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AppleCare is now available as a monthly subscription

A long-term option is Apple's latest subscription offering.

Apple's iPhones can now get AppleCare as a monthly subscription. 
James Martin/CNET

Apple's hardware side had a very busy Tuesday with the company announcing three new iPhone 11 models, an updated Apple Watch and a new 10.2-inch iPad at its September event, but it also quietly updated its protection plans for its hardware. While this wasn't given much attention, the electronics giant seems to have introduced a new AppleCare subscription offering. 

Apple has long offered AppleCare as an insurance option for those worried about damaging or losing their new gear, where customers can pay an extra fee when purchasing the new device (or within 30 days) to add extra warranty protections that would reduce the cost of fixing a broken device.  

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For example, on an iPhone XR getting AppleCare Plus runs $149 (or $249 if you want to add theft and loss protection as well). As part of the new offering, however, you can either pay that upfront cost for 24 months of warranty coverage or pay it in monthly rates of $7.99 for AppleCare Plus, $12.99 for AppleCare with the theft and loss protection. 

With the monthly plan option, the insurance will run until it's canceled and doesn't expire after two years, though, as 9to5Mac notes, it could come to an end if Apple no longer has the parts to service your device. 

As with most monthly subscriptions, you will pay more by not prepaying in advance. Instead of $149 up front, that same AppleCare subscription for an iPhone XR will cost $191.76 if paid monthly over the same period. 

While indefinite monthly payments are available for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, not all Apple products will have that option. AirPods, Macs and Apple TVs, for instance, only offer the upfront AppleCare option.  

Turning AppleCare into a subscription is one of Apple's latest moves to expand its services. On Tuesday the company also announced a Sept. 19 launch for its $4.99 per month Apple Arcade game service and a Nov. 1 launch for its $4.99 TV Plus streaming video service.