Apple Genius Brings out a hard plastic black box with black foam in it..

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Rubey81, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Rubey81 macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2009
    So since I have been having the reception antenna issues I thought I would make an appointment and stop in to the Apple store today.

    I told the guy all my issues and he said we can either replace it or give you a bumper and see if it helps.

    I thought it would be a good idea if I started fresh with a new phone. He went in back and came out with a box that was NOT the nice small iPhone 4 retail box.

    It was plastic looking like one of those small hardware screwdriver boxes with all the little bits. He opened the box and in it was an iPhone 4 surrounded in black foam and the phone was wrapped in a little bag.

    My first thought was this has to be a refurbished or one someone brought back that was having a different problem. He said "How could it be refurbished? The phone just came out." I didn't believe him cause he has a odd smirk on his face when he said it.

    So he activated the phone and I got it and went down the check list of cupping the bottom on the left side and it dropped signal right away. Then I checked the camera and it had the green blob in the middle of it. I took some pics to show him of white paper and you could clearly see it but he was saying he could not see it at all.

    I asked him if we could swap it out with another one and he said sure hold on. He came back out with another mystery black hard plastic box and once again it had a camera with the green tint circle on the lens when taking pics.

    After I showed him again he asked what I wanted to do so I just took back my original phone. Has the reception issues but no green blob when taking pictures. So I got a bumper for it instead.

    Does anyone know if they do bring out a phone in the black hard plastic box if it is a refurbished or demo unit or something?:confused:

    Was just an odd experience.

  2. jason221 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2009
    When I replaced my 3GS for the cracks in the plastic housing issue, the refurbished one was in a cardboard box similar to the boxes that the new phones come in but it was thinner, had no decorations, and was white. All that was inside the box was the phone and some foam-like protective material. Take that for what it's worth.

    Honestly, though, I can't tell the difference between refurbished units and new units. They really are good-as-new condition.
  3. jsnuff1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2003
    As he said there is no way its refurbished less than a week since it was launched. It will probably take over a month before refurbished units start trickling in.
  4. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    My iP4 was replaced with a brand new sealed retail boxed iP4...I took the shrink-wrap off myself right at the genius bar...
    These black boxes may be in-store demo's or perhaps they are the floor employee phones?
    Usually the refurb replacements come in a plain white box...
  5. Rhonen macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2010
  6. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    I would of asked for a refund and waited for the next batch for which they hopefully fix the problem. Perhaps the white ones will be fine.
  7. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    Maybe they didn't pass trials a the manufacturer and were refurbed at Apple in California. :confused:
  8. br0adband macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2006
    With today's overnight shipping, that "black box special edition" could have been one returned to Apple last week on the first day of release, shipped out for refurb/fix/update/etc, and then shipped back in 2-3 days tops.

    Here's my suggestion to anyone that might be attempting a replacement:

    Write down or try and memorize your iPhone 4's current firmware version, the actual build number, and when you go into the store (if you do), and they hand you a replacement iPhone 4 for whatever reason, take a quick look at the firmware build and, if possible, report here if you noticed any discrepancies.

    I know it's somewhat asking a lot, and in the store things will be fast paced and confusing but, I'm curious to know if anything is being altered in any way on the firmware level...

    Another shot in the dark? Perhaps, but since Apple's closed up pretty tight and not saying anything at all, it's up to us to weed out the details that could potentially matter.
  9. nosser macrumors regular


    Jan 25, 2005
    Orange County California
    Those are units meant for replacements. They are all new for now since the phone is so new.
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002

    It's a service replacement unit. Of course it's new at this point. How could it not be? The iP4 hasn't been out a week. There is no way they would have enough units to refurb that quickly. At some point service replacement units will be refurbs though.
  11. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    Those are the AppleCare boxes. Each store has an inventory for warranty exchanges.

    Obviously it can't be refurbished yet.
  12. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2010
    the black box phones are brand new units set aside from the regular stock and shipped to the apple stores for replacements. after a "short while" (im guessing 1-1.5 months), refurbished phones in plain white cardboard boxes start being shipped in place of these black boxed phones. this has been true with every iphone.

    or so my friend that works at an apple store says.

    in additon, its common sense they cant be refurbs yet. the phones been out less than a week. refurbs need to be given in, shipped to be repaired, labeled, documented, and shipped back out to retail stores.
  13. qpid360 macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    Just like the above posters said, those are brand new units reserved for exchanges. It's way too early for them to have refurbs.
  14. nosser macrumors regular


    Jan 25, 2005
    Orange County California
    Haha got ya by a minute! But yeah he's^ right too.

