What is a refurbished iPhone?

refurbished iPhone, often referred to as a “used iPhone with a warranty” or a “reconditioned iPhone”, is an Apple smartphone restored to full working condition after being either pre-owned or used as a display model.

iPhones that have been pre-owned may have been returned because there was a small fault, or simply because its owner decided they wanted to trade-in to raise funds for a newer model.

Regardless of why an iPhone is being sold as refurbished, you can rest assured the device will be in complete working condition, the same as their brand new counterparts. All refurbished Apple products – assuming you’re buying from a legitimate source – undergo a complete analysis, including hardware and software tests and thorough checking of all components.

During the complete analysis all refurbished phones are given a grade that reflects their condition. There’s no universally applied standard for grading, so it’s best to check before buying.

But as a rule of thumb, the grades range from A-D and break down like this:

  • Grade A: This is as nearly new device. At worst, it’ll show minor signs of wear.
  • Grade B: Expect the odd chip or scratch, but nothing too unsightly.
  • Grade C: Refurbished phones graded ‘C’ will have perhaps up to five blemishes and will look like they’ve been used.
  • Grade D: A grade D refurbished phone will be broken in some way, will look second-hand and will have been well used.

You can read everything you need to know about refurbished phones in our next post What should I keep in mind when buying a refurbished phone?

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