Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPad

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old May 13, 2012, 11:07 PM   #26
noteple
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdarling View Post
They have used circuit boards, but "refurbished iPad models also include a brand new battery and outer shell."



They're tested to "the same basic technical guidelines" as factory new, which means the same tests that let the bad one through in the first place

People try to claim that refurbs are "better than new", to which I always wryly reply, "Then why does Apple charge so much less?"

I buy Apple refurbs all the time, but only because they're cheaper, not because I think they're somehow better.
Ah No.

Automated functional testing doesn't usually find intermittents like failing switches, and subjective assessments like missing pixels, audio quality, scratches, mold and glass defects, etc.

Most total quality control is done with sampling where only one product out of a batch of 100 or more is give that intense scrutiny and a decision is then made whether to accept or reject the whole lot.

Returns will have the highest QC possible. You the end user, who has already identified the defective component or assembly that was missed in Automated testing. Defective speakers, switches, harnesses, screens, make a human selected transition from annoyance to scrap.

Most products traveling down the line for the second time are usually more than 30 days old so infant mortality is no longer an issue. Anything that would have failed in the first 30 days probably has, and will be replaced. This means a longer burn-in cycle and results in a stronger product.

So why are the smugly cheaper?
Refurbs cost less, to move inventory, simple, no deep mystery.

Apple is in business to sell product not generate scrap.

When purchased you might find that refurb packaging is plain brown, with no frills, stickers, or add ons and might be one revision of software behind current releases. This also lowers prices and hinders individuals from trying to resell as new and pocket the difference.

SO the refurbs, have users inspection, factory intervention, much lower incidence of infant mortality and are cheaper too.

Sounds good to me.
I would have bought a refurbed iPad3 if they were available.
noteple is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 07:48 AM   #27
godzill
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by noteple View Post
Ah No.

Automated functional testing doesn't usually find intermittents like failing switches, and subjective assessments like missing pixels, audio quality, scratches, mold and glass defects, etc.

Most total quality control is done with sampling where only one product out of a batch of 100 or more is give that intense scrutiny and a decision is then made whether to accept or reject the whole lot.

Returns will have the highest QC possible. You the end user, who has already identified the defective component or assembly that was missed in Automated testing. Defective speakers, switches, harnesses, screens, make a human selected transition from annoyance to scrap.

Most products traveling down the line for the second time are usually more than 30 days old so infant mortality is no longer an issue. Anything that would have failed in the first 30 days probably has, and will be replaced. This means a longer burn-in cycle and results in a stronger product.

So why are the smugly cheaper?
Refurbs cost less, to move inventory, simple, no deep mystery.

Apple is in business to sell product not generate scrap.

When purchased you might find that refurb packaging is plain brown, with no frills, stickers, or add ons and might be one revision of software behind current releases. This also lowers prices and hinders individuals from trying to resell as new and pocket the difference.

SO the refurbs, have users inspection, factory intervention, much lower incidence of infant mortality and are cheaper too.

Sounds good to me.
I would have bought a refurbed iPad3 if they were available.
Well said and I agree. Having it looked over and the already identified defective part replaced goes a long way. Just look at the number of threads here regarding light bleeding, color issues, etc. If every one that was returned to the store was repaired knowing those issues exist, it is essentially better than new, and at a cheaper price, all while holding the same warranty. Sounds like a no brainer to me.
godzill is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 08:53 AM   #28
takeshi74
macrumors 601
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc P. View Post
I have heard horror stories about replacements being worse than the originally owned one being brought it.
Form where? As always, consider the source. Apple's refurbs are excellent products. Are you sure you're not confusing the generic cell phone/tech refurb stories floating around?
takeshi74 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 10:39 AM   #29
kdarling
macrumors G4
 
kdarling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Device engineer 30+ yrs, touchscreens 23+.
Quote:
Originally Posted by noteple View Post
Automated functional testing doesn't usually find intermittents like failing switches, and subjective assessments like missing pixels, audio quality, scratches, mold and glass defects, etc.
I agree, it doesn't find subjective defects. I've said many times that Apple uses their customers as the final QC for those. It saves Apple money because they only have to deal with people who are willing to spend their own time and effort bringing or sending such a item back for replacement.

