Weigh Your Insurance Options Carefully Before Choosing Where To Buy The New iPhone

iphonepriceBack at the beginning, there used to be that there was only one way to get an iPhone: give AT&T at least $200 and sign a two-year contract. Now that the device is available from all major U.S. carriers and even some minor ones, and for sale worldwide, that gives consumers more options. More options means more possible confusion, though, especially with different ways to buy and insure the same product.

Phone upgrade plans that are part financing plan and part lease, like the one that Apple will offer when the iPhone 6S goes on sale, are a good idea if you like to upgrade your phone yearly. You’ll want to insure that phone so you’ll have a device to turn in when it’s time to trade up, though, and here’s the catch with Apple’s plan: the monthly payment price includes AppleCare+, their plan that offers some insurance-like benefits but that doesn’t cover loss or theft of your phone.

The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog breaks the available purchasing and insurance options down, but choosing what works for you means knowing your own habits. Do you prefer the simplicity of walking into an Apple Store for repairs and other phone issues? Stick with AppleCare+. If you’re absentminded and or have a phone-chomping dog, go with a carrier’s insurance option.

The AppleCare+ Wrinkle: Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Plan vs. the Carrier Plans [WSJ]