Apple’s current tablet line-up includes the iPad Mini (6th Gen), the iPad 10.2 in (9th Gen), the iPad Air (5th Gen) and the M1 version of the iPad Pro. With so many options, the reformed iPad market has also expanded.
But what is the best way to buy an iPad: new, pre-owned or refurbished? And what is the difference? In this article, we walk you through your options and point you to some of the best renovated iPad deals around.
What does it mean to reform?
First of all, let’s make it clear that Apple products are refurbished or rebuilt Is Pre-owned / second-hand device. But they are pre-owned iPads that have been rigorously tested and repaired to work just like new.
In contrast, buying an iPad that is pre-owned but not renewed — for example from eBay or GumTree — means you are buying the device “as is” without post-purchase protection, which makes it a bit risky if you don’t know the seller. If the previous owner forgot to disconnect them from the Apple ID device, you may be locked out of the device. Apple’s customer service will not be able to help you unlock it without the original Apple ID details due to their strict security policy.
To avoid this kind of hassle, buy a nice halfway house refurbished between new and second-hand.
If the device is factory refurbished or has a certified renewal, such as if you bought an Apple-certified renewed iPad, you can be sure that the quality and reliability will match that of a new device. Yet you need to make a decent savings. Prices in refurbished stores are up to 15% lower than in standard Apple stores.
Apple’s refined products go through a rigorous cleaning, testing, and repair process. Parts that do not work or are damaged are replaced so that the final product works just like new.
Some pre-owned iPads in the Apple Refurbished Store have only been used once. It may have been a unit that was lent to a journalist, or it was immediately repaid by a customer who decided they wanted a different model, or had a minor flaw, but Apple has now fixed it as part of the reform process.
The best reformed iPad deal
Apple 11-inch iPad Pro (M1, 2021, 128GB)
From: Amazon US
Was: $ 799
($ 120 discount)
Amazon has a $ 120 discount on the latest M1 iPad Pro IThis is backed by Amazon’s 90-day guarantee. Also look at the back market: it could be cheaper.
Apple iPad Mini (2021, 64GB)
Was: $ 499
($ 64.01 discount)
Apple iPad mini (2019, 256GB) Wi-Fi + Cellular – Reformed
Was: £ 499
The fifth-gen iPad mini has been scrapped by a newer model, but this discount on an Amazon renewed model could make it even more attractive.
Apple iPad 10.2in (32GB, 2020, Refurbished) Wi-Fi + Cellular
Was: £ 459
MusicMagpie 2020 gets £ 127 discount from iPad (8th gen) with cellular connectivity in ‘Pristine’ mode.
Apple iPad Air 4 (64GB, 2020) Wi-Fi Only – Renewed “Very Good”
From: Music Magpie
Was: £ 579
(£ 137 off)
Music Magpie has a খুব 137 discount on a modified iPad Air 4 (2020) in “very good” condition. It also comes with a free 12 month warranty and free delivery for peace of mind.
Find out where to buy the best iPad Air 5 with the new iPad Air 5
Apple iPad Pro 11 (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 512GB) – Reformed
From: Apple Refurbished Store
Get the latest generation iPad Pro 11 with 4G and 512GB storage directly from Apple but with a RP 260 discount on RRP. Delivery is free.
Apple iPad Pro 12.9in (Wi-Fi, 512GB) – Reformed
From: Apple Refurbished Store
(£ 320 off)
You can also save an incredible 320 on the 12.9in iPad Pro (2018) from the Apple Refurbished Store!
What’s the difference between a reformed iPad and a new iPad?
If you bought a refurbished iPad from Apple, you will get the same one year warranty as if you bought a new iPad, all the manuals and accessories that come with a new iPad, a new battery and outer shell and a new white box for it.
When you buy a new iPad, the new box is not like the box you get, and we assume it’s to keep people from buying a refurbished iPad and trying to sell it as new. However, we think you will struggle to find something different about the contents of that box.
Apple promises that all the reformed iPads it sells are fully operational and that each of them has been thoroughly tested to make sure. Any defective parts will be replaced when the iPad is returned by the previous owner, and the entire iPad will be cleaned and made sure it is in top condition.
