Deciding whether or not to buy AppleCare+ with Apple products can be a tough decision, and the $999-$1149 price of the iPhone X doesn’t make the decision any easier. The cost of AppleCare+ increased for pricier iPhones, but so did the repair costs for out-of-warranty damage.

No one wants to get stuck with a huge out-of-pocket fee to repair a busted iPhone X, although it’s worth considering the math before buying or passing on AppleCare+ for iPhone X.

Personally, I’ve had mix results with buying AppleCare over the years. It has proven useful on some but not all Macs, Apple Watches, and iPads for me, and I’ve only wished I had it once in seven years of using iPhones.

Your buying decision should first start with your own experience and expectations.

Knowing the math may help your decision in either direction. First, two great resources: iPhone service pricing in the United States and where to buy AppleCare+ for iPhone X online without calling or going to a store.

Next is my AppleCare+ and non-AppleCare+ total cost comparisons specifically for iPhone X repairs in the US which covers up to two accidental damage repairs in two years versus zero without. Apple charges $29 for screen repairs in warranty, $99 for non-screen repairs in warranty, $279 for screen repairs out of warranty, and $549 for non-screen repairs out of warranty.

  • $0: No AppleCare+ with no repairs
  • $199: AppleCare+ with no accidental damage claims
  • $228: AppleCare+ and one screen repair
  • $257: AppleCare+ and two screen repair
  • $279: No AppleCare+ and one screen repair
  • $298: AppleCare+ and one non-screen repair
  • $327: AppleCare+, one screen repair, and one non-screen repair
  • $397: AppleCare+ and two non-screen repairs
  • $549: No AppleCare+ and one non-screen repair
  • $558: No AppleCare+ and two screen repairs
  • $828: No AppleCare+, one screen repair, and one non-screen repair
  • $1098: No AppleCare+ and two non-screen repairs

You can draw your own conclusions from the numbers but my takeaway is it actually only costs $51 more to repair the iPhone X display just once without AppleCare+ than with the extended warranty. If you buy a new iPhone every year, the numbers can change based on usage as well.

If you don’t buy AppleCare+ and never need it, you save $199; if you buy AppleCare+ and never use it, you might waste $199. All other scenarios will likely pay off if you anticipate accidentally damaging your iPhone X within the first two years of owning it.

Of course AppleCare+ isn’t just for adding accidental damage coverage, and spending a little extra on an iPhone X case can change your needs. You also extend phone support from 90 days to two years and your limited warranty from one year to two years which can be valuable based on your needs and expectations. Hopefully seeing the total cost for each possible scenario helps your buying decision.

Top image via SquareTrade unless I break my iPhone X :)

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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.