There are many reasons that you may want to check whether your iPhone is new or refurbished. Maybe you bought it directly from another person, possibly through eBay or Craigslist. Maybe you received a replacement under Apple insurance when your original phone broke. Or maybe you’re just curious to know.
There used to be a couple ways to check this via the the serial number. But those methods are no longer valid. Apple has now sold 1 billion iPhones – yes, 1 BILLION! And 1 billion different iPhones means 1 billion different serial numbers. Apple had to change how it codes it’s serial numbers. And now it isn’t possible to personally check the serial number yourself, to determine if the phone is refurbished or new.
So what can you do?
Well, the only real option is to call Apple, or visit an Apple Store, and give them the serial number. They will be able to check the history of the device on their system.
Find the serial number of your phone on the back, or in Settings > General > AboutCredit: Apple
If Apple themselves refurbished the iPhone in the past, they will be able to tell you that.
However, many iPhones get refurbished by third parties. This is completely fine, especially if they are certified, however it won’t have been recorded on Apple’s system.
Therefore, it is impossible to be sure if an iPhone is refurbished or not, simply from the iPhone itself.
If you really care about this, you should try to track the history of the iPhone going back in time from where you purchased the iPhone from. This may prove rather tricky, especially if you bought it from a stranger.
Why You Shouldn’t Care
You shouldn’t really care whether or not your phone is refurbished. If it is a refurbished phone, it isn’t more or less likely to break than a non-refurbished phone.
That’s why Apple gives you a refurbished phone when you claim a new phone under insurance. And they don’t even tell you it is refurbished. That is because it is of the same quality standard as a brand new phone.
If you’re on the market for a phone, and you’re looking to save a few hundred bucks, you can check out our website where you will find certified refurbished iPhones and much more.