How will AppleCare+ replacements change the way you protect your iPhone?

Thanks to Apple’s new iPhone AppleCare+ replacement program for water damage, it’s time to recheck your contract — or think about cutting the cord.

At Apple Stores across the country, eligible consumers with an iPhone 7, 8, or X will be able to trade in their old model and receive a new, water- and sapphire-protected iPhone that’ll offer a 20-percent refund, plus eligible repairs to your screen, battery, and chip.

Regardless of your iPhone’s current warranty, AppleCare+ will cover you up to a 12-month period from when you bought the device, after which point you’ll need to purchase a new AppleCare+ plan to extend that warranty to 18 months. Prices start at $129 for a 64GB iPhone 8 Plus.

So what does all this mean for you? We take a quick look at everything you need to know:

You already know that Apple’s water- and sapphire-protected iPhones take tough waterproofing. What you may not be aware of is that the new iPhones are also tough enough to withstand a drop.

Here’s a rough breakdown:

Water damage

A damaged smartphone only needs to be “below a certain threshold to support the claim for a qualified new device.”

If it’s broken because it was dropped on concrete from “more than two feet away,” AppleCare+ will replace it.

On top of that, an iPhone isn’t eligible for coverage if the product is dropped from a great height, is made of glass or is “metal without a backing.”

So, if your iPhone 5 or later can withstand a tumble from two feet, you probably don’t need to worry about your iPhone 7 or 8.

If you happen to have a 13-inch MacBook or iMac that’s incredibly fragile, you’ll need to upgrade your AppleCare+ warranty. Apple actually estimates that all of these new iPhones will be “hardwired at up to 40 percent greater durability for those premium products,” so you won’t necessarily need to upgrade your policy for one.

Sapphire glass

Sapphire crystal displays are too fragile for your phone to handle — but not for your iPhone X.

“Apple meets the performance requirements for new iPhones with an iPhone X display and expects AppleCare+ to cover claims based on this display.”

Apple says that it will “meet the performance requirements for new iPhones with an iPhone X display and expects AppleCare+ to cover claims based on this display, as our designers designed the iPhone X display to be drop-proof.” But, if you have an iPhone 7 or 8, don’t give up on your warranty just yet. The company won’t pay for damage to Sapphire glass displays, so you can only get a replacement phone if you drop it from 22-feet away.

Cheaper iPhone 7 and 8 Plus replacements

If you’re an iPhone 7 or 8 Plus owner who wants to see what your new flagship looks like after a 30-day upgrade period, don’t toss your warranty away. Just visit an Apple Store to sign up for an AppleCare+ replacement program.

That will mean you’ll have to pay the regular AppleCare fee — $199 for a two-year plan — for one new iPhone you used to pay $549. Though, if you enter the 24-month AppleCare+ expiration date as February 28, 2020, you can upgrade your device for $0.

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