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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2011
AppleCare is both an extended warranty and an extension of phone support. It extends the warranty from one year to three, and phone support from 90 days to three years. Note that if you purchase a display at the same time you purchase your MacBook Pro, AppleCare for your computer also covers your display.

It's impossible to predict if you'll get your money's worth out it or not, as that will be determined by whether or not your MacBook Pro needs any repairs in the second or third year and how likely you are to need the extended phone support. I'll just tell you my story so you'll understand why I gave AppleCare five stars.

I purchased AppleCare with my first MacBook Pro, which I bought in May, 2006, along with a 30" Cinema Display. The computer, just over five years old at this point, has never needed a repair. However, the batteries in that model clearly had problems. If you don't use the computer on the battery a fair bit the battery goes bad. Once that happens, you can still use the computer on the battery, but at some point the computer will just shut down. No warning, it doesn't go to sleep, and the battery indicator in the menu bar says it still has plenty of charge.

I had at least three batteries replaced under AppleCare, maybe four, and the last one was actually after the three years of AppleCare were up. But I fussed at them for using what I considered a faulty design for the batteries and in the interest of customer satisfaction they gave me one last battery, which they didn't have to do.

The display, on the other hand, did need a repair. It just died and wouldn't light up. I called Apple and explained the problem. They shipped me a box overnight. I packed up the display and called FedEx to arrange a pickup the next day. Unfortunately the folks at Apple couldn't reproduce the problem, so they shipped it back and sure enough it worked. Some time later, after the three years were up and it was no longer covered under AppleCare, the problem recurred. Since it was out of warranty at that point I did some testing and eventually figured out that the problem only showed up if I plugged the display's USB or FireWire connector into my computer, something I didn't normally do. So I called Apple to see what it would cost to repair, and after explaining the history the guy offered to repair it for free since they missed the problem when I sent it in the first time. Again, they went above and beyond their legal obligation.

In general I've found Apple's service to be top notch. My Time Capsule's power supply died. They overnighted a box to me, had FedEx pick it up, fixed it, and overnighted it back to me. They never try to weasel out of doing a repair and even cover them when they don't have to, which I think is very cool.

In my experience, when you call for phone support you get really nice people, located in America, who are generally pretty helpful. Without AppleCare phone support is free for 90 days and $50 per incident after that. With AppleCare it's free for three years. So if you upgrade your OS two years from now and have a problem you can call them for help and it's free. How much this is worth to you just depends on you and whether you know someone who can help if you have a problem.

So for me AppleCare was totally worth it and I had absolutely no complaints. If you're pretty Mac/computer savvy and use the battery right AppleCare may not be a good value for you. You have a year to buy it after you buy the computer, so you have the option to wait and see how things go. If you make it to the end of the year and haven't had any problems you might decide it's not worth the $300.

On the other hand, if you need to replace a battery within the first year, need phone support at times, or it comes out that your model has a component with a higher-than-expected failure rate, you'll probably want to get the AppleCare coverage. Just remember you have to buy it while the computer is still covered under the original one-year warranty.

I just bought a new MacBook Pro. The current plan is to see how things go for the first year and decide near the end if I think AppleCare makes sense for this one. I think the new ones use a better battery design, so I'm hoping I won't I won't have the battery problems I had before.

Hope that helps.
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88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2011
FULL DISCLOSURE - Parts of this review are the same / similar as / to my review of the A.P.P. for 13" Macbooks as both are essentially the same products.

Please note, this version of the Applecare.Protection.Plan is ONLY for the Macbook Pro 15" and 17".

The Macbook and the Macbook Pro 13" are covered under another version of the Applecare Protection Plan -AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Laptops 13 Inches and Below (NEWEST VERSION)

The Applecare Protection Plan - an expensive requirement if you buy / own an Apple notebook.