If you prefer a longer warranty than the one-year version included, you can buy AppleCare + for your reformed iPad. AppleCare + extends your warranty for two years and allows additional technical support, 24/7 access to Apple experts and hardware coverage up to two accidents. Each loss claim will cost an additional 49 / £ 39, though.
Which iPad model can I buy from Apple’s Refurbished Store?
The products in Apple’s Refurbished Store may change frequently, so you may want to check back regularly if the specific product you are after is not available. Stocks may vary depending on whether you are buying from the US or the UK.
At the time of writing, we are seeing the following offers in the US Refurbished Store. Keep in mind that these are all pre-generation models.
Although the following bargains can be found in UK reformed stores:
Should I buy a refurbished iPad?
We think it’s a good idea to consider buying a refurbished iPad. Even if you haven’t bought it directly from Apple, there are plenty of other retailers that offer refined iPads that are worth checking out. If you are happy with the older generation iPad, you can get a large capacity model or Wi-Fi + cellular model for less money.
There are a few things to keep in mind before you shop, especially if you choose a third party reseller.
First off, look Reformed grade. Often you will find it referred to as Grade A, Grade B, or Grade C. As you may have guessed, this is related to the condition of the device. This is not an exact science, as each retailer will have its own standard for each grade, but it usually indicates what to expect (especially if you are buying online).
Grade A renewed devices should look like brand new or too much, Too much Vague signs of use. Grade B devices, meanwhile, may have slight scratches or wear, while Grade C devices will show obvious signs of wear.
Second, make sure the refined iPad comes with a Warranty. This should not be too difficult as most resellers will offer coverage for at least one year. A warranty allows you to get repairs and other technical support in case of any problem with the device.
Advantages and disadvantages of buying a refurbished iPad
- Significantly cheaper than buying new
- Includes warranty service after purchase (vs. second-hand purchase only)
- Some retailers, Decluttr in the US and Music Magpie and Handtec in the UK, offer refunds within 14 days.
- The quality of the retailer’s renewal may vary from retailer to retailer
- It may be difficult to get additional technical support after the warranty period expires
- If you want to sell the iPad later, the resale price of a reformed device will not be too high.
The best place to buy a refurbished iPad
While the Apple Refurbished Store is a great place to buy a reconditioned iPad, you can see the stock is limited; And in some cases, other retailers offer new models second-hand or renew at better prices. Here are some retailers worth checking out (alphabetically):
- Amazon: Amazon has a rigorous renewal process (see tech advisor’s explanation) that ensures that devices look and work just like new. Most importantly, all Amazon Renewed devices are backed up with a 1-year warranty, which means you can get your iPad returned or replaced within a year.
- Back Market: Here are some big discounts. The site says its goal is to “build trust and desire for renewed devices.”
- Best Buy: It is important to check the grades of pre-owned iPads in Best Buy; Some sites are certified by Geek Squad Subsidiary and others are not You can reduce the price by trading your own kit.
- Decluttr: This is the US version of Music Magpie, an excellent destination for reformed technology. It does not often have competitive prices, you can further reduce the price by trading on your old technology, books, CDs and other media.
- Make of All Trades: Despite the name, this site also has iPads 6 And you can sell Apple products used to make a little money.
UK readers should try the following retailers:
- Amazon: Like the US site, Amazon’s renewed devices look and work like new and are backed up with a 1 year guarantee.
- Music Magpie: A great place to pick up renewed technology, with competitive prices and the option to trade in your old stuff.
- iOutlet: iOutlet is like MusicMagpie: you can trade on your old gadgets, such as gaming consoles, phones, tablets or watches to earn cash for other purchases. You may not find the perfect latest iPad models, but iOutlet has a wide range of Apple products and prices that are on par with MusicMagpie.
- Envirofone: Envirofone buys your old phone and technology with damaged device. If you choose to pay for Envirofone credits called “Envirocash”, you can get an additional 12% refund for spending on a reformed device.
- 4 gadgets: 4 gadgets are often sold in improved technology, including the iPad. You will not find 2020 models but you can find options from 2018 and 2019 at competitive prices.
We recommend checking out the following renewed retailers:
All right, the advice above has helped you decide how to buy your iPad. If you’re still unsure which model to go for, check out our iPad Buying Guide, as well as our guide to the best iPad deals.
We look at the process of selling an iPad in more detail in a separate article: How to sell an iPad.