Other How to tell if your iPhone replacement is brand new or not

AndrewR23

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Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
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Ive noticed a LOT of people in here are worried about replacing their iPhone because it might not be brand new.

Right now- all the iPhone 6S/6S+ will be brand new since the launch is so close. But an easy way to tell is by going to settings-----about.

If the model number begins with M - its not a "refurb" or "Remanufacture" phone.
If the model number begins with N - its a replacement or whatever Apple wants to call it.

Models with N are solely replacement products, and once a certain amount of time as passed, they are usually refurbs by apple.
 
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dedufour41

macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2015
133
9
New York
Ive noticed a LOT of people in here are worried about replacing their iPhone because it might not be brand new.

Right now- all the iPhone 6S/6S+ will be brand new since the launch is so close. But an easy way to tell is by going to settings-----about.

If the model number begins with M - its not a "refurb" or "Remanufacture" phone.
If the model number begins with N - its a refurb or whatever Apple wants to call it.

Wasn't ever afraid of this, but it's good to know anyway, thanks.

@@
 

PNutts

macrumors 601
Jul 24, 2008
4,839
347
Pacific Northwest, US
OP I don't mean to argue but your post was interesting so I went out to find more information and found Models - The iPhone Wiki. I apologize if this information is different than what you found and it doesn't matter to me which is the correct source. :)

The first letter in the model number represents the source of the device. Currently, there are four known possible choices:
  • "F": refurbished unit
  • "M": retail unit
  • "N": replacement unit
  • "P": personalized (engraved) unit
 

AndrewR23

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Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
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OP I don't mean to argue but your post was interesting so I went out to find more information and found Models - The iPhone Wiki. I apologize if this information is different than what you found and it doesn't matter to me which is the correct source. :)

The first letter in the model number represents the source of the device. Currently, there are four known possible choices:
  • "F": refurbished unit
  • "M": retail unit
  • "N": replacement unit
  • "P": personalized (engraved) unit
Interesting, I did not know about an iPhone wiki lol. N is what Apple calls its "refurb." They don't actually say refurb, they just call it replacement products.

As for the F, you'll only see this if you buy an iPhone that was refurbished by a carrier or third party. For example, go to Wal mart and search iPhones, You'll see they have refurbs that begin with F in the model number. Apple does not do that, only third partys. Apples replacements will all begin with N unless its a brand new phone which will begin with M.
 

normanfox

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2014
686
291
Interesting, I did not know about an iPhone wiki lol. N is what Apple calls its "refurb." They don't actually say refurb, they just call it replacement products.

As for the F, you'll only see this if you buy an iPhone that was refurbished by a carrier or third party. For example, go to Wal mart and search iPhones, You'll see they have refurbs that begin with F in the model number. Apple does not do that, only third partys. Apples replacements will all begin with N unless its a brand new phone which will begin with M.

I just recently got my 6 plus replaced with refurbished starting with N at apple store, from a white box.
 

AndrewR23

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
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I just recently got my 6 plus replaced with refurbished starting with N at apple store, from a white box.
Yup, when I bought my 6 it began with an M, but every replacement after was with N from a white box, including express replacements.

I went back into my emails as far as 2012 and searched Apple, and all my iPhone 5,5s replacements had N in it too.
 

Older bird

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2015
160
96
My brand spankin new 6s I preordered from the Apple Store and received on launch day has a F serial number ??? They must have changed it up this edition or the info is flawed OR I got screwed...
 

AndrewR23

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Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
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My brand spankin new 6s I preordered from the Apple Store and received on launch day has a F serial number ??? They must have changed it up this edition or the info is flawed OR I got screwed...
not serial number...model number. It ends with an /A usually.
 
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Mac7

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2009
773
40
OP I don't mean to argue but your post was interesting so I went out to find more information and found Models - The iPhone Wiki. I apologize if this information is different than what you found and it doesn't matter to me which is the correct source. :)

The first letter in the model number represents the source of the device. Currently, there are four known possible choices:
  • "F": refurbished unit
  • "M": retail unit
  • "N": replacement unit
  • "P": personalized (engraved) unit
My serial starts with a F and it was a new retail unit. Just noticed I read your post wrong, ignore.
 
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Older bird

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2015
160
96
not serial number...model number. It ends with an /A usually.
M it is. I'm an idiot, thanks for clearing it up. On a side note, I payed full price for a ATT model and it came fully unlocked. I restored it to be sure and i got the unlocked message.
 
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j2ee

Suspended
Apr 21, 2015
535
146
Base on what people report my local forum, even iphone 6s or 6s plus replacements could be just a re boxing of what people return in these few days. Normally the phone has some dirt on surface and you can check how long time the phone has been used before you use. Some even report having monitor dead spot issue.
 

AndrewR23

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Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
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Base on what people report my local forum, even iphone 6s or 6s plus replacements could be just a re boxing of what people return in these few days. Normally the phone has some dirt on surface and you can check how long time the phone has been used before you use. Some even report having monitor dead spot issue.
Yup. A lot of people on here report that Apples replacements are awesome quality but Ive had pretty bad experiences otherwise. I had an older 6 that was asking for someones apple ID in the app store lol. That began with an N too.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,095
Oregon
From my experience dealing with mostly Macs and a few iPods and iOS devices, "F" model numbers are refurbished while "N" model numbers are simply replacement devices. These may be new or refurbished, Apple doesn't differentiate.

