The value of Applecare

When I first started buying Apple products, which was around seven years ago now with the G4 Mac Mini, I had no interest in buying AppleCare. It seemed mad to me to purchase AppleCare as the products already come with one years guarantee. I didn’t think it was necessary for Applecare protection because of the reputation that Apple have for quality products. For the most part that has been a good decision. I still have that Apple Mac Mini in full working condition. The first iMac that I bought, I believe still works. Certainly it worked for all the years that I used it, before I passed it on to my son.

AppleCare for iPad?

On account of the fact that the amazing computer that is the iPad, is shoehorned into such a small space with the amazing technology that is used to create the product, perhaps I should be buying AppleCare for iPad. The first iPad that I bought, the original iPad, is still in daily use and didn’t have a need of Applecare for iPad. The iPad generation 3 which I’m using at present, also is working perfectly and I feel confident it will last for longer than the time I expect to have it. I didn’t even get any Apple care on the iPhone 3G and I got a super amount of use out of that device, without any problems. I was able to sell the iPhone at the end of its life for me and have a little bit of money to put towards the Apple iPhone 4.

Should have got an Apple care protection plan for iMac

Now the second iMac that I bought, a 24 inch model, I did have some problems with. After I’d had the iMac for a couple of years I had problems with the display and it cost me €400 to get it fixed. I used it for about eight or nine months after that and once again I had a different problem with the display. The first problem was with the display card inside the computer and I think the second problem with it was the actual display itself. After that, I really didn’t want to spend any more money to fix it again.

With that particular iMac computer, I would have been better off if I’d had AppleCare protection with it. Due to the problems I had with that iMac, with the Apple iMac 27 inch computer that I’m using now, I did buy AppleCare support. It does feel nice to know that I can ring up the AppleCare support number and get this computer fixed if necessary. Everything is going okay with the computer so far, although I do have a small problem with the DVD drive. The small socket for the SDHC card is right next to the opening for the DVDs and one time by mistake, I put the memory card into the wrong hole. I didn’t tend to use the DVD drive very often, but one of these days I will make an appointment to make use of the AppleCare protection and get that sorted out.

Which Apple care support number should I call

As you may know I live in Spain and if I ring the Spanish AppleCare number, I might not get somebody that speaks English. So should I ring AppleCare UK or just take my chances with the Spanish number? Probably, I will try the Spanish number first, as in any case I can speak a certain amount of Spanish. I would still prefer to deal with it in English if at all possible.

Was it a good idea to buy AppleCare?

The answer to that is, only time will tell. At the moment I am pleased with the decision, considering the problems I had with the previous iMac. To a certain extent the iMac is like having a laptop computer which are generally more difficult to get inside to fix and for that reason getting an AppleCare plan is a very good idea.

The ability to upgrade the iMac while on AppleCare

When you get yourself a new computer, it seems as fast as hell. Quite often though, over time as new models are introduced, what once seemed fast, might later on seem a little sluggish. What I am thinking of here, in particular, is that the price of the SSD drives have significantly reduced in price, to the point of being affordable. The trouble is, if I want to do my own upgrade on the computer, there is the possibility that I could invalidate the AppleCare warranty. After owning this computer for a year, what I would like to do is to install an SSD drive for bootup and to increase the size of the spinning hard drive. At the time of buying the iMac there was an option to get an SSD, but it was far too expensive

Finding a way to upgrade the iMac that has AppleCare protection

Finally we are just starting to see the introduction of Thunderbolt devices or connectors, so that we can really start to benefit from the technology. Last week when I was in the Apple Store to check out the Apple iPad mini, I also saw the Seagate Thunderbolt connector device. What I am thinking of doing, is to buy one of these Thunderbolt connectors and plug a SSD drive into it. I would set up the SSD to be the boot drive and keep the spinning drive inside just for the content. I might also use the SSD for some video scratch drive purposes, and Final Cut Pro X would benefit from a huge performance increase.

The only other chance to upgrade the iMac while it is under the protection of Apple care would be the possibility of asking AppleCare to do the upgrade for me. I suspect that I would have to use the Apple supplied SSD drive and I think that could be quite expensive.

Just be patient for an upgrade

The other option would be to wait until the AppleCare period is finished and then I would be able to crack open the case of the iMac myself. I would probably be able to get a good sized SSD from Crucial Memory that I could install myself, along with a large mechanical spinning drive to put in at the same time. I’m fairly sure that with such an upgrade I would be able to get two, maybe three more years use out of this iMac. Such is the amount of increase of speed and productivity I could get by adding an SSD.

What would you do in my shoes?

Some people might think that the best thing to do would be to sell the current 27 inch model that I’m working with and upgrade to the latest, thinnest iMac available from Apple. Even though I could probably get a good price for the iMac that I’m using, especially as the AppleCare iMac plan would be transferable, it could still work out expensive. My finances would not allow for that particular plan right now.

The idea of using the Thunderbolt option, certainly has its merits. I could get a SSD for about €100 and the Thunderbolt adapter costs either €130 or €180 depending on whether I get the one with one Thunderbolt port or the two Thunderbolt ports. Getting the product with two Thunderbolt ports would be useful as I would be able to Daisy chain them. At a later stage I could add another Thunderbolt device to the end of the chain.

It is working well enough anyway

The iMac that I am using with its AppleCare registration in place is pretty good as it is. I shouldn’t be so impatient with the need for speed, so should I wait until the three years are up? Does anybody else have any other suggestions?