Are iPhones replaced by Apple refurbed units?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by lomax-g, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. lomax-g macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    #1
    I'm thinking to get my iPhone 4s replaced in an Apple store and just wanted to know if the replacements they give you are refurbed units or not?

    I'm in London if that helps.
     
  2. itsmemuffins macrumors 68030

    itsmemuffins

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    Jun 23, 2010
    #2
    No refurbs yet. They should start appearing in a couple of months. Apple refurbs are good as gold though, so I wouldn't worry about that.
     
  3. lomax-g thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 24, 2011
    #3
    From what you are saying, they are usually refurbs then? Only the 4s is so new they haven't any.

    So if I change now, I'd get a brand new one?
     
  4. jenzjen macrumors 68000

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    Aug 20, 2010
    #4
    Search the threads, there are already people who have received 4S refurbs as replacements.
     
  5. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    How? It's physically impossible, you're saying someone bought the phone on the 14th, earliest return was probably the 14th or 15th, wouldn't be returned to Apple until at least the 16th, so you're saying in 8 days the phones were sent back to China, stripped apart, new parts fitted, and shipped back to an Apple Store? While Apple are struggling to get enough BRAND NEW phones out?
     
  6. DougFNJ macrumors 6502a

    DougFNJ

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    NJ
    #6
    They are "replacement phones" I believe when they get a new release, they get a slew of brandy new phones signed, sealed, and delivered, and they get a small portion of brand new phones in black boxes to be used as replacement phones for those who bought online or from carriers so they could be swapped on the spot without opening one of the brand new sealed phones that are for sale.

    As returns go in, they get sent to China for the refurbishing process, and then those start to funnel into those black boxes.

    At this point if you receive a replacement, it should be new.
     
  7. tigerfan41 macrumors regular

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    Oct 7, 2011
    #7
    Refurbs are actually, on average, a lot more reliable than brand new phones. That's because they are closely evaluated and then fixed by Apple. They get a lot more individual attention than new phones do, so they're less likely to stop performing. I've owned both Motorola and Apple refurbs--never had an issue with either and they tended to perform better than the new phones they replaced.

    I don't know whether or not they're putting out refurbs right now for 4S, but I do know that if they are, they're good phones. I wouldn't worry about whether or not you'll get a refurb--if you do, it'll work fine.
     
  8. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

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    NYC
    #8
    what if they are? so what?
     
  9. kdarling, Oct 24, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011

    kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #9
    Even Apple says refurbs just get examined to the same standards as factory items. It's not like they're going to test individual chips. They just replace cases or glass or volume controls that are broken.

    If refurbs were something special, people would be clamoring to trade in their new devices for something that's better tested. Heck, if anyone truly believes that refurbs are as good or better, then I'll meet you outside an Apple store the next time you buy something, and you can swap your brand new gizmo you bought for $600, for my newly refurbed $300 version, any time you want!

    Apple charges much LESS for refurbs, which is a big hint as to their value.

    That said, I have bought quite a few refurb items from Apple and others, but only because of the price, not because I felt they'd last any longer.

    A lot of people expect to get another new item if their new item fails right away, and it's hard to blame them.

    If you buy a new car and its engine fails, you either want the engine replaced on that car or you want another new car. The last thing you want is for the dealer to give you a replacement car that was already owned by someone else, had failed, been traded for another, and then been fixed.

    Okay, I hate car analogies as much as anyone, but it's along the same lines :)

    Didn't South Korea just create a rule that requires Apple to give brand new items as replacements during the initial thirty days... something like that. Yeah, here it is.
     
  10. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    Aug 8, 2008
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    Manhattan
    #10
    Most people associate refurbs with cosmetically damaged, second rate devices. Apple is different. They only distribute cosmetically perfect devices that are fully functional. If you put a new iPhone and a refurb side by side you could not tell the difference unless you looked at the serial number.
     
  11. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #11
    And that's why I buy Apple refurbs.

    The huge difference is, I am intentionally buying a refurb for a lower price... not being given one to replace a higher priced brand new unit that fails in the first few days.

    Imagine if the Apple store called you up a week after you got your new iPhone, and said "Bring it back in, we want to swap yours for one that we got as a return from someone else. Don't worry, we shined it up." Would you want that? That's what getting a refurb as a replacement is like.
     
  12. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

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    Mar 24, 2006
    #12
    I got mine replaced the day afte rlaunch and it seems to have been brand new...came in a black box.
     
  13. tigerfan41 macrumors regular

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    Oct 7, 2011
    #13
    That's exactly my point. This whole "refurbs are junk" attitude is rubbish. The devices are repaired and tested to ensure that they work. Cosmetically speaking, they generally look as good as a new model. I have yet to have an Apple refurb product fail on me--and I've bought or received refurbs ranging from iPods to iPhones, including a refurb iPod over 4 years old that still works flawlessly.
     
