AppleCare Stories July 12, 2016

AAPL: 97.42

0.44

Report: Apple considering local repair center in Russia following customer lawsuit over broken iPhone screen

According to The Moscow Times, Apple is planning to open a central center for iOS device repair in Russia after a lawsuit argued Apple does not sufficiently supports its products in the country. Dmitry Petrov raised a lawsuit last year that Apple chain stores and service companies were not equipped to deal with screen repair problems, having refused a device replacement or paying for an outside company to perform the repair.

AppleCare Stories February 4, 2016

AAPL: 96.35

1.87

Apple is gearing up to launch a pair of new retail initiatives centered around the iPhone: an upgraded iPhone trade-in program for iPhones with damaged screens, cameras, or buttons, and a new program that allows Apple Retail Stores to install screen protectors on iPhones.

The Apple Store Reuse and Recycle iPhone trade-in program currently allows a customer to bring in an older iPhone model and trade it in for credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone model. The main exception since the launch of the program is that this does not apply toward older iPhones with cracked displays, or broken cameras and buttons. That’s about to change …

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AppleCare Stories January 8, 2016

AAPL: 96.96

0.51

Judge rejects class-action over AppleCare’s subpar replacements, calls lawyer ‘manifestly incompetent’

Remember that class-action lawsuit alleging AppleCare+ customers were being given subpar replacement products? This week a federal judge rejected the case while calling the plantiffs’ lawyer “manifestly incompetent” and suggesting the counsel orchestrated the entire case.

ArsTechnica reports the judge’s rejection this week claimed the lawyer encouraged the plaintiffs to purchase AppleCare plans and record interactions with Apple employees “for the purpose of initiating this lawsuit.”

But none of the plaintiffs were disgruntled consumers who went looking for a lawyer after getting bad service. Galindo was a paralegal for Renee Kennedy, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, and Adkins had also worked for Kennedy in the past. Kennedy gave them both “monetary gifts to thank them for their excellent work,” and both women used those “gifts” to buy AppleCare Plus, referred to as “AC+” in court papers.

While the case isn’t entirely over, it won’t be a class-action and therefore will likely be on a much smaller scale than it might have been otherwise (if it doesn’t eventually get thrown out altogether).

Under Apple’s current policy for AppleCare plans, the company promises to “exchange the Covered Equipment with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability, and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product.” It’s not always the case — the judge found one plaintiff in the case was actually given a brand new device as a replacement — that’s another way of saying you might get refurbished replacement units (or parts for repairs).

AppleCare Stories December 9, 2015

AAPL: 115.62

-2.61

The numbers on why you probably don’t want to buy AppleCare, at least at retail price

It’s a truism that insurance is a business where you bet you’ll break your toys and insurance companies bet you won’t – and that insurers have the stats on their side. The WSJ uses the example of a broken screen on an iPhone 6 to show how the numbers stack up, illustrating that most people are better off taking the risk.

Without AppleCare, Apple will charge you $109 for the repair. With AppleCare, Apple still charges a $79 deductible, and you laid out $99 for AppleCare in the first place, so you’re now out a total of $178. In effect, you paid $99 to cover a $20 cost.

Of course, you may manage to destroy your phone completely, and you may – if you’re an exceptional klutz – even manage to do it twice, when AppleCare could save you a lot of money. Some MacBook repairs are also very expensive, so again things could work out in your favor.

But overall, insurers make money because it makes more sense just to pay for things when they break. The WSJ got some simple advice from an economist on the most sensible approach for most of us.

Yet for most of us, here’s a better plan from Richard Thaler, a renowned economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business: “Every time someone offers to sell you insurance on a non-large purchase say no, and take that money and put it into a rainy-day account. With any luck, there will be plenty of money in that account the next time you drop your iPhone.”

The economics may be slightly different if you can get a deal on AppleCare. You can save a few bucks buying direct from Apple on Amazon, while B&H and Adorama also have deals. Apple’s education store currently offers the best saving if you qualify.

How has having or not having AppleCare worked out for you? Let us know in the comments.

AppleCare Stories November 26, 2015

AAPL: 118.03

-0.85

Apple Black Friday Gameplan – knock out holiday shopping quickly, save tons of cash

Update: We’ve got hundreds of items in our Apple Black Friday Mac/iPhone/iPad accessories and software guide

As the Thanksgiving turkey and wine buzz starts to wear off and we head into the pinnacle of American consumerism known as Black Friday, we here at 9to5Mac have some tips which should make the shopping experience pleasant, efficient and productive. Over the next 24 hours, everything Apple related will be at the lowest prices of the year. We’re going to guide you to getting in, saving a bunch of cash and getting on your way.

