The truth about refurbished iPhones

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Merkie, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    My iPhone is away for repair and will most likely be replaced by a refurbished iPhone. But I really want to know what to expect, so that's why you're reading this.

    I've heard several things about refurbished iPhones. It mostly boils down to this:
    - People say refurbished iPhones can exhibit minor cosmetic imperfections such as scratches
    - Other people say that refurbished iPhones are in fat better than normal iPhones because they have been tested more thoroughly.

    Who is telling the truth? Will I be able to notice that my new phone will be a refurbished one, except for the 5K serial number? I hope not...
  2. Pez555 macrumors 68020


    Apr 18, 2010
    generally an iPhone refurb has new casing on the outside, its just the internals that are repaired and sold as refurbished. You should have a brand new looking iPhone (no scratches).

    And yes refurbs are checked more thoroughly due to the nature of why they were repaired in the first place :).

    dont worry!
  3. lucifiel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2009
    In your basement
    I can't speak for all refurb iPhones, but i did get a refurb myself. It doesn't come in any retail packaging. Apart from that, it's perfect. No flaws detected in about 1 or 2 months worth of use.

    The theory is that they will be 'better' models for they will be fixed and therefore double checked, therefore better QC. But in practice, I suspect they're probably only slightly better than retail iPhones in relation to likliness to stuff up.

    Comestically, I think that I have heard somewhere (I can;t source it, so take this with a grain of salt) that the outsides are new, the insides are 'fixed', therefore nothing to worry about.
  4. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    I got a refurb 3G from Apple when my case cracked. It is like new and other than the packaging that it comes in you won't be able to tell the difference. If you are worried, when you get just stick in your old retail box and then take it back out. Just like new!
  5. techluvr macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    iPhone refurbs are awesome. Better quality than new, and cosmetically perfect. Just got yet another one, and I love it.
  6. ivtecDOu macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2008
    apple has a really good reputation with refurbished products, back when the first gen came out, my silent toggle switch snapped off and they gave me a refurb and it was excellent
  7. ericlin0122 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Someone really try to brain wash you.
  8. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    how can you tell if someone has a refurbished phone? is there like a different serial number? if so how can u identify it (just for curiousity)
  9. Merkie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    Thanks for the response guys :) . I just don't want to have someone else's iPhone. Or at least feel like I have someone else's iPhone.
  10. Merkie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    Apparently not because people are concurring with this statement.
  11. tcphoto macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    Madison, GA
    If I didn't see the refurb box, I would have thought that mine was brand new.
  12. Shasta McNasty macrumors 6502a

    Shasta McNasty

    Jan 5, 2010
    Southern Cali
    I hate misleading thread titles...anyways, I've heard that refurbished phones have less problems than "brand new" ones because whatever the problem is with the refurb was fixed, and they put new parts on it. I'm using a refurb 32gb that I've got from att and Ive had 3 iPhones and this works just as well or better than the other ones.
  13. BenHoleton macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2006

    Just got a refurb 32gb 3GS from Apple yesterday. It had no scratches or anything on it. Everything works as advertised.
  14. Merkie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    Misleading? This thread is about getting the truth about refurbished iPhones and that's what the thread title says :) .
  15. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Other companies might give you used products, but Apple refurbs look exactly like brand new.
  16. MacGurl111 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2010
    My iPhone is refurb. I got it back in March. It came in mint condition. The casing has no scratches on it. Love it. Worth my 50.00!:)
  17. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    What we know for sure about Apple refurbs:

    - Some devices get new cases. iPhones and certain iPods I believe are done this way.

    - Apple states that they test refurbs to the same standards as new devices, for whatever that's worth.

    Otherwise, a good guess is that the "fixed" internals are mostly pieced together from working board assemblies taken from other devices they've had returned. In other words, swap in another working LCD or speaker assembly etc. Nothing smaller. And most likely, no brand new boards.

    Speaking of which, it cracks me up when people claim refurbs are "better" than new. Sure, that's why Apple sells them for much more than new ones, and that's why people stand in line to swap their new devices for refurbs as soon as they can.

    Oh, wait :rolleyes:

    I buy Apple refurbs because they're cheaper. Not because of some fantasy that they're better tested or will last longer.
  18. Shasta McNasty macrumors 6502a

    Shasta McNasty

    Jan 5, 2010
    Southern Cali
    Misleading, yes. You are asking a question, therefore your thread title should include one of these "?". I was expecting you to drop some knowledge on the truth about refurb iPhones instead, you are asking us a question. So it was misleading.
  19. Merkie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    Alright, maybe I should've put a question mark at the end. Sorry bro.
  20. Merkie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    I think the reasoning is that the quality control on refurbished iPhones is better. Less chance that you'll get a DOA.
  21. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Just like new, haha! :D

    Refurbs are essentially the same as a new product. You wouldn't know unless someone told you.
  22. Hellishness macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    1 Refurb iPod touch
    2 Refurb 3G's
    3 Refurb iP4's
  23. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Well I've had a refurbished iphone after my original broke, and it looked nearly new, but I doubt it can be better than a new one since things like the backlight and battery have a limited lifetime.

    Now sometimes companies will send out used products as refurbished that fail quickly, while other times, such as when I asked for new parts on my dell desktop or laptop such as fans and keyboards, they gave brand new parts but put a refurbished sticker on the box.
  24. BacklitFirefly macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2009
    Sandhills Area, North Carolina
    My first iPhone (a 3G) was a refurb I got from Best Buy for $49, a little more than a year ago. The phone looked brand spanking new -- and I never had a problem with it at all.

    Just 10 months later, I took my 3G to Best Buy because I was eligible for an early upgrade. In July, I was given $96 credit towards my new phone, the 3GS.

    And THEN, just last month, I swapped that for an iPhone 4 and didn't have to pay very much.

    Sweet deal. Refurbished iPhones are just as good as new ones, from my experience.
  25. BittenApple macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    Keep in mind that ATT Refurbs are not the same as Apple Refurbs. ATT refurbs I've encountered tend to have scratches and sometimes have user information on them. Apple has better refurbished phones which not only scratchless (they replace the outer casings and glass) but feel more thoroughly tested than their ATT counterparts.

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