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Are iPhone Extended Service Contracts Worth The Money?

Are iPhone Extended Service Contracts Worth The Money?

Note: Jonathan Zschau is a Boston-based attorney and a specialist in consumer rights.

UPDATE: SquareTrade has objected to some of the statements and characterizations in this article. The company has some good points, which are published in full here.

As well as a good case or bumper, should you buy an extended service plan to protect your iPhone?

These service contracts are commonly referred to as “extended warranty plans,” “protection plans,” or “insurance plans” and promise to insure your iPhone from defect, accidental damage, and sometimes loss or theft.

The problem with extended service contracts is that they don’t offer you much more than you are already entitled to through your iPhone’s warranty, AppleCare, or existing consumer protection laws.

Although these service contracts do offer additional protection from accidental damage, theft, or loss they are also fraught hidden conditions, exclusions, and deductibles, which ultimately detract from their utility. Except for a very small minority of unusually accident-prone iPhone owners, these extended service contracts are a waste of money.

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Review: Why Aadvark’s iPhone App Is Great For Questions and Answers


Have a question? Aardvark Mobile is a great iPhone app that will find a real person to answer it – usually within minutes. It is a wonderfully useful app and has the potential to be an iPhone mainstay for years to come.

Aardvark Mobile is the latest addition to Aardvark: a social question and answer service that emerged from its beta phase earlier this year. Before Aardvark Mobile, users could only communicate with Aardvark through IM or email. The upshot of this was that if you needed a question answered from your iPhone, you had to go through your email or instant messaging app. In most circumstances you were better off finding an answer on your own using Google – even on an iPhone 2G.

But now Aardvark Mobile makes using Aardvark with an iPhone a cinch. So easy in fact, it makes Googling questions from your iPhone seem cumbersome and antiquated.

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