If you’re the kind of person who always drops your phone, AppleCare Plus might just become a much better deal. As MacRumors points out, the service now covers “unlimited repairs for protection against accidental damage”. according to an archived version of the AppleCare Plus page since last month you were limited to “two incidents of accidental damage protection per 12 months”.
Keep in mind, though, that the service charge and deductible are still up in the air before you toss your phone in the air — a screen or back glass repair will cost $29, while “other accidental damage” will run you $99. Also, Apple’s fine print clearly notes that the damage must have been caused by “unexpected and unintended events” to be covered by AppleCare Plus.
The service itself is, perhaps a little surprisingly, still the same price. (Although that was a recurring theme at Apple’s event on Wednesday). Buying a brand new iPhone 14 Pro costs $9.99 a month or $199 for two years, the same price it cost to cover an iPhone 13 Pro. Covering the iPhone 14 Plus costs more than covering the regular iPhone 14 or the iPhone 13, however: it’s $8.99 per month versus $7.99 per month — or an extra $30 if you buy the two-year plan.
The upgrade to the service isn’t just for the phones Apple announced on Wednesday. You can also get it for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12, as well as for the rest of Apple’s lineup. Yes, this also covers you if you accidentally wash your AirPods, throw your iPad off the counter, break your watch in a fall, or sit on your MacBook Pro. (It also applies to the Apple TV and HomePod Mini, but I can’t imagine breaking a device that usually sits alone in the house.) I couldn’t find a single example of the price for higher coverage, though it getting AppleCare Plus for the Apple Watch Ultra costs a little more than for the Series 8.
The change is also retroactive. I purchased AppleCare Plus for my iPhone 12 in December 2020 and received an email from Apple on Friday stating that my subscription “now protects your covered device from unlimited cases of accidental damage from handling”. The email went on to say that the extra protection comes at no extra cost and that I didn’t have to do anything to activate it.
One last important thing to note: if you get AppleCare Plus with theft and loss protection, replacements for stolen or lost iPhones are still limited to two per year. You still get unlimited repairs, but if you completely lose your iPhone more than twice a year, you’re out of luck — not that it sounds like you were very lucky to begin with.
Update September 9, 9:45 PM ET: Updated to note that the changes to AppleCare Plus are retroactive.