AppleCare+ rolls out to three European countries, but incident fees climb to $79 in the US

While we were busy gawking at the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, Apple was quietly expanding the reach of its AppleCare+ extended support program. The service is now available in France, Italy and the UK, giving locals two years of iOS and iPod hardware support (including two accident claims) beyond the European requirements. Customers pay £79 (€99 in Europe) to cover an iPad or iPhone, and £49 (€59) to safeguard an iPod. Unfortunately, the expansion comes at a cost for Americans -- Apple is quietly hiking its AppleCare+ accident repair fee in the US from $49 to $79. While that's still cheaper than regular service, it's expensive enough that some may simply prefer to take better care of their gadgets. May we suggest a case?