What is a Refurbished iPhone

How to distinguish a fake

Unfortunately, the market for refurbished devices attracts not only buyers with its price, but also unscrupulous sellers who restore iPhones on their own. Such devices are taken on the used market and do not differ in the quality of repair.

refurbished, iphone

But even in this case, the scammers masterfully copy the box of the smartphone and attach a complete set of delivery to it, although the quality level is much lower than the original. An experienced user will immediately be able to distinguish fakes, but what should a beginner do in these matters.

The same method comes to the rescue by verifying the serial numbers of the device, box and in iTunes, if possible.

How to treat such devices

An interesting question, consider refurbished iPhones used or new? The restored device cannot be considered new in any way, although the main parts were replaced with new ones. One way or another, some of the internal components do not change, but they have already been in operation for some time and have lost part of their working resource.

What devices are recovered devices from?

There is a huge amount of information on the network about which devices are being repaired and what all devices are sent there indiscriminately. But for this, it is enough just to look at the official Apple forum and read what problems the faulty iPhones are sent for recovery.

The majority of calls have approximately the same algorithm. People complain about minor defects like unusual speaker sound or incorrect expectations from the device. As a result, iPhones without defects are sent for restoration and go on sale with a greatly reduced price and a lifetime of a couple of days. As for me, quite a profitable option to purchase.

But not always so lucky, there is also the Trade-in program, according to which devices that have been in operation for a really long time, or even with serious breakdowns, are used for restoration, but you should not worry too much, because even such devices are given a one-year warranty.

Where iPhone is restored

All manipulations, repairs and diagnostics are carried out only at the enterprise of Apple itself, where everything you need is available. True, where exactly this object is located in the company is not reported.

Refurbished iPhone: what it is and how to distinguish it from the original

How they are produced, what are the risks and what to look for when buying.

Let’s look at the issue that worries everyone so much. What are refurbished iPhones? Where are they produced, what is used, is it worth buying and what to look for if you buy a used device.

Register iPhone in recovery program

After purchasing a new iPhone, you can safely return the device within 14 days according to the law and within one year after activation if you find a defect associated with the production of the device.

Refurbished iPhone vs Used iPhone | Things to know before buying a refurbished iPhone

Those iPhones that have been returned with or without breakage and are sent for bulkhead and refurbishment. Of course, devices that have been in operation for a long time or have too serious damage cannot be restored and are sent for complete disassembly, where they get something that can still be saved.

The meaning of the concept “restored

A refurbished iPhone is a used iPhone that was handed over to Apple for one reason or another. There may be several reasons, for example, the device was handed over under warranty, but fixing the breakdown will be unprofitable and Apple simply changes the iPhone for a new one, and the old one is sent to the company’s factory. Also a big supplier of refurbished smartphones is a program called trade-in, which offers to exchange your old iPhone for a discount for a new one. In any case, upon arrival, the iPhone is repaired at the company’s factory, fully tested and sent in a complete set for sale at a very reduced price.

An important note is that the restored devices, by and large, are no different from the original. At least they have the same warranty as new iPhones. All repair and testing procedures are carried out at Apple’s facilities, and no other company or person has any access to them, therefore, the quality is guaranteed by Apple itself.

How to tell a new iPhone from a refurbished one

Everything is not complicated here, all restored copies receive a serial number that begins with the letters FG, and there is also a RFB mark, which means Refurbished. The exact same number should be displayed in the iPhone firmware.

Additionally, it is imperative to check the coincidence of serial numbers through iTunes in order to verify the authenticity of the origin of the device that is being purchased.

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

Today we will talk about refurbished iPhones, learn to distinguish between manufacturer refurbished and seller refurbished, analyze the advantages and disadvantages of CPO iPhones and consider the pitfalls associated with purchasing them.

How to tell a new iPhone from a refurbished one

The first thing to look out for is the box. The packaging of refurbished iPhones is different 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 the model name of the refurbished device.

You can also check the model number through the “Settings”: go to the “General” → “About this device” menu 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.

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 of purchase.

In addition, in recent years, Apple has begun to actively advocate for the fight against environmental problems and launched a program for the disposal 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 factory, where it is diagnosed. After assessing the state of the device, difficult-to-recover devices are disassembled for parts, and those that have 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.

What is a Refurbished iPhone

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

Now, after 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 Apple’s official one-year warranty.

With the seller refurbished iPhone, the situation is different. Usually they are assembled in 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 a different color rendering of the screen, there is a higher likelihood of light, dead pixels on the matrix and gaps in the case. Although there are sellers who use only original spare parts (they take parts in good condition from broken devices).

The main advantage of the seller of 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.

