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Old Feb 22, 2013, 04:02 PM   #1
Algo922
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How do you tell if your iPhone 5 is a refurbished unit?

I got my iPhone 5 replaced at the apple store last Thursday. I forgot to ask if it was refurbished or not. Is there a way to check on the iPhone itself if its refurbished?
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 04:13 PM   #2
617aircav
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Originally Posted by Algo922 View Post
I got my iPhone 5 replaced at the apple store last Thursday. I forgot to ask if it was refurbished or not. Is there a way to check on the iPhone itself if its refurbished?
It was.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 04:19 PM   #3
aristobrat
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^^^

Chances are, it's a refurb.

A few years ago, it was easy to tell if something was refurbed by looking at its serial number. I think that since then, Apple's messed around with the serial numbers so it's not as easy to tell by them anymore.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 04:47 PM   #4
UTMAC
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I think the easiest way to tell if its a refurb is to look at the cellular usage. Even if the phone is wiped the lifetime usage does not reset. I just got a replacement phone at the Apple store, and looked at the usage and it said 35 days. So obviously someone had it before I did.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Algo922 View Post
I got my iPhone 5 replaced at the apple store last Thursday. I forgot to ask if it was refurbished or not. Is there a way to check on the iPhone itself if its refurbished?
If it came in a white box without the apple iphone image on it. Then it's refurbished.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 05:06 PM   #6
quietstormSD
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It's most likely refurbished, unless you exchanged it within like 14 days of first purchase
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 05:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Algo922 View Post
I got my iPhone 5 replaced at the apple store last Thursday. I forgot to ask if it was refurbished or not. Is there a way to check on the iPhone itself if its refurbished?
Refurb units have 2 working speakers at the bottom of the phone. If sounds only comes out of one the phone is brand spanking new.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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Refurb units have 2 working speakers at the bottom of the phone. If sounds only comes out of one the phone is brand spanking new.
I see what you did there.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 12:02 AM   #9
THX1139
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Apple doesn't do refurbished phones. They make 100% certified remanufactured phones. They rebuild the phones from scratch using brand new parts of expendables such as batteries, displays, enclosures. They might reuse things that don't wear out such as antennas or internal non-degradable hardware if they deem them to be 100% usable. In many ways, the remanufactured iphones are better than those coming off the assembly lines because they are built by hand using known good parts.

That being said... the iPhone is still very new so Apple hasn't built up enough used inventory to justify remanufacturing. So replacement iPhone 5's are probably from new stock. The older phones certainly are remanufactured because there are far more old ones than new.

By the way, you'd all know this if you actually read the warranty.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 12:08 AM   #10
macingman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THX1139 View Post
Apple doesn't do refurbished phones. They make 100% certified remanufactured phones. They rebuild the phones from scratch using brand new parts of expendables such as batteries, displays, enclosures. They might reuse things that don't wear out such as antennas or internal non-degradable hardware if they deem them to be 100% usable. In many ways, the remanufactured iphones are better than those coming off the assembly lines because they are built by hand using known good parts.

That being said... the iPhone is still very new so Apple hasn't built up enough used inventory to justify remanufacturing. So replacement iPhone 5's are probably from new stock. The older phones certainly are remanufactured because there are far more old ones than new.

By the way, you'd all know this if you actually read the warranty.
We all know this. Apple seems to market the products as refurbished if you check their online store and also what the apple store workers call the stock.

The iPhone 5 is like half way through its life cycle now, of course they have stock for refurbs.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 12:22 AM   #11
Cartaphilus
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I had to have my 5 replaced today, and I asked the Apple employee if the replacement was a refurbished phone, since he pulled it from a non-retail box. He told me it was brand new.

Addendum: After reading UTMAC's post saying that lifetime cellular usage never resets, I checked and saw that my replacement iP5 reported a short amount of lifetime cell use, identical to the current usage.

Last edited by Cartaphilus; Feb 24, 2013 at 12:02 AM.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 12:58 AM   #12
AFDoc
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You didn't bring in a brand new phone for replacement why should you receive a brand new (retail boxed) phone in return?
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 01:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Algo922 View Post
I got my iPhone 5 replaced at the apple store last Thursday. I forgot to ask if it was refurbished or not. Is there a way to check on the iPhone itself if its refurbished?
You can't. Even the store assistant doesn't know and has no way of knowing.

