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Complete Guide To Apple's Refurbished Phones

The newest iPhone 13 Pro Max has quite the price tag attached to it. Sometimes, you might even have to wait for two generations of Apple products before you can afford a new iPhone. However, if your phone is broken or you don’t want to shell out an extravagant amount for a new phone, it might make sense to buy the iPhone XR or even iPhone 11 Pro.

Fortunately, you can save a big chunk of money by looking at refurbished models of these iPhones. Apple lists its refurbished iPhones, iMacs, iPads, laptops, Apple watch, and AirPods for a discounted price on its online store. Even the recent Macbook Pro laptops with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chip and Liquid Retina XDR display are up for sale in the certified refurbished section. 

Refurbished iPhones are pre-owned cell phones that undergo an extreme restoration process before being sold again. Apple does this process to ensure these iPhones meet its quality standards. Apple claims that customers can save up to 15% when buying refurbished iPhones.

However, since these are pre-owned products, you must be careful and consider a few things before spending your hard-earned money on that iPhone you’ve wanted for so long.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of buying a refurbished iPhone and what to look out for before buying one.

Should you buy a refurbished Apple phone?

First of all, what exactly does it mean when we say an iPhone is ‘refurbished?’

Refurbished iPhones are previously owned but were returned to Apple due to manufacturing defects. Before being resold as "refurbished" iPhones, these cell phones are thoroughly tested for any deficiencies and repaired to guarantee proper operation.

These iPhones might have some aesthetic damage, like some small scratches, but other than that, the iPhones are comparably good as new.

It’s also worth noting that not all refurbished iPhones were previously defective. Some users refurb their iPhones within the warranty period if they want to upgrade to the latest model. Others might return their iPhones because they didn't like the cell phone. Maybe iOS wasn't for them, and they chose a Samsung cell phone instead. 

Anyway, it's important to know that "refurbished" and "used" are not the same thing. Refurbished iPhones undergo repair and quality assurance to ensure that the cell phone is in excellent working condition. Apple calls them "like new." On the other hand, used iPhones are phones that were pre-owned by other people and passed down from one individual to another without any repairs or hardware checks.

How can you tell the difference? Anyone trying to sell you a “refurbished” iPhone will always advertise it as refurbished. To avoid being scammed, it’s best to get a certified refurbished iPhone. Phonecheck’s all-in-one certification makes sure your refurbished iPhone is genuine, not lost or stolen, not locked to a specific carrier, warranty-guaranteed, and much more.

Benefits of buying a refurbished iPhone 

Apple guarantees to make all its refurbished products “like new.” This means you get most of the advantages of a new iPhone at a lower price. If you can live with a secondhand iPhone with potentially a few scratches here and there, you can enjoy plenty of benefits with a refurbished iPhone.

About Apple-certified refurbished phones

Once a customer hands in their iPhone, it goes back to Apple, where every device undergoes a strict refurbishment program to become an “Apple Certified Refurbished” product. Apple calls this their “Apple Certified Refurbished promise.”

The Apple Certified Refurbished promise ensures every customer receives a product that feels and performs like a brand new iPhone. This means that they dismantle an old iPhone, clean it, and repair defective parts. If anything needs replacing, Apple will use genuine Apple-approved components.

As mentioned before, every refurbished iPhone comes with a new casing, a new battery, and a new one-year warranty to boot. You’ll even get your refurbished iPhone in a shiny new box. If you want, you can purchase an AppleCare+ plan for your device.

Refurbished iPhones are usually older models from previous generations. Some users might have simply wanted to upgrade to the newest model, so they put their old iPhone through Apple’s exchange policy. Someone might have handed it in because of a faulty power button. In these cases, you’ll be quite fortunate to get an iPhone that’s close to brand new.

One thing to note is you can never be sure if a refurbished iPhone was once lost or stolen. Some iPhones aren’t unlocked, which means they’re still locked to a particular carrier. If you buy a refurbished iPhone from a third-party retailer, you might want to check the battery health and ensure the device has been wiped clean of any data. You’re unlikely to get a valid warranty if you aren’t buying directly from Apple.