Should you buy a refurbished iPhone

An officially refurbished iPhone is worth buying if your budget is tight. There are practically no differences with the new device, and the saved money can be used to purchase accessories. We cannot recommend a seller refurbished iPhone for purchase, because Apple is not responsible for their quality. If you decide to buy such a smartphone, choose a trusted seller.

Home / Apple / iPhone / Refurbished iPhone. what is it, how to tell if it’s worth buying

IPhone Model Number

IPhone model number is one of the most important indicators in identifying a refurbished device.

To check your iPhone‘s model number:

  • Go to device settings.
  • Then open the main settings tab.
  • Go to the panel called “About device”.
  • Pay attention to the line “Model number”.
  • If your iPhone model number starts with 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.

Like new prescription

Some sellers allegedly indicate information that the device is refurbished, but not in exactly the same words as it should be. On some sites, you can find an iPhone 7 with a “like new” prescription. This is the designation for a refurbished iPhone. Therefore, be very careful and check the iPhone model when buying, ask to send you a photo of the box and so on.


If you are not sure about the origin of the iPhone, look at the IMEI, as well as on 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.

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 saves. 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 in near-new condition.

White box is a sign of a 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 OLH website (for example).

How to tell a new iPhone from an original refurbished one

There are several details to distinguish a refurbished iPhone from a new one. It:

  • package;
  • model and serial number;
  • IMEI;
  • guarantee.
  • Package

Please note. in the original “refurbished” Apple smartphones, the box is pure white. The package contains no photos of the phone itself, no bright elements. Only the name of the presented model of the mobile phone and the branded “apple” are indicated. If there is a photo on the box of the refurbished smartphone. the product is not from an official manufacturer.

The film on the packaging is neatly sealed on both original manufacturer refurbished and new products of the company. No protruding seams, bubbles or creases. Welded seams go along the entire perimeter of the box, thin, without damage. Transverse short thin stripes are located along the edges of the longitudinal seams. However, there is a photo of the presented product on the box of the new smartphone. How, for example, to distinguish the packaging of the original new iPhone 7 from the iPhone7 refurbished by the manufacturer:

The reverse side of the packaging of the reconstructed original contains the phone model itself, serial number, IMEI. Indicated in clear legible type, no illegible inscriptions. According to the company’s standard, all the labels on the back of the package are printed on stickers. Serial number and model sticker indicates RFB refurbishment. The model numbers recovered by the official representative on the label have the original letter F. New devices. the letter M. Take the iPhone 6 as an example.

Picture “Label of the officially refurbished iPhone 6″ Picture “Label of the new iPhone 6”

How to distinguish a refurbished iPhone in the settings menu

Check the purchased device by model, serial number and IMEI in the settings and on the body of the smartphone itself. The numbers on the packaging, case and in the settings menu must match.

Go to Settings. General. About this device. Serial number, Model, IMEI.

The complete coincidence of the numbers and the first letter M in the designation of the device model indicates that the iPhone is new. Finding the letter F. officially rehabilitated and original. Sometimes the letter N is found. it means the previous user carried out repairs under warranty at a service center. P is a personalized device. All other symbols indicate the recovery of other unofficial companies.

  • Guarantee
    • Apple’s new smartphones have a 1-year warranty.
    • Original refurbished iPhones also come with a 1 year warranty.
    • Non-original smartphones that have been updated have no warranty.

    How to tell a new iPhone from a refurbished one

    The issue of distinguishing features of a refurbished original Apple iPhone from a new one, as well as a fake restoration has become widespread.

    First, let’s figure out what a refurbished iPhone is. Officially refurbished iPhones are original smartphones that were handed over to certified service centers, as well as purchased by Apple through the Trade-in program. The refurbished device was already in use. The company sends products to factories where smartphones are subject to checks, elimination of system damage, replacement of parts with new ones, reinstallation of programs, replenishment of the kit with new accessories in the form of headphones, a charger and a USB cable. All parts are original. After a complete manufacturer refurbished. “restoration”, “update” from the manufacturer, the devices enter the market with the mark on the packaging “RFB”. The cost of such a phone is correspondingly cheaper.

    What’s a Refurbished iPhone? (Certified Pre-Owned)

    There is also the concept of seller refurbished. restoration by a reseller company. A reseller is a wholesale reseller between a distributor and an end customer. In most cases, unofficial product recovery is done by China.

    Our task with you is to determine the main differences between a new smartphone and a refurbished one. And also identify the differences between a fake and an original refurbished smartphone

    What is a ref (refurbished) iPhone

    First you need to decide on the concepts. A refurbished (or “refurbished”) iPhone is not always a second-hand smartphone that is completely free from defects. It may also be a new smartphone, which, but for some reason (for example, a defect in the production process), has been interfered with by the manufacturer’s technical control service.

    From service centers around the world, iPhones are damaged with damage to the Apple partner factory, where all problem modules are completely replaced (not repaired), the case screen must be replaced, the software is reinstalled and the device is removed from the database of used (activated) gadgets.

