Portable electronic devices have become an integral part of our lives. Be it your iPhones, MacBooks, or iMacs, it is hard to imagine working without them. With the latest flagship prices for these portable electronic devices rising, you’re probably looking to save some cash on your next device. So maybe buying used or refurbished devices can be a good alternative. Firstly, they are just a cheaper option. Secondly, they are also better for the environment. But what do these preowned and refurbished devices entail? RefurbMe tells you everything you need to know about New vs Used vs Refurbished Apple Devices.

New vs Used vs Refurbished Apple devices.

The first thing that needs to be addressed is what do we mean by New, Used, and Refurbished Apple devices.

New Apple devices: A new Apple device went straight from the factory to the store to your hands and comes with the manufacturer’s full warranty, usually 12 months, and all the included accessories. 

Used Apple devices:  A used or pre-owned apple device comes from an individual who used the device and has moved on. Besides, they may sell it through an intermediary site. Furthermore, it is not factory repaired and may come with light scratches or heavy cosmetic damage, as well as battery degradation and other wear & tear. 

Refurbished Apple Devices: A refurbished Apple device lies somewhere in between used and new. In particular, they may be units that were returned shortly after the sale. Or they may be used items that undergo maintenance before being resold. For example, the manufacturer or seller may have replaced the battery or other components, cleaned up the device, and included a fresh warranty with the product. 


Indeed, all of these categories do have their own advantages and disadvantages. We further explore them in the article.

Apple-certified refurbished

Refurbished Apple devices can be the best of both worlds. They come at a lower price point than new Apple devices and lower risks than used ones. The devices cataloged in RefurbMe are Apple certified refurbished. Furthermore, every Apple Certified Refurbished product completes a rigorous refurbishment process that includes full testing that meets the same functional standards as new Apple products. As a result, your refurbished device is true “like new,” with special savings of up to 15%.


The device you receive is almost like a new device with genuine Apple replacement parts. Furthermore, they have been thoroughly cleaned and inspected. Refurbished iOS devices will come with a new battery and outer shell as well as all the accessories, cables, and operating systems. In addition to this, all Apple Certified Refurbished products are packaged in a brand new white box and will be sent to you with free shipping and returns.

To make the idea of New vs Used vs Refurbished Apple devices even more clear we try to explain each category against certain factors that should matter to you while making a purchase decision.

How do the three categories fair up

New Apple DevicesUsed Apple DevicesRefurbished Apple Devices
Working Condition & Physical AppearanceIdeal Depends on the seller/individual, can have signs of wear & tear and may have damage that affects usability The device is “like new” with genuine Apple replacement parts as needed.The cosmetic conditions of the device are notified with grade A being excellent, grade B, and grade C Fair. 
Inspected & CleanedYes NoYes
Battery conditionExcellentCan vary based on the previous usageApple-certified refurbished devices come with a new battery. Third-party seller refurbished devices may not replace the battery if it is not flawed or has not come up during the hardware and software testing. 
Warranty1-year Warranty + Apple Care+ offersMay or may not come with a warranty. Depends on the seller.Apple-certified refurbished devices come with a 1-year Warranty + Apple Care+ offer. Third-party sellers can have different warranty conditions.
PriceFull price. Can go on sale occasionally. Reduced or heavily discounted price. Again depends on the seller.Apple-certified refurbished comes at a discounted price of a minimum of 15%. Some third-party refurbished devices can come at an 80% discounted price as well. (It depends on model and year of manufacturing as well)
Shipping & Return policyFree shipping. Return policy depends on the seller. Apple store gives you a 14 days return time, whereas, Amazon gives you 30 days.Depends on the origin of the seller. Most sellers have free shipping and 30 days return policy. At RefurbMe you can compare Shipping and return policy from our list of refurbishers 
Packaging & AccessoriesStandard packaging and includes all the authorized accessories Can come in standard packaging but the accessories present depends on the seller Apple Certified Refurbished products are packaged in a brand new white box. The device will come with all accessories and cables.
OS and StorageLatest OS with fresh storageThe OS depends on the model being sold by the Seller.Restored OS and cleared or new like data storage.
Merchants (Third-party sellers)You can buy new Apple devices directly from Apple Store or any e-commerce site or a third-party seller. Sellers usually go with intermediary sites, like eBay, Craiglist, Swappa, etc. Or can get into any trade-in program by Amazon, Apple Store, etc. Apple-certified refurbished is sold by Apple Store or certified refurbishers like Gazelle, Mac of All Trades, declutter, etc. Amazon also has its refurbished program called Amazon Renewed.  

Purchase decision 

Now that we have compared the three categories, it is easier to say which one is a better suite for you. If you are someone who wants the latest release within the first few weeks of the release then buying a new Apple device is the best option for you. But if you don’t mind waiting until a few months after the Apple device’s release, there’s no reason to choose a used device over a refurbished device. 


Buying a used Apple device is definitely cheap but it’s also risky since they often don’t come with a warranty or return policy. Whereas buying a refurbished Apple device gives you a sense of security. It takes a little more work, and you have to examine both the goods and the seller with care. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, it’s a suitable way to save money. 

Final verdict

The refurbished Apple device is an excellent option if you want essentially a new device but at a lower price. At RefurbMe we have a wide selection of refurbished Apple product for you.

Furthermore, as long as you buy from a reputable source, you can get a product that works just like new for a fraction of the cost. Every seller has slightly different practices, so it’s good to know whether your device is going to come with cosmetic damage or not, what accessories will be included, and if a warranty is in the cards or not.

Here is where RefurbMe comes into play to help you understand which seller has the best deal. With our list of refurbishers, we give you a detailed idea of what you can expect from each with respect to warranty, shipping, and return policy. Even though the more you can learn about both the product itself and the seller, the better are your chances of avoiding an unpleasant surprise when your package arrives.

New vs Used Apple