iPhone 4 Out of Warranty Replacement

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by BruiserB, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    I have an iPhone 4 that I purchased within a month of release and used on ATT for 2 years under contract. I was able to unlock it last fall when ATT started to offer unlocks for those who have satisfied their contract. In December I switched to T-mobile and have been using the $30 prepaid plan.

    A couple of weeks ago I was on vacation near the beach. I was walking with my phone in my pocket when a wave came in. I didn't think my pocket got wet, but maybe enough salty moisture came up....or maybe some sand in my pocket, but since then my dock connector isn't working quite right. I cleaned it out as best as I could using some info I found on the internet. I can get it to charge/sync if I get the cable in just the right position. If I fully plug in the cable it won't do either...I have to have it slightly pulled out on one side.

    I am planning on waiting for the iPhone 5S or whatever is released next and will get the T-mobile version of that. I would like to sell my 4 for as much as possible to help cover the cost. I'm trying to balance what would be the optimum thing to do with my 4 now to get me by and get the most when I sell it. The phone is almost 3 years old, is in great cosmetic condition except for a slight nick on the upper left edge of the front glass...no crack on the screen, just a roughend edge from a fall the phone took to asphalt. I see my options as:

    1.) Do nothing, put up with the slightly annoying dock connector and sell for whatever I can get later this year.

    2.) Pay around $40-50 to get the dock connecter replaced. Found a place near me that will do it for a fixed fee. This would fix the most obvious issue but wouldn't improve the cosmetic nick or aged battery.

    3.) Take my phone to Apple for an out of warranty replacement. I think I saw on here that that is $149....does that apply to a 32GB model as well? It would be a refurbished phone, but should be cosmetically perfect and have a new battery and dock connector. I would think this would get the highest sale value, but would it be worth spending the extra $100 to get it that way?

    I most likely would hold out on option 1 as long as I can and get any repair/replacement done just before selling. I would think that it would make sense to repair the dock connector at least before selling because a lot of people might be scared off by the flaky connection. My main question would be if it would be worth going all out to get a nearly flawless phone to sell?

    Also, if I get an out of warranty replacement, will Apple give me an unlocked one, since mine is now officially and legitamately unlocked? Or would it be locked to ATT since that is what I originally purchased? If that happens, what's the likelyhood ATT would unlock it now since I'm no longer a customer?
  2. b0bab0i macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2012
    When you go to get a replacement, you tell the Apple CSR that it's an unlocked phone. They will get you a replacement that is unlocked.
  3. BruiserB thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    From what I hear, the trade-in values being offered aren't all that great. Better to sell on my own, but wondering which option would maximize my re-sale value.
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    Have you read the details? It's all spelled out, you don't have to "hear" it.

    Ur call.
  5. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Always stash your phone in a ziplock bag when you go the beach. It's not just ocean water, but sand as well that can ruin your phone. Also the phone works great in a ziplock, even making calls.

    It's cheap, easy and gives you peace of mind when you use your phone at the beach. Heck, you can even accidentally drop it in the surf in a ziplock for a few moments and the water probably won't reach it.

    If you go the beach often, an Aquapac or other waterproof case is a great investment too.
  6. BruiserB thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    OK, yes I have seen the values and they are not good at all from T-mobile. I appreciated the time you took to provide feedback, so I didn't state this directly so as not to offend you, but I guess I inadvertantly offended you anyway. Sorry.

    I definately would sell my phone elsewhere. They also say the offers are condition dependant, so I'm sure a phone with damaged dock connector is pretty near worthless.


    Great advice...I go to the beach so infrequently that it didn't even dawn on me. And I only did a morning walk along the beach with no intention of getting wet. What's even more painful and ironic now is that earlier in the week when I did go on a boat outing that was going to involve swimming I left my phone at the hotel and only took some money and my ID....safely secured in a ziplock bag! So I had a bag with me, but didn't think to put my phone in it for just a quick stroll! :eek:
  7. Ryan Burgess macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2013
    Hi, I have a small business on amazon, in which I fix and sell iPhones. Your best bet in my opinion is to get the dock connector fixed for no more than $45, and sell it on eBay or amazon. I prefer selling on amazon, especially because the iPhones sell for a lot more on that site.

    If you get the dock connector replaced, the phone is technically "Seller Refurbished" and can be listed as refurbished per amazon selling guidelines.

    Right now a refurbished iPhone 4 32gb could net you about $325. (Amazon takes a 8% commission). However if you wait until later this year after the 5s or 6 comes out, the value of your phone will crash almost instantly. Probably to about $200 or less, and will decreases greatly every day after the new phones release.

    Just my thoughts as a seller of iPhones and other smartphones. I think you could definitely sell it for $325 no problem on amazon. PM me if you want to talk about listing on amazon or anything.
  8. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Sell the phone as is with a clear explanation of what is wrong with it. Having apple replace it will set you back $150. At that point, you stand to make very little if you sell the phone. Honestly, I'd be more worried about the nuisance of trying to get the phone charged every day between now and when the next iPhone launches than the couple of bucks you are going to get for the phone. Even in really good condition, as of today you are looking at under $200 for the 16gb version. By the time the next phone comes out the 4 won't even be sold by apple anymore (most likely) and will be three cycles behind. I wouldn't expect much more than $100 in fully operable condition.

    Edit: didn't realize it was a 32gb model. You would likely get slightly more at that point.

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