I preordered my white 64GB 4S on 10/7, receiving it 10/14. I did not purchase the AppleCare at the time I bought the phone, but did hear later they had extended the purchase date of AppleCare+ until 11/14 if you bought before then. Today when I logged onto the Sprint website I saw "Purchase AppleCare" and clicked order expecting to enter my credit card info, but it apparently charged it to my account. I'm fine with this, and delighted to have AppleCare for my phone without having to go to an Apple or Sprint store (two of the last places on earth I'll set foot), but I don't understand how this works.
Do I get an AppleCare box, have to do anything with Apple to register it, or does Sprint take care of all of that? On my phone now I see "AppleCare+" as one of my services on the Sprint website.
How have other people received/purchase/activated their AppleCare?
As long as it shows up on the next bill, you won't have to do a thing. If you need service or repair, there is a procedure in place to verify that a specific phone has it