There are two important purchases you should make if you buy Apple’s new iPhone XS or XS Max (AAPL)
- Apple’s latest iPhones, the iPhone XS and XS Max, are on sale now.
- But if you choose to buy either of these new phones, there are two extra purchases you should also make: AppleCare+, and a phone case.
- If you don’t purchase AppleCare+, and you break the front or back of your phone, you’ll be stuck with exorbitant repair costs, which can cost more than a case and Apple’s insurance combined.
Apple’s all-glass iPhone designs are beautiful, but they can be very expensive to repair if you don’t have AppleCare+.
Any new iPhone you buy, whether it’s the new iPhone XS Max or the 2-year-old iPhone 7, comes with AppleCare, which includes complimentary phone support from Apple for the first 90 days, and a one-year limited warranty — but specifically against defects.
Notably, normal AppleCare doesn’t cover accidental damage. This is only covered by Apple’s premium insurance plan, AppleCare+, which anyone should purchase if they’re buying the new iPhone XS or XS Max.
Breaking down the benefits of AppleCare+
AppleCare+ costs $300 to cover a new iPhone XS or XS Max, or $15 per month for 24 months. It’s not cheap!
But, if you’re already spending at least $1,000 on an iPhone XS, it’s absolutely worth the purchase.
AppleCare+ basically extends AppleCare’s warranty from one to two years, including the complimentary phone support from Apple. But it also adds coverage for accidental damage, either from drops or water. AppleCare+ will cover up to two “incidents,” but if you have two incidents where part of your phone breaks, AppleCare+ pretty much pays for itself. AppleCare+ for the new iPhone XS models also covers theft and loss, something AppleCare+ didn’t previously cover.
Check out this chart from Apple:
To break it down:
If you have AppleCare+, and you break your screen, you’ll only be paying $29 to repair it.
If you don’t have AppleCare+, and you break your screen, you’ll be paying $279 if you have an iPhone XS, and $329 if you have the iPhone XS Max.
But that’s just repairs for the screen! Check out this second chart from Apple, which shows the costs of “other repairs,” including if you break the glass back of the phone:
To break it down:
If you have AppleCare+, and you break the back of your phone, you’ll only be paying $99 to repair it.
If you don’t have AppleCare+, and you break the back of your phone, you’ll be paying $549 if you have an iPhone XS, and $599 if you have the iPhone XS Max.
So, let’s say you buy an iPhone XS Max, and choose not to buy AppleCare+. If you have two incidents, where you break the front and back of your phone, you’re paying $928 just to repair your phone! If you bought AppleCare+, the most you would have paid, in total, would be $527, which includes the $300 price of AppleCare+.
In other words, it pays to have insurance — even if you’re extremely careful, you can’t foresee certain circumstances, and you’ll be glad you paid more money up front so you could save more money later on.
Getting insurance against your insurance
AppleCare+ is costly, but it’s much more costly to deal with repairs, whether you have Apple’s insurance plan or not.
AppleCare+ should be considered your last line of defense, so get some extra protection to ensure you don’t have to pay for repairs at all. In other words, buy a phone case. Cases provide some protection for your screen, but more importantly, they protect the most fragile and most expensive parts of the iPhone XS and XS Max: their large glass backs.
My colleague Avery Hartmans rounded up the best iPhone X cases you can buy last year, and most of those should fit the new iPhone XS, but I would personally recommend you get a case from Apple (they make some very nice silicone and leather cases) or Society6, which has hundreds of thousands of different fun designs to choose from.