Quote:
Most total quality control is done with sampling where only one product out of a batch of 100 or more is give that intense scrutiny and a decision is then made whether to accept or reject the whole lot.
That is often true for other types of goods, but not iPads.

From videos of the assembly line, we know that Foxconn does at least two tests on each iPad before final case assembly: a gyro rotation test and a memory/display test. If those pass, the device is likely to continue to work. Sure enough, it's very rare to hear about a non-functioning unit out of the box or even weeks later.

Quote:
Returns will have the highest QC possible. You the end user, who has already identified the defective component or assembly that was missed in Automated testing. Defective speakers, switches, harnesses, screens, make a human selected transition from annoyance to scrap.
There's no guarantee that a second assembly won't introduce totally new cable and switch failure points. There's no guarantee that a replacement circuit board is any better. There's no guarantee that scratches and dust won't occur.

I would love to claim that at least the screens would be better, but we've all heard about replacement after replacement unit (and these are almost always refurbs) having dead pixels, dust under the screen, etc.

Quote:
Most products traveling down the line for the second time are usually more than 30 days old so infant mortality is no longer an issue. Anything that would have failed in the first 30 days probably has, and will be replaced. This means a longer burn-in cycle and results in a stronger product
Semiconductor infant mortality is rare these days. See first paragraph section.

I agree that's a small chance that a few more circuit board failures might show up just from the boards being handled a second time.

Quote:
So why are the smugly cheaper? Refurbs cost less, to move inventory, simple, no deep mystery. Apple is in business to sell product not generate scrap.
Apple is in business to sell product, not waste money on extra testing. As for the simpler packaging, it is the least cost savings involved.
kdarling is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 01:38 PM   #30
Roc P.
Thread Starter
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Long Island
Quote:
Originally Posted by takeshi74 View Post
Form where? As always, consider the source. Apple's refurbs are excellent products. Are you sure you're not confusing the generic cell phone/tech refurb stories floating around?
I've had a few friends get replacement iPhones from Apple that ended up having issues as well. I know that anything is possible and even a brand new product can have issues. I'm most likely just going to keep my current iPad though. I just don't want to take my chances. At least my current iPad is fine besides the volume down button sometimes. If the button completely stops working one day, then so be it I guess.
Roc P. is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 01:42 PM   #31
damnyooneek
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
The idea is that you get a replacement in a condition not worse than what you brought in.
damnyooneek is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 01:53 PM   #32
koigirl
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
With many electronics, a refurb will have had more quality control inspection than a unit new in box. Not sure if this applies for Apple but I would think it's likely. Canon refurb SLR camera lenses are a wonderful deal if/when I can find them, for sure...
koigirl is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 02:19 PM   #33
eneisch
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
I was just reading a CNET deal of the day for refurbished Apple TVs that were selling for $85 instead of $99. In that article the CNET correspondent actually stated that CNET recommends buying refurbished Apple products over new units, if avaiblable and linked to a previous article expanding on that position. They said that refurbished units from Apple have new casings, screen glass and go through rigorous testing and are bascially as good as a new unit. Not sayng that I totally believe them (and in the case of only $15 off for an refurb Apple TV I would probably go for a new unit) but just repeating what a major tech website recommends.

See CNET link on Apple refurbs:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33153_7...?tag=mncol;txt
__________________
15"" Macbook Pro 2.3 GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 750 GPU (late 2013)
64GB Slate/Gray iPhone 5
64GB Black 3rd Gen. iPad LTE
160GB iPod Classic
eneisch is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2012, 04:04 PM   #34
Roc P.
Thread Starter
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Long Island
Quote:
Originally Posted by eneisch View Post
I was just reading a CNET deal of the day for refurbished Apple TVs that were selling for $85 instead of $99. In that article the CNET correspondent actually stated that CNET recommends buying refurbished Apple products over new units, if avaiblable and linked to a previous article expanding on that position. They said that refurbished units from Apple have new casings, screen glass and go through rigorous testing and are bascially as good as a new unit. Not sayng that I totally believe them (and in the case of only $15 off for an refurb Apple TV I would probably go for a new unit) but just repeating what a major tech website recommends.