My iPhone 4s was defective out of the box and I had it replaced in store on launch day. It had "N" model number. Do you really think Apple had refurbished devices on launch day?
 

AndrewR23

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Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
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From my experience dealing with mostly Macs and a few iPods and iOS devices, "F" model numbers are refurbished while "N" model numbers are simply replacement devices. These may be new or refurbished, Apple doesn't differentiate.

My iPhone 4s was defective out of the box and I had it replaced in store on launch day. It had "N" model number. Do you really think Apple had refurbished devices on launch day?
This is true also. In my experiences, the replacements I've received with N are either refurbished or brand new. The only sure 100% way its new out of a sealed box is with an M.

The last 6 I received has a N and has scratches on the back. Idc about it since I'm getting the 6S once I return from China, but thats my experience.
 

Centst

macrumors member
Jun 7, 2010
52
2
This is true also. In my experiences, the replacements I've received with N are either refurbished or brand new. The only sure 100% way its new out of a sealed box is with an M.

The last 6 I received has a N and has scratches on the back. Idc about it since I'm getting the 6S once I return from China, but thats my experience.
Had a bad screen that they gave me a replacement in a white box. Model # starts with an N. Im assuming as mentioned above that this is probably not refurb at this time? I said I wanted a new one and this is what they said they give out for replacements and that it was new.

So does Apple build a certain amount of replacement N models for the introduction of new iPhones to have on hand? When I needed a replacement a few years ago I received a full retail replacement.
 
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AndrewR23

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
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Had a bad screen that they gave me a replacement in a white box. Model # starts with an N. Im assuming as mentioned above that this is probably not refurb at this time? I said I wanted a new one and this is what they said they give out for replacements and that it was new.

So does Apple build a certain amount of replacement N models for the introduction of new iPhones to have on hand? When I needed a replacement a few years ago I received a full retail replacement.
Yeah its brand new don't worry. N means replacement which usually means refurb down the line. Right now there are no refurbs.

I got a replacement 6 a few weeks back that began with M. Weird huh?
 

Centst

macrumors member
Jun 7, 2010
52
2
Yeah its brand new don't worry. N means replacement which usually means refurb down the line. Right now there are no refurbs.

I got a replacement 6 a few weeks back that began with M. Weird huh?
Thanks for the info. That is strange on your replacement, it would be interesting to know how Apple allocates their builds.
 

Silver Idaten

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2015
572
861
Stratford, CT
Apple refurbs are of superior quality (in my opinion), so at least there's that. That's what makes AppleCare worth it. If I could track down an Apple-refurbished 3GS or 4S just to have, I would.

Carrier insurance, also my opinion, is a complete scam. I used to work for a carrier, so I'd see it all the time. The crap that Asurion churns out typically has so many more problems than the original unit that was turned in. And on top of that, you have to pay $100-$200 as a deductible for that piece of crap. Same fee you can pay one time for AppleCare and you're covered for two years, can't beat that.
 

yashz

macrumors regular
Sep 18, 2015
207
85
USA
I just checked. My replacement iPhone 6 from AppleCare plus has model number starts with N. But my 5s replacement has model number starts with M...
 

AndrewR23

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 24, 2010
3,894
1,162
I just checked. My replacement iPhone 6 from AppleCare plus has model number starts with N. But my 5s replacement has model number starts with M...
Yup, the one with M means its guaranteed to be a brand new unit. Sometimes when stocks get low, they just take a retail box and put them in white boxes. (not the stores, but the warehouses in Elk Grove, Texas etc)
 

IconIc215

macrumors 6502
Oct 11, 2013
346
181
Don't worry they are all brand new...there is no way they could be refurbished already when they are still trying to get ahead with the demand for new orders. The phone has been out 4 days now and is impossible for them to rework them that fast. I am sure they have a certain allotment set aside for issues when launch takes place.
 
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Mac7

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2009
773
40
Actually you are reading it wrong. Model number and serial number aren't the same. You want to look at the model number which has the /A at the end of it.
Yea I kind of acknowledged that in my post
 

cambookpro

Contributor
Feb 3, 2010
6,667
2,124
United Kingdom
OP I don't mean to argue but your post was interesting so I went out to find more information and found Models - The iPhone Wiki. I apologize if this information is different than what you found and it doesn't matter to me which is the correct source. :)

The first letter in the model number represents the source of the device. Currently, there are four known possible choices:
  • "F": refurbished unit
  • "M": retail unit
  • "N": replacement unit
  • "P": personalized (engraved) unit
Interesting, but my engraved iPad has an 'M' model number as opposed to 'P'. Wonder if that just applies to iPods or something?
 

macmann81

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2014
96
41
West TN
I have a insurance replacement that I am trying to sell online and I am not sure if I need to list it as a refurb. The model number starts with an M, but I know most of the insurance replacements are refurbs. Is there another way to tell or any suggestions on how if I should sell it as a refurb?
 
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