The Age-Old Question: Should I Buy AppleCare?

If you’re not a Mac user, this question could be about extended warranties in general. I’m currently in the market for a new Mac laptop, and am considering whether or not a three-year, $250 protection plan is worth it.

This time around, I’m armed with something I didn’t have the last time I bought a Mac: experience with AppleCare. In the three years I had AppleCare, I’ve had to visit Apple’s Genius Bar just twice—both times to replace the power adapter for my MacBook, which would have cost me $79 per adapter if I had paid for them out of pocket (why are the power adapters so terrible?). So if you subtract $158 for two adapters, AppleCare saved me negative $92 last time around. 

Warranties are cash cows for retailers because the products they insure hardly ever need replacements or repairs. If the opposite were true, retailers wouldn’t offer them. And if an electronic falls apart after a few years, most consumers would rather replace it with a new shiny gadget than repair it.

But I’m being disingenuous when I say that my last AppleCare experience was worth negative $92 over its three-year run—that $92 also paid for some peace of mind. Laptops aren’t cheap, freak accidents do occur, and I can afford to pay $250 for a warranty now instead of risking $1,200 next year if my laptop decides to die.

Our experiences vary. AppleCare was worth it for this person. It’s not worth it for this person.

But reader, I’m opening the question up to you. If you were buying an expensive laptop, would you get the $250 warranty?



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