What a serial number that begins in 5K really means.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by The Californian, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise
    #1
    I've seen a lot of questions about this on this forum lately so I thought I would address it.

    First and foremost, Apple does not sell refurbished iPhones. Also, 5K does not necessarily mean the iPhone is refurbished. The only person ( In the US ) that you can purchase a refurbished iPhone from is AT&T. And humorously, Apple does not recognize AT&Ts process of refurbishing. So when you purchase a refurbished iPhone from AT&T your Apple warranty is only good for one year from the ORIGINAL PURCHASE DATE of the ORIGINAL PURCHASER of the iPhone when it was brand new.

    Okay, so what does a 5K serial number really mean? When iPhones are returned to Apple they completely disassemble them and do a thorough examination of each individual component. Damaged components are tossed. From there iPhones are assembled using used ( but in new condition ) and brand new components and then they are reserialized with a serial number beginning with 5K. Furthermore, there are some iPhones which come straight from the assembly line and assigned a 5K serial number.

    A 5K serial number simply designates the iPhone as a replacement ( service ) iPhone. So when you get an iPhone that begins with a 5K serial number it is just as good as a brand new iPhone, just simply designated as a replacement.

    AT&T refurbished iPhones on the other hand will have a normal serial number and may arrive with some cosmetic damage as they are simply given a visual examination for major cosmetic damage, and a quick flip through the OS.

    I hope this helps anyone that had any questions.
     
  2. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #2
    does the process of "reserialising" an iphone renders them partially unlocked?
    I have a replacement (5Kxxxxxxxx) iphone and just by chance I discovered it wasn't fully locked.

    I use Movistar (official carrier in Spain), so the only SIMS from Spain I can use to activate my iphone are movistar sims.

    However, I can activate the iphone with other "official" sims.

    I've tried:

    Italy: TIM and Vodafone (both official carriers)
    Denmark: Telia (official carrier)
    UK: 02 (official carrier). Tried Vodafone and couldn't activate
    Israel: Orange (official carrier)


    is this normal?
     
  3. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Interesting, I can see this being possible, though I've not heard of it.

    If this is the case, it would be to simplify warranty logistics, I guess, as with applecare warranty is cross region, so a replacement phone would have to work with original sim regardless of country?

    I had a 'refurb' 3g, but I've sold it now, so I can't test.
     
  4. The Californian thread starter macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise
    #4
    That is peculiar. I would assume they are locked, but we all know how far assuming gets you. I currently don't have a 5K model so i can't check, but I would love to unravel this mystery.
     
  5. tsvb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #5
    I have a 5K phone that I just received as replacement due to the plastic crack issue. Unfortunately I do not have another sim card to test.
     
  6. aprofetto macrumors 6502a

    aprofetto

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #6
    Nice post.

    I do have a question though. Did they not stop doing the whole 5K thing for refurbished replacements coming from Apple?

    I've spoken with a few people on these forums who received a replacement from Apple in-store and the serial began with an 8.
     
  7. Reclaim3r macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    PA
  8. weeman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    #8
    Yeah, I was wonderin this also...I got my 3GS replaced a week ago...my original one started with an 8 and my replacement started with an 8 also...
     
  9. vizkiz macrumors 6502a

    vizkiz

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #9
    Nope, 3G replaced July 19th or so, 5k serial number.
     
  10. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I believe the general pattern from last time was that by about september/october the 5 serial numbers started coming in, once there were actual phone to rebuild, initially all replacement phones would be straight off normal production line as there is nothing else to replace with.
     
  11. The Californian thread starter macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise
    #11

    You are correct. While they do make some replacements (5K) directly from the assembly line with all new componenets, the initial influx of iPhones will almost always NOT contain any 5Ks. The beginning priority is to get out all new iPhones which can be sold as retail, and seeing as there are still some places that are experiencing shortages of 3GS iPhones I think it's clear that Apples priority is still retail iPhones and not replacement or service iPhones. Give it a couple months after everyone whom wants an iPhone 3GS now is able to purchase one and at that point Apple will start back stocking replacements and we'll start to see some 5Ks show up.
     
  12. aprofetto macrumors 6502a

    aprofetto

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #12
    Cool, very insightful. Thanks for the info!
     

Share This Page