Don't buy a iPhone 4 - Reliability issues and a High Mortality Rate

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by SWin, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. SWin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #1
    Bought a new iPhone 4 32GB from SingTel in Singapore. After only six weeks I had a hardware problem - message alert to restore my phone via iTunes - this could not be completed. Both Applecare and SingTel diagnosed a hardware issue so that replacement was required. UNFORTUNATELY BOTH ONLY OFFERED a factory reconditioned unit as a replacement and will not budge.
    Apparently this is the standard APPLE WW policy - NOT VERY HAPPY at having to accept a used reconditioned phone after only 6 weeks of use.

    Anyone else had the same issue?

    Incidentally whilst waiting for my phone to be replaced (over 2 hours wait time) at the SingTel ComCentre I literally saw upwards of 100 iPhones being 'REPLACED'. Looks like the current crop have a very high mortality rate of failure - following the bathtube failure mode. I DID NOT accept the reconditioned phone, now trying to cancel my phone contract and return the phone.

    Now I know why Apple is making so much money - selling and reselling sub standard poorly manufactured phones over and over again.

    Seriously considering abandoning Apple products completely - the legendary Apple service and quality has disappeared. Back to to Windows!!!! and Android ????
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    This Is Wrong

    In the uk you would have been given a new phone, no quibbles. I would kick this upstairs in AppleCare. They should sort you out
     
  3. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #3
    Yep, sounds like your best bet is to go back to Windows and Android
     
  4. SWin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    I've already had long discussions with Customer Relations form Dublin and Melbourne. Both had refused to entertain replacement with a new phone.

    Does anyone have any ideas of how to escalate ?

    Many thanks.
     
  5. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #5
    This has been Apple's replacement policy with handheld devices since the iPod came out a decade ago.

    All refurb'ed iPhones/iPads/iPods get a 100% brand-new battery and a brand-new outer shell, and are tested/certified (probably more so than the testing done to sample units flying off the assembly lines).

    In other words, if someone hadn't have told you that it may have been refurbished, you shouldn't be able to tell. Also, I think most smartphone manufacturers have the same policy (of replacing with refurbished). Have you checked?
     
  6. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Carnegie and Ontario
    #6
    In addition to the above, refurbished models also come with a year warranty, very similar if not exact to the new models. In other cases, your refurb may perform much better than a new model because it has been rescreened and up to par with specifications.
     
  7. NZed macrumors 65816

    NZed

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Canada, Eh?
    #7
    After i read this post what did I learn? When going to Singapore, never ever think about buying electronics especially iPhone 4 in a store called SingTel..

    Anyways, Good Luck!
     
  8. Monkey Johannon macrumors newbie

    Monkey Johannon

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    Have you thought about burning an Apple store down? That'll show 'em.
     
  9. JForestZ34 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #9
    A lot of refurb units are far worse than new.. Just because they are supposed to be screened better doesn't make it so.




    Most refurb units I saw always had a problem..


    James
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #10
    I got plenty of refurb units and never had an issue.
    Also many family and friends got their iphones replaced and they could never tell that it wasnt brand new.
    There you have it James....
     
  11. JForestZ34 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #11

    Sorry just because your family and friends haven't had a problem doesn't make it so. Do a search on the board and you'll find many posts about how many refurbs people have went through and still don't have a acceptable working unit.


    James
     
  12. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #12
    Apple's refurb units are in the exact same condition as new ones anyway.

    If your phone was HTC or Samsung or whatever, you'd have to wait weeks for it to be repaired, and if you did get a replacement, that'd be a refurb too.

    This is nothing that's out of place. Apple replaced my faulty 3G with a refurb, Sony replaced my faulty PSP with a refurb, and as far as I know, near enough all replacements of all consumer gadgets are reburbs.

    It's nothing to get stressed about.
     
  13. OneMike macrumors 601

    OneMike

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #13
    I agree. When I broke my iPhone 4 and they replaced it for free. The first phone the genius was going to give me had issues. Luckily he noticed it before it ever reached my hands, so I didn't have to return later. The second phone I've been using for months now and it's just as good if not better than my original one. Can go either way.
     
  14. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Carnegie and Ontario
    #14
    Sorry that you and some people on this forum have had issues with the refurbs. They, like the brand new ones, are not an exact science, as there will always be either mechanical or human error in everything that comes to be in this plane of existence. If you hold everything to such a high standard, then you will live a life of complete anger and disrespect towards everyone.

    Besides, the total survey of these forums does not extend to the entire population of iPhone users. While there are indeed people who also have problems with refurbs outside of these forums, there are also the majority of iPhone users who are perfectly happy with their refurbs.

    So when you say survey these forums, do realize that we here are in no way a majority of people. We are in fact a very small piece of the pie.
     
