10 biggest tech shopping myths, busted

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10 Tech Shopping Myths
It's time to debunk these 10 common myths about buying tech gear.
Photo: Jarmoluk/Pixabay

One of the best things about living in the digital age is the ease with which you can compare prices. It’s never been easier to find great deals, especially on technology. But even though finding discounted gadgets is pretty easy, some people still end up overpaying for tech because they’ve put their faith in misguided shopping myths.

If you’re looking to save money and get the most value for your dollar, make sure you don’t fall victim to one of these common misconceptions about buying electronics. Read on to learn more about the biggest tech shopping myths out there, why we believe them, and why those myths are just dead wrong. Our guide busts some Apple-specific myths, as well as some more general misconceptions about how to save money when shopping for gadgets.

Best warranty options for your new iPhone

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iPhone 6 Plus Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
What happens if you accidentally crack the gorgeous screen on your iPhone 6 Plus? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Naturally, you hope your new iPhone will stay in mint condition until you’re ready to upgrade or resell. But the fact is, if you cringe at the possibility of a $200 repair bill for a broken screen, it’s time to think about getting an extended warranty.

You’ve got several options: AppleCare+ is available for purchase with new hardware, and mobile carriers and third-party warranty providers sell plans with different perks. You should also check out your personal insurance provider if you’ve got one. Some homeowner’s and renter’s policies offer protection plans for personal belongings, and you might already be covered. The deductibles tend to be steep, but it’s still worth giving your insurer a call to know your options.

Deciding on a warranty can be tricky, so we’ve done the hard work for you.

Drop Test Proves Galaxy S4’s ‘Durable’ Plastic Is No Match For iPhone 5’s Aluminum [Video]

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Samsung has had to defend the Galaxy S4’s plastic form factor quite a bit since the device was announced back in March, and one of the ways it has done that is by touting the handsets durability. Plastic, Samsung claims, makes the device much more robust than competing smartphones because it bends and absorbs impact.

But as we suspected all along, aluminum is stronger. In a smartphone torture test performed by warranty provider SquareTrade, the Galaxy S4 fails to beat the iPhone 5 in drop tests, and even proved to be more fragile than its predecessor, the Galaxy S III.

Americans Have Spent An Estimated $5.9 Billion Repairing Their Damaged iPhones

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squaretrade

If you’ve ever dropped your iPhone or taken it for a dip in the swimming pool, then you know the pains of having your favorite electronic device murdered in front of your eyes. You also know the pains of the repair bill in your attempts to bring your iPhone back to life.

SquareTrade released a new study today that shows damaged iPhones have cost Americans about $5.9 billion in repair bills since their introduction in 2007. The study also found that in the last 12 months alone, 30% of iPhone owners damaged their device.

Got Butterfingers? Get A Nexus 7 Instead Of An iPad [Video]

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Some people do this for fun.
Some people do this for fun.

If you have a tendency to drop your expensive gadgets, and you’re looking for something a little more robust than the iPad, you should probably check out Google’s new Nexus 7. According to this drop test from warranty provider SquareTrade, Google’s $199 slate handles drops and water damage better than the new iPad.

Save Your iPhone’s Life – Win a Free Insurance Policy from Cult of Mac [Giveaway]

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shatterediPhone

The saddest moment of my life was when my iPhone 4’s screen shattered to pieces after I dropped it while riding my bike. The second saddest moment of my life was when the Apple Genius Bar guy told me how much it was going to cost to fix it. (What can I say, I’ve lived a sheltered life).  Had I known about SquareTrade’s insurance for iPhone the painful blow could have been softened.  SquareTrade’s got some great prices on insurance coverage for your iPhone so that you don’t have to worry about what happens when you inevitably do something clumsy like spill your milk on the speaker, or drop it while playing with your kids.

Because our readers have been so amazing to us this year, we’re giving away two iPhone warranties (worth $200 each!). The warranties last for two years, so if you just bought an iPhone 4S you can rest assured that your beautiful new baby will stay intact for the remainder of your contract. Wanna win a free iPhone warranties?

 

Here are the rules for the giveaway:

Are iPhone Extended Service Contracts Worth The Money?

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Some iPhone users in the UK are upset with Apple over sudden increases in repair costs.
Some iPhone users in the UK are upset with Apple over sudden increases in repair costs.
File Photo: Cult of Mac

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.