Do you really want AppleCare?
Although Macs are well-made machines, they’re all things considered, exactly that-machines, and extremely complex ones, although most of that complexity is hidden in the user. While Macs have numerous advantages over Windows PCs, nothing is perfect.
At my last day job, I oversaw ordering a new Mac. Even though I recommended ordering AppleCare, my advice was not heeded. One day, upon startup just a while following your end of the one-year warranty period, the Mac showed not the friendly Apple logo, but a black screen filled with UNIX characters.
None of the standard troubleshooting methods worked-restarting the Mac, turning it off and letting it rest awhile, running DiskWarrior, and even looking to reinstall the operating system. For all intents and purposes, it appeared to be a hardware failure, in order that it would have to be shipped to the nearest authorized Apple repair facility. Once it arrived there, it turned out reported who’s started up fine. Kudos to the repair center for not creating charges, but the shipping and expense and inconvenience of accomplishing without the machine for a few weeks was something we could have done without.
AppleCare is here in handy for my current machine, an iMac. Shortly after the one-year warranty period expired, the hard drive of the Mac failed. Fortunately, I had purchased AppleCare. After an hours’ drive with my iMac on the most conveniently located Apple Store with a retail center inside the neighboring state of Illinois, the issue was diagnosed, and I was able to grab the Mac the very next day. The amount I would have paid without AppleCare was $364.69.
That’s not all. Less than a year after the repair, the replacement drive also failed! Another trip to the Apple store and also the failed 500 GB hard drive was substituted with a 750 GB unit (because the smaller drives were out of stock). I didn’t complain. Again, the total cost from the repairs would have been $364.69 without AppleCare.
One often-overlooked feature of AppleCare is you will also get free phone support for the complete extended warranty period. This covers not simply the Mac OS but also all in the included iLife programs for example iPhoto, iTunes, GarageBand, iMovie, iWeb, and the like. AppleCare phone support coverage even handles questions on iWork. I have called Apple often to troubleshoot various issues under my AppleCare coverage and often gotten advice that solved the downsides.
Because Apple makes the operating-system, many in the software packages you use, as well as the machine they are powered by, you should not fear being bounced around from one company to a different one once you demand support. The hardware maker can’t claim your trouble can be a software issue and vice versa. Macs are integrated systems, and Apple takes responsibility for the complete package.
So is AppleCare definitely worth the cost? In a word, yes, especially if you use a Mac for business, but really for everyone. Even if you think you’re handy using a screwdriver, might you really replace the display with an iMac on your own, if you may, might you undertake it for just the AppleCare price? In addition, might you repair the hinges or latch with a Macbook? I don’t think so. Apple merchandise is superbly engineered, but a section of this means these are not always the best devices to repair.
In addition, in case you use their Macs running a business, time is money. Wasted hours spent trying to get your machine repaired can turn out costing you much more than the price of AppleCare itself.
And the comfort you receive with AppleCare alone could be definitely worth the investment.
My advice: AppleCare is really a must for virtually any Mac-using professional.