Stop Buying New Apple Devices

Stop Buying New Apple Devices

Whether you love or hate Apple, we can all agree on one thing: Their products are expensive. Apple’s iPhones can easily cost over $1,300, and MacBooks require a mortgage just to look at them. The thing is, you don’t need to buy these devices new in order to get the perks of buying new.

The better way to shop Apple is to shop refurbished. If you haven’t heard of Apple’s Certified Refurbished store, that’s likely because Apple doesn’t advertise it much. After all, the company would prefer you to buy one of its latest products on the front page of its site. But if you’re not going to do that, it’d still like to sell you something, even if that something is previously used.

With the Certified Refurbished store, Apple sells used devices at a discount. Depending on the device, the price cut can be modest or generous. As of this article, you can pick up a refurbished M1 MacBook Air for $AU1,359 instead of $AU1,499.

These devices all have a varied history behind them: Some might be devices returned by customers for having a defect, like a dead pixel on a MacBook display, or an iPhone that couldn’t make calls. Others might be older devices customers traded in for a new one, like when someone upgrades from an iPhone 11 to an iPhone 14. Still others may be “open box” devices, when customers decide they don’t want the product within the 14-day return period, but have used the device, preventing Apple from being able to sell the product as new to another customer.

You won’t know your device’s past when you buy it refurbished. All you’ll know is it, and the rest of the Certified Refurbished devices, go through the same quality control process to ensure they’re in good working order. Devices like iPhones receive fresh batteries and new outer shells, so they should last all day and appear brand new. All devices go through “rigorous” testing and cleaning, to meet certain standards Apple sets. Best of all, they’re covered by the same one-year warranty new Apple products are, so if something goes wrong in that window, Apple will fix it for you. You can even add AppleCare+ to the device if you want to.

One unknown perk, too, is these devices qualify for Apple’s free services. If a product comes with four-month trial of Apple News+, a three-month trial of Apple Music, and a three-month trial of Apple TV+, you’ll get it with the refurbished item the same as you would with the brand-new one, extending the value even further.

All that applies to purchasing refurbished through an authorised Apple reseller, too. If you find a good deal on refurbished Beats through Best Buy, jump on it! You’ll save big and have free Apple perks to boot. Just double-check your warranty status when going outside Apple directly. Stores have their own limited warranties (Best Buy’s is 90 days), and the purchase won’t automatically fall under Apple’s one-year warranty. But a simple call to Apple support with your sales receipt is all it takes to activate the warranty, so it’s a safe bet.

Of course, refurbished items aren’t mass produced. Apple or one of its resellers only have what they have, based on the items returned by customers. That’s why you’ll see massive turnover on these refurbished stores. Once something’s gone, it’s gone. If you see a good discount on an Apple device you’ve been eyeing, don’t think it’ll be there in the morning.

Now, when it comes to used tech, there are a lot of options. You might find the prices on refurbished Apple devices to still be a bit high, when compared to the deep discounts you find on other used sites. You likely can save more money buying used outside of refurbished, but it’s a trade-off. You lose the protections Apple affords with its quality control and one-year warranty, meaning you run the risk of that discounted MacBook not working as expected. Plus, an eBay seller isn’t going to get you a free Apple Music trial, and we all know that’s why we buy Apple devices in the first place.


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