See CNET link on Apple refurbs:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33153_7...?tag=mncol;txt
Thanks for the link, that was a good and informative read, especially the user comments. Seems to me like it's really the luck of the draw wether its new or refurbished. It's either going to work great with no issues or crap out on you somehow. I'm just going to keep mine and call it a day. Sure, I bought 2 iPad 2's that ended up being defective somehow, (one was excahanged for a new one because it happened before 14 days) I still love Apple products and will continue to use them.
Roc P. is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 28, 2013, 07:07 AM   #35
ipad4guy
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
An answer to "What if Apple took your iPad and..."

Here's the answer to your "what-if": it's a significantly overpriced refurb. instead of a high quality product. That's what it is. If this is how stuff is made and sold it's not worth the $$. Simple market rule: high quality brand new is NOT the same as refurbished crappy product, no matter how skillful the repairman is - it's REPAIRED. It's like buying a brand new BMW vs. one that has been in an accident and re-painted by a guy who claims to have the best shop in town. Which one would you pick ?




Quote:
Originally Posted by noteple View Post

What if Apple took your iPad and:
Replaced the broken volume switch.
The rear housing.
The front glass.
Clean roomed it.
Replaced and readjusted to tolerance everything in the entire platform.

And did it all on the same manufacturing platform along with all the other iPads

Would you be ok with that?

Products are taken apart, repaired, replaced, and reassembled so that the only way to tell is a different serial number.
(and some internal marks that you will never know about)

NOBODY knows how many times their original factory iPad made that me trip up and down the line.

And when people whine, and moan, and complain, that they want, what they think is a new one.

It all comes from the SAME place that made what you call a defective product in the first place.
ipad4guy is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 28, 2013, 09:31 AM   #36
Bear
macrumors G3
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sol III - Terra
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc P. View Post
I've had a few friends get replacement iPhones from Apple that ended up having issues as well. I know that anything is possible and even a brand new product can have issues. I'm most likely just going to keep my current iPad though. I just don't want to take my chances. At least my current iPad is fine besides the volume down button sometimes. If the button completely stops working one day, then so be it I guess.
Or you could get a replacement and if that has an issue get that replaced. If you need the unit replaced more than 3 or 4 times for defects, then bring a history of the replacements and ask for a new unit.
__________________
-----Bear
Bear is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 28, 2013, 01:41 PM   #37
Defender2010
macrumors 68000
 
Defender2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc P. View Post
You do have a valid point. I agree that there is no guarantee how many times even a brand new in a sealed box iPad went up and down the line, I suppose it just gives me more peace of mind knowing that it's fresh from the factory. Even then though it still seems like it's hit or miss.

To me, it just seems odd to pay full retail price for a refurbished product. When you buy a refurbished product, it is generally at a lower price point. So by them replacing my iPad with a refurbished one, I am essentially paying full retail price for a refurbished iPad.

Would you go into Apple and pay the full retail price for a refurbished product?
I am so sick of reading these stupid bloody posts about refurbs.....put a brand new iPad next to a refurb and nobody would be able to tell the difference. This thread is redundant like the rest of the moaners. Who cares! It looks new! Get over it!

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ipad4guy View Post
Here's the answer to your "what-if": it's a significantly overpriced refurb. instead of a high quality product. That's what it is. If this is how stuff is made and sold it's not worth the $$. Simple market rule: high quality brand new is NOT the same as refurbished crappy product, no matter how skillful the repairman is - it's REPAIRED. It's like buying a brand new BMW vs. one that has been in an accident and re-painted by a guy who claims to have the best shop in town. Which one would you pick ?
If you can't tell the difference, what does it matter. Plus, comparing a car to an iPad is just plain dumb. Some "NEW" iPads come out of the box with problems (cosmetic or otherwise), so why would you want this sub par "NEW" iPad compared to a refurbished "pristine" iPad? Refurb involves replacing the outer or inner components that had caused the original buyer to return it. Generally the entire outer componenets are replaced even if it was another problem internally. You would never know the difference through vision alone. Oh, and it's "refurbished" not "repaired" get a dictionary!
__________________
W2P KLD talking...what's your handle, WR2 GFO?