    The range of refurbished iPhones is made up of smartphones of 1-3 years old. It should also be borne in mind that current flagship iPhones are not sold as refurbished in their first year of sales.

    Naturally, the final price of such a device is lower (usually by 10-25%), but the difference is not as significant as we would like.

    Summarizing the above, we can conclude that the official iPhone ref is no different from the new device.

    How a refurbished (ref, refurbished, CPO) iPhone differs from a new and used one?

    The sale of official refurbished (refs, “like new”, CPO) iPhones in Russia began only in the winter of 2015-2016. Such smartphones appear on sale only by some Russian Apple retailers (Svyaznoy, MTS, M.Video, etc.). We will tell you in this article about whether you need to buy such iPhones and how they differ from ordinary ones.?

    First of all, this is indicated by the box. it differs markedly from the packaging of the new iPhone (photo below), and also has a corresponding inscription at the bottom of the front side. “Apple Certified Pre-Owned” (CPO).

    The photo below is a photo of the boxes of the new iPhone 11 Pro and the original refurbished (ref, CPO, “like new”) iPhone 11 Pro:

    Refurbished (ref) iPhone 11 Pro

    In addition, the refurbished iPhone model starts with “F” and sometimes contains the abbreviation RFB (refurbished), while the new iPhone model always starts with the letter “M”. In detail.

    As mentioned above, the buyer of a refurbished iPhone is entitled to a year of free official warranty service from Apple, which can be easily verified using this instruction:

    And yes, the official CPO (“like new”, ref) is always sold unactivated, just like a regular new Apple smartphone. This can be easily checked by this instruction.

    What is a Refurbished iPhone?

    Today, many cell phone stores sell refurbished iPhones at extremely attractive prices. They are also sold under the name “as new”.

    Many consumers do not understand what a refurbished iPhone is and whether it makes sense to buy such a device, whether it turns out to be broken or defective. Let’s figure it out in more detail.

    At first glance, the phone really looks like new: there are no scratches on the screen, moreover, it is protected by a factory film with the company logo, and there are no scratches on the case. However, it is unclear if the phone is really new.?

    Apple has issued an official statement that all refurbished iPhones are subject to quality and assembly checks. During the restoration of the device, the broken element is replaced, in addition, such elements as the screen and the case are completely replaced.

    Accordingly, in terms of its functionality, such a phone can compete with new devices. In addition, in terms of assembly, it is identical to them.

    The process of returning the phone to the manufacturer for restoration is carried out according to the following algorithm:

    • a consumer purchases a new iPhone;
    • in the process of using the phone, a defect is revealed, for example, the speaker does not work well (or does not work at all), there are problems with the charger connector, the iPhone does not read the SIM card, Wi-Fi does not work or is weak, 3G does not work etc.
    • according to the warranty obligations, the buyer has the right to treat the defective device to the official service center of the company, where an examination will be carried out to identify the problem.

    In the event of a “factory defect”, the buyer will be issued a new device.

    The defective / defective device arrives at the Apple factory. There the device is repaired, defective parts are replaced, the body and screen are replaced.

    Next, the phone is placed in a new package (cardboard box with dense walls). New headphones and charger included.

    Thus, when buying a smartphone marked “as new / refurbished”, the owner will receive a completely new device, due to the fact that the following elements have been replaced:

    • connectors for charger and headphones;
    • display;
    • iPhone case;
    • accumulator battery;
    • the defective part from which the device was sent for restoration is replaced.

    At the moment, the legal replacement of elements is carried out only on models 6, 6Plus and 6 S.

    The official sale of refurbished devices now applies only to these models.

    At the moment, “six” are the cheapest of the new models on sale.

    As for the 7 and 7 Plus models, they are not legally approved by Apple for sale in Russia.

    In the event that a refurbished phone higher than the usual sixth model is sold in the salon, this is a hoax.

    Such a device was either already in use, or it is a deception designed for a gullible buyer, to whom a Chinese copy will be sold.

    However, buyers should pay attention to the fact that the refurbished models 7 and 7 Plus are already available on the American Apple website. Accordingly, they will soon appear in Russia.

    How Bad is a Refurbished iPhone?

    How to tell a new iPhone from a refurbished one?

    It is difficult to distinguish a new iPhone from a refurbished one, but it is quite possible.

    Outwardly, this cannot be done in any way, since the body and display of such devices are identical to the new ones. However, the difference can be seen on the packing box.

    Refurbished phones have a completely white box. It does not have any drawings in the form of images of phones.

    On the front side of the box there is only an inscription with the name of the model of the device.

    Turning the box upside down, you need to find the model name.

