Apple may have quietly opened its own factory outlet store on eBay to sell off unsold refurbished iPhone stock.
The US-based store front may look a little nondescript and low key, but there are a number of hints that this is no small-time operator.
For one thing, the iPhone selection is limited to iPhone 5 handsets. Why no iPhone 5S handsets? Apple doesn’t sell the iPhone 5 brand new any more, so it’s likely that the company has a backlog of unsold refurbished older models that it wants to get rid of before launch of the iPhone 6 in a couple of months.
Also, these “Certified Pre-Owned Factory Unlocked” iPhones are pretty expensive. American customers will need to pay $450 for a refurbed iPhone 5. To put that into context, a brand new iPhone 5S costs $650.
Why so expensive? Perhaps because these handsets have been “Manufacturer refurbished,” according to the description, which means that its has been “inspected, cleaned, and repaired to meet manufacturer specifications and is in excellent condition.”
Finally, and most tellingly, there’s the little sweetener of a one year Apple guarantee with each iPhone purchased from this seemingly humble eBay vendor. Hmmm.
It’s worth noting that this wouldn’t be the first time Apple has opened up an eBay store. As pointed out by AppleInsider, the company appeared to do a similar thing last year in a bid to shift refurbished iPads.
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