Last edited by Defender2010; Feb 28, 2013 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Spelling
Defender2010 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 28, 2013, 02:01 PM   #38
Samtb
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc P. View Post
You do have a valid point. I agree that there is no guarantee how many times even a brand new in a sealed box iPad went up and down the line, I suppose it just gives me more peace of mind knowing that it's fresh from the factory. Even then though it still seems like it's hit or miss.

To me, it just seems odd to pay full retail price for a refurbished product. When you buy a refurbished product, it is generally at a lower price point. So by them replacing my iPad with a refurbished one, I am essentially paying full retail price for a refurbished iPad.

Would you go into Apple and pay the full retail price for a refurbished product?
You mean brand new iPads in retail boxes could have refurbished parts in it?
Samtb is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 28, 2013, 03:42 PM   #39
Luis2004
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdarling View Post
People try to claim that refurbs are "better than new", to which I always wryly reply, "Then why does Apple charge so much less?"

I buy Apple refurbs all the time, but only because they're cheaper, not because I think they're somehow better.
Refurbs are neither better nor worse than brand new devices. They have new innards where they should (namely, components that are susceptible to degradation, like the battery), and they usually have a brand new screen and shell (so no worries about it being scratched or looking "refurbed").

The reason Apple sells them cheaper is because they cannot legally term them as "new" and they can't sell a "new item" and a "refurbished item" at the same price; customers will always go with the "new item".

Apple refurbs are just as good as new ones.


Edit

Wait a minute. Here I am thinking this is all relevant, when all of a sudden I see that the bulk of this thread is almost a year old?!

Who cares!
Luis2004 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 18, 2013, 05:57 AM   #40
lukebunger
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Some thoughts.

I know this thread is old, but I came across it before taking my faulty iPad to the genius bar yesterday, and was quite worried.

However, when I arrived, I was pleased to discover I was seen by someone I actually sort of knew (we both interviewed for Apple at the same time and were in the same "team" during the interview process), who remembered me, and provided me with a lot of insight into the refurbishment process, which really eased my mind.

Basically, he explained it to me like this.

Newer Apple products (iPads, iPhones, Post "Classic" iPods, newer MacBooks and iMacs) have moved away from easily serviceable and replaceable "off the shelf" parts to a "Glued and Soldered" model which are actually quite tough to get at.

As a result, they have to test much more thoroughly in the factory than they used to, and than most other companies do, and the failure rate (outside of accidental damage) are actually "very low" compared to most in the industry, and that the iPad and iPhone both the best in their sectors in terms of component failures.

The reason, he said, is that so much is tested before being sealed because they cannot be easily opened once the digitizer is glued into place.

Nonetheless, failures do happen, and because of these difficulties, they replace with refurbs rather than try to repair them because "They couldn't get inside and do it in store, even if they wanted to".

Basically, when you take your faulty iPad into the genius bar, they will diagnose the issue, then ship it back to Foxconn or the other assembly line companies.

They strip it back to it's basic components, and reassemble it into a working iPad (or iPhone, iPod, whatever). They always get rid of the component listed as faulty by the genius (eg, if it's an error with the headphone jack, that cable/board is gone, no questions asked), and never reuse anything considered consumable (eg, the battery), or which has been exposed to the end user (eg, the digitizer/case), or anything that is adhered to them (Eg, Antennas).

These components will always be brand new.

After that, your refurbished iPad will be a mix of recycled parts from multiple iPads (They do not generally repair a single iPad, but remanufacture a new one from lots of different parts). Basically, when an iPad arrives, it is stripped down into working parts, each one tested independently, once it passes QA is then placed into an assembly line to be built as new iPads would be.

He said the LCD is usually new, as so few of them pass QA (they are either damaged during the digitizer removal, or else have dead pixels, or discoloration) especially during the earliest batches of refurbs to come in, and the logic board may be new. He said that although he thinks they do recycle logic boards, there are very strict usage thresholds which they must not have passed. He didn't know specifically what they were, but said he would be "very surprised" if a recycled logic board would have been in use for more than 3 months, or used in a heavy way. Basically, because they need to guarantee them for the remainder of the warranty (or 1 year if sold) they don't like to use older recycled logic boards, and it is often cheaper to use new ones than take the risk.

