How to buy a refurbished Mac, MacBook, iPhone, or iPad from Apple Credit: AppleSupplied Art
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How to buy a refurbished Mac, MacBook, iPhone, or iPad from Apple

Updated 1/17/19 to reflect the inventory changes in the store.

Looking for a way to save some money on the latest Apple products? Consider a refurbished MacBook, refurbished iPhone, or refurbished iPad from the Apple Certified Refurbished store. A refurbished product is just like a new, but at a lower price.

Here’s a quick guide with links to the best deals you can find on the refurb store, along with a FAQ guide if you want to know more about the ins and outs of the Apple Certified Refurbished store and buying a refurbished MacBook, desktop Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Refurbished iPhone: The best deals

As of this writing, the store has the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus available. There used to be iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models, and there are no iPhone X models. Check back if those are the phones you really want.

Which iPhone should you buy? The supply of iPhone 7 phones seems to be limited. The only model int he refurb store right now is a Refurbished iPhone 7 128GB - Silver for $469 ($80 less than a brand new version). Get it while it lasts.

Other refurbished iPhones to consider

  • Refurbished iPhone 7 Plus Silver in either 128GB ($569) or 256GB ($649)
  • Refurbished iPhone 7 Plus Gold in either 128GB ($569) or 256GB ($649)
  • Refurbished iPhone 7 Plus Rose Gold in either 128GB ($569) or 256GB ($649)
  • Refurbished iPhone 7 Plus Jet Back in either 128GB ($569) or 256GB ($649)

Check out the iPhones on the Apple Certified Refurbished store.

Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro: The best deals

macbook pro 2017 Apple

Apple’s stock ebbs and flows. Sometimes there are several current MacBook Pro models to choose from, while other times the selection is small. Some are standard configurations, while others are customized built-to-order models.

At this writing, Apple has a few 2018 models from which to choose. 

Which 13.3-inch MacBook Pro should you buy? We like the deal for a Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Retina display with a 256GB SSD in either Silver or Space Gray. This laptop is $1,529, which is $270 lower than the regular price.

Other 13.3-inch MacBook Pro laptops to consider

  • Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Retina display 128GB SSD (no Touch Bar) in Space Gray or Silver for $1,099

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available 13-inch MacBook Pro models for sale.

Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro: The best deals

As of this writing, Apple’s inventory has several 2018 models in stock. They don't last very long, though. You’ll also find 2017 models

Which 15.4-inch MacBook Pro should you buy? The Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 with Retina display with a 512GB SSD is available in Space Gray or Silver for $2,379. This is a pretty good deal, since it's $420 off the regular price.

Other 15.4-inch MacBook Pro laptops to consider

  • Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 with Retina display 256GB SSD in Space Gray or Silver for $2,039

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available 15-inch MacBook Pro models for sale.

Refurbished MacBook: The best deals

apple macbook 2017 Apple

MacBook stock runs out quickly. Apple has a few in stock. Act now.

Which MacBook should you buy? The Refurbished 12-inch MacBook 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 is a pretty good deal, available in Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. At $1,099, it’s $200 cheaper than a new model.

Other MacBook laptops to consider

  • Refurbished 12-inch MacBook 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 in Gold or Silver for $1,189

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available MacBook models for sale.

Refurbished MacBook Air: The best deals

best buy 2 mac book air 13 Best Buy

Apple has limited stock of MacBook Air laptops. 

Which MacBook Air should you buy? There's a Refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with a 256GB SSD for $1,019, which is $180 lower than a new model.

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available MacBook Air models for sale.

Refurbished iPad: The best deals

ipad pro draw Apple

The refurb store can be a good place to save some money on an iPad, though might actually find better deals on brand-new iPads from Best Buy and other non-Apple retailers.

Which iPad should you buy? We like the 2017 Refurbished 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi 64GB in Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, or Space Gray. It’s $549, which is $100 lower than the original price.

Other refurbished iPads to consider

  • 2017 Refurbished 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi 512GB in SIlver. It’s $979, which is $170 lower than the original price.

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available iPad models for sale.

Refurbished Apple Watch: The best deals

Apple Watch Nike+ Apple

The refurb store stock for the Apple Watch varies greatly. If you don’t see something you like, check back later. As of this writing, there are Series 2 and Series 3 models available.

Which Apple Watch should you buy? Take a look at the Refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular, 38mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Band, available in 38mm ($319) or 42mm ($349).

