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Refurbished Apple items within reach

APPLE Inc's iPods and Mac computers, which were viewed as high-priced products and out of reach of ordinary people, are now becoming closer to the reach of the average guy and girl in China.

United States-based Apple has started to sell refurbished products through its Chinese Website for the first time, including a 300-yuan (US$44) iPod on offer now, and perhaps even an ultra-thin Macbook costing less than 7,000 yuan in future, Shanghai Daily learned yesterday.

The so-called "refurbished computers" are products that were previously owned but were unused or slightly used before they were returned to Apple.

On Apple China's Website, refurbished products that are available include iPod Shuffles and iPod Nanos which are offered at a 22 percent discount compared with suggested retail prices, as well as iMac being offered with a 12-percent discount. The entry-level refurbished iPod Shuffle (1G) costs only 308 yuan, cheaper than some home-grown MP3 players.

All refurbished products are sold with a one-year quality guarantee. They are only sold online and after purchase they are delivered to the buyers via a phone call to Apple's Shanghai-based distributor Weiyin.

As far as the consumers are concerned, the refurbished products are just like new products sold in stores in every aspect, from user experience and after-sales service, according to Weiyin's hotline.

An Apple China reseller, who declined to be identified, claimed that sales of the refurbished products won't hit store sales as retailers sometimes offer consumers greater discounts.

In Apple's online store in the US, more refurbished products are sold, including the first-generation Macbook Air, which costs US$999, less than half its debut price last year.



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