If it's in a white box, it's either refurbished or not. It's usually assumed that it is.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 01:13 AM   #14
Blorzoga
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Swapping colors

While we're on the topic of replacing phones, I was wondering if anyone had experience with having a phone replaced and swapping colors. I have a white 5 and was wondering if I were to "break" it and use one of my AppleCare+ replacements, would they allow me to get a black one as a replacement? I'm sure their policy is to keep the color the same; I was wondering how lenient they were about this. Anyone know?
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 01:14 AM   #15
syd430
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I think the easiest way to tell if its a refurb is to look at the cellular usage. Even if the phone is wiped the lifetime usage does not reset. I just got a replacement phone at the Apple store, and looked at the usage and it said 35 days. So obviously someone had it before I did.
No. that's just carried over from your backup data on your old phone.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 01:44 AM   #16
Algo922
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I see.. Damn OCD, it's going to bug me if the iphones new or not, at least I haven't found any cosmetic/hardware flaws yet.is it normal for the there to be a red dot near the front camera? I heard its the infra red tool used to measure how much brightness the phone auto adjust to, but idk if its supposed to be visible in the dark
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 02:07 AM   #17
macingman
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Originally Posted by Blorzoga View Post
While we're on the topic of replacing phones, I was wondering if anyone had experience with having a phone replaced and swapping colors. I have a white 5 and was wondering if I were to "break" it and use one of my AppleCare+ replacements, would they allow me to get a black one as a replacement? I'm sure their policy is to keep the color the same; I was wondering how lenient they were about this. Anyone know?
The policy of no colour changes is absolutely non-negotiable. It is one of the most common questions and I can tell you with 110% certainty that apple will absolutely never swap colours. Probably to stop people like you breaking their phone on purpose and therefore abusing their warranties like you said you want to do. In the future put a little more thought at purchase into your color selection if it bothers you so much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Algo922 View Post
I see.. Damn OCD, it's going to bug me if the iphones new or not, at least I haven't found any cosmetic/hardware flaws yet.is it normal for the there to be a red dot near the front camera? I heard its the infra red tool used to measure how much brightness the phone auto adjust to, but idk if its supposed to be visible in the dark
the red dot is 100% normal. I have it on mine as well. There are a few different sensors on the front of the phone, screen brightness being one of those.

Why do you need to know if the phone is new or not? It's just a phone. There are more important things. Just don't worry about the phone. Really, as long as it works the way you need/want it to, why should it matter. My phones really scratched up and has some chips but it works as it needs to so I don't let it bother me.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 02:55 AM   #18
tl01
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Originally Posted by Algo922 View Post
I see.. Damn OCD, it's going to bug me if the iphones new or not, at least I haven't found any cosmetic/hardware flaws yet.is it normal for the there to be a red dot near the front camera? I heard its the infra red tool used to measure how much brightness the phone auto adjust to, but idk if its supposed to be visible in the dark
Really... This is the last thing you should worry about. If the phone isn't a new one... Whether it is a refurb or remanufactured one... It is still awesome. The important parts have been replaced. I've gotten many replacements over the years and they have been top notch. I've bought refurbished iPads for me kids and they have held up perfectly! I wouldn't give it a moments thought... To do so would be silly.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 07:16 AM   #19
mustu
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I have been told that apple has stopped refurbs and now makes new ones as its cheaper and less time consuming for them?
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 08:51 AM   #20
Samtb
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When you take in an iPhone to a store to get it replaced, they give you a service stock unit. The warranty terms & condition state that this could be a new or remanufactured unit, but will be as good as new. Remanufactured means they've used a combination of new parts & used parts where it's feasible to reuse old parts. The screen, outer casing and battery are guaranteed to be new as Apple don't reuse these parts.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 09:23 AM   #21
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 09:26 AM   #22
madKIR
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The refurbished iPhone 5 serial number starts with DQ this time around.
I got one at the end of December: in many respects it was better than other 5 new units it replaced.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 02:04 PM   #23
Algo922
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Originally Posted by madKIR View Post
The refurbished iPhone 5 serial number starts with DQ this time around.
I got one at the end of December: in many respects it was better than other 5 new units it replaced.
^^^ is this true?
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 03:19 PM   #24
evorc
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Doesn't really matter just move on. It's top notch either way.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 03:54 PM   #25
Blorzoga
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Originally Posted by macingman View Post
The policy of no colour changes is absolutely non-negotiable. It is one of the most common questions and I can tell you with 110% certainty that apple will absolutely never swap colours. Probably to stop people like you breaking their phone on purpose and therefore abusing their warranties like you said you want to do. In the future put a little more thought at purchase into your color selection if it bothers you so much.
Something tells me your Macrumors classification is going to your head. I don't believe I said I wanted to intentionally break my phone, I was posing a hypothetical question. And I can say with 110% certainty that you don't know what you're talking about. I've read numerous accounts of people receiving a color swap. In the future, don't be so quick to judge or to make assumptions.
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