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Old Mar 10, 2011, 01:46 AM   #1
John88
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Any way to tell if Verizon iPhone replacement is refurbished?

So I've had 3 Verizon iPhones in about 3 weeks (2 exchanges). Is there a way to tell if it is refurbished by the serial number, like how AT&T refurbs start with 5k?

Just curious because my new Verizon iPhone started with C3 and the one I currently have starts with C3. The two replacements came out of black boxes too.

New iPhone= C3
1st Replacement= C7
2nd Replacement= C3
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Old Mar 10, 2011, 03:19 AM   #2
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black boxes usually signify refurbished models....but since the verizon iphones are still pretty new the likely hood of them being ever previously used phones is very slim.
I had swapped out my original for a black box and the serial seemed almost identical as my retail boxed iPhone. So i'm not sure if the serials will reflect that in future refurbished models but theres nothing out of the ordinary that i noticed compared to out of retail box models.

My refurb/replacement was C8Q

Last edited by AppleNewton; Mar 10, 2011 at 01:43 PM.
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Old Jun 3, 2011, 11:33 PM   #3
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I'm on the same boat as the op. I'm on my 3rd iPhone. The first replacement I got at the apple store. The guy pulled out of a black plastic box. That one was overheating and draining battery pretty fast, so I called apple instead of going to the apple store. They gave me 2 options: go to the apple store or mail in my unit for repair. I knew there was a third option, but I had to get it out of the rep since she seemed reluctant to mention it. Anyways the third option was to put a hold of $599 on my cc, plus pay $29, and they would ship a replacement phone to me.

I was expecting my iPhone to arrive in a retail box, but it didn't. Apple sends you a "kit". In the box I found a white empty box, a black box that contained the iPhone, some strips o tape, and foam padding. My first thought was that they send me a refurb. But after further inspection, I believe they sent me a new one. Here's why: the black box the phone came in had two black stickers sealing it; the iPhone came in a little plastic bag, which is common with stuff from Asia; but the biggest give away was that the outside of the box still had a customs sticker on. A big green sticker that said "product of China (mainland)". On top of that sticker it had another sticker with the phones serial number on it.

The serial number for my original iPhone stared with a C3, for the second one it was C7, and for the third it was C3 again. I believe apple has these kits put together in china with brand new iPhones, and then shipped over here. So if you have a problem with your iPhone and want a good chance of getting a new one call apple and ask about express replacement service.

Also IMO if your phone has a fault within 90 days of purchase, I think apple should guarantee replacement with a new unit. That seems fair to me. How is it fair that if you get a dud out of the box, apple washes it's hands and gives it's customers a refurb unit worth 2/3 as much.

Last edited by SFTifoso; Jun 3, 2011 at 11:38 PM.
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Old Jun 4, 2011, 09:02 AM   #4
ikaveh
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When you are at genius bar, when the genius goes to get you a replacement if the iphone is in sealed box without any writing on it, it is refurbished, if he opens a new standard iphone box the its new.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 07:26 AM   #5
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my issue is i got my phone from Verizon and it was 4 days old and it kept freezing up so the closes place to me was the apple store. They could only give me a black box replacement unit since i did not buy the phone from them. I had no choice but to take it since the verizon store i got it at was far away. Now that i think about it, its unfair that a refurb for a 5 day old phone. Does anyone agree with me ? is there anything i can do at this point ?
The refurb is working well but the battery does drain fast.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 08:13 AM   #6
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I agree with you. I think you shops get a brand new phone if you are within the 90 days(or close). I've had 4 iPhones. Although I sold my first one bc someone offered me $800(2days after it dropped on vzw). The second one was a 16gb, I wanted more. I used an upgrade for the third one(32gb). I had some strange issues with it, took to vzw store and they gave me one NIB, in a actual sealed iPhone box. But this was after much complaining about getting a refurb. I told them that I had bought 2 at full price and with that amnt of money I wanted a new one. Eventually they gave in, but also told me that this wouldn't happen again. For the most part, I think refurbs will be in much better shape than any phone you buy used, or off eBay or craigslist. I'm excited me and the wifey worke out a deal, she could get 2 new lens for her rebel eos T3i if I could pick up the highest capacity IP5 on release. Fair deal I think.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 09:38 AM   #7
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Apple will replace units with re-manufactured phones, not refurbished. Unless they've changed their policy on this.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceterminal View Post
Apple will replace units with re-manufactured phones, not refurbished. Unless they've changed their policy on this.
Those two terms sound like the same thing. Is there a link somewhere for how they define what a reman is?
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 10:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by -aggie- View Post
Those two terms sound like the same thing. Is there a link somewhere for how they define what a reman is?
I agree with you on that, though technically they are remanufactured.
It looks like refurbished would be just returning the device, making sure it works, and then reselling it again (possibly replacing any broken parts). Remanufacturing would be "the process of disassembly and recovery at the module level and, eventually, at the component level."
Since replacement iPhones look pristine, I'm leaning towards remanufactured.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remanufacturing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refurbishment_(electronics)
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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i definitely think they are refurbished. reason being is that the other day, when i received my replacement, the usage said it has been on standby for 18 hours...
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 10:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipster View Post
i definitely think they are refurbished. reason being is that the other day, when i received my replacement, the usage said it has been on standby for 18 hours...
Not from Apple. I've asked them before a few times and every time its always the same answer: re-manufactured.
The usage you see could merely be that from testing and the like.

