A new repair program from Apple should ease the distress of having your iPhone cracked and ruined by something as simple as a smudge on the glass.
Starting Monday, the tech company has added two new phone insurance plans to its Smart Protect feature in iOS 11.1, the latest iOS update. The two plans, which are available through Apple’s own website and selected iPhone and iPad retailers, replace the traditional one-year program that Apple had previously offered. (According to the company, the number of Apple-authorized repair stores who participated in previous one-year programs was about 20,000 worldwide.)
The two new plans Apple is offering replace the old one with a two-year warranty period. (It still includes AppleCare+ coverages, which are covered for a one-year period.) Even better, the new plans include a service fee of $29 (for device repair and replacement, but not actual labor) or $79 (care and replacement), depending on the phone’s exact model. By comparison, under Apple’s old plan, a four- or five-year replacement usually cost about $150 and $200, respectively.
The new insurance plans, which replace Apple’s two-year iPhone warranty, have no deductible. Because the new plan covers device repairs and replacement, any damage done to your phone is covered. (In the old plan, a deductible fee was required to repair or replace a cracked screen or a cracked screen.) And even if you happen to have busted your phone with a water hazard, the new plans cover that, too. The new plan does not cover labor in cases of water damage, however.
The new service plans should cover most damages. They don’t, however, protect against moving or dropping your iPhone while it’s in your pocket or bag. (Apple could enforce that type of service, but it hasn’t.) And after the service period, customers will continue to be responsible for paying taxes on the device. This, of course, will likely make replacing the device a lot more expensive. But Apple also offers a higher level of coverage, for $2,000, that does include the tax and serviced bill.
Apple’s bigger health insurance plan, AppleCare+, does cover most damage, repairs and replacement of a broken iPhone. This plan, which costs $99 per year, does not cover water damage, though.
This change could reduce the amount of time customers are likely to have to wait to get their iPhones repaired. (Apple noted that it works with customers in an iPhone repair queue to get replacements as soon as possible.) What’s more, Apple said in a blog post about the new program that the number of iPhones being repaired per day — who likely carry heavier-duty and more expensive models — may also go up.
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