If your business includes any environment where there is a risk of damaging your iPad in any way, then AppleCare is a product you need to consider. AppleCare is the extended service agreement that Apple offers on all its hardware devices. Getting AppleCare for your iPad entitles you to telephone support for your device, and extends the hardware warranty beyond the basic manufacturer's coverage that is included on all the Apple's devices.
When you buy an iPad, you receive coverage direct from Apple. For 90 days after your purchase, you get telephone support from the AppleCare team, and you receive a 1-year warranty on your hardware. With the purchase of AppleCare, both of these coverages are extended to a period of 2 years from the original date of purchase of the iPad. The coverage extends from the purchase date of the iPad, not the purchase of the AppleCare coverage.
AppleCare for iPad is called AppleCare+. Unlike the AppleCare Protection Plan available for some of Apple's other products, accidental damage coverage is included with AppleCare+ for iPad. Included in the price is repair coverage for up to two instances of damage to the iPad for which you are responsible. A $49 fee is charged for these repairs. Compared to the actual price of repairing most of the types of accidental damage that occur to iPads, this fee is low. If you drop your iPad and crack the screen, this fee is a fraction of the cost that such a screen repair would cost you if you had to pay for it in full.
The AppleCare+ plan for iPad costs $99 as of 2012. Like most extended warranty programs, Apple profits for every customer who purchases the plan and never needs to use it. However, if you should be unlucky enough to accidentally damage your iPad, this plan offers good value for the money. If you consistently use the iPad in conditions where it is likely to be dropped, spilled on or otherwise damaged, then this plan is a reasonable investment. It is also worth considering if you aren't comfortable with technology and would like to take advantage of Apple's telephone tech support team when you have problems with the software on the iPad.
AppleCare+ is a fairly comprehensive protection plan, but it is not all inclusive. Apple is detailed when training their agents about what to support and what is outside of their jurisdiction. If you encounter problems related to third-party apps, AppleCare+ is not going to help you. The other important thing to realize is that you only have 30 days after your iPad purchase to buy AppleCare+. This is different from Apple's computers, where you have a year from your purchase date to add on an AppleCare Protection Plan.
- Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images