Found fingerprints on USB cable when I first opened my new iPhone - is it really new?

cocorose

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2014
4
0
As the title says, as soon as I opened my new iPhone 5s, I found fingerprints with a bit of dirt on the USB cable included. It didn't look brand new. Also there was a tiny dot of dirt inside the earphone case that I could wipe off. So I got suspicious and inspected and found out that the edge of the box (lid) was a bit torn, but I guess that can happen during delivery? The iPhone itself looked brand new with no problems. It should be new, but when I first found the fingerprints and dirt I was not entirely happy because it might have been opened. Does anyone know if these may be found on a brand new, sealed iPhone?

(This is the second time opening an iPhone 5s for me, and everything else was the same as the previous one I have opened)
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,853
30,369
Boston
If you're not happy return it.

Was the usb cable/ear buds tightly wrapped as you expect from the factory? If not then return it. Its possible that the technician who added the components into the box left his fingerprints, that's all.
 

cocorose

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2014
4
0
Yes, the earphones and charger etc had the protective covers. I already have returned it once due to connection problems and can't be bothered to go through it again. I just wish the technician had dirty fingers as you said. But I thought they were supposed to wear gloves?
 
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rewardsguy

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2014
23
0
Did you buy it directly from the Apple Store? I went through a couple iPhones before finding one I was happy with. One had chips in the aluminum back and the other had glue residue along the bottom of the device (stuck in the lightning port and screw holes). If you're still in the 14 days, I would make use of their return policy so you don't have regrets going forward.
 

localboy28

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
791
11
I'm sure a fingerprint won't affect the iPhone in any way.

Stop being so picky and enjoy the phone.
 

Noetics

macrumors member
Nov 8, 2013
52
0
I'm sure a fingerprint won't affect the iPhone in any way.

Stop being so picky and enjoy the phone.
I'm with him ^^ although I do understand your concern that it may have been opened by the wrong person somewhere along the way, at the end of the day its only a fingerprint and a bit of dust.

Consider yourself lucky you can afford to buy the latest iphone, I'm still rocking my iphone 4 :p
 
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scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,626
342
Where did you buy the iPhone that had the fingerprints? Apple store? Online? A third party retailer or carrier store?

It's definitely possible to repackage an opened iPhone, and re-shrink wrap it. I had this happen myself a long time ago on a different model smartphone that I bought from an AT&T store. Apparently one of the staffers decided to borrow it from the stockroom, took it to the beach, and came back with sunblock smeared all over the screen and sand in between the buttons and in the headphone port.

Then they just repackaged it and with some plastic sheeting and a heat gun, they re-shrink wrapped it. Either he or one of his unwitting co-workers sold it to me as new, and when I got home I opened my "new" box to find a greasy, scratched-up smartphone with buttons that crunched with the sand stuck in them.

Fortunately, whoever used it was a real talker, because the lifetime counter had a few more hours of time on it than the total time I had "owned" the phone myself up to the point that I came back to the store to complain. It was the only proof I had that the "new" phone they sold me really wasn't.

(Incidentally, this is also why the iOS "lifetime" counter is completely useless. Lifetime counters are supposed to track the total talk time of the device, not the user, but the iPhone counters do it wrong.)
 

richwoodrocket

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2014
2,127
111
Buffalo, NY
Where did you buy the iPhone that had the fingerprints? Apple store? Online? A third party retailer or carrier store?

It's definitely possible to repackage an opened iPhone, and re-shrink wrap it. I had this happen myself a long time ago on a different model smartphone that I bought from an AT&T store. Apparently one of the staffers decided to borrow it from the stockroom, took it to the beach, and came back with sunblock smeared all over the screen and sand in between the buttons and in the headphone port.

Then they just repackaged it and with some plastic sheeting and a heat gun, they re-shrink wrapped it. Either he or one of his unwitting co-workers sold it to me as new, and when I got home I opened my "new" box to find a greasy, scratched-up smartphone with buttons that crunched with the sand stuck in them.