First some don’ts:

  • Don’t for any reason actually go to a physical store. The 2-3 $150 50″ Best Buy TVs per store isn’t worth being in the vicinity of Black Friday shoppers and the “Door Busting”. It’s a nightmare out there. Go to a park. Play with your kids. Spend a few minutes with us and we’ll knock out that gifting.
  • Don’t actually buy anything online until Black Friday. Prices keep dropping in the runup to Black Friday. Wait. Enjoy the time with your family, watch some football. If you must, grab some small ticket items and get those out of the way. If you miss something, it will likely be around again on “Cyber Monday”.
  • Don’t buy anything at an Apple Store or Apple.com. Apple has outsourced Black Friday to their retail partners and have normal prices across the board. The stuff you buy at Target/Best Buy/Walmart/Amazon/etc.com is the exact same product and warranty you get at Apple. Pro-Tip: Apple Stores are for showrooming and repairs.
  • Don’t touch that dial. Stick with us here at 9to5Mac, 9to5Google and most importantly 9to5Toys for all of the best deals. Heck, now’s the time to subscribe to 9to5Toys TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications. We’ve got a team of 20 people scouring the web for the best deals out there and tomorrow it is going to come fast and furious.

As for Apple products, we’ve distilled the absolute best deals out there into just a few options. Important considerations include state tax at time of purchase, gift cards vs. actual savings, shipping and rewards. Also, AppleCare discounts. Here’s the quick rundown:

Apple Watch

Target, B&H and Best Buy in the US have the biggest discounts we’ve seen this year. Best Buy will knock off $50 on Sport and $100 on Stainless. Target gives you a $100 gift card on both models which is of course good for an additional 5% cash back using their RedCard. Both sites charge tax in all 50 states but offer free shipping.

However, the best option might be B&H Photo which offers the Apple Watch in fewer varieties than Best Buy but for the same $50 off Sport/$100 off Stainless. In addition, B&H throws in a $50 gift card, B&H only charges Tax in New York State which may save you big money.

B&H Photo:

Best Buy:

Target:

Apple Watch Sport starts at $349 and comes with a free $100 Target Gift Card. Use your REDcard to save an additional 5% and your effective net cost is just $231.55. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on new Apple Watches. Target will throw in the free gift card on any in-stock Apple Watch.

Apple TV

Target has the New Apple TV for ~$50 off in store but those prices will likely hit retailers like Walmart ($112) tomorrow. HHGregg also is expected to have some availability on Black Friday at reduced cost. Staples has $25 off if you checkout with Visa Checkout. The 3rd Gen Apple TV is $50 in a number of places and $40 Geek squad refurb at Best Buy. Stay tuned.

iPods

For those of us that still love the iPod touch, there are a few nice deals around. Best Buy cuts $50 across the board, Target cuts $40-$60 and Walmart cuts $35.

iPhone

iPhones with plans from the major US carriers are marked down significantly in a number of retail outlets

iPad

iPad Air/2

iPad mini 2/3/4

iPad Pro

Macs

Mac prices and inventory will fluctuate wildly on Black Friday. Best Buy gives an extra $50 off to students on iMacs and MacBooks

Retina 12-inch MacBooks are now widely available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray. The best prices as of this writing are:

MacBook Airs: B&H are running the table as of this writing with $120 off across the board, Tax only in New York and 6 months of Parallels Access but things will likely change – stay tuned.

MacBook Pro

B&H is leading the way with $150-$500 off 13-inch MacBook Pros and $200-$500 off 15.4-inch MacBook Pros. We expect to see some lower prices at eBay and other locations through the day.

iMacs

The entry level iMac is a whopping $200 off at Best Buy ($899) and with the .EDU  credit drops down to $850 shipped. After that B&H is leading the way with at least $100-$300 off on standard models and MacMall leads the way on custom configs. We’ve heard whispers that a retailler is going to do some serious price drops so we’ll post those when they happen.

Mac mini:

B&H takes $50 off the base model which now starts at $449 and $70 and $100 off the higher models. Other places take off less but will likely drop prices tomorrow.

Mac Pros:

Again, B&H has the lowest base model price and most of the configurations along with MacMall.

The above prices and inventory will likely be all over the place on Black Friday so we’ll be updating frequently. Thanks again for joining us for Black Friday 2015.

AppleCare Stories October 29, 2015

AAPL: 120.53

1.26

Ahead of the iPad Pro’s launch in November, sources have shared a couple of tidbits regarding launch plans for the device. We are told that Apple this week has started training its AppleCare support staff to become familiar with troubleshooting the larger tablet. Apple typically prepares its support network on major new products in the couple of weeks prior to the device’s launch. Apple is asking its support centers to complete their training by Friday, November 6th, which indicates that the iPad Pro is likely still on track for the early November launch we previously discussed.

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