Apple was caught last year selling Apple Certified refurbished hardware on eBay using the pseudonym Refurbished-Outlet. Allegedly.
The prices and details of these products were generally the same as refurbished products sold on the apple.com site. The products come with a one-year warranty and mobile devices contain a new battery.
But this week it emerged that Apple is lowering the prices on eBay, sometimes by quite a bit. For example, Apple normally charges $999 for a refurbed MacBook Air with 128 GB. But that same system with the same Apple inspection and one-year warranty went on sale in the eBay store for $899. Prices on other hardware products were slashed similarly.
(In addition, we learned, the company as been apparently working with “power sellers” on eBay to sell Apple hardware. For example, until they ran out of the 500 units put up for sale of 13-inch MacBook Pros selling for $999. These are new devices, not refurbished, and Apple is probably using the “channel” to clear out inventory.)
It seems to me that Apple is working behind the scenes to experiment with different models for selling refurbished and excess inventory. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple was also trying other channels for doing the same thing that we don’t know about. And I also wouldn’t be surprised if refurbished gadgets vanished from the Apple site altogether, and for those items to be sold in the darker alleys of the Internet (like eBay) exclusively instead.
But I think there’s a ginormous opportunity here for embracing “used” in a big way — and it’s something only Apple could pull off.
We all know that the best cable management system is a Thunderbolt-equipped cinema display, but it is also just about the most expensive way to wrangle all the wires you need to support the life of your MacBook. So Rockpool Designs’ CableStrip might be the next best thing, and it costs just $10.
Hanger-on. This USB display works with your Mac, iPhone or even your camera
Ever struggled to juggle apps around your MacBook Air’s small screen as you work? And have you ever taken a look at that screen and though how much better it would be if there was another LED panel hanging off the side like an errant dust-jacket flapping in the breeze? If your answer to these two questions is “yes” and you have around £120 ($190) to waste spend, then the GeChic On-Lap Dual Monitor 1301 could be just the thing for you.
The Zooka is a stick-like speaker for all your gadgets
Zooka bills itself as a wireless speaker bar for any of your sound-producing gadgets, but one look will tell you the truth: it’s made for iPads and skinny MacBooks. The Zooka is a silicone cylinder which can work alone, but which also has a slot into which you can slide the edge of your favorite Apple device.
Bag-maker STM hails from dehn undah (if you think my Aussie impression sounds bad here, well, it’s even worse in person), where they’re apparently pretty huge. They’re less well-known here in the States — but that’ll likely change thanks to a big marketing push and bags like the fantastic STM Velo ($100), a designed laptop bag stuffed with unusually clever features.
LaCie's new 2big drives show at least somebody got the Thunderbolt memo
It’s taken a while, but it seems that the dried up tear-duct that was the supply of Thunderbolt accessories is about to turn into a torrent of high-speed, daisy-chainable tears of relief. Hard drive supremo LaCie will at last sell you a 2big Thunderbolt Series external drive.
The biggest company at CES this year is Apple. No, Apple isn’t giving keynotes, hosting a booth or even taking meetings, as far as I know. But Apple dominates CES like cheesy hotel casinos dominate the Las Vegas Strip.
A consumer electronics show without Apple is like an Internet search show without Google, a social networking show without Facebook or a, er, MacWorld Expo without Apple.
But that’s not why Apple’s presence is so large at CES. The reason is that half the initiatives, product directions and announcements are responses to Apple, or anticipation of what Apple might do in the future.
Apple’s new 11-inch MacBook Air is simply incredible. Of course you probably already knew this puppy was light, and gorgeous, but the power that this tiny machine packs is truly breathtaking. Optimized for speed and portability, the new MacBook Air improves on its predecessor to prove that it’s the best notebook computer Apple’s ever made.
We went bonkers last week and gave out more free hardware in seven days than we ever have before. To mix things up this week we’re going to be giving out some beautiful software to enhance your Apple experience. Today we’re teaming up with the great people behind StackSocial who have given us three promo codes for their latest Mac Essentials Bundle. With eleven Mac apps worth $333 that we’re giving away for free, this is one of the best software giveaways we’ve ever had. You’ve got to play to win though, so here are the details on what you’ll win and how to qualify for the giveaway: