Why do the replacement phones come in a white box?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ICON5o2, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    ICON5o2

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    Just exchanged my 5 for another one. I asked the genius if it was was going to be a refurb. He assured me it was a brand new phone. Why do they come in a white box though?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2010
    #2
    Because you got a refurbished phone.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    tardman91

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tampa Area, FL
    #3
    They do have some new phones that are packaged in white boxes that are just designated as warranty replacements. You wouldn't be able to tell if you got a new one or a refurbished one anyway, unless there's a way to tell by the serial number.
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #4
    They probably are on the verge of still being new phones, but they'll probably start being refurbs soon (I believe it takes about 8-10 weeks for the service phones to be refurbished, and we've more or less just crossed that point, so it depends how long your phone has been sitting around for :p).

    And they come in those boxes because a) you don't need the plug/cable etc, b) it's cheaper and c) it costs less to ship them around and they take up less space.

    With the iPhone 5 there is no way of telling if it's new or refurbished.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    ICON5o2

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    I did ask if he needed my cables and stuff and he did say I just keep those. The serial number is pretty much the same as the one I traded in. If it was a refurb wouldn't he had just told me yes it will be replaced with a refurb?

    I mean this phone looks better than the one I traded in.
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #6
    Service phones can be new or refurb - on anything post iPhone 4 there's no way of telling if a phone is a refurb by the serial. Refurbs will all have a new outer casing and new battery anyway, so they'll never look anything other than brand new anyway ;)
     
  7. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #7
    Why are you worrying then?
    If it looks, feels and works great then what difference does it make?
    The Apple refurb process is top notch.
    They recycle some internals and use brand new front and back pieces, batteries etc..
    You wont be able to tell wether its a new or refurbished unit.
     
  8. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #8
    Really, probably just because they know you have a box at home already. Why spend extra money on nicer boxes just so you can have 2 for no reason?

    And now that I think about it, pumping thousands of new boxes into the market can only help people who try to commit fraud (like, trying to sell iPhone 4 phones in 4S boxes, etc). At least now the ratio of phones to boxes in the real world should hold pretty close to 1:1, which is a good thing.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    ICON5o2

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #9
    It just kinda bugs me that it could be a refurb. I don't know why he wouldn't have just said it could be a refurb or it could be new. He insisted it was a brand new phone. I might call and just ask more questions.

    What I should've done was just get my money back and go to Best Buy and save 50 bucks. Nothing against the the Apple store.

    ----------

    I really don't know why it bugs me. Who knows the phone really could be brand new. I'm just paranoid lol.
     
  10. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #10
    Why does it bug you?
    They have all the right to replace your used iphone with a remanufactured one under warranty.
    Wether you like it or not.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    ICON5o2

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #11
    I guess it bugs me because I just got the phone Dec 9th. Now I possibly have a refurb. It wasn't my fault the phone was nicked. So I feel they should've gave me equal.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    tardman91

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tampa Area, FL
    #12
    Apple refurbs are just as good if not better (since they've been thoroughly checked) than new. Which is why you can't tell if its new or not. Get over it.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    XboxMySocks

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #13
    It is equal. What the hell is the difference if you don't even know.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14
    [​IMG]

    Stupid logic? If it works fine, why complain. :confused:
     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    ICON5o2

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #15
    When I get home I'm gonna inspect the phone and if it looks good and no problems I'm gonna keep it. I mean as far as looks its better than the one I had to replace. I guess I'm just being nit picky.
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    tymaster50

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #16
    Dude calm down it's just a phone. Why does it matter if it's a refurb phone if it works like new?
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #17
    What people are saying about the box is correct. Apple refurbished iPhone 5s don't actually exist just yet. Apple stores are sent replacement phones that are brand-new in white boxes so as to not have the new iPhone boxes given with replacement for the very reasons people mentioned. This is the reason that Retail boxes alone are sold for a high price on eBay. They're used for fraud scams because the retail boxes are nearly impossible to fake.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #18
    It's also likely (yes, this does mean I'm speculating, I don't know for sure, and could be completely wrong) that the white-box phones are marked in activation databases so that they can be locked to carrier (AT&T/Sprint) or unlocked during the process of giving it to the user.

    This way, the carriers that use the same hardware (sprint/verizon) wouldn't have to have separate exchange piles.

    I'd be interested in hearing if anybody knows if the exchange pile is divided by carrier.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors regular

    ICON5o2

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #19
    I don't need to calm down cause I'm fine lol. I'm just saying it bugs me. Nothing major lol. If it really did bug that bad I would just return it get my money back and go save 50 bucks. I just came here to ask a question not argue geez lol.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #20
    Remanufacturing vs refurbishing.

    The servcie phones are initially new phones and then slowly become "remanufactured." There is a technical difference between refurbished and remanufactured phones.
    Basically the phones are sent back to Apple, the original manufacturer, and completely disassembled. The parts are all then tested and put into buckets. The the service phones are then constructed from those parts that have been tested to meet certain criteria (works perfectly, is under a certain age limit, etc). The externals are always new, as is the battery. Then they send them out to the stores. This, by the way, is why damaged phones are out of warranty and altered phones (containing third-party replacement parts) cannot even be accepted by the Apple Stores (technically).
    A refurbished device, by contrast, only has the defective part(s) replaced and the outside is polished up.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jalopybox

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    #21
    Wrongo! Phones are refurbed by third party.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    Defender2010

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #22
    You cannot tell of it is a refurb or not from the outside as it has a new enclosure. Be grateful you gave one that looks better than the one you brought it. IT'S ALL IN YOUR MIND!

    ----------

    Who exactly? Please share your wisdom!
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Jalopybox

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    #23
    White is the cheapest pigment for cardboard. By choosing white over say purple, yellow or black, Apple saves an estimated $319 per year.
     
  24. jaxhunter, Dec 14, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #24
    Yes, phones are refurbished by a third-party. Service phones are remanufactured by Apple.

    EDIT: I apologize, I don't think I was clear. In the second paragraph starting with "Basically" I was describing the remanufacturing process used by Apple. The last sentence was the only sentence in which I was describing refurbishing, which is not performed by Apple. The service parts inventory at an Apple Store does not have refurbished phones. It is, however, possible to get refurbished phones elsewhere, including the carriers
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #25
    The warranty that you agreed to when opening the box and activating the phone stated that warranty replacements can be refurbished. Don't worry about it.
     

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