Is it worth saving by buying a refurbished iPhone? What problems can this lead to? And how can you tell if the seller isn’t trying to give you a refurbished iPhone as a new one at full price? Let’s understand everything thoroughly
Buying an original iPhone at a discount of several thousand rubles is a dream for those who are eager to have an excellent gadget, but are not ready to lay out their last savings for it. Since 2016, Apple in Russia has been officially selling smartphones marked “like new”. Also referred to as a refurbished iPhone or “CPO” model.
Why restore iPhone
Every year, thousands of damaged smartphones arrive at Apple’s partner factory from authorized service centers around the world. In some models, the camera does not work, in some the sensor is junk, somewhere the touchscreen does not work. These phones are not sent to landfill or destroyed.
Apple specialists completely change all non-working parts and modules (we are not talking about repairs, this is only a 100% replacement). Then the case, the screen are completely updated, the iPhone software is reinstalled. The device receives a new serial number, it is packed in a new box, with new headphones and a charger. This is now an original Certified Pre-Owned refurbished smartphone backed by a 1 year warranty.
By the way, experts assure that brand new iPhones often get to the factory for restoration, in which they found some kind of factory defect. That is, they were never used, and the faulty part was eventually replaced with a completely new one. And such a practically new gadget costs 10–15% cheaper. For many, this argument becomes decisive when buying. But many Apple lovers are not eager to buy a used model and are afraid that the restored iPhone (refurbished) will be sold to them under the guise of a new one in a hardware store for the usual price. How not to make a mistake when choosing and buy exactly what you need at the moment?
Good to know
How to distinguish an original iPhone from a fake
How to distinguish a refurbished iPhone from a new one when buying in a store
If you make a purchase on the Apple website, then you can be sure of the honesty of the seller. Another thing is if you have looked into an offline store and are not ready to overpay for an unnecessary gadget. In order not to be deceived, it is useful to remember a few rules.
The easiest way to tell a refurbished iPhone from a new one is to look at its box. The packaging of the new iPhone will have a picture (picture of the phone). The box from a refurbished (“like new”) iPhone will be just white, without photos. At the bottom of the box it says Apple Certified Pre-Owned.
Everything about the smartphone will tell the information on the label. The model number of a refurbished iPhone starts with the letter F. The number of new phones starts with the letter M or P if it is an exclusive version. Before the name of the smartphone, RFB is written — this is an abbreviation for the word refurbished. If the label is pasted crookedly, if it is crumpled or it is clear that they tried to tear it off — all this is a reason to think.
Look in the phone settings: in the “General — About device” section, the model number is also written. It must match the number on the package. Connect the device to iTunes, the program will issue the original number, which will definitely not be able to be replaced. You can view the number in the “information” section when connected to iTunes.
iPhone XS and XR
These refurbished iPhone models are not sold in Russia. If you are offered a refurbished iPhone XS or iPhone XR in a Russian store, be careful and be sure to check that the model number matches on the box, in your phone settings, and in iTunes.
Since December 2018, refurbished iPhone X can be found on the shelves of official Apple resellers in Russia. Savings up to 15%. On average, Russian sellers throw off about 6–7 thousand rubles. The “like new” iPhone X box will not have a picture of the phone, the packaging is pure white, with an inscription on the front. In appearance, such a smartphone will not differ from a completely new one. There is no information about the restoration of the model on the body of the device itself.
Refurbished iPhone 8 is not a very popular model. Recall that the model became obsolete even at the presentation. Apple, releasing the eight, hastened and showed the future iPhone X. But still, lovers of “apple products” bought these smartphones, and some of them ended up in restoration at the factory. By the way, today this phone is still on top in terms of filling. The Apple A11 Bionic processor is especially good in them, which outperforms the Android Snapdragon 845.
Users and cameras appreciated, 8 Plus even has a unique dual photo module. Photos on it are better than the flagships on Android. Refurbished iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus also come with a one-year warranty and new accessories. The box also does not have a picture, we remind you that the letters RFB on the label before the name of the device indicate that the model has been restored.
