Apple will no longer limit how frequently AppleCare + owners can pay Apple for supported product repairs. As spotted by MacRumors yesterday, the company updated the AppleCare + subscription support service to offer “unlimited” repairs across its current product line. That’s much more flexible than the two repairs per year previously offered, as per the Wayback Machine.
According to the fine print, this only covers “physical damage from handling due to unexpected and unintentional events.” And there are associated service fees. Fixing broken glass on an iPhone, for example, will cost you $ 29 in addition to your monthly subscription fee. And you can pay $ 299 for accidental Mac damage on top of the unit’s subscription cost.
For anyone curious about how subscription pricing compares for Apple’s just-announced offerings, Apple is charging the same biennial fee for the iPhone 14 announced yesterday as it is for the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13and iPhone 12 ($ 149). However, coverage for the iPhone 14 Plus is $ 179 for two years, and it’ll run you $ 199 to cover the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max for two years (Apple also sells monthly subscriptions).
Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Ultra is the most expensive of Apple’s watches to back with AppleCare + ($ 99 for two years versus $ 79 for the Apple Watch Series 8), and support pricing for the AirPods Profor which Apple announced its second-generation version yesterday, remains at $ 29, as of writing.
The AppleCare + update has similar vibes to other recent repairability efforts, which include Apple’s self-repair program that offers parts, tools, and manuals for self-repairs of some Macs and iPhones. Neither effort completely solves environmental, financial, or other burdens of tech repairability. And both have limitations that could one day be addressed, like costs and complications for consumers and limited support, particularly for older products.
However, the new changes to AppleCare + make the subscription costs a touch more reasonable, assuming you’re backing the type of product you expect to damage multiple times per year.
As yesterday’s flashy, lengthy Far Out event proved, Apple will continue to push you to buy its newest products ASAP. But for the many of us who prefer repairing a device to upgrading it, Apple has become a smidgen more accommodating.