Apple Executive to Face South Korean Parliament Over iPhone Replacement Policies

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Bloomberg reports that an Apple executive is set to travel to South Korea next week to testify before members of the country's parliament regarding Apple's policies regarding replacement of defective iPhones. According to the report, the issue stems from Apple's policy of replacing users' faulty iPhones with refurbished units rather than offering new replacements or repairs of customers' existing units.
    Farhoudi has been with Apple for his entire career, beginning in 1993 in an entry-level position fresh out of college and working his way up to senior director of iPod and iPhone service operations.

    Article Link: Apple Executive to Face South Korean Parliament Over iPhone Replacement Policies
  2. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Ideally, the replacement unit should BE a new unit, not refurbished. Refurbished is Apple's way of saving money, but not the right way of doing stuff.

    However, it can be argued that Apple's quality control on refurbished units is much higher than brand new units, therefore eliminating/reducing any probable future issue.
  3. macrumors member


    Jul 15, 2010
    I have to agree, though, that the idea of a refurbished unit (different than the one you originally sent in) replacing a defective unit that I bought new doesn't really appeal. How it works in practice is another thing, however, I'm not immediately aware of many other electronics companies that do this.
  4. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Q Division, Los Angeles
  5. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Device engineer 30+ yrs, touchscreens 24+.

    Even Apple says that they use the same testing standards with refurbs as they do with new units.

    Anyone who actually believes that a refurb is somehow "better" than new, is welcome to buy the iPhone 5 new, keep it in its box for a few weeks, then swap it to me for the cheaper, used iPhone 5 refurb I later buy. Yeah, right.

    Apple knows that used devices are not better or even as desirable. That's why they charge so much less for them.

    That said, I often buy Apple refurbs because they're cheaper. Not because I foolishly think they're better.
  6. macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2006
    Simi Valley, CA
    I just want to point out how bad @$$ that guy's name is.

    YOU WON? Really....

    That's just great on so many levels. :D
  7. macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2006
    I would much rather have a refurbished replacement in 10 minutes than wait 2 weeks for a defective iphone to be repaired.
  8. macrumors member


    Apr 18, 2006
    A new phone would be great, but when you think about it logically if you buy a phone and use it for a few months and then it breaks, you still used if for a few months, so wouldn't an equal trade be a referb?
  9. macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    It's better to Face South Korean Praliament than to
    Face North Korean Firing Squad....
  10. macrumors 68000

    Apr 24, 2006
    Ok, but even if the testing standards are the same, assuming that the 'refurb' is a repaired unit rather than just a return that can't be sold as new, the refurb had an issue that slipped through once. What are the odds of the same problem happening again, or another *different* problem slipping through the tests twice?

    That's what people are talking about when they say refurbs (from a reputable source) have passed through better testing. Imagine a product where a certain marginal part passes a test 50% of the time. The odds of it making it through testing for sale as new is 50%. The odds of it making it through the second round of testing for sale as a refurb is only 25%.
  11. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    i hope apple looses. i never needed to replace a device tho if i did i want a new one. especially if i bought it recently
  12. macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    First loop of the Bible Belt D:
    I hate reading stuff like this.

    1. If you used the phone any time outside of the 30 day return period, it's a used phone. You shouldn't expect to give something old and receive something new; that's just silly. And really, if it was working perfectly fine for a month, there's a pretty good chance it stopped working for a reason.

    2. The amount of time it takes to replace a unit vs. repairing it is ridiculous. Have any of you been to the Genius Bar? They can swap a phone in a couple of minutes. Tried opening your phone? Yeah, everything's kind of close together, interrelated and difficult to pull out/replace? Gonna take a lot more time.

    3. If you break the phone (busted screen, drop it, liquid damage, etc...), you buy a phone. Period. What company is going to make money giving away product? You can always buy a new one if you want to pay full price, Apple isn't limiting you, your wallet is. Frankly, this holds true for all circumstances.

    4. The phones are all rebuilt. It's not like they took a phone from someone else, dusted it off, and gave it to you. And, frankly, if it works; who cares?? You're getting the phone replaced because something went wrong, aren't you? Don't you want to have something working? I replaced my old 3G when it stopped working; my replacement came out of a well cushioned box, with protective packaging, straight from the factory and IT WORKED.

  13. rbb
    macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2010
    Don't want new, want my own repaired

    My iPhone broke when I lived in Taiwan. I got it replaced with refurbs 4 times. Disaster. WiFi and GPS did not work, one even had faulty screen. Apple eventually replaced it with a new one. I thank Apple for that. But I hate the fact that they did not fix my own old phone. The experience with the refurbs was terrible.

