Serial number check - new or refurb?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by need-help, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. need-help macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    My 3GS purchased 2 weeks ago had very weak battery so I took it to the apple store (I purchased online) and those guys confirmed that but wanted to exchange it for another phone in the store which I said no to because I know they're refurbished. After I insisted they phoned apple online n they said they were gonna deliver another one to me and I had to return my previous phone. Now that I got this delivered I cnt notice any major change in battery life plus it constantly says that the cellular data is not activated when it's set up fine n I'm dreading it's not even new tho serial no looks like it.

    Just wanted your confirmation please - 879469EX3NF
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    It's a new phone made in the 46th week of 2009.

    However, you shouldn't have a problem with refurbs (the serial number starts with 5K), since they're actually better than new, IMO. Refurbs get individualized attention, while new ones come off a factory line. Refurbs have a new battery and new case.

    Edit: Actually, I had forgot that they stopped only using 5K to designate refurbs. So, the 87 (the first two numbers) could be a refurb. There's really no way to tell any more.
  3. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    That's correct. Refurbs have new serial numbers now and there is no way to tell if it is a refurb.
  4. Clete2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
    They still seem to have a fair stock of refurbs then, because the refurb I got last week was a 5K serial.
  5. need-help thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    Thanks for your responses. I am very concerned as I believe this replacement phone they sent has got even more issues than the first one. I informed them within 2 weeks of my original order and they said they'd send a replacement. - Following your request, we have created a replacement K2717B/A IPHONE 3G S BLACK 16GB ONLINE O2-GBR for your order.

    Whoever said that refurb phones are better, good for you, but I need a brand new one and I'd appreciate it so much if you could tell me what's Apple's policy regarding this. Do they send out new phones or refurbs? From my serial no u said u cnt tell but from the one they've given in the replacement order above, it looks like a refurb. I need your help cos if that's the case I'm gonna return this too and get my money back....
  6. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    You can't spot a refurb by appearance. If your phone looks used then it's not a true refurb, and you should definitely take it back.

    Refurbs are rebuilt during the refurbishing process, so in effect they are new phones just in different packaging. They are also more strictly tested than new phones in many cases.
  7. i-John macrumors 6502a


    Jul 14, 2008
    The Republic of Texas
    Once you've used your phone, even for 2 weeks, you'll be getting a refurb.

    The vast majority of refurbs are ones that were returned within 30 days, so most never had anything wrong, it's just people didn't want them or couldn't afford the contract.
  8. appleforme macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I just got a replacement for my one-week-old 3GS from Apple and it has the 5k serial number. I didn't complain because my original 3GS has the new bootrom and the replacement has the older bootrom that allows jailbraking without tethering :D
  9. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007
    Since when?
  10. macsarethebest macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2009
    how do u tell when it's made from the serial number?
  11. ste1164 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2009
    The 4th and 5th numbers usually say what week it is made.
  12. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Why do you need a brand new one? As long as it's not scratched, and it works properly, what's your problem with a refurb? In fact, barring the two above issues, you'd never even know unless you do some serious asking around, and neither will anyone else.

    Seriously, I don't get how this can be such a big deal. They're replacing the phone for you, get one that works and quit worrying about whether it's a refurb or new in box. It's just really not important.

  13. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    I dont know what their policy is exactly but unless you are within the return period which I beleive is 14 days... you are not getting a new phone. The only way is if you happen to walk into a store and they dont have any refurbs left. This happened to a friend of mine, he had dust under his screen and they didnt have any replacement screens nor any refurb phones so the genius came out of the back with a brand new iphone in its packaging for him.
  14. UnLiMiTeD558 macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2009
    as long as it looks like new and works like new i dont care. More chance of getting a new iphone with bugs compared to a refurb one.
  15. need-help thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    Go to apple online and see how much cheaper you can get their refurbished items as compared to the brand new ones. Yeah, refurbs might get individual attention but this doesn't mean they're better and whatever was wrong with them isn addressed effectively and won't reappear in the future. That's what I think anyways.

    This refurb they sent me not only that dies within 3 hours of usage and 15 hrs standby (just like the original phone) but has got a lot more issues like goes black after I sent a txt message n I've to turn it off n on again, keeps disconnecting from the Internet even in areas of good reception and lots of things the original phone had no issues with.

    What can I do to get a new phone? If I return this I will most probably not get a full refund (if I would problem solved, get the money n buy one from O2!)

    They have not yet got the first phone back, and I'm not returning it unless they fix my issues and make me satisfied. What can they do about it?! I phoned tech support and they said they can't help I need to go to the stupid genuis bar again. I said they'd never give me a good phone ( I dnt wana be treated the same as that biker guy next to me who had had his phone for 8 months n brought it in in pieces n they gave him a refurb, I just paid them £460 for mine 2 weeks ago!!!!

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