For the accident-prone, an iPhone can be a costly replacement. Luckily, Apple is about to offer a new iPhone-only warranty program that covers much more than manufacturer-based hardware malfunctions or software woes. The program is called AppleCare+, and it replaces the previous AppleCare warranty program for new iPhone owners.
AppleCare+ provides one year of hardware coverage and 90 days of telephone tech support. A new iPhone purchase already comes with a one year limited warranty, so this doubles your coverage time to two years, and allows for up to two “incidents of accidental damage due to handling.” So, if you’re one of those people who’ve accidentally dropped one (or more) cellphones into the toilet — you know who you are — here’s a chance to make out with just a $50 service fee for a new device rather than having to shell out the full cost.
A minimum one year warranty is pretty standard for mobile phone purchases. Motorola’s policy lasts one year from the date of purchase. Samsung mobile phone owners get two years’ warranty with a new purchase, except for the battery, which is warrantied for only six months. These warranties only cover manufacturer defects, not user-caused damage.
Verizon Wireless offers a service called Total Equipment Coverage which adds an extended warranty and covers loss, damages and theft. AT&T owners have the option of using Mobile Protect, a $7 a month service that offers protection against cracked screens, loss or theft, water damage and accidental damage. The company that makes Mobile Protect, Asurion, also provides solutions for mobile products on other carriers.
AppleCare, which did not cover accident-related damage, previously cost $70. AppleCare is still available for non-iPhone Apple purchases like Macs, Cinema Displays or iPad.
AppleCare+ costs $100 and will be available October 14, the same day that iPhone 4S debuts.