SquareTrade—a company that provides warranties for a variety of devices ranging from video game consoles to computers— has expanded to include jailbroken and unlocked iDevices. As you probably know, Apple will not service an iDevice that has been unofficially unlocked or jailbroken, which can pose a problem when users are unable to restore their iDevices to a stock version of iOS before bringing them in for repair. This is where SquareTrade comes in, offering a variety of warranty solutions at attractive prices, whether your iDevice is jailbroken or not.
I recently had the chance to speak with Vince Tseng, Vice President of Strategy at SquareTrade, who was kind enough to explain how SquareTrade’s warranty programs work in regards to iDevice coverage.
A customer who purchases a warranty through SquareTrade for their iPhone or iPad is given quite a few options in terms of getting their iDevice repaired. The first option would be to ship the broken iDevice to SquareTrade, where it will be fixed the same day and shipped back overnight. The second available option, which Mr. Tseng referred to as “Advanced Exchange,” allows SquareTrade to ship a warranty holder a replacement iDevice overnight provided the customer ships SquareTrade their broken iDevice within 14 days of receiving the replacement. The third and final option—seemingly the most attractive for those with non-jailbroken/unlocked iDevices—is for a warranty holder to bring the iDevice to a Genius bar for an out-of-warranty repair for which the customer will be fully reimbursed by SquareTrade.
SquareTrade’s iDevice warranties offer clear advantages over Apple’s own AppleCare in a number of areas, one of them being pricing. For the same price as AppleCare, iPad owners who purchase a SquareTrade warranty are given the benefit of no deductibles when making a claim. iPad owners also have the ability to purchase 3 years of coverage (compared to Apple’s maximum of 2) for only an additional $20. Unfortunately, these benefits do not apply for the iPhone, although the fact that SquareTrade covers jailbroken/unlocked iPhones and offers so many options in terms of getting an iPhone repaired/replaced should be enough to convince you to choose their warranty service over AppleCare. One benefit that does apply to the iPhone as well as the iPad, however, is the ability to make up to four claims in comparison to Apple’s maximum of two.
SquareTrade has been around since the launch of the iPhone 2G, and is certainly a trustworthy service with years of experience in issuing and honoring warranties. If you want to jailbreak or unlock your iPhone or iPad with complete peace of mind in the event that it may somehow break, you should certainly look into purchasing a warranty through them.