Mainly the price (up to 70% discount). Refurbished Apple products are 100% functional, and all components work like new. Refurbished products are in full working condition, just like their brand-new counterparts.
If any parts on a refurbished product are not up to the functional standard of a new product, a technician replaces it with a new one. When you buy a refurbished Apple product, it is 100% functional.
Aside from the much lower price, of course, the difference between refurbished products and new products is the item’s cosmetic condition. It concerns the appearance of the product purely and not at all the functionality and cleanliness.
There are 3 different levels of refurb cosmetic condition you can choose from:
- Grade A: Excellent – This is the best condition you can reasonably expect for a refurbished product. The imperfection is very minimal, and usually would be like new cosmetic condition.
- Grade B: Good – The device has been gently used and well taken care of. You might notice some light scuffing on the edge of the device, or some light scratches on the body. The device remains, of course, 100% functional and under the same warranty.
- Grade C: Fair – Light but plainly visible scratches on the body. Some products might have visible scratches, and maybe some dents on the exterior. The device remains also 100% functional and under the same warranty.
Apple refurbishes itself the products and classes them as Excellent (Grade A). If your device breaks and Apple give you a replacement, they give you a refurbished device. That’s right; you literally can’t tell the difference between new and refurb in this case.