Cautious and clumsy consumers should be prepared to pay more for protecting the new, bigger iPhones.
As Apple prepares for the release of its newest and priciest models Sept. 21, the tech giant has rolled out additional AppleCare protection options including monthly plans and theft and loss protection.
The added peace of mind doesn't come cheap yet can safeguard against higher repair and replacement costs.
For the new iPhone XS and XS Max, AppleCare with theft and loss protection is $299 for two years of coverage, $100 more than the company's standard extended warranty plan that protects phones from accidental damage and defects.
The deductible for theft or loss is $269 for these top models, which is comparable to insurance offered by carriers.
Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, called the new AppleCare plan the company’s “most comprehensive service and support program ever.”
Although the XS and XS Max have the most durable front and back glass ever in a smartphone, Prescott said, accidents happen.
The monthly option and the theft and loss coverage were both popular customer requests, said Tara Bunch, Apple’s vice president of AppleCare.
Theft and loss protection
Many traditional plans offered through carriers and other insurance providers require customers to file and get a police report. Apple’s requirement is that the Find My iPhone app is switched on at the time the phone is lost or stolen.
“With Find My iPhone enabled, we can help you put it into lost mode, wipe the device, deactivate it and immediately get you back on your way with an Apple genuine replacement device,” Bunch said. “None of the hassle.”
Without needing a police report, getting a replacement phone is expected to be a faster and less cumbersome process.
Apple officials indicated that the company works with law enforcement whenever possible to recover stolen devices.
The option also is available when purchasing older models and ranges from $70 to $100 more than regular AppleCare plans.
For those who don't want to put down big bucks when purchasing the phones, Apple also has rolled out its first-ever monthly AppleCare plans.
For the top-model phones, the costs range from $9.99 a month for the regular plan to $14.99 a month with theft and loss coverage.
The convenience of stretching the payments will cost more over the 24-month maximum period but is similar to plans offered by phone carriers.
AppleCare can be purchased up to 60 days after you buy eligible phones.
What AppleCare covers
AppleCare covers the phone, battery and included accessories for two years. But note there's a limit – the plans cover up to two approved lost, stolen or accidental damage claims. Phones can be mailed in for repairs or taken to Apple stores or Apple-authorized service providers.
The battery replacement fee is $49 or $69 depending on model, down from $79. With AppleCare and for phones under the one-year standard limited warranty, batteries will be replaced for free.
Repairing a damaged screen is $29 under both AppleCare plans for all phone models, and any other accidental damage is $99.
Without AppleCare, a damaged screen would set you back $329, and other damage can cost up to $599 on the XS Max, which starts at $1,099.
It should soon be easier to get same-day screen repairs. Apple announced Monday that select Apple-authorized service providers will soon have access to “a new way to fix cracked and damaged screens for customers right from inside their shops.”