He also added that as most of their replacements happen within the first few months of ownership anyway, it's rare that any of the components are going to be that old.

After that, everything else is likely to have been in another iPad before, but again, is fully tested, moreso than brand new components. He also added that while the core parts (eg the ribbon cables) of certain components (such as buttons and switches) will be reused, the actual parts you touch and interact with will always be brand new.

He said that, without opening it up or checking the serial number, it would be impossible, even for a genius, to tell the difference between a new and refurbished unit. He said that he sees "far less" refurbished devices coming back under warranty than new ones, and where they do, it is "almost always" because of software issues not hardware ones.

He says that they quite regularly swap out devices, even when they believe it's software related, especially when the issue is intermittent and not easily reproducible because "it's what the customer expects from us". He said that 9 times out of 10, when a refurb comes back, it has exactly the same issues as the device it replaced, because they have restored from the same backup. He said other faults with refurbished models are "rare".

He personally believes that refurbs are of better quality and reliability than new ones.

I got a refurbished iPad, in exchange for my faulty one, and have to say, I am very impressed. In general, I would say that it, subjectively, feels of better overall quality than the one it replaced when new. Everything feels "tighter" and has better fit and finish. Eg, my old home button was never really flush to the digitizer, and had a little raised edge, and a bit of play in it, which this one doesn't. Also, the digitizer itself is much more flush around the edges. Also, the LCD doesn't have the purple fringes at the edge that the old one had.

All in all, I would have no hesitation in taking a refurbished model in the future, after all, it's covered by the exact same warranty if it does fail.
lukebunger is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 18, 2013, 06:54 AM   #41
Hello...
macrumors 6502a
 
Hello...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
I. love Apple refurbs!
Hello... is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 18, 2013, 07:40 AM   #42
Geekbabe
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
My family bought me a refurb Macbook Air for Christmas 2011. This computer looked brand new when it arrived & has performed flawlessly every single day. I'm very pleased with the quality of Apple refub products.
Geekbabe is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 19, 2013, 09:20 PM   #43
charlituna
macrumors 604
 
charlituna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by ipad4guy View Post
market rule: high quality brand new is NOT the same as refurbished crappy product, no matter how skillful the repairman is - it's REPAIRED. It's like buying a brand new BMW vs. one that has been in an accident and re-painted by a guy who claims to have the best shop in town. Which one would you pick ?
Except that is not how Apple uses the term.

Generally speaking when Apple calls something a 'refurb' that means an item bought and then returned within the return period and for buyers remorse NOT DOA. The memory is scrubbed, the battery and casing replaced and the unit is out through the factory QA tests. As a whole unit. Outside of those couple of bits every part is the same one it started with.

DOA returns and service returns are pulled apart and each component is tested on its own. Failing components are recycled while passing ones go to a factory line for 'remanufacture'. Those units, which are a mix of new and 'old' parts a what go in the brown boxes after QA testing and are used for those swaps.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by E.Lizardo View Post
One VERY important thing to consider:When your iPad is replaced the warranty is NOT restarted.In other words if you exchange your iPad 30 days before warranty expiration the replacement device has a 30 day warranty.
In most areas, US included. The part comes with a 90 day warranty or whatever is left on the original if it ends later
charlituna is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 26, 2013, 10:49 PM   #44
tazz3
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
I would buy a refurbished ipad2 if they where less expensive.
Iam on disability and iam saveing up for an ipad..
tazz3 is offline   1 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPad

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
iPad: What version of iOS do refurbished iPads ship with? giraffeboy27 iPad 5 Jan 5, 2013 07:40 PM
Refurbished iPads, reliable? xEnOnn Community Discussion 8 Dec 11, 2012 12:19 PM
Are refurbished iPads noticeably different? stoopkitty Buying Tips and Advice 12 Dec 9, 2012 09:10 PM
Refurbished 3rd Gen iPads Going Cheap cainnovacaine iPad 0 Oct 23, 2012 01:49 PM
Refurbished Current Generation iPads Available on Apple Online Store for $50 Off MacRumors iOS Blog Discussion 39 Aug 14, 2012 01:09 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:39 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC