Apple Selling Hand-Me-Down iPhones

Dennis Faas's picture

Can't afford one of those flashy new iPhones in the window? Try a refurbished version of the device, now being offered by Apple Inc. itself for $100 less than retail.

The service has been available since last Monday, when Apple began displaying the popular iPhone (4GB edition) for just $399. Those customers interested in a bit more space can also save $100, with the 8GB version knocked down to $499. It's not a new business practice for Apple, which typically sells its wares second-hand for discounted prices. Most, such as the iPod, Apple TV, and its computer hardware come with a one-year warranty. (Source:

There may be something special about the offer, however. Industry insiders believe "speculators", or those who buy high-demand tech items for major mark-up on sites like eBay, felt betrayed by Apple's ability to keep retail supply ample. Since the iPhone failed to even remotely approach the "Wii effect", returns have, according to some, started flowing.

It's unclear what the refurbished offer might do for Apple on Wall Street. The company failed to impress investors right off the bat, primarily because it could only activate 146,000 wireless iPhone subscriptions in its first day and a half. That was hardly what Wall Street was looking for, since most in the market had estimated Apple could 'switch on' half a million in the same period.

Since that point in time, the iPhone has simply delivered. It sold 270,000 times in its first two days, largely the result of very positive reviews. That has made the product a tech-fan-favorite, despite its hefty price tag.

Now that hand-me-downs are ready and waiting (and available through a reliable source, no less), it should only increase the appeal of Apple's new device. It might even give the boost needed to meet CEO Steve Jobs' lofty sales goal of 1 million by the end of September. (Source:

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