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AppleCare just became essential — especially if you're buying Apple Watch Ultra

Apple Watch Ultra
(Image credit: Future)

Apple has confirmed that an AppleCare Plus plan now offers unlimited repairs for accidental damage, an upgrade over the protection policy’s previous limit of two repairs within a single calendar year. This surprise announcement is particularly well timed given the imminent release of the iPhone 14, AirPods Pro 2 and in particular the pricey Apple Watch Ultra

As spotted by AppleInsider (opens in new tab), the Apple Store (opens in new tab) was recently updated in the wake of the September Apple event with a new banner that reads: “AppleCare Plus now includes unlimited repairs for accidental damage protection.” This banner has appeared across regions with both the U.S. and U.K. version of the Apple Store displaying the message. 

This AppleCare Plus upgrade applies to almost all Apple products from iPhones to iPads, MacBooks to AirPods, Apple Watches to HomePods. We already felt that AppleCare Plus was a worthwhile investment when purchasing a new Apple product, but now that it comes with unlimited repairs for accidental damage, it’s an even more essential extra. 

This is especially true if you’re in the market for the Apple Watch Ultra. MacRumors (opens in new tab) has uncovered the cost of repairing the $799 wearable without an AppleCare Plus policy, and the figures are eye-watering. 

An accidental damage repair will cost you $499 without Apple’s protection policy, which is a steep increase from even the Apple Watch Series 8 which costs between $299 and $399 depending the configuration you opt for. 

However, if you take out a $99 upfront ($4.99 monthly) AppleCare Plus plan, for two years you’ll have unlimited accidental damage protection, and will only have to pay a $79 service fee in the event of your ultra-powerful smartwatch needing repaired. The idea of paying another $99 when you’re already spending $799 on an Apple Watch Ultra may not seem appealing, but it’s an investment that could save you quite a lot of money in the long run. 

Apple has also confirmed AppleCare Plus pricing for the new iPhone 14 range. The standard iPhone 14 will cost $219 for two years ($11.49 monthly), while two years of coverage for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will cost $269 upfront ($13.49 monthly). Again, while AppleCare Plus might not be instantly appealing at checkout, total peace of mind in the case of accidental damage is arguably worth the extra cost. 

So, if you’re planning to invest in some new Apple devices this holiday season, make sure to consider AppleCare Plus. Now that the program has been expanded to include unlimited accidental damage repair it’s more appealing than ever. And the monthly payment option is a great way to stay protected without having to fork over hundreds of dollars upfront.  

Read next: AppleCare Plus might be an essential purchase for the iPhone 14 as well, considering how much repairs cost

Rory Mellon
Deals Editor

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.