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What to Buy After the Apple Press Event

I've got tons of retail management experience.  I was managing computer retail stores between the ages of 16 – 18. I've been a gadget geek all my life. One of the things that I usually advise people against when purchasing electronics, though is purchasing an extended warranty.  Unless you are going to be taking said electronics into a somewhat less than hospitable environment (like my family room, with my boys and most of their toys), the only thing that purchasing an extended warranty plan does is increase margin dollars for the store.  Most products, if they fail, usually fail during the warranty period, and the manufacturer's warranty is usually sufficient to cover the loss or needed repairs.
Is AppleCare worth the price..?

All of that changed when I started buying Apple products, though.

AppleCare is more than an extended warranty program.  Its an engraved invitation to a better customer service experience should you have trouble with your Apple stuff. Depending on what Apple product I am purchasing (and who I’m buying it for), I won’t buy it without AppleCare.

Here’s what I’d purchase AppleCare for:

  • MacBook/MacBook Air/MacBook Pro – Yes, during purchase
  • iMac/Mac Mini/Mac Pro – Yes, during purchase
  • Apple Display – Yes, during purchase
  • iPhone – Yes, during first year
  • iPod Touch/Classic/Nano – Depends on who its for; but if not necessarily during purchase
  • Apple Tablet – Yes, during purchase

Please take notice of the last bullet there.  If Apple does release a tablet, AND it is available for purchase immediately following the press event.  The first thing you should buy for it is AppleCare.  I don’t expect things to be problematic for the product, BUT as this is a new product class, and as no one is certain how successful it will be, having a care plan for it for the next 3 years will be key in insuring that your investment is protected.

Aside from hardware and software replacement for the contents of the box, you also get preferred treatment from Apple Geniuses and customer service when you call for help.  As this is going to be a new product class for Apple, having preferred status on your side when you bump into problems won’t hurt. I don’t expect it to have problems, but as its untried, I think its going to “more prone” to “issues” and “opportunities for improvement” than other well established products like the iPod (in all variations).

If Apple does release a tablet tomorrow, will AppleCare be the first thing you buy for it?  Why not chime in and let us know!

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