Nobody in the tech industry knows how to make customers drool for new kit than Apple Inc. My Apple experience goes back a few decades when Apple was mostly synonymous with the Mac. Mac? That’s Apple, right? Apple? That’s the Mac maker, right?
Right. Thankfully, those days are gone. The King of Disruption brought us a string of hits that grew our addictions to drool and lust. iTunes, iPod, iTunes Music Store, iPhone, iPhone App Store, iPad, and even after Steve Jobs died we have the King of iPhone Accessories in Tim Cook and we get Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apple Watch, AirPods, and now AirPods Pro.
How about a Mac you don’t need and can’t afford but want anyway? Check.
That’s the case Apple’s Mac Pro. I could afford the last two versions but at $12,000 a pop I need some help on my justification proposal to my wife.
The same holds true for AirPods Pro, Watch Series 6, and, yes, another new Mac– the MacBook Pro. Apple has created a growing line of matching accessories that have a few things in common. They cannot be repaired or upgraded by customers, they require AppleCare, they are expensive, and all are packaged in such a way that drool starts and credit card balance goes up.
That got me to thinking about one of Apple’s new products that does not get much public noise.
AppleCare and AppleCare+.
Our iPhones are on the iPhone Upgrade Program and that comes with AppleCare built-in. AirPods Pro has nothing that is user-accessible beyond ear wax collection so if they go bad beyond warranty we’re on the hook for repairs or replacement.
That’s another way of saying replacement. No repairs allowed.
Apple’s warranty for each new Mac and most products is a one-year limited hardware warranty, but with only 90-days of free technical support. Apple will repair or replace pretty much anything during the warranty and nearly anything else with AppleCare.
That’s where my desire for a new 16-inch MacBook Pro comes in. It needs AppleCare. Or, better, AppleCare+. That gives us three years of total limited warranty, three years of technical support, and special coverage for what is called incidents– accidental damage which reduces the fees to repair or replace; a screen for example.
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro weighs in at $379.
In the past, I ignored AppleCare because Apple hardware was good enough. Thanks to the butterfly keyboard scandal, iPhone and iPad screens that still crack, Watch batteries that swell up, and AirPods batteries that die quickly, I’ve begun to latch onto AppleCare for everything.
Apple Tax? Indeed.