However in a general sense:
A refurb is one thats brought in and tested, cleaned, and then sent back out.
A reman is one thats disassembled and each part is tested then reused as good with the outer shell being new (in most instances).
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 11:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceterminal View Post
Not from Apple. I've asked them before a few times and every time its always the same answer: re-manufactured.
The usage you see could merely be that from testing and the like.

However in a general sense:
A refurb is one thats brought in and tested, cleaned, and then sent back out.
A reman is one thats disassembled and each part is tested then reused as good with the outer shell being new (in most instances).
However what you wrote was exactly what was quoted for what is done for a refurb (on iPhone now and don't have link handy). Anyway, from what I understood or read for a refurb, the iPhone gets a new case and battery and screen and anything broke is replaced. My MBP is definitely called a refurb and it fits the criteria I wrote here.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 11:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -aggie- View Post
However what you wrote was exactly what was quoted for what is done for a refurb (on iPhone now and don't have link handy). Anyway, from what I understood or read for a refurb, the iPhone gets a new case and battery and screen and anything broke is replaced. My MBP is definitely called a refurb and it fits the criteria I wrote here.
Correct, a lot of companies just use 'refurb' for all their stuff which failed to pass QA, got returned as defective/etc. Refurbs are usually better than new in some cases, depending on what you are looking for. Batches of new units have samples that are put through full QA. Maybe a small percentage. That means that you can get a new device that was brand new with defects that passed QA because it wasn't one of those sampled for full testing.

Refurbs on the other hand, go through full QA. In the end, the quality is actually more consistent and reliable with refurbs than new. That said, refurb won't protect you from things like dead pixels, minor scuffs, etc. Especially with the type of dead pixel policy Apple has.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 11:50 AM   #14
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Here's a link to where I got the notion that Apple refurbs are just like what is being called a reman:

http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Im...certified.html

I don't recall them using certified in front of refurb as is shown in the link.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 01:22 PM   #15
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Out of black box mean refurb for sure.

If it is new you will see it come out of the retial box.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFTifoso View Post
I'm on the same boat as the op. I'm on my 3rd iPhone. The first replacement I got at the apple store. The guy pulled out of a black plastic box. That one was overheating and draining battery pretty fast, so I called apple instead of going to the apple store. They gave me 2 options: go to the apple store or mail in my unit for repair. I knew there was a third option, but I had to get it out of the rep since she seemed reluctant to mention it. Anyways the third option was to put a hold of $599 on my cc, plus pay $29, and they would ship a replacement phone to me.

I was expecting my iPhone to arrive in a retail box, but it didn't. Apple sends you a "kit". In the box I found a white empty box, a black box that contained the iPhone, some strips o tape, and foam padding. My first thought was that they send me a refurb. But after further inspection, I believe they sent me a new one. Here's why: the black box the phone came in had two black stickers sealing it; the iPhone came in a little plastic bag, which is common with stuff from Asia; but the biggest give away was that the outside of the box still had a customs sticker on. A big green sticker that said "product of China (mainland)". On top of that sticker it had another sticker with the phones serial number on it.

The serial number for my original iPhone stared with a C3, for the second one it was C7, and for the third it was C3 again. I believe apple has these kits put together in china with brand new iPhones, and then shipped over here. So if you have a problem with your iPhone and want a good chance of getting a new one call apple and ask about express replacement service.

Also IMO if your phone has a fault within 90 days of purchase, I think apple should guarantee replacement with a new unit. That seems fair to me. How is it fair that if you get a dud out of the box, apple washes it's hands and gives it's customers a refurb unit worth 2/3 as much.
iPhones are manufactured in china and other countries, it only makes sense that they are sent there to get refurbished/rebuilt, etc.
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