Apple's refurbished HomePod doesn't seem like a very good pre-Black Friday deal

Apple's refurbished HomePod doesn't seem like a very good pre-Black Friday deal
Apple doesn’t often offer discounts on its hot-selling gadgets (almost never, in fact), but for what it’s worth, you can always buy select certified refurbished iPhone models, iPads, Apple Watches, iPods, Apple TVs, and Macs directly from their manufacturer with the same standard 1-year warranty as brand-new devices.

These are obviously at least slightly cheaper, although sometimes it’s not entirely clear if the savings are worth the inherent refurb compromises. Case in point, the Siri-controlled HomePod smart speaker, originally released in January 2018 after a June 2017 formal announcement.

This hasn’t exactly sold like hotcakes at a list price of $349, which is probably why a number of third-party retailers shaved 50 bucks off on several occasions over the past few months. Right now, the HomePod fetches the same old $349 at Best Buy and the likes, almost making Apple’s refurbished $299 “deal” seem compelling.

But Black Friday is coming, and Best Buy has already confirmed an actual $250 deal will be available between November 22 and 24 (or while supplies last). That’s naturally for brand-new units looking at cool $100 markdowns, which may help the “premium” smart speaker properly compete against Google and Amazon’s voice-enabled bargains this holiday shopping season.

Basically, the timing of Apple’s refurbished HomePod release seems unfortunate, to say the least. Making things worse, both the white and space gray models listed at $299 with one-year limited warranty and 14-day returns policy coverage are somehow backordered at the time of this writing, shipping no earlier than November 30.

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