Apple’s Certified Refurbished Program is one of the best ways to get an Apple device at a discount. But, for some reason, not everyone uses or buys certified refurbished devices.
That may partly be because it’s a lesser-known option. But some common myths and misconceptions about Apple Certified Refurbished may also play a part. With that in mind, continue reading to learn seven misconceptions about Apple refurbished devices that are just not true.
The problem with many myths is that they’re vague. Are certified refurbished devices slower? It depends — slower than what? A certified refurbished MacBook Pro that’s a few years old may be sower than the latest model. But if you buy a refurbished version of the latest model, there will be no difference in speed from a brand new one.
Part of the reason for that is that Apple automatically replaces any battery in a certified refurbished product with a brand new one before it’s put up for sale. Any part that has a negative impact on performance or speed will also be identified during the inspection and repaired or replaced.
They Have a Shorter Lifespan
Even with a new battery and other replacement parts, some tech-savvy users will note that most of the internal components will have remained unchanged since the device was manufactured. That much is true, but it doesn’t automatically result in a shorter lifespan compared to a new device.
How long your device lasts largely comes down to how you use it and how well you take care of it. While all electronics will fail in time, certified refurbished products have new components where it counts. Combined with Apple's attention to detail and the overall build quality on its devices, there shouldn’t be a huge difference in lifespan from a new device.
They’re a Gamble
Apple’s certified refurbished devices are no more of a gamble than a brand new Apple product. Before selling any certified refurbished device, Apple meticulously inspects each device. In fact, because they’re individually analyzed, they may be less of a gamble than a brand new device.
Of course, that only really applies to devices directly by Apple on its Certified Refurbished storefront. We’d highly recommend avoiding seller refurbished devices, like those you may find on eBay or Amazon. Unlike Apple’s refurbished offerings, those devices may actually be a gamble.
They Don’t Come with a Warranty
When you buy a device secondhand, it’ll either come with a shortened period of warranty coverage or no warranty at all. The same goes for sketchy products sold on third-party marketplaces. But this myth is just simply not true when it comes to Apple Certified Refurbished.
Just like a brand new iPhone or MacBook Pro, all Apple Certified Refurbished devices come with the company’s standard one-year warranty. And like new Apple products, you have the ability to extend that warranty coverage to two or three years with AppleCare and AppleCare+.
They’re Always Extensively “Used”
This is one of the most prevalent misconceptions about Apple’s refurbished devices. Because they’re refurbished, they’re always “used” devices that another person has put through its paces, right? Actually, that’s definitely not always the case.
Many refurbished devices may be products that a customer changed their minds about and returned within Apple’s 14-day period. Other devices may have had malfunctioning parts and were swapped with a new device. Before being placed for sale, Apple will thoroughly clean and repair those devices.
They Have Leftover Data or Malware
Some prospective buyers might think that certified refurbished devices will have some of the previous owner’s data on it. Worse still, what if the previous owners were hackers and left some type of sneaky malware that can spy on your own data? Luckily, neither of those things are true.
All certified refurbished devices will have their hard drives or SSDs completely wiped and reformatted. In other words, it’s a completely blank slate — just like a new device. Similarly, any refurbished device that has had problems with its internal storage will probably sport a brand new SSD or drive when you get your hands on it.
They’re Not Worth the Savings
This misconception is obviously based on the rest of the myths on this list. If there were some type of inherent risk or problem with Apple Certified refurbished devices, then it may offset the cost savings. But the reality is that there isn’t any downside to certified refurbished — and you’ll also end up saving money.
In fact, the only real issue with certified refurbished products is that stock fluctuates pretty quickly. You may have a hard time actually finding the exact device, model, configuration and color that you might. But there are plenty of third-party websites like Refurb-Tracker.com that track Apple’s refurbished storefront and can alert you when the device you want pops up.