You Can Easily Check If An iPhone Is Refurbished or New

check if iPhone is refurbished

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The iPhone is among the most desirable devices on the planet, and owning one is seen as a status symbol in many countries. Thus, many try to get their hands on a brand-new iPhone even if they can’t afford it. Such users look for the best deals and may not give much attention to the credibility of the seller. An iPhone may appear brand-new from the outside, but if you are getting an extremely good deal from an unknown retailer, then there is a chance it is refurbished or a replacement device. Thus, it is important that before you actually pay for the device, you check if the iPhone is refurbished or new.

According to a survey from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), only 10% of iPhones are purchased from an Apple Store. Most consumers prefer to buy it through a carrier such as Verizon or Sprint, while others buy from retailers like Best Buy. However, those who buy from other physical stores or less popular shopping sites run tha risk of being duped.

If you know how to check if a device is new or not, you can avoid being tricked. Knowing how to check if an iPhone is refurbished or new is not just useful when you are buying a new device. It also helps determine the market value when you are buying a used device from an unknown source.

Checking to see if it is refurbished or new also helps when troubleshooting or repairing devices. Before we detail how to check if an iPhone is refurbished or new, it is important to understand what refurbished devices are.

Refurbished devices from Apple are listed under the Certified Refurbished Products section on the online Apple Store. These devices are tested and certified by Apple and come with the company’s 1-year warranty. Such devices are also eligible for the AppleCare extended warranty. Normally, refurbished products from Apple are about 15% cheaper than new ones.

Refurbished devices are a great option if you want an iPhone but can’t afford to buy a brand-new one. Similarly, there are replacement devices which Apple issues when a user encounters any issues with their original device. Here’s how to quickly check if an iPhone is refurbished or new.

First, open the Settings app and go to “General” and then tap “About.” Now look for the model number (you may need to tap it to reveal a secondary number). Your phone’s model number should look something like this: ME306LL. The first character of the model number will tell whether the iPhone is new or refurbished:

  • If the model number starts with M, then the device is brand-new and has not been used before.
  • If the model number starts with F, it indicates that the iPhone or iPad is refurbished.
  • If the model number starts with P, it signals a device with a personal engraving or which has been customized.
  • If the model number starts with N, then the device is likely a replacement device.

You can also check the model number on the box the iPhone came in. The model number is printed at the bottom of the box. However, checking the model number from the iPhone itself is more trustworthy and recommended.

Now that you know how to check if an iPhone is refurbished or new, you can buy an iPhone without worrying about being duped. If you are planning to buy a new iPhone, it would make sense to wait a couple more months because Apple will release the 2019 iPhones by then.

Apple usually hosts an event in September to showcase its new iPhones and other hardware. This September, Apple is expected to unveil successors for the iPhone XR and iPhone XS/XS Max and the Apple Watch Series 5. There is no information yet on the exact date when Apple will host the September event, but it will likely be in the second week of September. The day could be either a Tuesday or Wednesday. This guess about the launch date comes from past dates of Apple’s September events: Sept. 9, 2015 (Wednesday), Sept. 7, 2016 (Wednesday), Sept. 12, 2017 (Tuesday), and Sept. 12, 2018 (Wednesday).

Based on these past event dates, this year Apple could host an event on Sept. 10 or 11. If this holds true, then pre-orders for the devices could open on Sept. 13, and they may start reaching buyers by Sept. 20.



About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com