I don’t want to make blanket statements regarding purchases. I fully recognize that every educator, school and institution has to decide what makes sense for them; ultimately, it is you that must live with the purchasing decision. At the same time, I would like to point out some things to consider. Applecare, from what I understand, extends the standard warranty of your iPad from 12 months to 24 months. Additionally, if you crack the screen of your iPad, you can have that iPad replaced for an additional $49 fee over and above the cost of your applecare protection plan of $99.
Apple care appears to increase the cost of a New 16GB Wifi iPad by about 20% (depending if you’re buying bulk, and depending on your country). That means 1 out of every 5 iPads needs to be defective within that two year period just to break even. If you consider a class set/cart of 30 iPads, 6 of those will need replacing in two years just to pass the break-even point. This isn’t even taking into consideration:
- the additional $49 charge that has been mentioned below
- decrease in value of devices (30% per year-ish), and
- a generally accepted need for ever-greening with all devices.
My experience is that Applecare isn’t necessary, and my preferred solution is a soft gel-like case from the dollar store which so far has protected every minor bump and bounce I’ve seen. BUT… I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to decide what makes sense for your own school.
Good luck and happy APPtivities!