A Comparison Between Used iPhones and Refurbished iPhones

While the iPhones seem quite appealing to most, they command a premium price which is not affordable for everyone. This leads to many being left with just two options – either forget the iPhone and pick some other brand, or keep using your old phone until you save up enough to get a new iPhone.

However, there seems to be a problem with both these options. While not many would like to make a compromise and go for other brands, those trying to save up for a new iPhone may have to wait for too long. Furthermore, newer versions of iPhones are released fairly frequently, so it may not make sense to get a new but outdated version.

However, some others do manage to find a way out, by going for a used or refurbished iPhone. Now though not many would like to do that, especially given the peace of mind that comes with a new one, some seem to be perfectly happy with a used or refurbished one.

Apple iPhone

So without further ado, let’s have a little comparison between a used iPhone and a refurbished iPhone, and the important factors to look out for.

Overview of a refurbished iPhone

As we don’t think anyone needs to know what a used iPhone means, we will skip that part and simply get into what exactly is a refurbished iPhone.

A refurbished iPhone, or any other phone for that matter, is one that isn’t new, but is tested and confirmed to be working as good as a new one. Many a times, some users would simply ditch their iPhone whenever a newer version is released. These are usually iPhone fanatics and it’s pretty common for many iPhone users to do that.

Hence, while a refurbished iPhone may not be brand new, it may not be very old either. However, there are also cases when a user may have used their iPhone for too long and decided to sell it as a refurbished one. But the bottom line is that regardless of how new or old the phone is, it may still be working just as good as a new one.

Used iPhones Vs. Refurbished iPhones

Although both may seem quite similar to many, there are some major differences between used iPhones and refurbished iPhones.

Used iPhones are usually sold as is, in their present condition. This means they may not be tested or even repaired if there’s something wrong with them. Similarly, they usually don’t come with any guaranties. They might as well stop working in a week after you buy them and you still may not be able to do anything about it.

On the other hand, refurbished iPhones, as mentioned earlier, are tested properly to ensure they work perfectly well. Furthermore, they are even fixed for any problems they may be having, as well as may even come with some kind of warranty.

In fact, sometimes the warranty offered may exactly be the same as the one offered on a new iPhone. It obviously goes without saying that there isn’t much to worry about if you’re offered something similar to that.

However, not all sellers may ensure that the refurbished iPhones they are selling meet all the above given conditions, which refurbished phones should. Hence, just as while buying almost anything, and more specifically phones or electronic products, you may want to do your own due diligence as well.

iPhone in hand

Things to look out for

Well, now that you’re aware of the differences between a used iPhone and a refurbished one, you may want to know more about the things you need to keep in mind while going for either of them.


It’s common to come across battery problems, especially while buying a used phone. This is even more likely to be the case while buying used iPhones, as they tend to come with a weaker battery life anyway.

You may want to ask as many questions as required to know the true status of the battery of the phone you’re looking to buy.


This is another part of the phone which tends to have problems, and this may sometimes be the reason for the user putting it up for sale as a second-hand product. While you may get yourself covered for this while getting a refurbished iPhone, you may want to be careful if you’re buying a used one.

Scratches may seem common while buying a used phone, but they aren’t really acceptable when it comes to touch-screen phones.

Other factors

Similarly, some of the other important factors you may want to keep in mind include:

  • Price – If the difference between a new and used/refurbished iPhone isn’t much, it doesn’t make much sense to go for the latter
  • Contract costs – These can be tricky at times and hence you may want to understand all the liabilities clearly
  • Version – iPhones tend to get outdated quickly, so it’s not recommended to go for a very old version

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