So the iPhone X made its splashy debut yesterday and ... listen, it's expensive. Its base price is $999. Facial recognition, Super Retina Display (apparently costing Apple $125 per panel) and removing the home button will do that to a robot smartphone.
Now, you probably won't score an iPhone X anytime soon. Even if you've got an extra $1,000 on hand right now, pre-orders don't start until October 27 with an official launch date set for November 3. Plus, demand will be high (we think). But if you've got that shiny new toy in your sights, best prepare. Here's how to protect your $1,000 iPhone X.
##1. Opt for AppleCare+
All iPhones come with AppleCare, which amounts to a one-year limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary technical support via phone. But you can widen that coverage with AppleCare+, which extends your warranty to two years and covers two accidental damage incidents. Each is subject to a service fee of $29 for screen damage or $99 for anything else, plus tax.
Now here's some (sort of) good news: If you get your iPhone X (or any iPhone, really) via Apple's installment plan, AppleCare+ is more or less included. Sold separately, it'll cost you $199. In either case, it's probably worth it. This is a $1,000 phone. If you don't buy insurance, you will drop it into the ocean. Trust me.
You can learn more about AppleCare and some other popular phone insurance plans here.
##2. Get that thing some renters insurance
Renters insurance covers electronics, but there is typically a coverage limit associated with that category of stuff, so your $1,000 iPhone might necessitate some add-on coverage. Or, if you're among the 60% of people going without renters insurance, well, now's the time to pony up. Policies are actually cheaper than you think. You can get renters insurance quotes here.
If you have renters insurance already, call your insurer to talk out whether your coverage limits are sufficient. And ask if any perils (insurer-speak for the incidents renters insurance covers) are excluded. Certain water damage, for instance, isn't always covered in a standard renters insurance policy. Better you know that now than after your iPhone X somehow ends up in a sewer.
##3. Consider skipping the iPhone X
I know, I know. It's perfect, it's beautiful, it looks like Linda Evangelista.
But hear me out: A few years ago, I got an $800 smartphone (not an iPhone, just so you know). Thing is, it didn't actually cost me $800. Since I was eligible for an upgrade, I only shelled out around $250 ... and then I promptly dropped the device into the ocean. It lost its mind. First, the speakers blew out, then the motherboard ate itself. My two-week-old phone was dead. AND I DIDN'T HAVE CELLPHONE INSURANCE!!! Partially because, in my mind, the stupid phone cost $250 and I had shelled out $50 for replacement phones through cellphone protection plans in the past (long story).
Anway, when I tried to buy a new phone, I was told if I ever wanted to have one again, I would have to pay the $500 my upgrade had (formerly) covered. Because contracts. Or something. Plus, if I wanted the same phone I had unceremoniously destroyed, it would cost full price. That was the moment I realized I had purchased an $800 phone. And nevermind that I didn't have insurance (which was a very, very bad choice). Buying an $800 phone alone — a tiny device I take everywhere — suddenly seemed like a truly stupid thing to do.
Now maybe you think a $1,000 phone is worth it. (It's certainly extra.) And that's cool. Just recognize what you're buying.
Purchasing an smartphone on an installment plan or via an upgrade program makes it all too easy to forget how much it actually costs. Consider the iPhone X: If you buy the $999 64-gigabyte model through Apple's upgrade program, you'll pay just under $50 a month for the device. That's already a seemingly more reasonable price to pay and it doesn't account for any savings you get if you swap the phone in for a new one at the 12-month mark (as the upgrade program allows).
But don't kid yourself: You are buying a $1,000 phone. Imagine a worst-case scenario, then prepare for it.
Image: Courtesy of Apple
Get essential money news & money moves with the Easy Money newsletter.
Free in your inbox each Friday.