Refurbished means that the product has been used, deemed defective, recycled or returned for whatever reason, then tested and repaired to a ‘like-new’ condition by the manufacturer before being sold again. “Re-certified” and “reconditioned” are also terms that are sometimes used to describe refurbished technology. Most refurbished products come with a manufacturer warranty or guarantee, but what warranty do each brand offer?
Apple products are well made and are built to last. That means they are excellent devices to purchase refurbished. Refurbished Apple products are Certified Refurbished, and are backed by a one-year warranty and the Apple Certified Refurbished promise.
MacBooks cannot be easily opened so when you are buying a “Refurbished” MacBook it's important to be aware that none of the internal parts have been replaced. It’s essential to look at the condition of the battery. On a MacBook this is called the “battery cycle” count.
Generally, iPhones are a challenge to replace parts for. So, refurbished phones should go through a number of tests for both the firmware and hardware, to make sure they are working correctly. Again, the most important piece of information is the battery health.
When it comes to spare parts, Apple restricts using 3rd party parts for its devices and therefore repairs can only be done via Apple themselves or an approved repair center. It’s important to be aware that there is a grey market of parts available that can be used as alternatives, but it's important to note these will invalidate your warranty with Apple.
Windows / Android
- Android Phones
There is not much of a market for refurbished Android phones. Generally, they are not made as well as Apple devices and don’t last for a second use. However, Samsung devices are the exception. It’s possible to buy refurbished Samsung phones, but make sure you buy these from a reputable dealer. This will mean the phone has been tested and will ensure you get a valid warranty. While it is possible to replace the parts in a Samsung phone to make these “as good as new”, but generally, like Apple, it's an expensive process and typically Samsung phones are a lot more difficult to take apart.
- Windows Laptops / Desktops
HP, Lenovo and Dell laptops are the staples for refurbished IT dealers. All internal parts can be replaced if they are not working as they should, batteries can also easily be replaced.