What Is A Refurbished Iphone

Manufacturer refurbished iPhone: how Apple is restoring smartphones

Apple has been rebuilding iMacs and other devices for years. But how does this process take place? Let’s use the iPhone as an example.

If the smartphone is broken or a defect is found in it, the device will be replaced with a new one under warranty at any official service center. The old apparatus is sent to the factory. Apple does the same with smartphones replaced under the Trade-in program, and even those iPhones that were returned within 14 days after purchase.

What Is A Refurbished Iphone

In addition, in recent years, Apple began to actively advocate for the fight against environmental problems and launched a program for the recycling of old equipment, which is called the Apple Recycling Program, a lot of time was devoted to this topic at one of the last iPhone presentations.

So, the client handed over his iPhone and the smartphone is sent to the Apple plant, where it is diagnosed. After assessing the state of the device, difficult-to-restore devices are dismantled for parts, and those with only minor faults (for example, display, camera, Home button, etc.) receive new elements (the case, screen and battery are changed in all) , IMEI and serial number.

How to tell a new iPhone from a refurbished one

The first thing you should pay attention to is the box. The packaging of refurbished iPhones differs in that they do not have an image or engraving of the smartphone. They’re just white with the model name in the center and Apple Certified Pre-Owned on the bottom.

Second, look at the iPhone model number on the back of the box. The first letter indicates the state of the phone: M new, F refurbished. There must be an abbreviation RFB between the number and model name of the refurbished device.

You can also check the model number through Settings: go to the Basic menu → About this device and look at the information in the Model line.

We also recommend checking the serial number through iTunes and comparing it with the one indicated on the box.

Seller refurbished

What’s the Difference Between New, Refurbished and Used iPhones

Now that you have learned how the iPhone recovery process works, let’s see how refurbished smartphones differ from used and new devices.

Officially refurbished iPhones are considered used, although they have more in common with new devices. Judge for yourself, RFB iPhones are repaired at the Apple factory, new cases, batteries and components are received, all boards and connectors are thoroughly cleaned. And most importantly, the CPO iPhone comes with an official Apple one-year warranty.

The situation with the seller refurbished iPhone is different. Usually they are assembled into a non-original case, they are equipped with copies of power adapters, Lightning and EarPods, non-working parts are not changed, but repaired. These iPhones may have different screen colors, the higher the likelihood of light, dead pixels on the matrix and gaps in the case. Although there are sellers who use only original spare parts (take parts in good condition from broken machines).

The main plus of the seller refurbished smartphones is the price. Often, it is lower than that of manufacturer refurbished, but there are exceptions. In general, unofficially refurbished iPhones may or may not be lucky. In some cases, used iPhones are the best choice.

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What is a refurbished iPhone. Refurbished iPhone what is it, how to tell if it’s worth buying

Today we’ll talk about refurbished iPhones, learn to distinguish between manufacturer refurbished and seller refurbished, analyze the advantages and disadvantages of CPO iPhone and consider the pitfalls associated with their purchase.

1. White box sign of refurbished iPhone

Apple has a clear mechanism for selling refurbished iPhones. On the company’s website there is an opportunity to purchase them at pleasant discounts.

However, even the appearance of the box of a refurbished iPhone tells you that this is not a new device. So, the iPhone that went through the restoration comes in a white package without any photos of the device on it.

The iPhone model will be written on the front of the box, and a small inscription Apple Certified Pre-Owned below. Some would-be scammers manage to stick an iPhone photo on the box to hide the scam. But the original new iPhones come in a sealed package that already has an image of the device printed on it. Stickers can only be present on the back!

What is a Refurbished iPhone?

Sometimes troubles happen at Apple factories and iPhones come out with a factory defect: somewhere a shabby case, Face ID / Touch ID does not work, white spots on the display, and so on. In America, buyers, after finding such a defect, contact the Apple Store or Apple Support and the company replaces the devices with new ones.

Naturally, these defective iPhones end up with Apple, where the company’s masters play tricks on them and renew their defective functions. This is how refurbished iPhones are created.

Our people, bribed by the price of refurbished iPhones (such devices are usually 10-15% cheaper), purchase devices and fully use them. In most cases, refurbished devices work well, without failures and for more than one year. And in our market there are a lot of such refurbished devices on the CFM website (for example).

How to distinguish a refurbished iPhone

Iphone model number is one of the most important indicators when identifying a refurbished device.

To check your iPhone’s model number:

  1. Go to device settings.
  2. Then open the main settings tab.
  3. Go to the panel called About device.
  4. Note the line Model number.
  5. If your iPhone model number starts with a P or M, breathe a sigh of relief, you don’t have a refurbished device. The letter F at the beginning of the model number will mean the opposite you got a refurbished iPhone.


If you are unsure of the iPhone‘s origin, look at the IMEI as well as the back of the box. We wrote about where to find IMEI in this article. In restored iPhones, the IMEI may not be comparable to the one indicated on the box or in the SIM card tray (for example) or in the device settings.

5. Seller Refurbished

This is the kind of refurbished iPhone you wouldn’t wish on the enemy. Devices of this kind were not restored by Apple, but by independent workshops, which literally piece by piece assemble the mutilated Athos, and then sell them as refurbished.

Such devices are very difficult to distinguish from new ones, but the option with IMEI always helps. Check the IMEI on the box, on the SIM card tray, on the case (if any), as well as in the device settings.

