iPhone 8(+) Your experience of buying refurb iPhones from Apple?

AMSOS

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 21, 2010
179
9
I've ordered a refurb iPhone 8 directly from Apple - 64 GB, $499, unlocked, 1 year warranty.

This is the first time I am buying a product and I want to reach out to you to see if there's anything specific I need to check during the return period. Some friends who have new 8's are now berating me for going for a refurb: "refurb is refurb," they say.

I know the battery and case will be new, but can I run some tests (e.g. Coconut battery will give me the cycles) to see that the unit is on par with a brand new one?

In general, I will appreciate if you share your experience of having bought a refurb iPhone from Apple. Did you have breakdowns of some kind? Did you regret buying it? Did you love it?

Thanks!
 

JPack

macrumors 601
Mar 27, 2017
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7,140
Bought an iPhone 7 Plus 256GB late last year - experienced shaky camera due to OIS defect out of the box.

Refurb is refurb - Apple can afford to replace the chassis and battery, which costs less than $30. But big ticket items like the logic board, display, and cameras, Apple will salvage and repair if possible.

With the refurb discount, you're basically taking a gamble on long term reliability. Apple might have salvaged and cleaned parts from a liquid damaged device. Or it could have come from an open box unit. Sometimes, defects don't show up immediately and are the result of cumulative damage. An example would be damage to power management chips due to using poor quality chargers.
 

AMSOS

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 21, 2010
179
9
Bought an iPhone 7 Plus 256GB late last year - experienced shaky camera due to OIS defect out of the box.
Wow, so much for the much vaunted quality control of Apple refurbs. I am guessing this means that one has to be careful in the first few weeks and see that all systems are working fine.
Refurb is refurb - Apple can afford to replace the chassis and battery, which costs less than $30. But big ticket items like the logic board, display, and cameras, Apple will salvage and repair if possible.
Oh, I see. So if there was a problem such as water damage etc. to the logic board, they will just remove a few parts and install new ones, instead of putting in a completely new board? I imagine they make an estimate of how long it may last.
With the refurb discount, you're basically taking a gamble on long term reliability. Apple might have salvaged and cleaned parts from a liquid damaged device. Or it could have come from an open box unit. Sometimes, defects don't show up immediately and are the result of cumulative damage. An example would be damage to power management chips due to using poor quality chargers.
I see your point. I now have two options - return the 8 and get a brand new 7 for $450 (obviously not the A1660 version). Or, do you suggest I stick it out with the 8?
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I have IPhone 7 now, but two years ago used ref 5s 16gb. Everything was ok, had no reasons to complain
How long did it last? Do you still use it? It's interesting that the other member had such a bad experience with a refurb. It does see refurbs are a somewhat dicey affair.
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It was such a good buy, I purchased another as a Christmas gift.
Amazing. Now, I am going to have to think hard if I just return the 8 and get a brand new 7. Or, do I take what seems like a reasonable chance and stick with the 8 I've ordered?
Perhaps you use your phones lightly and that could be one reason they have performed well?
 

JPack

macrumors 601
Mar 27, 2017
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Oh, I see. So if there was a problem such as water damage etc. to the logic board, they will just remove a few parts and install new ones, instead of putting in a completely new board? I imagine they make an estimate of how long it may last.
If you check industry estimates for the materials cost of the iPhone 8 logic board, there is over $130 worth of components. Apple (or any other company) won't scrap the board if they can salvage and replace components.
 

AMSOS

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 21, 2010
179
9
If you check industry estimates for the materials cost of the iPhone 8 logic board, there is over $130 worth of components. Apple (or any other company) won't scrap the board if they can salvage and replace components.
Oh, I see. At this point I am thinking that I made a mistake getting the 8. I probably should return this and get a new 7 for $450. As long as it's not the A1660 model with possible network hardware issues, I should be fine. And it'll not have any possible issues that a refurb has.
What say?
 

JPack

macrumors 601
Mar 27, 2017
4,815
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Oh, I see. At this point I am thinking that I made a mistake getting the 8. I probably should return this and get a new 7 for $450. As long as it's not the A1660 model with possible network hardware issues, I should be fine. And it'll not have any possible issues that a refurb has.
What say?
I would say keep the 8. Just have reasonable expectations that it may not be a new device (internally).
 

AMSOS

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 21, 2010
179
9
I would say keep the 8. Just have reasonable expectations that it may not be a new device (internally).
Or, follow your advice to the end and just spend those extra $100 and get a brand new 8 ;)
And, since I do want to have it last for several years, I am inclining to just getting a brand new one now.
 

Aspasia

macrumors 65816
Amazing. Now, I am going to have to think hard if I just return the 8 and get a brand new 7. Or, do I take what seems like a reasonable chance and stick with the 8 I've ordered?
Perhaps you use your phones lightly and that could be one reason they have performed well?
Not sure what "lightly" is. It's with or next to me 24/7. Calls, texts, messages, lots and lots of photos, Internet, and heavy use of the Health and other apps. Both phones were unlocked.

I also have an iPad mini 4, cellular, but use my 7+ more. The warranty on refurbished is the same as with new.
 

AMSOS

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 21, 2010
179
9
Thanks guys. I did get the iPhone 8 refurb and I must say much as I loved the 7 going back is not going to be easy.

There's just that extra smoothness and speed that I sense while using the 8. Looking at your responses I think I should care for it and not even worry about spending another $150 for AP+.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
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Jacksonville, Florida
They can be good and bad.

My friend had a refurb defective right out of the box, these things can always happen.

Apple can not find every defect but overall, I think they do a superior job!
 

now i see it

macrumors 601
Jan 2, 2002
4,145
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A refurbished iPhone will never experience IMS (infant mortality syndrome). That's where a brand new device malfunctions immediately after purchase. Refurbished iPhones are carefully checked & tested before being put up for sale while new iPhones stamped out by the millions at Foxconn in China are not.

If you want an iPhone that's guaranteed to work properly- get a refurb. If you want to gamble, buy new.
 
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internetrando

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2018
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Refurb is almost guaranteed to always be better than factory. That’s the experience I am familiar with.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Refurb is almost guaranteed to always better than factory. That’s the experience I am familiar with.
Right, that’s due to Apples internal testing for diagnostics with the logic board, camera functionality, etc. Those are all things that have to be tested, because the customer doesn’t always indicate what’s wrong with the phone, which is why Apple has to test everything to make sure it is on par with their standards before they can re-release the phone to somebody else as a refurbished device.
 
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