT global. Adding APP makes the warranty global, as well as adding phone support.
Conclusions: If you’re in doubt, get it. The peace of mind it offers is totally worth it, and even if disaster strikes, you will still be able to get the machine repaired. I personally know someone who had a PowerMac G5, something happened to it, and since he had bought the APP for his PowerMac, Apple decided to replace his machine with a Mac Pro! Trust me, APP is totally worth it.
PS: This has been the first post on this blog, be gentle!