Apple products may last a long time, but as we know, the batteries do not. For Macs, Apple provides a handy way to determine the battery’s cycle count, but for a product like the AirPods, that may not be possible. This means that when your AirPods batteries eventually degrade to a noticeable degree, you’ll have to get them replaced. Apple has recently updated their iPhone Service Pricing page with details on the AirPods’ battery replacement pricing, but there is still some clarity to be had in how it all works.
Quixotically, Apple has listed the AirPods battery service pricing under the iPhone Service Pricing page. It looks as though the AirPods don’t have their own service specific pages up yet, but what we do see opens the doors for questions. Near the bottom of the iPhone Service Pricing page, Apple provides a small table explaining battery service pricing. It’s said that for all iPhone models in-warranty or with AppleCare, the battery replacement is $0, but $79 out of warranty. Just below that ‘AirPods’ is listed, with $0 under the in-warranty or with AppleCare column, and $49 for out of warranty. Regardless of AppleCare, it looks as though the AirPods’ battery replacement will cost customers $49 once out of warranty.The question that then arises is if the AirPods themselves have the ability to get AppleCare or if it will be covered under another device’s AppleCare. Based on the not-so-clear table, the “in-warranty or with AppleCare” column is too vague. It could mean “devices that have a warranty or AppleCare option”, but doesn’t necessarily mean that everything listed below it does. That titling sounds much more in-line with Apple than them providing AppleCare for AirPods in the near future considering many customers have already purchased the item, and AppleCare was nowhere to be seen.
If AppleCare could be bundled with the AirPods, say the iPhone’s AppleCare+, this would be reminiscent of the way AppleCare has handled additional accessories in the past. AppleCare’s protection plan for the Mac includes covering, the now discontinued, AirPort routers. A small line at bottom of the Mac’s AppleCare reads:
AirPort must be purchased up to two years before your Mac purchase or during the term of your AppleCare Protection Plan coverage.
If so, Apple could allow your iPhone’s AppleCare+ or even your Apple Watch’s AppleCare+ to cover your new set of AirPods. Here’s to hoping that the customers that purchased AppleCare+ will get to use it for their new AirPods.