Refurbished iPhone reliable?

Qgirl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 28, 2007
11
3
I have never hesitated to buy refurbished from Apple. My 2006 iMac refurb is still working great (nothing runs on it, but that's not Apple's fault). I need a phone and my inclination is to buy a refurbished 6 from the Apple Store (I want a headphone jack and do not need the latest bells and whistles). My daughter, however, is adamant that you should NEVER do that with a phone, because they don't hold up well under ideal circumstances. Is she right?
 
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jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
539
273
Not when it applies to Apple.
Apple Certified Refurbished
Free shipping and free returns
on all refurbished products.


We test and certify all Apple refurbished products and include a 1-year warranty.
All refurbished iPhone models also include a brand new battery, new outer shell and a new white box.
How can you go wrong?

I would not buy a refurb iPhone from any source other than Apple. (JMHO)
 

Stefan johansson

macrumors 65816
Apr 13, 2017
1,294
606
Sweden
The refurb phones sold by Apple is of course carefully restored to new condition (in some cases a refurb phone might even be a brand new one),and I would not hesitate to buy one if I needed one.
And yes,the iPhone 6 is still a good phone,I got one myself.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,379
30,647
They are called refurbished but sometimes you even get a new one.
Very true. This happened to me where I received a new iPhone 6 when my first one was defective. They sent me a "Replacement" device and it ended it being Brand new.
 

IowaLynn

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2015
1,306
288
I prefer ref'd iPhone! Bought 6S+
Latest iOS, new battery and shell/screen.

Been wanting to see if any 7's show up - 6S+ is on large heavy side for me. Otherwise may go with Galaxy S8.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,182
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I prefer ref'd iPhone! Bought 6S+
Latest iOS, new battery and shell/screen.

Been wanting to see if any 7's show up - 6S+ is on large heavy side for me. Otherwise may go with Galaxy S8.
I've had better luck with refurbs when it comes to my iPhone 5. They lasted longer with less defects than the original I got on launch day.

I think this is because at a certain point Apple takes advantage of what they've learned/corrected in the manufacturing process and that gets applied to devices being refurbed. IMO, that makes the quality just that much better.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,182
13,025
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I try to buy everything refurbished from Apple. Never had a problem, except extra cash.
I had a 5th Gen iPod Nano I bought refurb from Apple. Half the price. Lasted until earlier this year when it developed a click-wheel issue.

The Mac I am typing this on is a refurbed 2010 Mac Pro my boss got at like half the price in mid-2013. So far it's given me zero issues.

Apple does a quality job with refurbs and they always back it up with at least that one year warranty. And it costs less.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,311
4,692
I have never hesitated to buy refurbished from Apple. My 2006 iMac refurb is still working great (nothing runs on it, but that's not Apple's fault). I need a phone and my inclination is to buy a refurbished 6 from the Apple Store (I want a headphone jack and do not need the latest bells and whistles). My daughter, however, is adamant that you should NEVER do that with a phone, because they don't hold up well under ideal circumstances. Is she right?
For most 3rd party refurbishers, she is right.
For Apple refurbished products, she is dead wrong.

I often try to get refurb, but the reason I didn't this time around with my MacBook and iMac is because I wanted the latest and greatest, as they have features that the 2016 and 2015 models do not have, and there are no 2017 refurbs in existence yet. Also, unfortunately, iPhone refurbs from Apple do not exist in Canada.

BTW, my sis has the same issue with her daughter. The daughter needs a new MBP, and so my sis wants to buy her an Apple refurb. The daughter is adamant that refurb is a bad idea.
 
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nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,585
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DE
I would never hesitate to purchase a refurbished product from Apple. Years ago, I purchased a refurbed MBP and it looked and operated flawlessly for years until I upgraded.
 
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HallStevenson

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2012
525
315
I would not buy a refurb iPhone from any source other than Apple. (JMHO)
Who else truly "refurbishes" them, at least to the extent that Apple does ? I know with Verizon, for example, their "certified pre-owned" phones are by no means equivalent to Apple's refurbished phones. All Verizon does is do a software reset and 'clean' them up. Now, you could end up with an effectively brand new phone someone had for 2-1/2 days and simply didn't like it and returned it in this case too. You could end up with a more used device as well (not sure what VZW's policy on age/time and calling it "CPO" is).
[doublepost=1499804441][/doublepost]
I think this is because at a certain point Apple takes advantage of what they've learned/corrected in the manufacturing process and that gets applied to devices being refurbed. IMO, that makes the quality just that much better.
Sounds like a valid reason to not buy devices on 'release day' too. Wait a few months, or even longer, for Apple to get things sorted out better. That won't stop most here though !

In all reality, you might have to wait 6, 12, ? months to see changes. It can take months for a design change (improvement) to make it through their entire supply chain before it is implemented in the actual phones.
 
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Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,477
8,687
Ventura County
I have never once had a problem with a refurbished Apple product. Strangely enough, all my issues have been with new units (even new units that were replacements). Refurbished units are actually Remanufactured units. This means they go through individual testing, receive a new battery, new casing and a new screen. I would never get a refurbished product if I did not come directly from Apple.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,311
4,692
Who else truly "refurbishes" them, at least to the extent that Apple does ? I know with Verizon, for example, their "certified pre-owned" phones are by no means equivalent to Apple's refurbished phones. All Verizon does is do a software reset and 'clean' them up. Now, you could end up with an effectively brand new phone someone had for 2-1/2 days and simply didn't like it and returned it in this case too. You could end up with a more used device as well (not sure what VZW's policy on age/time and calling it "CPO" is).
[doublepost=1499804441][/doublepost] Sounds like a valid reason to not buy devices on 'release day' too. Wait a few months, or even longer, for Apple to get things sorted out better. That won't stop most here though !

In all reality, you might have to wait 6, 12, ? months to see changes. It can take months for a design change (improvement) to make it through their entire supply chain before it is implemented in the actual phones.
Lots of places will swap out parts and put on new shells. However, a lot of the parts are knockoffs, and a lot of the techs doing the refurbishing aren't the greatest techs.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,379
30,647
Lots of places will swap out parts and put on new shells. However, a lot of the parts are knockoffs, and a lot of the techs doing the refurbishing aren't the greatest techs.
Cell phone carriers of the ones you really have to be careful with. They choose to use their own third-party repair manufactures over Apple when it comes to warenty phones. Apple is just a safe bet.

Asurion is another example of an insurance company for devices that I absolutely wouldn't trust. I have not heard positive results with some of their refurbished units AND customer service.