Other What exactly is a ‘refurbished’ device?

Ralfi

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Dec 22, 2016
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Is it just a device someone returned due to not liking the colour/memory capacity etc., or could it have had a component replaced itself? I’ve never really thought about the extent & limits of repair etc. that makes - an iPhone say - device qualify as a refurbished device that can then be used as a swap for a faulty device.

What’s the most work a refurbished device could have done to it for it to be ‘ok’d’ for handing over to a customer to replace their faulty device?
 

JBGoode

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Jun 16, 2018
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From my understanding, certified Apple refurbished devices may have had some worn out components replaced, but also receive a brand new casing and battery. They also go through a strict inspection process before being released for sale. From all reports I've read, they are virtually indistinguishable from new devices and I'm sure others can chime in and confirm.
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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When a customer returns the phone for a defect or simply because they ‘didn’t like it’, before it is sold on Apple’s refurbished site, which means it has to endure diagnostic testing, the battery is tested and/or replaced, the display is typically replaced and the casing as well. There is a series of tests the iPhone has to pass in order for Apple to sell it as a refurbished device off their website.
 
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alpi123

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Jun 18, 2014
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A second hand device that has all the broken parts replaced (99% of the time the housing and display too) and if certified by Apple, it looks like brand new, except the box that comes in.
 
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eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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To add to all of the above it also comes with a new screen.

Apple refers to them as 'remanufactured'.

Now, if the refurbished device you are getting is from any place else OTHER than Apple - then all or none of this may apply. Quality is highly variable between sellers.

Most of the carriers tend to get their refurbs for resale from Asurion and Assurant. Both Asurion and Assurant are not known for using Apple OEM parts in their refurbs and their quality control is hit and miss (more miss).

Some people have been turned away by Apple while still under warranty because their Asurion/Assurant replaced device did not have Apple OEM parts.
 

jagolden

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Feb 11, 2002
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I’ve bought four refurbished items (iPad Mini, iPad 12.9", 27" iMac, and iPhome 6s Plus) from the Apple store.
All looked impeccable and run or ran perfectly until upgraded.
I’ve had the iMac 6 years. Love the 12.9” iPad.
The iPhone and iPad Mini were traded in using the Apple program. Received good value for no hassle for them.
 

Ralfi

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Dec 22, 2016
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I’ve bought four refurbished items (iPad Mini, iPad 12.9", 27" iMac, and iPhome 6s Plus) from the Apple store.
All looked impeccable and run or ran perfectly until upgraded.
I’ve had the iMac 6 years. Love the 12.9” iPad.
The iPhone and iPad Mini were traded in using the Apple program. Received good value for no hassle for them.
I've never considered buying a refurbished device (although I get all my devices via work discounts). Had forgotten that was even an option...perhaps a smart option for many then, considering you get the warranty to back it up.
 

eyoungren

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I've never considered buying a refurbished device (although I get all my devices via work discounts). Had forgotten that was even an option...perhaps a smart option for many then, considering you get the warranty to back it up.
Believe it or not, I'd choose an Apple refurb over a new model considering everything I know about this subject. The fact that the device is tested more throughly than a new device AND that I still get the same 1 year warranty is a win/win for me.

I got a 8GB refurb iPod Nano from Apple once and it lasted for years. My wife got a 1GB iPod Shuffle too (refurb) and it went bad a year and a half in. They replaced it free.

My former boss bought a refurb Mac from Apple and it's been going for over 5 years now with zero issues.
 

brgjoe

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Nov 6, 2014
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Central IL, USA.
Just to pretty much echo what everyone else has said, I have purchased refurbished items from both Apple and Dell in the past and had no problems with any of them.

I think the key is those products have been tested by Apple and come with a warranty.
 
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darksithpro

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Oct 27, 2016
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I imagine that if they are an iPhone 7 model or higher, probably.

An iPhone 6s and below…no.

Reason I ask is because if you get a battery replacement your phone is no longer water resistant. It would suck if you bought a refurb iPhone, thinking you're clever in saving money, only to find out they didn't reseal it after you spilled your drink on it.
 

dogslobber

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Oct 19, 2014
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I love Apple refurbs as they're quality products. I've bought x2 iMacs, x3 iPhones, x2 iPads, x1 Mac Mini, x1 iPod Touch, and that's what I recall. Only had issues with one of the iMacs when its power supply blew which the Apple genius fixed within 72 hours in the store. Kudos to Apple for the strength of this part of their business.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Reason I ask is because if you get a battery replacement your phone is no longer water resistant. It would suck if you bought a refurb iPhone, thinking you're clever in saving money, only to find out they didn't reseal it after you spilled your drink on it.
Well, Apple has the tools to ensure that this is done right. Other places, probably not. I wouldn't think Apple would allow it to be sold without replacing the seals.
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Are refurbished iPhone's still IP67/68 certified?
Yes, if the iPhone has any type of internal work completed, Apple technicians are trained to reseal the phone gaskets to be water resistant compliant. The phone will be just as water resistant as it was from the factory when it was manufactured.

{For example, if Apple replaces a battery in the phone, they can’t sell the phone without a water resistant rating if it Lists one, if the seals were compromised or couldn’t be resealed.}
 

Fancuku

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Oct 8, 2015
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It’s a used device being sold at slightly less than new price to make you think you saved money. :D
 

Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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It’s a used device being sold at slightly less than new price to make you think you saved money. :D
The only ‘used’ part in _most_ cases is the logic board. The phone is essentially new on all accounts.
 
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msp3

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May 9, 2015
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From Apple, refurbished means real manufacturer refurbished.

From some scumbag reseller on fleaBay or Amazon marketplace, it’s USED! (Fake refurbished)
 

alpi123

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Jun 18, 2014
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I imagine that if they are an iPhone 7 model or higher, probably.

An iPhone 6s and below…no.
Actually, the 6s still has a quite strong adhesive around the frame so if you accidentally drop it in water it should be fine... Apple refurbs ALWAYS come with the IP certificate, if there are any.
 
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