What most people don't know is that Apple doesn't make the logicboards (motherboards) or the processors or the hard drives or the DVD burners inside their Macbooks. Like all computer manufacturers, Apple sources its parts from component manufacturers like Seagate, Nvidia, Intel, Sony etc etc. These parts just like all electronic components can and may fail after a period of time. Once a part fails and if your macbook pro's one year standard warranty is over, Apple charges extremely high fees to repair or replace parts.

For example - Motherboard replacement - $1000 to $1200. Superdrive replacement - $200 to $300. LCD screen replacement - $800 to $1000. It's better to pay for Applecare once than pay Apple exorbitant repair fees every time a part fails.

Basically, the A.P.P. is a 2 year warranty extension to your apple laptop's standard one year hardware warranty. It provides unlimited phone support and hardware diagnosis. It also offers Mail-in repair for Mac notebooks using a prepaid shipping box provided by Apple and service by an apple store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

The A.P.P. also gives you global repair coverage so if a hardware issues arises while you're in another country and there's an Apple Store or Apple Authorised Service Provider near by, you can take your mac in for diagnosis and repair.

It does not offer any sort of damage protection or on-site repair.

Please remember to buy the A.P.P. if you plan to do so before the first year of ownership is up. If you bought your machine on X Date 2011 - buy the A.P.P.before X Date 2012. Apple will not honor an A.P.P. policy bought even 2 days after the first year is over (in most cases unless you get lucky and speak to a friendly agent on the phone willing to relax the rules a bit)

I'm sorry to be recommending an extended warranty, but it's a necessary evil with Apple products. There is no guarantee that something will go wrong with your expensive mac notebook after the first year but if something does go wrong after the first year, it's better to be covered by the A.P.P. and avoid paying those exorbitant repair/replacement costs.

NOTE - Don't buy Applecare from Apple. Shop around - there are good deals to be found at Authorised Apple resellers and other legit online outlets. Amazon used to be one of the best places to purchase an A.P.P. from but Amazon has raised it's price also. It used to sell the A.P.P. for $ 299 dollars, but has now increased the price to $ 325 and it's been stuck there for a while. I have no idea why Amazon raised the price but you should buy when the price is low or a price correction occurs.
Hope this helps!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2011
In early 2009, I purchased a 2008 17 inch MacBook at one third less than list price, from an online discount eTailer. This discount e-tailer (sometimes sarcastically referred to as "less than honest Abe's") gave me a strong pitch to purchase an extended repair contract from a camera repair service. Instead, I purchased AppleCare at a discount, separately, from Amazon.com. Registration of Apple Care was easy, online, using the serial number in the box, shipped from Amazon.

Local Apple users' groups told me that I was asking for trouble. In their opinions, Apple disapproves of online e-tailers selling anything Apple, at a discount. In their opinions, Apple hardware sold at any price less than list price is somehow "grey-market" and it will be difficult to get Apple to repair grey-market hardware.

However, this worked out for me. That 2008 MacBook started to run hot as a stove, literally. Although it ran without any hangs or crashes, it was hot enough to make typing uncomfortable on my wrists. About 20 months after I bought it, one of the cooling fans started to whine like a siren.

Apple telephone support told me to take the computer to an Apple Store, which happened to be close to me. I did not need to ship my computer. When I visited the Apple Store, they treated my computer as if I had bought it from Apple.com. The repair was at no cost to me, and completed in two days. My MacBook now runs cool, literally! Whatever was wrong with the cooling system, the "Mac Geniuses" fixed it, permanently.

My conclusion, based on this single experience:
It is possible to purchase Apple computers, at significant discounts. But I recommend getting the extended Apple Care warranty. First, if you live near an Apple Store, you can get fairly quick repairs, in my experience. Second, you get Apple telephone support. That is not included in with repair contracts from a camera repair service, as far as I can tell.