Most importantly, never get fooled by the low price of a supposedly new iPhone. A good iPhone will always come at a premium, especially if it’s almost new.

What is a Refurbished iPhone?

The next step is to turn on the iPhone and check the serial numbers of the device.

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After booting the phone, you need to make sure that it is not linked to someone else’s Apple ID. Otherwise, it will be impossible to go through the activation procedure and use this device in the future. So, if everything is in order with this, you need to enter the phone settings. After that, go to the General section, and then select About this device.

Now you should find the model, serial number and IMEI of the device. It is also recommended to check the storage capacity. It can be 16, 32, 64 or 128 Gb. After that, the information found must be compared with the data on the package. They must be identical. By the way, already at this stage of verification, you can get information about the country for which a specific copy of the iPhone was released.

Refurbished iPhones: what they are?

At the moment, there are two types of refurbished iPhones on the market. The first is a device reanimated at an official Apple factory. These are devices that, in the process of preparing for sale or in the first year of operation, had discovered defects and these devices were exchanged for new ones under warranty. Phones like these are shipped to Apple’s factories, where they are repaired and reintroduced to the mobile device market under the unusual Apple Certified label. Such devices are not sold at a regular price, but with a significant discount.

At the same time, such iPhones are completed in the same way as new original copies and are visually indistinguishable from the latter, except for the packaging. The box of the refurbished phone is white and has no pictures on it. On the front of the package there is the name of the iPhone model.

Another type of refurbished phones are devices repaired by unofficial firms and factories. In addition to a large number of iPhones exchanged under the guarantee, which go straight to the official Apple production, a significant part of similar non-working devices are bought for a penny by Chinese companies. These firms specialize in iPhone restoration. Such companies also successfully reanimate non-working copies of phones and release them to the market with the Refurbished mark.

When purchasing just such devices, you need to be as careful as possible. Not every Chinese company is able to carry out a high-quality repair of the iPhone 6S. By purchasing such a phone, the consumer cannot be absolutely sure that in a month another, after operation, it will not turn into a brick that is not subject to further use. After repairing such a phone, as a rule, only the motherboard and the processor remain from the original device. Authentic touch ID can also be used. Everything else in such a device is changed to non-original components.

Among the trusted Chinese manufacturers of refurbished iPhones, we recommend Comwingo Electronics. This is a large company that is distinguished by the constant presence of iPhones in the range of models, which are guaranteed to function with domestic LTE 4G networks. It’s no secret that often the main problem of phones supplied from Europe or the United States is that they do not work with Russian mobile operators.

How to tell a new original iPhone from a refurbished or Chinese copy?

In order not to get into an unpleasant situation when, under the guise of a new phone, a consumer was sold a used or refurbished iPhone, it is necessary to pay attention to a number of key details.

First, it is important to evaluate the package contents of the device. By far the most important part of the kit is the phone itself. But some conclusions can be drawn from the accessories in the box. The best option is to purchase the phone in a new package, fully loaded and with the required documents.

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Also, you need to visually evaluate the appearance of the headphones and the plastic box. The gaps between the elements should be perfect, and the Apple logo will be embossed on the top of the branded case. On the contrary, counterfeits are often made inaccurately and without an apple. In addition, you should pay attention to the charger. If the iPhone comes from the United States or Great Britain, and is equipped with a charger for European-type sockets, then the iPhone is not original.

The same is true for the box. It is almost impossible to visually distinguish the original packaging from the counterfeit. But, phones from Britain come in a package that is slightly larger than others. This is due precisely to the use of a plug with three contacts in the kit. Accordingly, the linings will differ depending on the type of charger. In addition, non-original chargers for Europe are often made identical in shape to American devices, although they should be significantly different. You should also pay attention to the brightness of the letters. In fakes, they are much brighter than the original packaging.

IMEI check

At the next stage, you should use one of the services on the Internet and check the iPhone by IMEI. As such sites one can offer www.Iphoneimei.Info and a foreign resource www.Imeidata.Net. The first one is very simple and easy to use. You just need to insert the desired IMEI into the search form. After that, the service will display information about the phone. First, the color and capacity of the device will be indicated. They need to be compared with the actual characteristics of the iPhone, which is in the hands of the user. If the phone was being repaired, then on the website, for example, it may appear in one color, but in reality it may be different. This means that the iPhone case has been replaced.

The serial number must be identical to the one on the package, in the phone settings and on the body of the device.

The Last SIM Activated parameter will indicate the services of which cellular operator were used on this device. Telephone Technical Support, Repairs Service Coverage technical support and warranty status. If the IMEI check service indicates that they have expired, and the seller claims that the phone is new, then in fact an attempt is made to cheat. In addition, the system will show the country of destination or, in English, Country purchased. This data must be compared with the model number, in which the state for which the device was made is encrypted. For example ME308LL / A. Here, the two letters before the slash indicate that the phone was manufactured for the USA. The state Unlocked should be opposite the SIM Lock parameter. This means that the iPhone can function with any SIM cards.

All similar information can be found on the second specified network resource. In addition, it provides the ability to perform one check without registration for the presence of the device in the black list of mobile operators. This Free check Blacklist features the major operators of Western states.

Of course, after checking the phone with all the above methods, it is advisable to study its performance in the end. It is necessary to evaluate the functionality of the buttons, microphone and speaker. In addition, you can check the operation of Wi-Fi, GPS, tilt sensor and even a compass. In conclusion, it will be appropriate to recall the letter codes of the states of sale of new iPhones.