  14. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    Chicago
    #14
    While Apple refurbs units to a high standard (both iMacs in my house are refurbs and it saved me over $500 going that route), I would expect that at least within the return/exchange period you would receive a brand new unit.

    I would certainly be quite upset if I went into the Apple store to exchange my phone and was handed a "refurb" just a couple days after buying it and still being within my period.

    I guess I would just return it and as soon as the return was done being processed, buy another new one instead.

    With that said, the "Refurbished" units of 4S's being given away right now are most certainly brand new units that were just designated for exchanges. They come in different boxes because they probably don't want some overzealous sales people or managers selling them off to consumers and leaving customers who need an exchange empty handed.

    Down the road, within the next few months, they will most likely be genuinely refurbished units.
     
  15. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #15
    I agree that refurbs are cosmetically and mechanically good. But, they are refurbs. Apple sells them for less $$ than new, so why should someone who paid full price not expect new if it needs to be exchanged right out of the gate?

    If Apple wants to give a refurb as exchange on a brand new item (within the return period, e.g. 15-30 days), then they should also give a refund of the difference between the price paid and the refurb price.
     
  16. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    Chicago
    #16
    I think its not an issue for Apple right now because the replacements are actually new units. I imagine that once they become refurbished units Apple will replace them with brand new boxed units within the return period (as they would any other product) and only give refurbs to people outside of the 30 day period.
     
  17. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    #17
    I agree that currently there are no new "Refurbs" - but what you describe has not been the policy in the past.
     
  18. walie macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 15, 2010
    #18
    on the other hand, one of my refurbished iphone4's bluetooth and wifi was so bad that bluetooth streaming would cut out if you put the phone behind your back and it didn't even pick up the apple store wifi network while i was in the store itself.
     
  19. k3roro macrumors 6502

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    Aug 28, 2010
    #19
    I'm not sure how it works right now, but I remember for the iPhone 4, Canada was almost a month behind the US in terms of launch day.

    When I brought back my launch-day iPhone to be replaced due to the yellow-screen issue, I was given what looked like a brand-new phone that was in this black box. It could have very well been a refurbished unit from the US launch-day returns, but it worked perfectly.
     
  20. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    Jan 29, 2008
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    Chicago
    #20
    So Apple has always replaced brand new units with refurbs even within the 30 day period?

    This makes no sense to me, because you could just return the product for a full refund and buy another brand new one. Why not just save some time and swap it out for a new one instead?

    Maybe iPhones are special but from what I heard on iPad and Macbook Air forums is that when people had problems with their new units they'd get new replacements in the store too.

    I guess one exception to this may be iPhones bought outside of Apple. For example, through a carrier or 3rd party reseller. It would make sense for Apple to give you either a "refurb" (for convenience sake) or direct you to the place you bought it from originally to get a brand new one. (If I bought my iPhone at Best Buy, I would certainly expect Best Buy to replace it with another new one and not an Apple store.)
     
  21. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #21
    In my opinion, If you buy a brand new iPhone 4S, you deserve a brand new one within first 30 days of when you bought it. Lets pretend Apple already has refurbished phones.

    If I bought a brand new iPhone 4S, home button broken right out of the box, then I deserve a brand new one since I paid for a brand new phone.


    I remember last July I bought a brand new iPhone 4 for a friend, and it was broken out of the box. Apple offered me a refurb. How is this fair? I paid for a brand new never used phone..


    Sure Apples refurbs are fine...but in my experience they are pretty crappy with the iPhone 4. I've gotten yellow and brown screens, scratches all over the antenna..
     
  22. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #22
    You can tell if the iPhone was a refurbished unit by the serial number. It starts with 5K for refurbished units. That said, I've gotten multiple iPhone 4 replacements from Apple. The first time it was defective right out of the box and Apple gave me a brand new retail boxed iPhone 4. The other times, which were outside of the 30 day window, I got black box units. So I expect the same thing to happen if I got the iPhone 4S and it was defective right out of the box, which is a brand new retail boxed iPhone 4S. Outside of the 30 day window, I'd expect a refurbished unit as a replacement.
     
  23. cababah macrumors 68000

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #23
    Wrong. Replacement units are in black boxes and are brand new. I would know, I had to get 3 of them. They are brand new phones but they just don't have all the accessories and stuff that comes with the phones in the white boxes.
     
  24. JRoDDz macrumors 68000

    JRoDDz

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    Jul 2, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    #24
    Refurbs are probably better than the new one. They get new battery and glass, and undergo strict quality control. That being said, there are probably no refurbs right now as it is too new a product.
     
  25. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    Location:
    UK
    #25
    This is so, so wrong.

    Apple charges less for a replacement because they keep your old phone and refurbish it. A broken iPhone still has a lot of value in it's components. You are not getting some cheap, crappy value phone as a replacement. The only difference is the box.
     

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