  15. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #15
    Indeed, and people post on forums only when they have problems, they don't make a new thread every time they get an Apple product which is perfectly fine.

    For the record, my refurb iPhone 3G was absolutely fine. I had zero issues with it right up until the time I sold it.
     
  16. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Carnegie and Ontario
    #16
    Same here with my 3GS. It was a beautiful site when the Genius brought it out from the back and handed it to me. I had an issue with my previous 3GS where my sleep/wake button would stop working intermittently. One quick reproduction in-store and I had a very sexy like-new refurb. Was awesome.
     
  17. twitt3r macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    #17
    Calling an inanimate object sexy is, well, kinda' sad really. Do you think about it while relieving tension?
     
  18. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Carnegie and Ontario
    #18
    Nope. I got a girlfriend for that. Sorry if my view on technology saddens you, bub.
     
  19. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #19
    Doing the math, what you say doesn't seem to scale out.

    The slower-volume Apple Store I worked at did ~50 iPhone replacements a day. Multiplying that by the other 330 Apple stores replacing iPhones = 16,500 iPhones replaced daily (and that doesn't consider that most other Apple Stores replaced more phones, or the number of phones replaced daily by AppleCare).

    If one-tenth of one percent of those replacements were defective, 16 customers a day (~500 a month) would be affected.

    If 1% of those affected customers posted on MacRumors, you'd have 5 customers, monthly, posting about defective replacement iPhones.

    IMO, that post rate sounds about right, but that works back to a refurb defect rate of one-tenth of one-percent, which doesn't seem to indicate a problem with refurbs.
     
  20. dccorona macrumors 68020

    dccorona

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #20
    I wish I could buy an Apple refurb new...they get much better quality screening than the new ones. Trust me (as someone who has had every iPhone, every iPod until then, and several Macs, and had many replacements), you are better off with the refurb

    also, every product has a failure rate of a few percent...that's just the nature of manufacturing. There have just been SO MANY iPhones sold (over 108 million) that it seems like tons of them need repairs

    even if what you saw (100 iPhones repaired in a day) was true of EVERY SINGLE APPLE STORE every single day, thats 11 million iPhones repaired in a year (100*300ish Apple stores in the world*365)...compare that to how many phones have been sold over the last year (April 2010...50 million sold, March 2011...108 million sold)

    so, even with these EXTREMELY GENEROUS, and nowhere near true numbers (I'd imagine the average apple store only replaces a handful a day...after all, theres only so many genius bar appointments available in a day), thats still only an 18% failure rate (11/60). If we imagine the average number of phones replaced in a day is, say, a dozen, that comes out to just over a 2% failure rate...even with these (still generous) numbers. That is generally considered a pretty acceptable failure rate.

    Also factor in the fact that many iPhones that get replaced are really for cosmetic defects that the owner caused, and the genius bar is just really nice, and that takes the percentage down even more
     
  21. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #21
    You know you can just buy a refurb from the online Apple Store at a nice discounted price, right? :)
     
  22. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #22
    Same exact goes to you.
    Just because you saw or heard bad things doesn't mean that Apples refurbs are not top notch.
     
  23. JForestZ34 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #23

    I guess you didn't read my earlier post.. Do a search and you will find people on their 4th,5th,6th or even 7th iphone, ipad, macbook, macbook air etc. and they still have an unacceptable unit....



    James
     
  24. Pez555 macrumors 68000

    Pez555

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    #24
    in my experience i would rather have a refurb than a new unit...
     
  25. aristobrat, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

    aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #25
    James, do a search on iGary and PDE, you'll find two members who consistently have problems with every *new* Apple product that they buy. PDE had so many problems with brand-new MPBs that Amazon banned him as a customer.

    There are some people who simply defy the odds when it comes to having problems with products.

    It's easy to spot a trend on MacRumors, like when the iMacs were having the issue with yellow-tint on their LCDs. I don't think you can correlate the few people that have consistent problems with iPhone refurbs to any trend.

    I give you the further anecdotal store of one of my shifts when I worked Apple. I got stuck on POS (the cash register), which was located at the end of the Genius Bar. Between sales, I got to watch the Geniuses help customers. I saw one customer (getting an iPhone swap) who refused 10+ replacement iPhones because "the screens all had problems". After the first time the guy said that, the Genius stopped pulling the shrink wrap off of them, so the rest of the iPhones this guy refused could still be used for others.

    Over the course of the next few hours, each of those iPhones was given as a replacement to other customers. As I rang out their repair paperwork in POS, I specifically asked them how they liked the quality of the screen on their replacement vs. the quality of the screen of their old iPhone. Not one customer had a single bad thing to say about the screens that the other customer had thrown a fit about.

    So when I see a post from a person on here that goes through six, seven, eight refurbs ... I think it often (not always) says more about the person than it does the product.
     

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