The refurbished iPhone 7 and 7Plus are popular in the Russian market, the discount on such a device reaches 15% and this is a pretty good price. In addition, this model was popular in its time, and it is precisely such phones that are now often rented out by owners under the trade-in program. So, it is they who most often end up in the factory. So sellers are tempted to sell a refurbished iPhone 7 for the price of a new one.
In order not to fall for this bait, carefully look at the box. There will be no image of the phone on it, the white box is a sign of the RFB model. Check the phone’s IMEI on one of the checking sites. For example imeidata.net. This number can be seen on the label on the packaging of the device, as well as when iTunes is connected (of course, this is unlikely to be done in the store).
How to distinguish a refurbished iPhone from a repaired one in a service center
In addition to a factory refurbished iPhone, there is an iPhone seller refurbishing. When buying such a gadget, you take a risk, since it is not known who exactly was involved in the repair of the smartphone. Most often, “recovery from the seller” is carried out by companies that are actively buying up smartphones, promising a new one with discounts. Then a new one is assembled from three old iPhones on the knee. This can be done even in an ordinary service center, another question is that they will not give any further guarantees here, nor will they bear any responsibility for the result. Post-repair tests are far from going as well as we would like. How do you tell a factory refurbished iPhone from a refurbished one?
Check the model numbers in the phone settings, on the box and in iTunes;
Check iTunes to see if your smartphone is already registered. “Reset” the entire history of the serial can only be at the factory. A “refurbished” iPhone is always sold unactivated, just like a regular new smartphone;
To see when the smartphone you are selling was first activated, you need to enter its IMEI number on the site. It will be written here when the smartphone was activated (or was not), what rights it has for warranty and maintenance;
Examine the model. Only in the factory can the bolts be tightened absolutely tightly, fastening the lower part of the body, “handicraft” work will be given out by loosely fitting hats.
How to distinguish a refurbished iPhone from a fake
If you buy one of the popular iPhone models, then there is a high probability of getting a fake. And this is true if we are talking about a refurbished iPhone. How to distinguish it from a fake or from handicrafts of Chinese masters?
First, you should also check the IMEI and model number. If there is no information about the phone on the Apple website for the verified number, then it is not original.
Secondly, take a close look at the appearance of the phone. For example, on the iPhone 7, instead of the home key, a touchpad with vibration feedback appeared. On fakes, mechanical buttons are used. Also, the plastic crack of the case should alert.
Third, pay attention to the operating system. Original fonts and pictures are easy to distinguish. Go to the AppStore and look for some original application that will definitely not be on Google Play.
If your phone has a memory card slot, then it’s definitely not an iPhone.
Prices for refurbished iPhone in Russia 2019
iPhone XS “like new”
Not for sale
iPhone XR “like new”
Not for sale
iPhone X Like New (256 GB)
$899 at apple.com, from 68.9 thousand rubles
iPhone 8 “like new” (256 GB)
$629 at apple.com
iPhone 7 Plus Like New (256 GB)
$649 on apple.com from 43.9 thousand rubles
iPhone 7 “like new” (128 GB)
$469 at apple.com, from 35 thousand rubles
iPhone 6s “like new” (64 GB)
From 25 thousand rubles
Should You Buy a Refurbished iPhone?
A refurbished iPhone is a great opportunity to save money without losing quality. New iPhones get to service shops as often as those that are sold “as new”. The fact is that if the device has a factory defect, you will find out about it within a year, at which time the warranty is still valid, and you can return the device and get a new one or money.
But by themselves, high-quality and unmarried iPhones rarely break. And this happens equally often with new and refurbished devices. In reviews in online stores, there are questions about both RFB models and new ones, but the vast majority of them talk about problems that appeared in the first months of use.
So you can opt for a refurbished iPhone if you want to save money and are ready to accept the fact that your phone was already in stores and someone returned it.