Apple now sells refurbished iPhones for a discount

iphone 6s 6splus

iPhone 6S in rose gold (top) and the iPhone 6S Plus.

Credit: Jason Snell

Want an iPhone for cheap?

Well, not exactly cheap, but for a discount? Now Apple is selling select models of refurbished iPhones directly to consumers. This isn't the first time Apple has done this, but it has been a while since Apple offered refurbished used phones to consumers. So what phones can you get, and for how much?

In IT Blogwatch, we visit Apple's refurbished store. 

So what's happening? Juli Clover has the background:

Apple...updated its online refurbished store to include...iPhone models, giving customers a way to purchase a certified refurbished device at a lower cost directly from Apple.
...
While Apple has long offered iPads and Macs in its refurbished store, it has never...allowed customers to purchase refurbished iPhones. Customers who wanted lower prices on iPhones had to wait for third-party deals or purchase refurbished...devices from a third-party retailer.

Wait, it has never offered refurbished iPhones? Pharris remembers a time, way back when, that the tech giant did this before:

The original iPhones were available on the refurbished site back in 2007, a month or so after the 4 GB iPhone was discontinued...The practice stopped I believe when the 3G came out, but this is absolutely NOT the first time iPhones were available on the refurb store.

Alright, now that that is out of the way, what models can you get refurbished? Jeff Benjamin has the details:

Customers will find the iPhone 6s in 16 GB storage varieties for $449.00. The larger iPhone 6s Plus is...offered in two storage varieties: 16 GB and 64 GB for $529 and $589, respectively. It seems that all colors are...available, which includes Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Rose Gold.
...
Users can expect to save up to 15%...by going the refurbished route, and...these devices come with a full 1-year factory warranty, which makes refurb units a great idea for budget-conscious shoppers.

And what are the advantages of buying a refurbished phone from Apple? Besides the price savings? Jason Cipriani has some insight:

One of the...advantages of buying a refurbished phone from Apple is the fact the company...tests each device...Apple also replaces all outer shells and batteries on refurbished devices, to make the device feel and function as a brand new phone would.
...
Purchasing a refurbished device from Apple may...be more expensive than buying a used phone off Craigslist or eBay, but at least you have the peace of mind in knowing it has been checked, repaired and certified by Apple.

So what is the impetus for Apple doing this? Carl Velasco has a theory:

It's up for speculation why Apple has suddenly decided to sell refurbished...units...The measly sales figures of the 6s lineup may have convinced Apple to offer them at a bargain in an attempt to clear out the inventory...It's also a way to attract users who, upon veering from the iPhone 7's steep price, might be eyeing other Android handsets such as the Google Pixel.

Should you get one? Caitlin McGarry has a good reason to consider the phones:

It’s unclear how long Apple will offer these phones, but it’s a good way to save...cash if you don’t need the...latest model.
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