As we outlined in a report earlier this month, Apple has gone ahead and doubled the AppleCare+ purchase window for new iPhones and iPads. Customers are now eligible to purchase AppleCare+ for their new iPhone and iPad up to 60 days after purchasing the device, whereas it was previously 30 days. AppleCare+ extends Apple’s 90-day complimentary support to two years and includes accidental damage coverage.
AppleCare+ costs $99 for both the iPhone and iPad plans, purchasable through the Apple Store both in-store and online. Apple has updated its website to reflect the new 60-day policy that is now in effect in all regions outside of Japan, where the 30-day window remains. These changes do not apply to Macs, iPods or any other Apple products outside of the iPhone and iPad…
Apple has also discontinued its standard AppleCare plan for iPhones and iPads, meaning that the more expensive AppleCare+ plan with accidental damage coverage is now the only warranty option. As reported by the well-connected blogger Mark Gurman, this move will likely result in more customers going the pay-per-incident route to have their devices repaired.
Gurman elaborates on the removal of the standard AppleCare plan:
“This change will be going into effect today in the United States, Canada, and Japan, and the shift will likely take place in other regions in the future. This move is significant as Apple is solely offering either the standard 90 days of support that comes free with iPhones and iPads or its most premium support service. This push will boost AppleCare+ sales numbers, revenues, and likely the amount of pay-per-incident fees Apple collects as some users may not want to pay nearly $100 for AppleCare+.”
AppleCare phone support and Apple Store support employees have reportedly been briefed on the changes, which are part of a greater move to improve Apple’s support programs as a whole. Later this year, the company is expected to introduce screen sharing on iPhones and iPads so that Apple support technicians can help customers directly on their device. Amazon introduced a similar face-to-face Mayday feature on its all-new Fire Phone.
Apple also recently improved the look of its online support communities.