Apple Watch warranty extends up to 3 years with new AppleCare+

Buyers of the company's new smartwatch have a little extra insurance to ease the pain of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a new digital timepiece.

Nick Statt Former Staff Reporter / News
Nick Statt was a staff reporter for CNET News covering Microsoft, gaming, and technology you sometimes wear. He previously wrote for ReadWrite, was a news associate at the social-news app Flipboard, and his work has appeared in Popular Science and Newsweek. When not complaining about Bay Area bagel quality, he can be found spending a questionable amount of time contemplating his relationship with video games.
Nick Statt
2 min read

Apple Watch can cost as little as $350 or as much as $17,000. Apple has new warranty plans to cover every purchase in between. Tim Stevens/CNET

Those considering the newly priced Apple Watch can rejoice: the company's warranty policies are friendlier than usual.

A standard purchase of any Apple Watch model includes a free full year of hardware repair coverage and 90 days of complimentary support. As you go up the quality ladder and throw in Apple's new AppleCare+ warranty, the coverage improves.

For instance, for the middle-tier stainless steel Apple Watch -- which starts at $550 -- and the cheaper, $350 aluminum Apple Watch Sport, complimentary hardware support extends to two years with the additional warranty purchase. The company does not detail how much AppleCare+ will cost.

Apple has a new warranty tier, called AppleCare+, to better protect its new smartwatch from accidental damage. Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET

"AppleCare+ for Apple Watch extends your coverage to two years from the original purchase date of your Apple Watch and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee plus applicable tax," the company says on its website.

That means while some instances of damage may be remedied free of charge, some more serious instances like broken displays may incur a fee. That's par for the course for Apple, which still charges customers a fee to repair broken iPhone screens even with AppleCare coverage.

Apple finally delved into more detail about its smartwatch Monday at its "Spring Forward" event in San Francisco. Though Apple showed off new features, app partnerships and an ambitious new medical research software platform, everyone's attention became singularly focused on the Apple Watch's price range, with a top-end model going for as much as $17,000.

With those prices, you'd expect a more fair warranty policy and Apple appears to have taken that into account when designing AppleCare+.

Here's a full breakdown of coverage depending on which model you purchase and whether you opt for additional coverage:

Apple Watch Sport (aluminum case) Apple Watch (stainless steel case) Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold case)
Price: $350-$400 Price: $550-$1,100 Price: $10,000-$17,000
1 year of complimentary
hardware support coverage

1 year of complimentary hardware support coverage

2 years of complimentary
hardware support cover
90 days of additional complimentary phone and in-store support

90 days of additional complimentary phone and in-store support

2 years of additional complimentary phone
and in-store support
AppleCare+ extends hardware
and phone support to 2 years
Apple Care+ extends hardware
and phone support to 2 years
AppleCare+ extends hardware and phone
support to 3 years