    What is a Refurbished iPhone

    IPhones are powerful and reliable smartphones that can last for years. If you want to buy apple products without spending too much money, the best option is to buy a refurbished smartphone.

    A refurbished iPhone is a defective or untested smartphone that has been repaired at a service center. After the rehabilitation course, the device is fully functional and goes on sale again.

    Before buying a refurbished iPhone, there are things a prospective owner needs to know.

    Unofficially refurbished smartphones

    It is not a fact that these phones have passed diagnostic tests that determine their functionality and functionality, because the internal parts of Apple devices are closely interconnected.

    Unofficially refurbished phones are more likely to be defective.

    Interesting Facts

    Owners of Manufacturer refurbished smartphones celebrate the long lifespan of their devices.

    In the event of a factory malfunction of the product, the company provides the AppleCare warranty.

    The technical service has the right to integrate spare parts into the defective device.

    The authenticity of the restoration can be verified by the first digit of the serial number (there are five of them). The third digit indicates the year the device was manufactured (0 for 2010, etc.).

    Let’s summarize

    We do not see anything wrong with purchasing refurbished iPhones on the Russian market from official manufacturers or in a large retail chain, but before buying, we advise you to carefully check the display, case and camera for damage, as well as the quality of communication and network operation.

    Official restoration

    Each phone officially refurbished at an Apple Service Center is designated Manufacturer refurbished.

    Representatives of the company assure that the repairs are carried out under the supervision of specialists. They first carry out diagnostics to identify and eliminate defects. Replace defective parts with new ones to avoid repeated breakage.

    Smartphones change the old screen and case to new ones, install the latest version of iOS. In case of severe damage, the devices are replaced with elements, without which it will not be able to fully work. The product comes with new headphones, charger and packaging.

    Refurbished phones are provided with a new serial number to ensure product functionality.

    Gadgets are put on sale with a cost reduced by almost 1/3.

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    What is an Officially Refurbished iPhone

    The official restoration is the repair of broken iPhones at the factories of Apple and Foxconn. Such devices are designated as Manufacturer refurbished. After that, they go on sale in the status of restored, and the price of such products is significantly reduced.

    The recovery procedure most often goes through smartphones that have already been in use, but it is not at all necessary that they had a marriage or serious breakdowns, although this also happens. Sometimes iPhones are under restoration, which were almost never used due to the fact that the buyer did not like it for some reason. It can be showcase samples, as well as copies that are in warehouses for a long time. there are a lot of options. As a result, the iPhone that has found a second life again hits the shelves, but already with the designation “Refurbished” in order to exclude its re-sale as a new one.

    What is a refurbished phone (smartphone)?

    So is it worth getting a refurbished iPhone

    If the device is officially restored and sold in a large retail chain, then you can count on stable operation and the same high-quality accessories as on the new iPhones.

    Buying a refurbished smartphone, you lose an additional year of warranty, and the defect rate is slightly higher. But a new copy can also be problematic. Do not be afraid of marriage, as a mobile device can always be returned under warranty. However, if you decide to take a remanufacturer, before buying, carefully check the display for spots and dead pixels, test the quality of communication, the work of Wi-Fi, the camera and other modules.

    How to find an officially refurbished iPhone for sale

    Buying a refurbished device, in some cases, you can save tens of thousands of rubles. For example, let’s take an iPphone X 256 GB, the restored version of which can be purchased for 45,999 rubles, while a new device will cost 77,999 rubles (are valid for June 2020).

    What is Refurbished?

    Refurbished is the official name for any electronics that has been returned by a previous owner and refurbished for resale. It is such a plate that a user will most often encounter on English-language websites.

    The first thing to know is that these smartphones are not new, but this does not mean that they have been used at all. “Not new” in the States is everything that was taken out of the box. If a person has used the device for at least a couple of hours. that’s it. Now it cannot legally be resold as new. The gadget goes into the refurbished category and loses at least 10-15% in price. For expensive smartphones or laptops, this is hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars.

    Can you tell the difference between these iPhone 7 Plus smartphones? They’re both refurbished, top from eBay, bottom from Amazon

    Large companies like Samsung regularly hold promotions when new devices are released in America: return your previous Samsung gadget and get a new one at a very large discount. This is how they instill in buyers love and loyalty to their brand: when a new flagship comes out, you do not feel that you have been deceived. And the assembled devices end up in the “refurbished” markets. although they didn’t even have to be repaired, only the diagnostics of the operation of all functions. Many who connect to the “family plan” of a mobile company also have similar conditions for updating devices.

    It is impossible to understand why the smartphone was returned and how long it was in the hands of the previous owner. But, by definition, a refurbished device should work like new. He may be worn (read about this in the description), but nothing should influence his work. Before they are put on sale, all refurbished devices are checked and tested by specialists. If the final device does not work like new, then it is not refurbished, and this is cheating.