Refurbished (ref) iPhone: how to distinguish from the original


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.). Do we need to buy such iPhones and how do they differ from ordinary ones, we will tell in this article?

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What is 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 could be new smartphone, which, but for any reason (for example, defects in the production process), has been interfered with by the technical control service of the manufacturer.

From service centers around the world, iPhones are damaged and sent to an Apple partner factory where complete replacement (not repair) of all problem modules, mandatory replacement of the case screen, reinstallation of software and removal of the device from the database of used (activated) gadgets

At the same time, “like new” iPhone gets new serial number, manufacturer’s warranty (same as new – 1 year), documentation, charger, headphones (i.e. all new kit) and sent to the Apple Store shelf or reseller store.

The lineup 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

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How to distinguish a refurbished (CPO, ref) iPhone from a regular new or refurbished used iPhone

Extremely undesirable buy new iPhone in ordinary small online stores and sellers from flea markets (of course, there is no talk of large official retailers such as Svyaznoy, MTS, M.Video, etc.). Most of these phones will be packed used with a non-original kit. In this case, it is best to buy an official iPhone refurbished by Apple specialists.

It is quite easy to distinguish a smartphone that has been really restored by the manufacturer.

First of all, the box says about it – she is noticeably different from packaging 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:

New iPhone 11 Pro

New iPhone 11 Pro box

Refurbished (ref) iPhone 11 Pro

Refurbished (ref) iPhone 11 Pro

Moreover, the model refurbished iPhone starts on “F” and sometimes contains an abbreviation RFB (refurbished), and the model of the new iPhone always starts with the letter “M”… In detail.

Refurbished iPhone

IPhone X CPO Model

New iPhone label:

New iPhone 11 Pro Max box

Refurbished iPhone label:

How does a refurbished (ref, refubrished) iPhone 6 differ from a new and used one?

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:

How to check if you bought a new iPhone?

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

Good luck with your iPhone!

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