If you're seeking to purchase a Mac, iPad, or even an iPod for your business, Apple's special deals outlet deserves a look. With savings vs. list price of up to almost 40%, bargains are available. And you need not worry about receiving a lemon. Apple's certified refurbished products are backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty, and you can choose to extend the warranty to three years by purchasing corresponding AppleCare coverage, which I've long recommended.
Just how good are potential deals? A recent quick review of Apple's outlet confirmed savings opportunities. A 13.3" MacBook Air with a 1.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 CPU, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB flash storage was selling for $719 (USD), some 24% less than the original list price of $949. A 13.3" MacBook Pro with a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM and 500 GB hard drive was selling for $829, again 24% less than the original $1,099 list price. A 16 GB 5th generation iPod Touch, meanwhile, was listed at $139, which is 22% less than the original retail price of $179.
I've previously reviewed the advantages—cost savings, high reliability, and standard warranty coverage—of buying officially refurbished products, and those benefits continue to prove true. What few users likely appreciate is the actual refurbishment process Apple completes certifying its products, and that should eliminate any remaining reservations a business might possess.
Apple states that each certified refurbished item is fully tested, including leveraging a burn-in test. Any defective component is replaced using genuine Apple components. Repaired products must complete a thorough cleaning and inspection process before they are repackaged—and the repackaging process ensures that all corresponding manuals, cables, and packaging are included.
In fact, refurbished devices receive such a thorough reprocessing that they actually receive new part and serial numbers. In cases where a device shipped with a now-outdated OS, Apple-refurbished products also typically ship with the most current software already preloaded.
One last word of advice for businesses considering purchasing a certified refurbished Mac, iPad, or iPod. When you see a refurbished bargain within the Apple outlet, buy it. Refurbished supplies are limited and change often. Once an item sells, it's sold. There may be no more systems possessing that configuration available at that price, so don't hesitate to complete a purchase. Wait too long, and someone else will take advantage of the same deal.
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Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.