Whenever I buy a product, like a refrigerator, television or a computer, I am offered the option of buying an extended warranty by a pushy salesperson. Warranties are how some stores make their money. The profit margins are often times so small that the store makes more money on selling warranties than on selling the actual item itself. I have always stayed away from purchasing extended warranties for any product. I do not to buy AppleCare for my Apple purchases either. Let me tell you my reasons why.
I'm Already Covered The First Year
Apple products already come with a limited one-year warranty and 90 days of free telephone support. If I bought a defective product I will most likely figure that out in the first few months, within the warranty. As far as phone support goes, one of the only times I would need to use telephone support is to set up my new product. If I bought an iMac I'll want to learn how I can edit photos or use the gestures on the magic mouse. These things I would normally need within the first few months after my purchase, when phone support would still be free.
Apple Care Is Too Expensive
Apple products are expensive so you would think that it's wise to protect them with AppleCare. But I take good care of my items so I generally do not need to buy an extended warranty. One reason why I stay away from AppleCare is because of the high cost. If you have a MacBook Pro, an AppleCare protection plan will set you back $349. If in the span of 5 years I buy 2 MacBook Pro's, I would pay $698 total for warranties I may not even use. If something goes wrong with one of them the cost of taking my MacBook to the repair shop is probably going to be less than $698.
Do It Yourself
Whenever I've encountered a problem in the past I would research and try to solve it myself. Usually you can type in your symptoms into Google and you'll get some good suggestions. You can also go to any of the popular Mac forums, describe your problem and get some helpful suggestions to fix the problem. If you need a new part you can order it, find a do-it-yourself tutorial online and fix it yourself at home.
I Can Get A Replacement
Another reason why I don't buy AppleCare is because I can always get a replacement if my product has problems after the free one year warranty is up. With products like the iPod Touch or the iPad, they release new versions every year. An easy way to decide whether to upgrade or not is to see how your item is working. If it's working fine skip the upgrade and wait for next years edition.
I Can Sell It On eBay
If I drop my Macbook Air and the whole thing is a mess, I can sell it for parts on eBay. It will surely still get me a few hundred bucks. I can use that money toward the purchase of a new Macbook Air. If it's been 2-3 years since my last laptop purchase, I'm probably due for an upgrade anyway. It seems like every year or so the processors go from 1GHz to 2GHz to 3GHz, the hard drive goes from 100GB to 500GB to 1TB and the RAM goes from 2GB to 4GB to 8GB.
PS: Are there reasons to get AppleCare? Absolutely. If you travel with a laptop AppleCare may be a good idea considering you might drop or damage your laptop during your travels. If you have a $2,500 iMac and use your iMac for work and need immediate fixes, I can understand how getting AppleCare is a great idea too. But it's just not for me.