Of course, if the price of Apple Care rises, you might consider "self insurance", that is, doing without the extended warranty, and paying for repairs or replacement, out of your own pocket. In my case, I probably broke even.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2012
Did quite a bit of research before I bought the Apple Care Protection through Amazon....I even contacted Apple to make sure this product would be honored by them.
According to Apple, Amazon is registered to sell Apple products.
Bought the Apple Care Protection for my 15" MacBook Pro (latest version) at a savings of $64, Apple wants $349.
After I received the box, I registered it through Apples web site and within 10 minutes I got a email stating my warranty was extended!
I recommend this product and purchasing it through Amazon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
I own the new macbook pro 15-inch retina display. The old version of the applecare protection plan is perfectly good. It does not exclude the retina display. It does not cover the external superdrive that some may buy to supplement the retina display, but for the difference in the price of the warranty one can buy a second superdrive. I have verified this with Apple phone support.

I award the product 5 stars for the protection plan itself, but not for the exhorbitant price of the "new version". Save yourself some money. Buy the old version.

AppleCare Protection Plan for Portable Apple Computers 15 Inches and Above (OLD VERSION)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2011
I always buy AppleCare for my MacBook Pro computers. I had heard that AppleCare is less on Amazon, so that's where I bought it. There was not problem registering it with Apple over the telephone. When I first tired to register it online, a copy of my receipt was requested. I stopped that process and called Apple and they didn't need anything but the serial number of my MBP. A good deal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2013
This is insurance - and hopefully you don't have to use it. However, there are a lot of issues that have been reported with the new retina MBP models (13 and 15) including creaking chassis, screens that have a great deal of yellow tint or uneven back-lighting and there is still some image retention issues. Some of these symptoms are non-existent for some, and for others, they have gone through 5-6 units before finding one that meets their personal requirements. The issue is that these issues can creep up well after your 1 year warranty expires and the most recent retina MBPs are no longer user friendly to replace parts (e.g. RAM soldered to motherboard).

Apple repairs are VERY expensive if you are not covered - so AppleCare is a no brainer for your expensive rMBP. It is expensive, but this vendor had it much cheaper than Apple and the registration worked fine for me - no issues and all legitimate. Ultimately it is up to you if you want to spend the $$ for the insurance, and in most cases I don't get extended warranties - but for my new 15'' retinal MBP - I like the comfort of knowing I am protected for 3 years with Apple's excellent customer service.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Amazon's price was 5 bucks cheaper than Apple's for the same thing. What's to question? Buy it from Amazon! Crud! I have to make this 20-words long... that probably did it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2014
Have a 15" macbook pro retina. THis is for the physical apple care box with the code inside, and not for an instant code via email. Either way if you have prime it is not a big deal. If you have a retina macbook pro you need to get apple care considering a simple repair can cost you upwards of $600.

My prior macbook I did not get apple care because I could replace most of the parts myself, with these retina macbooks you really want to get the applecare just in case.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
Updated Review - October 2014:

Just purchased this warranty again for my mid-2014 Retina MacBook Pro. Amazon has the best price I've seen for this coverage. Amazon's price is currently $244.00 and you'll pay Apple $349.00 for this exact same protection plan. It's a no-brainer to purchase this coverage from Amazon.

Original Review - June 2012:

After having to have the logic board replaced on my first MacBook Pro about a year and a half ago (an early 2008 MacBook Pro), I swore that I would always have the extended AppleCare protection on my MacBook Pros. I had it on the 2008 machine, and the repair would've cost me nearly $800 if I hadn't had it. I also had the SuperDrive replaced and got at least two new batteries under the extended AppleCare protection. Without it, I would've paid somewhere north of $1,200 for hardware and labor during the three years I had that laptop.

Sure, it seems like kind of a punch in the gut to have to pay $300-$350 for an extended warranty after you spend over $2,000 on a laptop; but I'd rather pay the initial extra fee for the extended AppleCare sometime within the first year of having the laptop as opposed to potentially having to shell out hundreds and hundreds more over the life of the machine. Maybe you'll get lucky and never need to use it; but I baby my machines and the bottom line is that electronic components can and will fail at a moment's notice no matter how well you take care of your equipment.
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