How do you tell if your iPhone 5 is a refurbished unit?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Algo922, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    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?
  2. macrumors 68040

    Jul 2, 2012
    It was.
  3. macrumors demi-god

    Oct 14, 2005
    Virginia Beach

    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.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2012
    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.
  5. macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    If it came in a white box without the apple iphone image on it. Then it's refurbished.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    It's most likely refurbished, unless you exchanged it within like 14 days of first purchase
  7. macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    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.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2011
    I see what you did there.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    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.
  10. macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2011
    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.
  11. Cartaphilus, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    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.
  12. macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2012
    Colorado Springs USA for now
    You didn't bring in a brand new phone for replacement why should you receive a brand new (retail boxed) phone in return?
  13. Guest

    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.
  14. macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2010
    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?
  15. Guest

    No. that's just carried over from your backup data on your old phone.
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    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 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
  17. macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2011
    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.
    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.
  18. macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2010
    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.
  19. macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2011
    I have been told that apple has stopped refurbs and now makes new ones as its cheaper and less time consuming for them?
  20. macrumors 65816

    Jan 6, 2013
    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.
  21. macrumors 65816

    Oct 8, 2007
  22. macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2010
    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.
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    ^^^ is this true?
  24. macrumors 6502


    Aug 24, 2011
    Doesn't really matter just move on. It's top notch either way.
  25. macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2010
    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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