T-Mobile’s Premium Device Protection Now Includes AppleCare

Today, T-Mobile announced that its Premium Device Protection will now include AppleCare at no additional charge for anyone who has an iPhone or iPad. The service is $12/month.

Premium Device Protection covers quiet a few potential problems that essentially amount to what used to be called phone insurance, including loss, theft, accidental damage, and more. With the inclusion of AppleCare, you’ll also now be able to replace a damaged screen for $29 (up to two times, anyway), get free battery service (once), get reduced pricing for other repairs, and get access to Apple’s technical support lines.

If you’re prone to losing your phone, then the Premium Device Protection might be worth it on its own, but be warned that it comes with a deductible up to $175, so it’s not like you just get a free phone every time you lose yours. At $12/month over the course of a year, that’s at least $319 toward a new phone if you break or lose it.

The basics of insurance aside, AppleCare alone costs $129 directly from Apple, so getting rolled into T-Mobile’s insurance plan is a great deal on the surface, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth paying for.

AppleCare covers two screen replacements and charges you $29 a piece for them. That’s basically $158 to replace a damaged screen. Without AppleCare, you can expect to pay between $129-$149 to replace your screen. If you break it a second time and have AppleCare, you pay a total of $216, including the year of coverage and the replacement cost. If you break your screen a second time and don’t have AppleCare, you pay $258-$298, depending on your phone model. Which basically means you have to break your screen twice in two years for it to be worth it.

AppleCare also covers other types of accidental damage, charging you $99 to fix pretty much any other nondescript problems. I can’t think of many problems that fall under this umbrella that aren’t manufacturing defects, which should be covered under the free one year warranty. That all comes alongside AppleCare’s additional phone and online troubleshooting service. Either way, with AppleCare you get two reduced-cost repairs, whatever those repairs may be.

If you’re already paying for T-Mobile’s Premium Device Protection, then this is a nice little benefit that actually makes the service more worthwhile, but at a glance, it still doesn’t seem worth it to me unless you’re really accident prone with your phone.

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