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(Don’t) Be Afraid of Refurbished? Why You Should Always Buy the “Latest” iPhone Models

(Don’t) Be Afraid of Refurbished? Why You Should Always Buy the “Latest” iPhone Models

The domestic market of Apple equipment is notable for the fact that it sells a lot of illegally imported to the territory of our country various devices of this manufacturer. In most cases this is due to the fact that selling such equipment, the seller because of the lower price of “gray” goods will be able to earn more. Prices of official distributors are not very democratic. This is primarily because of Apple’s pricing policy.

However, there is a category of products that are imported into our country through unofficial channels. Not because it would be more profitable for the seller, but because there is no other way. iPhone is not sold in Ukraine officially for a variety of reasons, which I will not dwell on now. And unofficial sale of anything on the territory of any country leaves the users, who bought such a product, without the manufacturer’s official service support.

Now a little bit about this official service support. Apple is very loyal to its customers. As a result, broken iPhone, in case of any problems that are covered by the warranty, will be replaced by a new one. Not repair it, but replace it. This is very cool for the customer. Imagine that even today you had a machine with a hoarse speaker, and a couple of moments later you have a brand new machine in the factory tapes.

It’s not so cool for those consumers who went to Apple with some kind of mechanical damage. Such cases, of course, are not covered by the warranty. And Apple doesn’t repair such iPhones, either. Only replace them. Damaged, broken, drowned device is surrendered with a surcharge and replaced with a new one. The amount of the surcharge is determined by Apple based on the severity of the damage to the iPhone that requires replacement.


All broken devices that were received from customers in exchange for new ones are sent to factories for testing, repair and a second round of sales. Most of them will again become part of the exchange pool for warranty replacements. These iPhones are called manufacturer refurbished. It’s the rightest category of refurbished devices that there could be. They’re comparable to new iPhones in terms of reliability. Generally, any device that was returned after you purchased it, even for non-defective reasons (you did not like the color), cannot be sold as new and become refurbished.

Next. There are also so called seller refurbished iPhones. They appear due to trade-in actions of different large retail chains and smaller stores, which offer a new device in exchange for the old one with a discount. The meaning of such actions is clear: to make extra money on used iPhones and more profitable to sell new models of iPhones. So, in this case, the quality of the restoration of used phones is governed solely by the seller’s conscience.

Now back to our harsh realities. In Ukraine, as I have already said, officially the iPhone is not sold. As a consequence there are different channels for phones (ideally there should be one – Apple). Someone found a loophole with a reseller in Europe or the U.S. and buys an “honest” iPhone, and someone was tempted by the tasty prices and buys them from someone unknown. You can’t really blame our local sellers either (except for greed), because no one tells them themselves (who would deliberately scare away customers) what is in the boxes: new iPhones or seller refurbished. They usually learn about it only from the representatives of the local unauthorized service centers, which serve their customers by agreement. Manufacturer refurbished iPhone in our country is a rarity. The bulk of the devices are refurbished as it were.

Now a little about how refurbished devices are circulating in our market. At the beginning of the sale of a new iPhone model, they are all new. Refurbished devices simply have nowhere to go, nothing has yet had time to break. The first refurbished devices appear en masse in about six months after the start of sales in the U.S. For example, we saw our first refurbished iPhone 5 in June 2013. Earlier, of course, they can also pop up, but that will be more of an exception to the rule. From now on there are more and more of them.

Now, a few words about when the iPhone model starts, when it ends and how long the release cycle is. A new model goes into production about two to three months before the announcement. This is necessary for Apple to saturate its own warehouses and fill up the stock of its partners before the start of sales. As a rule, the previous model stops being produced with the start of the new one.

And now we will analyze the situation with the already available iPhone models in Ukraine. iPhone 4 is no longer in production. Therefore there is no new hardware at all. Moreover, everything that is now being sold under the guise of a new iPhone 4 is a refurbished device of varying, but mostly not the best quality.

The iPhone 4S (8 GB) is no longer available. There are also very few new units that have not gone through a refurbishment procedure. In addition, if you see an iPhone 4S with more than 8 GB of memory, then you know – it’s 100% raf, because the last such device was released in the summer of 2011. The iPhone 5 was discontinued around July 2013. And it’s really hard to find a really new device right now. Given the fact that iPhone 5 is structurally much more complex than its predecessors, quality requirements for repair have also increased and the probability of buying a headache instead of the long-awaited gadget is very high. Seller refurbished in the vast majority of cases are not of the highest quality. And recklessly buying such a device you can be confronted with, for example, this problem. In fact, this is one example and the problems can be much more.

For all of the above reasons, the most reasonable option for people who do not want to go into all the subtleties and do not want to exchange money for problems, is now the purchase of the iPhone 5S. Giving preference to this model, you will protect yourself from unpleasant surprises and enjoy using Apple technology.