On our sister blog Appletell, Charles Moore has a great article on why buying refurbished goods from Apple is actually a pretty good idea. I’ve long suspected this—I got my first iPod Touch as an Apple refurb—but it’s interesting to see it fully explained.

Moore explains that refurbished products actually go through a more extensive quality testing process than new units before being offered for sale, and come with the same one year warranty and AppleCare eligibility as new units. The only real difference is that it’s cheaper and sometimes an older generation of hardware. (In fact, refurbished is essentially the only way to purchase earlier generations of iPod or other hardware from Apple.)

Moore goes into detail about the MacBook and PowerBook computers he bought this way, but TeleReaders might be more interested in the deals Apple is currently offering on the refurbished iPod Touch—a 32GB 3rd-generation model for $229 or a 64GB model for $299—the price of the 8GB and 32GB versions, respectively, of the current generation. Of course, the current generation also gets the cameras and nifty retina display (though the earlier display is still perfectly serviceable for e-reading); I’m hoping those will show up in the refurb market sooner or later.

And the refurbished iPads start at $429 for the 16GB wifi version. though given that it seems likely the next generation of iPad will come out in a couple of months it might be best to hold off on those—the price should drop even further when a new model comes out.


  1. Refurbished products from Apple, Dell, et al., could be items returned after purchasing for several reasons. They could also be items somebody at the company has used for a year or two, or three.

    ‘Refurbished’ = ‘used and cleaned up by the company.’

    Sometimes this works out great. Sometimes not. But it’s always worth it at least to check out the dell.com or apple.com (or other companies’) discount website when you’re in the market for a particular gizmo.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.