Genius Bar Phone Replacements

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mattkowalski, May 20, 2011.

  1. mattkowalski macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2010
    Just wanted to get a feel for peoples' experiences with replacement phones from Genius Bar visits, as I'm visiting the Covent Garden, London one tomorrow.

    Long story short - my home button is dying a slow death - same symptoms as other people have mentioned. Pressing it quite often doesn't work, and sometimes results in the task manager being shown instead. From reading other posts, there's a fair chance I'll get a replacement phone, given that it's only 10 months old.

    I've taken pretty good care of my iPhone 4 since I bought it last year. There are zero scratches, and it's in very good condition (other than the home button). So firstly, am I right in thinking that refurbished phones are given as replacements, rather than new ones? If so, am I also right in thinking that I may end up with a phone in worse condition than my present one? Anyone know if there's any vetting that goes on before Apple turns phones around as refurbished units?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You said your current phone was "dying." I am fairly sure that a replacement would not be "dying."
  3. mattkowalski thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2010
    I believe you know what I meant!
  4. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    You won't be able to tell the difference between refurbished and new phones (apart from they come in a plain box): They are factory refurbished (they don't just turn round returned phones as refurbs) with new parts where necessary and, I believe, a completely new screen, back and frame.
  5. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    I love my refurb so far :). IF that means anything (I've only had it since Monday but I am slightly obsessive compulsive so the fact it's new to me and it's a refurb has me scrutinizing it more).

    Screen seems more responsive and of course the home button seems responsive. ANd it has a 90 day warranty so I should be able to find any problems it has before that if it has issues :). Plus a new battery.

    Looks brand new (as brand new as mine, better since mine had all sorts of greasy smudges all over the screen - I guess I got pretty oily hands).
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    All replacements are refurbs unless they're out of stock then they might give you a new one.
    But either way you wont be able to tell the difference. Apples refurbs are top notch.
  7. Daveoc64, May 20, 2011
    Last edited: May 20, 2011

    Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    "Refurbished" isn't really the correct term to use.

    Apple gives out "Remanufactured" iPhones. It sounds like marketing fluff, but it's actually quite different from refurbishing a device.

    Apple basically takes a faulty iPhone (like you might do with a device you were going to refurbish), but they put all of the working components into a new external case (so it should have NO cosmetic damage or wear/tear) and fit a new battery into the device. Any faulty components are not transferred and the device is thoroughly tested.

    Generally with a refurbished device the manufacturer only fixes whatever was broken in the original device, meaning that you end up with a battery that might be in poorer condition or a device that has cosmetic damage from the previous owner.

    Apple tends to have quite high satisfaction rates with these replacement devices because of this

    I'm very satisfied with the iPhone 4 32GB replacement I got in November (I swapped it because of a dodgy Home Button).
  8. Jnardis macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2010
    My replaced phone is 10x better than the one I turned in. Battery life is better, never goes into safe mode and much quicker.

  9. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I got a replacement phone for a dodgy sleep button and the one I got was worse, I'm sure that's a fairly irregular occurrence though. The Genius I got on that occasion was a bit of a gimp, also.
  10. malnar macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    I think maybe this is a myth. I have had both of my original iPhones replaced with refurbs and both refurbs were problematic. The original one quickly started to have battery problems, but I was outside of the warranty period when it started to show, and just a couple weeks back I took my iPhone 4 in for an issue and got a refurb that was even worse. Oh, it LOOKED nice - brand new in every way - but had absolutely no abilities to use GPS. Basically the GPS chip was dead - there's no way that could have been overlooked if Apple truly gives refurbs a thorough look-over.

    Took it back and got MAJORLY hassled about returning it for another one - unbelievable! A demonstrable problem and the jackass "Genius" wouldn't believe it because the Maps app could find something (duh - cellular triangulation!) Finally got another refurb and it's fine - like new.

    So my advice is this: take it back, but when you get it check EVERYTHING. Use Pocket GPS World's free app to test your GPS chip (that's how I confirmed my GPS chip was for certain dead,) check your compass, check your wifi, bluetooth, etc.
  11. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Jun 24, 2010
    My only advice, when you check the refurbished phone, check the steel band for light scratches and check the plastic between the front glass and back glass for any chunks missing.
  12. luked14 macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    I had to get my first iPhone 4 replaced because the lock button jammed up. The refurb I received looked brand new and hasn't given me any problems.
  13. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    I dropped mine, went to the Apple store to see what it would cost to get it fixed, and they swapped THAT out for free (Said it was a one time thing, I'm not complaining!) Haven't had any problems, looks brand spanking new, solid, fast, and of course I restored with iTunes so I tend to forget it's new, works just like the old one, only without smashed glass on the front!

    Also one of the reasons I use Ghost Armor, and have it installed. I took my old Ghost Armor too the store, and they just threw it away but since they saw I was a customer, they put new Ghost Armor on the new phone for $10. Not half bad!

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