    Posted from my iPhone 4 while at work lol
  15. Shanewilliams macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2010
    I went to the genius bar just a few days after I got the iPhone 4 on launch day and my replacement was in the same hard black plastic box that you speak of. I didn't think much of it at the time as I really just wanted a phone that worked properly. If I had to guess I'd say they were just replacement units though. Really no need for the fancy box and paperwork since you're just swapping out the phone anyways. And just like you, my replacement had the exact same issues!
  16. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    When I went to exchange mine due to dust under the screen, the guy brought out a brand new retail box. After he realized I purchased my phone through AT&T, he had to go back and swap out with one of these black boxes. Since my iPhone wasn't purchased through Apple, they could only switch out the one component (the phone itself) and not the entire thing. I checked the serial number also, the one I returned was week 22. The one I received was week 24. So obviously it couldn't have been an older one that got returned previously. Had I had ordered through apple, they would've swapped me out with a sealed retail box iPhone. Also asked if these black boxed were refurbished and he said absolutely not. It's too early and that these phones were set aside specifically for exchanges.

    ALSO, figured these phones probably were in better condition seeing how they were shipped in these black plastic boxes surrounded by foam. ;)
  17. mbsaeger macrumors 6502


    Jun 18, 2009
    Black box is a refurb, or new phone w/o accessories. This early on, it wouldn't be a refurb.
  18. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    From what I was told, when units are replaced at the apple store, they are not refurbished units. They are new ones. Thats what the genius told me.

    Overheard another genius tell another the same thing.
  19. Rubey81 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2009
    The more frustrating part was when he handed me the new unit to replace my current one he could not see or acted like he could not see the green tint blob when taking a pic... So I had to ask him to get a piece of white paper and I took a pic of it and showed him..."Look white corner of the paper... middle green... white corner... middle green." Took him about 5min to really notice.

    Another employee there I showed while waiting could not see it at all. So what I was hoping to be a quick 15min to 30min exchange was a almost 2hr ordeal due to the fact Apple stores are swamped right now and will distract the employees during your appointments. lol

  20. violaguy5 macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2010
    My understanding is that the green comes from fluorescent lighting and all the phones have this problem
  21. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    The guy who helped me couldn't see the dust I was pointing out to him. He just looked and said, I can't see it. Brought the manager over and he saw it and swapped me out personally himself. Oh well.
  22. melterx12 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2010
    my iphone had a single tiny dot of dirt under the screen, i thought i was gonna go through hell and back trying to first get the employee to even notice it, and then even if he did notice it, agree to replace the phone just over one speck. to my surprise he noticed it almost immediatly without me even pointing out where the speck was. he said he would replace it no questions asked. great service.

    new replacement is flawless (KNOCK ON FKKING WOOD), I also noticed a huge improvement in battery life over my first iphone 4.
  23. orijinal macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2005
    Manufacturer's replacement. They're basically new but have one part inside changed. I forget what part. Serial is slightly different from refurbs and slightly different from retail units.
  24. akal575 macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2010
    This is no big deal, I have already replaced my iPhone 4 once and my GF has gotten hers replaced 3 different times now. Each time at the genius bar the phone came out in one of those little black plastic boxes with the foam inside it just as you described.

    At first I was alarmed and I was like, am I getting a refurbished phone? But, lets be honest, I seriously, highly doubt that Apple has already refurbished any iPhone 4's at this point.

    I did however ask the genius about this strange packaging and he said Apple puts the replacement units in these boxes because Apple figures that if someone is replacing their phone they already have that nice white box with the charger, manuals, etc., so why waste materials, kill trees and waste money on giving out a box with the items that the customer already has. You came in to get a new phone, and thats all you need.

    In my opinion, I think this is very smart on Apples part, and not to sound like a tree hugger, but with everyone trying to be more "environmentally friendly" I think they have the right idea. These replacement phones come right from the factory just like the retail ones, they just don't have all the extra goodies :)
  25. Built macrumors 68020

    Oct 3, 2007
    Los Angeles
    When I replaced my 3g last year through Apple Care at one of the stores, the new phone came out of one of those same type boxes. It was my understanding that the stores didn't give out refurbs under Apple Care.

    Obviously, I could be wrong...but my replacement (an entire year after launch) seemed factory-fresh.

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