When it comes to electronics, buying an extended warranty can either prove a wise investment or wasted money, depending on how things play out. You just never know, so it's always a gamble. As it pertains to Apple's new HomePod smart speaker, the cost of an out-of-warranty repair is nearly as much as buying a brand new one, which could nudge buyers towards purchasing an AppleCare+ add-on.
Apple posted a support page for its HomePod, and if you scroll down to the "Repair options" link (or hit the source link), you will be taken to a page that lays out your service and repair options. It's there that Apple reveals an out-of-warranty repair will run you $279. On top of that, prices are subject to tax, and shipping (if needed) is an additional $19.95. So, you could be looking at over $300 to get a HomePod fixed, if something goes wrong after the warranty expires.
A brand new HomePod runs $349, plus applicable sales tax (shipping is free). The standard warranty is for one year beginning on the purchase date and covers manufacturing defects. After that, buyers are looking at a hefty repair cost, should some thing go wrong.
Tacking on an AppleCare+ warranty extension to the HomePod runs $39. It extends coverage to two years from the original purchase date and also adds up to two incidence of accidental damage protection, albeit with a $39 service fee (plus that pesky tax). Buying into AppleCare+ also gets buyers "24/7 priority access to Apple experts via chat or phone."
Given the high cost of repair, this is one those cases where it's easier to justify buying an extended warranty. That's especially true if you plan on taking your HomePod with you on trips, or have rambunctious kids (or roommates) or pets.