Ok this is going to be highly subjective, but some opinions:
- MacBook Pro M1 Pro and Max. These things costs $3-4K and the AppleCare+ is $300 or so for three years. It will be four years if you use an Amex or other card with extended warranty. Personally I’ve found that about half of our machines need service in that period, so given the costs are high, it makes quite a bit of sense. The biggest problems we’ve had have been cracked screens (because if you put something in there and close it, well that’s bad). As well as keyboard coffee spills. For us, anyway, getting a keyboard cover pretty much does away with that. Finally, we’ve had two machines with battery problems and that is worth it as well. We don’t have cosmetic damage typically because all our machines get clear plastic cases and go into protected sleeves. The AppleCare+ is $99 for a new screen or casing which is really nice.
- MacBooks. This is where it gets tricky, with a $1,000 machine, does it make sense to get AppleCare+. I normally do it, but it is sort of marginal. If you take good care, get a protective case, you can probably take a change.
- IPhone AppleCare+. In the past, I would have said that pure AppleCare wasn’t really worth it because these things get broken screens and so forth. But with the new AppleCare+ that takes care of accidental damage. So for instance it is $329 to repair an iPhone Pro Max screen but $29 with this plan. The final thing to think about is if you want to pay an extra $149 for Theft and Loss, so that if it gets stolen, you get a new one. We haven’t a phone stolen yet, so that hasn’t been a problem. And they will replace your battery in the two. years you have this which is nice. The break even point right now is that if you have two damage incidents, you are Saving money. So net, net buy a case and protective screen and then AppleCare+ does make sense for the really expensive Pro devices at least for us.
- Apple Watch. We have not gotten AppleCare+ for any of our Series 1 or Series 3 watches. The Series 1 we never rally used, but the Series 3 is now four years old and keep son ticking. Given that it’s $79 for the Series 6, it makes a lot of sense for the Steel series at $700 because that crystal is delicate. Our Series 3 has scratches all over it and this is one case where the case and screen protectors don’t work that well. The simple glass on top chips and the covers really rob the responsiveness of the touch screen for two years of coverage. Given that repairs cost $$349 for a new screen it’s pretty worth it. I think I’m a scratch my watch kind of person, but if you take very good care then maybe you don’t need it.
Quick note about Airpods Max and the MagSafe Duo
Then some other random notes about devices
- AirPods Max. It probably doesn't get make sense to get AppleCare+ for the small AirPods, but aa $559 headphone it very well might make sense to get it. That's because the most common problem is going to be losing them and you can pay for a single one if you do. As an aside, I do lust for one of these things because they seem to have the best noise cancelling and sound incredibly good. The Sony WH-1000MX4 are way cheaper, but I find the ear cups are pretty small. We got them on incredible sale for $429, but I haven't seen that deal lately.
- Apple MagSafe Duo Charger. I can't believe that a $129 charger is actually worth it. yes you can use the magnetic cable and a regular MagSafe, but even for home use the Duo is just so good. It is right now $119 but it is so compact and easy to use and recharges it all really fast. Macworld hated it, but I kind of love it particularly for travel. Just don't think about slamming it around in your pocket. It doesn't support Series 7 fast charging which is shame, but it does do 14W MagSafe charging of phones.