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I just picked up an iPad and the sales "specialist" was completely unconvincing for me to get the AppleCare extended warranty. I realize the iPad is fairly new, so not a lot of failures yet, but I am curious if in general the extended warranty is worth while for a device like that. The only thing I could think of was battery replacement if the battery performance falls off.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Generally an extended warranty (and insurance in general) is not worthwhile if you can afford the loss. By definition, insurers calculate the odds that they'll need to pay out a claim, and charge more than that (odds * payout) to make a profit.

The only reason to pay that surcharge is to protect against losses that would cause massive financial hardship. If you can replace the item on short notice without going hungry or losing your home, you're probably better off self-insuring in the long run.

That being said, there are exceptions: most notably when you have better information than the insurer about your risks. In other words, if you know you're much more likely to damage an item than the average user (and the insurance company considers you an "average user"), it might be a win to insure for accidental damage.

For this reason, I did actually go ahead and insure my iPad -- although I did so through SquareTrade, not Apple, as they offer a better product IMHO.

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Thanks for the tip on SquareTrade - the fact they cover accidental breakage is a big advantage. –  Jim McKeeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:40

Sadly, I had got pretty good mileage from Apple Care with my MBPro so I got one for iPad.

It has less moving parts but one part I expect to need repair is the main button, especially after iOS4 arrives and it will be used to switch between running apps with double-click

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Would you mind to add comment why this and @Kristopher Johnson answer was down-voted ? The question was about opinions on worth of Apple Care, and I believe both answers did cover. –  Miro A. Jul 16 '10 at 16:45
    
I appreciate your answer. Not sure who down voted it. –  Jim McKeeth Jul 23 '10 at 8:36
    
My apologies; I think it was me, which is bad form since I had a competing answer in the mix. My reasoning, however was that they were both purely anecdotal experiences, rather than a reasoned framework for making the decision. There are tons of people who have bought warranties or not, and tons of people who have had a loss or not. One essentially random personal experience tells you very little. Many 100s might allow you to see some trends, but that's not going to happen, so "my macbook broke; mine didn't" answers are not helpful, IMHO--even if they were offered with the best intentions. –  Anonymous Sep 4 '10 at 4:18

I do get AppleCare for all my Macs, and will get AppleCare for an iPad whenever I buy one that I expect to use for more than 12 months. Three of my last four Macs have benefited from it.

I suspect I'll buy the 2011 iPad next year, so I decided an extended warranty wasn't needed on my 2010 iPad.

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