Fortunately, whoever used it was a real talker, because the lifetime counter had a few more hours of time on it than the total time I had "owned" the phone myself up to the point that I came back to the store to complain. It was the only proof I had that the "new" phone they sold me really wasn't.

(Incidentally, this is also why the iOS "lifetime" counter is completely useless. Lifetime counters are supposed to track the total talk time of the device, not the user, but the iPhone counters do it wrong.)

That counter is useless. I have never called someone only iPhone and I have 3 hours and 56 minutes of call time.
 

Hankster

macrumors 68020
Jan 30, 2008
2,347
250
Washington DC
Someone has to package it at the factory. I think you are reaching on this one. Just enjoy your phone.
No, there are zero finger prints on a 100% new phone. Factory workers wear gloves and the packing is mostly done by machines. If there are any prints that means the box has been opened before. Apple Stores can repackage an iPhone to look like new, it's not hard and most cell phone stores do it also.

Last year I bought a HTC One just to try out for a week. When I opened it I noticed light smudges on the front and a very small chip near where the power connector was. I didn't say much since I was testing it out and planned on keeping it in perfect condition in case I returned it. Well, within five days I returned it and guess what I saw? The rep just took everything, wrapped it up and placed it back into the cabinet where the rest of the new HTC Ones were.
 

firedept

macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
5,606
454
Somewhere!
No, there are zero finger prints on a 100% new phone. Factory workers wear gloves and the packing is mostly done by machines. If there are any prints that means the box has been opened before. Apple Stores can repackage an iPhone to look like new, it's not hard and most cell phone stores do it also.

Last year I bought a HTC One just to try out for a week. When I opened it I noticed light smudges on the front and a very small chip near where the power connector was. I didn't say much since I was testing it out and planned on keeping it in perfect condition in case I returned it. Well, within five days I returned it and guess what I saw? The rep just took everything, wrapped it up and placed it back into the cabinet where the rest of the new HTC Ones were.
Have to agree with you and I am positive what you are saying happens. Which is a bad policy. I would hate to think this happened to the OP.

But I will add that a fingerprint can get missed in the packaging process and there be a perfectly good explanation. Machines break, human error, missed placed piece by machine, etc. Dirt could be explained away too.
 

cocorose

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2014
4
0
I bought mine on Amazon UK. I guess it may have been opened before..or something unusual happened at the factory. The phone seems to have no problems so far...
 
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luckydcxx

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2013
1,150
419
Having a finger print on it makes it "not perfect"? Wow......
yes, most likely it was opened and returned by another person. I really don't think someone packaging the phone was doing it without gloves.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,538
16,043
Tell me about it. The nonsense never ends.
They're buying a cellphone and act like they're purchasing a million dollar house.
Oh my god, there's a fingerprint:rolleyes:
A few hundred dollars isn't insignificant for a lot of people, and even to those that can afford it without much thought it still doesn't mean they should be fine with something that isn't right or isn't as it should be (even if it's not significant to many others or even in general). It's not a big deal of course, but it also doesn't mean it's just nothing for everyone.
 

DCIFRTHS

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2008
928
403
Tell me about it. The nonsense never ends.
They're buying a cellphone and act like they're purchasing a million dollar house.
Oh my god, there's a fingerprint:rolleyes:
The cost of an item has nothing to do with whether the item is being sold as new or repackaged. Misrepresenting the condition of an item is wrong. End of story.

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Having a finger print on it makes it "not perfect"? Wow......
If it has a finger print on it, and it didn't happen at the factory, then who knows what else the phone has been through? Maybe used for a while, and then repackaged?

Seriously. The hating on these forums has to stop. IMO, the OP has a legitimate question because what he has observed could mean that the phone has been repackaged/refurbished/used etc.
 

localboy28

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
791
11
10 seconds after you open it you plug it into the wall socket and throw the charger on the floor,


This is first world problems to the extreme.