If you want to be absolutely sure of these things, it’s best to get your refurbished iPhone certified through Phonecheck certification. You’ll get a full device history report that tells you everything you need to know about your refurbished iPhone. This way, you can rest assured that you’ve got the best bang for your buck and enjoy your “like new” iPhone. 

What to check when you buy a refurbished iPhone

Before you decide to buy a refurbished iPhone, there are a few things you should be aware of. Even if you get up to 15% off on a refurbished iPhone, you’ll still be paying a lot of money. You can protect your investment by following these steps. 

Here are a few things you should check when buying a refurbished iPhone:

You can also check if the parts are genuine or not. Go to Settings > General > About. Under the iPhone’s general information, you can also see “parts and service history.” If the iPhone was repaired and used genuine components verified by Apple, you’ll see “Genuine Apple Part” show up next to “Battery,” “Display,” or any other part. If the battery isn’t genuine, you’ll see “Unknown Part” appear next to it.

Take out the SIM tray and check for any red within the tray slot if you're considering an iPhone 6 or later. If the phone has been in contact with water, it will enable the device's Liquid Contact Indicator. When a Liquid Contact Indicator comes into contact with water or a liquid containing water, it will activate. The indicator is generally white or silver in appearance, but it turns bright red when it comes into contact with water.

Get a phone history report 

If you want the best value for money now and in the future, you should consider getting a device history report. With a device history report, you gain total transparency regarding your iPhone. The report will check for authentic Apple parts, battery life, locked carriers, and warranties. You can find out whether the device was once lost or stolen or whether the previous owner paid off the device.

With all this information, you can be sure that you have a genuine, well-functioning iPhone that is on par with Apple’s quality standards. This allows you to enjoy a “like new” refurbished iPhone and gives you the option to sell or exchange your iPhone in the future if you choose to. A device history report increases your refurbished iPhone's legitimacy and resale value, allowing you to get the maximum value from your device. Don't buy a used device without a Phonecheck Certified Device History Report.

Will the phone work with your carrier? 

Apple is one of the biggest companies in the world of smartphones. Naturally, their devices are compatible with every cellular carrier in the world. 

However, if you're purchasing an Apple iPhone X or earlier, the model number is something you should investigate.

The iPhone X, for example, exists in two models:  The iPhone X A1865 is a GSM and CDMA device that is compatible with any mobile carrier. The iPhone X A1901 is a GSM-only variant, which means it’s “locked” for carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile only.

Make sure you double-check by asking the seller for the exact model and carrier information. If they say that the iPhone has been unlocked, the refurbished iPhone is compatible with any carrier.

Make sure the phone isn’t stolen 

There's always a possibility that a secondhand iPhone could be stolen. A stolen iPhone could be Activation Locked and will not respond to your SIM card. This risk is higher with a third-party seller. A genuine Apple store will check this before putting the iPhone up for sale again.

Luckily, it's possible to check this. You can verify the IMEI number of a refurbished iPhone to ensure that it hasn't been reported stolen. Obtain the IMEI number from the Settings app if you're dealing with a vendor and have physical access to the device. Go to Settings, tap General > About. Scroll down until you find the IMEI number, then enter it into a stolen phone checker like CTIA.

Never buy a used phone without a Phonecheck device history report

There are many benefits of buying refurbished phones. It’s relatively cheaper, and you get an almost brand new device. If a few scratches and blemishes don’t bother you, a refurbished iPhone could be the perfect option. It also helps in the long run if you’re looking to sell or exchange your iPhone.

If you’re considering selling your iPhone and looking for the maximum resale value possible, we strongly recommend a thorough device certification report from Phonecheck. This report will help you identify problems with your refurbished device and provide you with an in-depth report of your iPhone. Avoid costly hidden problems by purchasing a history report on phonecheck.com for about the cost of a cup of coffee.

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