Protection plans for consumer electronics are a hotly debated topic. As one of the more prized and expensive electronic gadgets, iPhones get a lot of attention regarding their protection plans, with advocates from both sides having fairly strong opinions. On the one hand, you have consumer advocacy groups who say an iPhone protection plan is overpriced, and on the other, there are satisfied customers who can’t stop going on about how they were saved by the plans.
So let’s have a look at the issue and see if we can tease out some kernels of truth to help you make the best decision.
An important factor in the discussion about getting an iPhone Protection plan is…you. Everyone is different, and we all put our phones through different trials and experiences. For example, a 9-5 office employee who can’t wait to get home to watch reruns on his favorite TV shows is not going to be putting his gadgets through as much as someone who loves the outdoors and can’t wait to get off his BMX to get climbing up that sweet boulder face.
There are several iPhone protection plans
Understanding that whether or not you need a protection plan depends on your lifestyle, there are several options that fit differing budgets and activities. One of the first factors you need to consider is how likely it is that your iPhone will have a problem. All iPhones come with a basic one-year warranty that covers factory defects and includes 90 days of support. If you regularly update your phone each year, the basic coverage will serve you well.
However, basic protection plans don’t cover user damage. For example, the most frequent user damage problem is a cracked screen, which is expensive to repair and renders the phone basically useless. Apple offers to extend their basic protection for an extra year (giving you two years total protection) for $99 in a program the call AppleCare+. It covers basic wear and tear, such as spills and shattered screens. However, you only get coverage for two incidents, and there is an additional charge of $49 each. Oh, and if you lose your iPhone, then forget the plan.
There are other plans offered by carriers such as Verizon and AT&T which are significantly more expensive, but offer much more protection (including replacement of a lost iPhone). There are more personalized options available from independent insurers, such as SquareTrade and Worth Avenue Group, that offer a similar price to Apple but with more options.
The bottom line is that deciding to get an iPhone protection plan is your own personal experience. If you are prone to lose your phone – for example, slipping down a crevice while out mountaineering – you’ll probably be better off with the full protection plan. But if you get your iPhone a good hard case and make sure you never let it out of your sight, then you might be able to forgo the protection plan. Find out more about how you can protect your phone with our armor cases.