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Keeping an Eye on Your iPhone

Question: Do you have good coverage for your iPhone 4?  No, not cellular coverage (this isn’t an AT&T joke)…we’re talking about physical and financial protection for the world’s favorite smartphone.  Considering the cost to repair or replace an iPhone 4, an ounce of protection is worth at least a pound of cure!

Let’s start with the basics — phone cases.  Not just a fashion accessory, cases protect and preserve the sleek surfaces and sensitive innards of your iPhone 4, while improving signal strength.  But there’s a wide range of case styles and designs out there, so feel free to make a statement!  Some of our favorites:

• The Minimalist: Apple iPhone 4 Bumper
• Captain Practical: Griffin Reveal
• The Diva: Michael Kors Wallet Clutch
• The Klutz: OtterBox Defender
• Class Clown: Case-Mate Waddler

Now that we’ve got your iPhone 4 “covered” (ha ha) let’s talk about warranties and insurance.  Apple kindly bestows each new iPhone with a 1-year limited warranty, but we (always, ALWAYS) recommend that you take advantage of Apple’s extended warranty plans for computers and iOS devices.  In tandem with the October 14, 2011 release of the new iPhone 4S, Apple is debuting AppleCare+ for iPhone, which for $99 adds an additional year to your warranty period, extends your phone support period from 90 days to 2 years and — wait for it — covers “up to two incidents of accidental damage from handling” (with each incident subject to a $49 service fee).  This is the first time, to our knowledge, that Apple has offered accidental damage coverage on any product!  Note that the plan will be available for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, but it must be purchased together with new equipment to be covered.

Keep in mind that AppleCare does not cover theft, and that’s where a third-party insurance plan comes in.  Worth Ave. Group offers a 1-year plan to protect your 32GB iPhone 4 against theft and accidental damage for $89, while Ensquared has a 1-year plan which covers theft, damage and loss for about $99 (the iPhone 4 has to be less than 90 days old).  Your mobile carrier might be able to provide coverage too, but not all carriers cover iPhones…AT&T does, for a monthly premium of about $7.

What is that I hear?  You dropped your iPhone 4, the screen’s cracked and you don’t have AppleCare+ or third-party insurance?  Well, you still have a few options:

  1. Request Apple Out-of-Warranty Service: Apple can, at its discretion, repair or replace your iPhone if it’s suffered accidental damage (including water damage!), at a cost of  up to $199 — which is a lot cheaper than buying a new iPhone (at $400-$600).
  2. Find a reputable iOS device repair company: You can expect to spend somewhere in the range of $90 – $150 on parts and labor to replace a damaged iPhone 4 screen, but there are deals to be had out there…just remember, buyer beware!  If the deal seems too good to be true…it probably is.
  3. Do It Yourself: If you feel like taking matters into your own hands, you can get parts and free repair guides from

While insurance coverage is great, it’s still no picnic if your iPhone is lost or (gasp!) stolen — wouldn’t it be better if you could track it down?  Well, thank your lucky stars that Apple provides its Find My iPhone service!  This handy (and free, for iOS v4.2 and above) service from Apple allows you to track the location of your mislaid iPhone on a map, display messages on the iPhone (“This iPhone is lost, can you help it find its mommy?”) or if need be, remotely lock or even wipe it, to protect your privacy.

While we’re on the topic of crime deterrents, we’ll pull a Columbo and mention “One more thing….” If you haven’t done so already, ENABLE THE LOCK CODE ON YOUR IPHONE! If you don’t, you are leaving your sensitive, private data out on the front porch for anyone to walk away with!

There you have it — a handful of easy ways to keep your iPhone safe and sound.  As always, if you have questions or need support with your iPhone, Island Technologies is here to help!

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