  14. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    That's essentially what a refurb is -- a fixed phone. So, if the option were available, you'd turn down a fixed / used phone in order to wait 2+ weeks for YOUR phone to get fixed. There's no guarantee either way that you'll end up with a working phone.
  15. macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    As a customer who paid quite some decent money for an iPhone, I don't give a ratsass how the phone looks on the inside, how hard it is to repair, or why did it stop working. I want it to work. If it stops working then I want it replaced with a brand new one. On the spot.

    I am a hardcore Apple fan but on the other hand I don't have time to run around waiting for my phone to "be fixed" or make a "genius appointment". My time also costs money.
  16. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Device engineer 30+ yrs, touchscreens 24+.
    Remember, they're not replacing individual chips. They're replacing complicated units (or pieces such as a case or volume control).

    If a refurb had a problem with a circuit board or LCD, the chances of failure for the replacement unit (if new) are the same as the original new unit.

    However, while refurb cases might be new, expensive individual units such as the LCD or circuit board are most likely replaced with parts from other used phones, instead of using new. So yes, I will grant you that those units might have been tested originally in China as a part of one phone, and then got tested again as part of at least one refurb phone.

    Yet simply doing the same test (e.g. burn-in) that failed to find a bad part the first time, doesn't overly excite me (electronic designer with experience in manufacturing). It's not being constantly on that usually shows up failures.
  17. macrumors 68000

    Apr 24, 2006
    Correct. Doing it any other way, with modern assembly methods would be *more* failure prone. (It's an unholy pain trying to desolder and resolder components from those dinky little boards.)

    Again, correct. It's the *other* components that are getting tested twice. It's that extra margin of safety.

    Again, correct. But, again. If a test finds bad or marginal parts, then running the tests twice against the still unknown marginal part is significantly more likely to discover it than just running them once.

    If the test suite turns up 99% of bad or marginal parts, then the new device has a 1% chance of containing a missed bad or marginal part. The refurb, where the part in question wasn't replaced, has a significantly lower chance (roughly.1%). No, it's not fool proof there are always going to be parts which fail despite passing testing unless you test each component until it fails (in which case you have nothing to sell), but you're no worse off than you were with a new phone.

    (Again, this all assumes a reputable source. It doesn't work when talking about "Joe's Fly-by-Night Refurb Warehouse".)
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2007
    Upstate NY
    Wasted Trip

    So he's going to fly over in the company jet, and goto a hearing and say the same thing that has been said in emails and over the phone ..................

    There's a wasted trip. Apples not going to make special arrangements just for South Korea, if they do they'll have to do it for everyone else.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2008
    SE Florida
    Lucky Koreans, now they can wait 2 weeks for their phone to be repaired.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2008
    I was about to start a rant about how dumb this is...but you did it for me ... I agree completely

    Ok, so you bring in a USED phone that has stopped working. They replace your USED phone with a different USED phone that does work, on the spot.... and you're seriously complaining..:confused:

    Apple has about the best customer service I have ever experienced. I walked into the apple store with a headset that was malfunctioning. I told one of the employees and she proceeded to grab a brand new one off the rack, open the box, and hand me a brand new headset. No questions asked. She didn't even test it out. I'd say that is pretty awesome customer service.
  21. macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    First loop of the Bible Belt D:
    Other than an extreme sense of entitlement, I don't understand how getting an appointment and having something replaced on the spot slows you down. Knowing I can, at any time, get an appointment for malfunctioning product so I have a slice of a tech's time personally reserved before I even set foot in the store is, in a word, priceless. You don't have to guess on how many people are in front of you, and you know that if it's a hardware issue, you're walking out with a working device.

    :apple: Kira
  22. macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Not necessarily, especially with just released items. A "refurb" could very well be a brand new off the line phone, packed in a less expensive plain brown box expressly for exchanges. Not all refurbs are used.

    If you cannot physically tell the difference between a brand new phone and a "refurb" outside of the packaging, what difference does it make anyway?
  23. macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2007
    I'd say a "refurb" is more rigorously tested than a new unit. SK are a bunch whiners. Simply jealous of all the manufacturing in China and elsewhere. :apple:
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
  25. macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2010
    On what basis are you saying a refurb is more rigorously tested than a new unit? Also SK are a bunch of whiners? no, they are doing what most people would have done if they had found out that the new device they bought actually is an old, albeit cleaned and checked unit, in a national scale and SK should be dang proud of that.

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