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What’s the cheapest way to buy brand new Apple products?

If you’re in the market for an Apple product, and it’s not been released within the last couple of months, then it may surprise you where the cheapest place to get it is… Apple themselves.

Let’s use an example. The M1 Mac Mini, with 512GB storage, released last year. You can buy this new from Apple for £899 or £849 from Currys. At Amazon, you can pick it up at a smidge under £830. But, what if I told you that you can also get the exact same model, directly from Apple, for £759, a saving of £140?

The answer is – and stay with me – NOT to buy new. Because, this price is for reconditioned products. However, if you’ve ever bought reconditioned from elsewhere, you know you may get something with a few dings or knocks in it, a used battery (in the case of mobile devices), and possibly without a box or accessories. It’s also possible that they’ve swapped out various components from unknown sources (or the previous owner has). When you do the same with Apple it really is in mint condition.

What do you get from Apple?

Apple Refurbished Products come boxed, with all the accessories and even sealed as if it came straight off the sales floor. The only thing that gives away that the product isn’t new is that the plain white box which states on it that it’s reconditioned (to stop roguish elements in society from buying them and trying to re-sell as new, I suspect).

Here’s the spiel from Apple about what they provide…

You will receive a “like new” device with genuine Apple replacement parts (as needed) that has been thoroughly cleaned and inspected. Refurbished iOS devices will come with new battery and outer shell. Every device will come with all accessories, cables and operating systems. All Apple Certified Refurbished products are packaged in a brand-new white box and will be sent to you with free shipping and returns.

We back this quality commitment by including our standard one-year limited warranty with every Apple Certified Refurbished product. You also have the option of getting additional coverage by purchasing AppleCare products.

More examples of savings

Let’s take another example. An Apple Watch Series 6 GPS, 44mm, in silver. You can’t buy this new from Apple but you can pick it up for £349, new, from Amazon. Or £309, refurbished, from Apple.

Or, how about an M1 MacBook Air, finished in gold, with 256GB of storage? £999 new from Apple. £893 new from Amazon. £849 refurbished from Apple.

The downsides of buying this way

There is really only one “con” to buying reconditioned from Apple and that’s availability. The examples above were where stock was available in that particular specification from Apple. For example, if you were looking for a reconditioned 256GB Mac Mini M1 then, as I write this, you’d be out of luck, as only the 512GB version, that I mention, is available. Indeed, as I wrote this, the M1 Mac Mini examples all sold out (which is why I’ve not linked to the refurbished products in this article).

Availability of some items is even more acute (maybe intentionally so). If you’re looking for an iPhone, the latest model is the iPhone 11.

But – and this is important – if they have what you’re looking for then why would you buy it new? I’ve bought a number of Apple reconditioned products and have never been disappointed. As Asda used to say, “why pay more”?

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About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.

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