Apple’s announced that it is making big changes to its “AppleCare+” program—and it could have a significant impact on the way we buy new iPhones.
AppleCare+ is typically billed as an extended warranty, but in actuality, it costs $99 for two years of coverage. This covers the cost of repairable damages caused by accidental drops, creaks, knocks, bumps, and more.
But AppleCare+ has been criticized by some tech blogs and analysts for not doing enough to protect against theft. The point—even when not charged, many Apple users still have to shell out $279 on top of AppleCare+ for a stolen phone.
“Now, you’ll be able to report theft of an iPhone 6 or later model directly to the Apple Store, and the Genius Bar will investigate the theft,” according to an Apple rep. “The Genius Bar may even tell you how to secure the phone and take back or forward it to police or provide your insurance claims. If an AppleCare+ loss or theft occurs, the Genius Bar will refer you to the nearest Apple Store or authorized service provider.”
This means that if you are a victim of a shoplifting, for example, there is more protection, and you might not have to pay for more than a couple hundred dollars out of pocket, provided you can prove your loss. In another major improvement, AppleCare+ will come with extended warranty protection for Apple Pencil, which comes free with new, fourth-generation iPads.
MORE: 16 Best iPhone Apps
At the moment, the new program is only available to customers in the U.S. and there is a $25 referral fee for upgrades. New Apple owners will be eligible for “Priority” service when the carrier launches the program, Apple said.
Note: This article was originally published on Fifth-Generation News, our sister site. Fifth-Generation News is the premier destination for iPhone, iPad, and iPod users, telling them how to build the best user experience on their Apple device. For more about this brand, visit www.throgen-generation.com.