Given the reality of how dramatically a phone’s value drops the minute you open the box, it makes sense to buy a refurbished iPhone instead of shelling out top dollar for a new one. You get to let whoever bought the new device take the hit on the cost, plus you get a great phone that’s in high working condition.
First things first, let’s establish what a refurbished iPhone actually is.
People get rid of their phones for a variety of reasons. It might be because the iPhone is damaged or isn’t working properly. Maybe they want to upgrade to a newer model. It could be that they’re switching from Apple to Samsung and so don’t need their iPhone.
When someone returns or sells their iPhone, the company that they hand it over it to evaluates the phone, makes repairs, clears any residual data, and then resells it. It won’t come with accessories on resale, but a high quality vendor will offer a warranty.
This is different from buying an iPhone from an individual because the company guarantees that the phone is in working condition. If it zaps out on you the day after you turn it on, you have a guarantee that you can get your money back or get a replacement. Online services, big retailers, carriers, and of course Apple all offer refurbished purchase options.
There are several levels of refurbished devices that you can choose from. The lower the grade of the used device, the more damage it will have.
Any iPhone that you buy from a reputable business is going to be in working condition. The software on Apple products rarely goes sideways, and since all of your data is going to be backed up and reinstalled, what matters most in choice is the outside condition.
During the refurbishment process, the manufacturer or third party is already going to have ensured that the device is in working order. The main choice that you’ll have to make is how much cosmetic damage you’re willing to work with in order to save money. To some people, what the phone looks like doesn’t matter. To others, a like-new phone is an important part of the process.
There’s a reason that Apple’s iPhones are a top choice among smartphone users. Their features, quality, and security are hard to match by competitors like Samsung, Microsoft, and Google. That high level of quality means that buying a refurbished iPhone doesn’t mean sacrificing functionality and it barely means sacrificing longevity. iPhones are known to last so long that the software is no longer supported before the hardware gives out.
Buying a used phone that has been quality tested by either the manufacturer or a reputable third party means that you can get all of the functionality that you want for a value that you can afford. It’s the best kind of win-win.