What is Apple doing with all those returned Iphone 4's.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Scottyfrombi, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Scottyfrombi macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2007
    Apple has said that if you are having problems with your new iPhone 4 you can send it back if it is undamaged. If they are only accepting undamaged iPhones 4's will they not be recirculating those "problem phones" back to the public as new iPhones? I have heard that some work and others do not. So the chance of getting a "new" one that is not working seems to have just gone up quite a bit. I don't think Apple tells you if it is a returned phone when they resell it, do they? Or will they just use these unsatisfied customers returned phones as replacement phones for future warranty defect replacements?

    Anyway, perhaps I will wait a few months for this to all work itself out and perhaps fixed new unreturned iPhone 4's are being sold.

    Any thoughts?
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Returned units are never sold as new. They can be sold as refurbished.
  3. hlysmksbtmn macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2008
    Good question. I haven't seen them sell refurbished 3GS or 2g phones. They probably use them for replacements.
  4. bigchief macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2009
    They give them back out to people who are :Dcomplaining about receiption problems.
  5. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    AT&T (among others) sell refurbished iPhones, so all will get refurbished and some sold while others used for replacements.

    Case Closed.
  6. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Exactly and Apple has very good eBay feedback, so you know you can trust them.
  7. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    They're definitely going to start using them as replacement refurbished phones for people wanting an exchange. I guarantee it.
  8. bit_bucket macrumors regular


    Jul 18, 2002
    West By God VA
    Generally they send them back to the factory where they are disassembled, fixed, tested and then reassembled in new caseing. They are given a new sn and provided to the Apple Store to be used as white box refurbs. Some are diverted to AT&T for sale as well as the apple store for the same purpose. I would venture to guess that most right now are destined for the Genius Bar.
  9. Blorzoga macrumors 68030


    May 21, 2010
    What makes you think alot of people are returning their ip4s? I highly doubt it. Considering there is a three week wait list at the apple store I don't think many people are clamoring to return the phone. They're just hitching about them on the Internet
  10. Scottyfrombi thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2007
    if there is a 10% return, that's 200,000 phones

    Based on 2 million sales and guessing at 10% return, still a whole lot of new looking phones floating around. Even Apple has to be tempted to fudge a little and just resell some of them if they appear to be working well.

    I am an Apple fan, but man, there sure has been a lot of bad press on the new iPhones and with a no penalty return policy, many will buy and try and return if for no other reason than just to wait until the smoke clears and Apple resolves the problem or at least reduces the bad press that is out there now.

    I am holding off for a few months, just to see which way this all goes. For now my 3GS is still doing the job for me. I usually jump on new tech right away, but this one has me wondering enough to delay.

    Also, slightly off subject, but since I am venting, I still think that Apple will release a mid cycle 64gig iPhone now that it has been announced that a 64 gig cell phone drive is being released. Maybe they will call it 4GM similar to the 3GS (speed). Since the antennae thing is so troubling perhaps that will get fixed also in a mid cycle release, (hopefully sooner than later).
  11. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    I have my doubts that the return rate is anywhere NEAR 10%. It's probably closer to 1%, if that.
  12. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    I believe only the original iPods get a new case every time. iPhones and iPod touches do not unless they really need it.

    They also don't go back to the China factory, that would cost too much in shipping. They are refurb'd in California, I think.

    As Apple says:

    I have a refurb'd iPod touch and it's been very good (although the battery holds less of a charge now, years later).
  13. Maaz macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2010
    Internet geeks are a very small portion of iPhone 4 sales. I doubt there are many returns.
  14. Minimoose 360 macrumors 65816

    Minimoose 360

    Jul 7, 2008
    This x1,999,700
  15. shadrap macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2009
    Exactly, returns will probably equal less than 1%
  16. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    A survey of 3GS owners showed an exchange rate of ~7%, which is about the median for Apple products.

    And it didn't have antenna or sensor problems.

    (The highest return rate I can recall was for one of the hard drive based iPods.. 160GB maybe?... that was over 30%)

  17. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    That bad, huh? What was wrong with that model?
  18. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Ah here we go. iPod Reliability Study. I had the wrong one, though.

    It was the iPod 40 GB Click Wheel, with a 30% failure rate. According to that article, people exchanged them three to five times before Apple stopped letting them do so at the end of the warranty period.
  19. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    I'm planning on returning my iPhone 4 because I do not believe they can fix the antenna issue without a redesign and subsequent FCC approval which means months.

  20. iTouch macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    Some of them will go to RMAs. Someone has "to fix" the problem.
  21. jkrutch macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2008
    You beat me to the punch....I also thought there was an extra zero on that number. Heck, 1% might be way high...

    There's still a long wait for a black iPhone. I'm still waiting on white for my wife.
  22. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    As was just pointed out, a 1% exchange rate would be too low even for a fairly perfect model.

    iPhone buyers tend to be an especially perfectionist (and impatient) bunch. No doubt large numbers were returned for the yellow glue issue, dead pixels, and now the proximity sensor.

    It would not be surprising if the early return rate was close to 10%. And that would still be low for almost any phone. It's not bad.

    I don't think Apple makes more than a few weeks' worth of new exchange units. They don't have to. Pretty quickly they're going to have lots of refurbs available.
  23. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Umm... folks are missing a big part of the question here.

    Rate involves time. # units returned/exchanged over a certain period of time divided by the total # units sold.

    For the historical rates, be they 7% or 30%, were those over the entire warranty period or within the first 30 days?
  24. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Over at least the warranty period.

    Which means the first few weeks are probably much, much higher. Especially because even Apple stores don't know what is really a problem or not at first. (E.g. the yellow screen which mostly goes away.)

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