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available Apple Watch models for sale.

Refurbished 21.5-inch iMac: The best deals

new 2017 imac two side Apple

The refurb store has a few 2017 21.5-inch iMacs in stock. But they go quickly.

Which 21.5-inch iMac should you buy? Consider the Refurbished 21.5-inch iMac 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Retina 4K display. It’s $1,269, which is $230 lower than a new version.

Other 21.5-inch iMacs to consider

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available 21.5-inch iMacs for sale.

Refurbished 27-inch iMac: The best deals

Apple several 2017 models available, but the sell quickly.

Which 27-inch iMac should you buy? At $1,699, the Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Retina 5K display is $300 less than a new version with the same specs.

Other 27-inch iMacs to consider

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available 27-inch iMacs for sale.

Refurbished Mac mini: The best deals

Mac mini Apple

As of this writing, Apple has only 2014 Mac mini models available. There are no 2018 models, which is a shame, because the 2018 model is a much faster performer than the 2014 Mac mini.

Which Mac mini should you buy? Apple is selling a Refurbished Mac Mini 2.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 for $589. Remember, this is a 2014 model.

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available Mac minis for sale.

Refurbished iMac Pro: The best deals

imac pro 2017 Apple

Apple now has stock of the iMac Pro, which was originally released last December. The iMac Pro is Apple’s Mac for the most demanding users.

Which iMac Pro should you buy? We like the base 8-core iMac Pro, especially if you’re looking to upgrade from a 5K iMac. The Refurbished 27-inch iMac Pro 3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W with Retina 5K display is $4,249, which is $750 cheaper than a brand-new version.

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available iMac Pros for sale.

Refurbished Mac Pro: The best deals

Mac Pro Apple

The Mac Pro hasn’t changed much since its release in 2013. Apple refreshed the line in April 2017, but all it did was increase the number of cores used in each model. The lack of drastic changes means you can get a good deal on a refurbished model.

Go to the Apple Certified Refurbished store to see all of the available Mac Pros for sale.

Refurbished Apple TV: The best deals

apple tv 4k Apple

As of this writing, there are no refurbished Apple TV models available.

Refurbished HomePod: The best deals

As of this writing, there are no refurbished HomePod models available.

Apple Certified Refurbished store FAQ

apple product family 2017 Apple

What’s the difference between the Apple Certified Refurbished store and the Apple store?

The Apple Certified Refurbished store sells gently-used products that have been returned to the company. Apple repairs and tests these products to make sure they are in like-new condition. The Apple store, however, sells only new products that have never been opened and used.

Strangely, finding the Apple Certified Refurbished store isn’t obvious. On Apple.com, scroll to the very bottom of the page, where you’ll find a site directory. Under Apple Store, you’ll find a link for Refurbished and Clearance. (This link takes you there.)

What does “Certified Refurbished” mean?

The items in the Apple Certified Refurbished store are products that have been purchased and returned by other customers. Apple puts these products through what they call a “stringent refurbishment process” before they are put on the virtual shelves.

Apple says that each product is thoroughly tested and any problematic hardware components are replaced. The exception is with the Apple Watch and Apple Pencil: If these items need new parts, they aren’t put up for sale.

Each product goes through a quality assurance inspection, and is also cleaned, inspected, and repackaged with complete documentation, cables, and anything else that usually ships with that device. These products are essentially like new.

applecare logo 2017 Apple

What kind of warranty comes with an Apple Certified Refurbished product?

Apple includes a standard one-year limited warranty. Learn more about Apple’s hardware warranties.

Is AppleCare available for Apple Certified Refurbished products?

AppleCare is available. For an additional fee, you can get two or three years of coverage and support. Read our guide to AppleCare for more information.

What products are available?

Since these are refurbished products, inventory for this store relies on what’s returned to Apple. Because of this, it’s quite possible the store won’t have the model that you want. Apple may not have a certain model of a product one day, and the next day they might all of a sudden have a limited stock run available, unannounced. Then, once that batch sells out, it will once again become unavailable until Apple builds up stock again.

apple macs family 2017 Apple

The Apple Certified Refurbished store carries all of the company’s major product lines: Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, HomePods, iPods, and Apple TVs. There’s also a Refurbished Accessories section.

When shopping at this store, keep an eye on the product’s release dates, which are listed in each product description. Apple often sells older models. You can find refurbished models of the current product line, but these items tend to sell quickly, so act fast.

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