How Is An iPhone Refurbished?

Have you ever considered selling or trading in your old iPhone after you upgrade to the latest model? Or maybe you’re in the market for a new phone and you’re considering a refurbished model from a few years ago. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look into iPhone refurbishment to understand the process of how it goes from an unwanted device into a fully functional, like-new phone.


Refurbished Phone Meaning

A refurbished phone is defined as an existing device that has been repaired, cleaned and restored back into like-new condition. This is usually after having been returned by its original owner due to defects or just upgrading their device. These phones undergo rigorous tests in order to meet standards equivalent to brand new models before being put up for sale again.


What’s the deal with refurbished iPhones? 

When you purchase a refurbished iPhone, you can expect a device that is of high quality and functions just like a new one. While there may be some cosmetic imperfections or signs of wear, these are often minor and do not impact the device’s performance.


Most refurbished iPhones have been restored to like-new condition. While some people may be hesitant to purchase one, the truth is that many of these iPhones are of high quality and are virtually indistinguishable from new devices.


Is iPhone refurbishment just for looks? 

While the cosmetic refurbishment of an iPhone is an important part of refurbishment, it’s not the only aspect of the process. Refurbished iPhones undergo a comprehensive refurbishment process that includes not only cosmetic refurbishment but also functional restoration.


During this process, the device is disassembled, and any faulty or damaged parts are identified and replaced with new or refurbished parts. The battery may also be replaced if it is no longer functioning optimally. This ensures that the device is not only visually appealing but also functions properly.


Common Concerns About Refurbishing Devices 


As people become increasingly dependent on electronic devices, selling yours for refurbishing may bring up some concerns.


Data Privacy 

One of the main concerns people have when selling an iPhone is data privacy. Nearly everything we do is on our phones, and any personal information getting into the wrong hands can be devastating.


Before beginning the refurbishment process, it is strongly recommended that you remove all personal data from the device permanently. This will confirm that none of your photos, messages, or passwords can be accessed by anyone else. That said, it’s important to work with a reputable company who takes data privacy protocols seriously.


Environmental Impact

Another consideration you might have about selling your iPhone is its impact on the environment. The good news is that reusing an old device through refurbishment is far less harmful to the planet than throwing it away to the landfills. By extending its life through refurbishing, you can help to reduce demand for new devices to be manufactured. As a result, this conserves natural resources and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.


The iPhone Refurbishing Process 


Step 1: Data Erasure

Before any repairs or refurbishments can take place on an iPhone, all data must first be erased to protect the privacy of its previous owner. This involves wiping all personal information off the device and restoring it to factory settings. To properly wipe your device, check out our guide on removing your personal data from your iPhone.


Step 2: Device Evaluation and Testing


The second step in the iPhone refurbishment process is evaluation and testing. When an iPhone arrives at the refurbishment location, its condition will be evaluated thoroughly. This includes testing for physical damage, such as cracks or scratches on its screen or body, as well as internal malfunctions or damages that require attention before it’s ready to be sold.


Once the initial evaluation has been conducted, an iPhone will go through a series of tests to gauge its functionality. These may include checking its camera, microphone, speakers, and buttons to make sure they work as intended. It’s also crucial to check the battery life to make sure it conforms with manufacturer specifications.



Step Three: Repair and Replacement Parts


Once a device has been assessed and all data erased, any necessary repairs can begin. This may include replacing the screen, fixing broken buttons or cameras, replacing batteries, or in some instances, even changing out an entire logic board of the device.


All replacement parts used during iPhone refurbishment come directly from Apple to ensure that it meets the same high standards of functionality as new devices.


Step Four: Cleaning and Cosmetics


Once repairs are complete and replacement parts have been installed, the iPhone will be thoroughly cleaned on the exterior and restored back to like-new condition. This includes the removal of any scratches or blemishes on the screen or body.


Sometimes devices receive new housing with updated back cover and buttons for an updated appearance that makes them indistinguishable from brand new iPhones.


Step 5: Final Testing

After all repairs and cosmetic adjustments have been completed, a refurbished iPhone undergoes its final testing phase to ensure it satisfies industry standards as an equivalent brand new device. A series of tests is conducted to make sure it passes inspection.


This final phase of testing includes verifying again that all aspects of the device, including camera, speakers, microphone, and buttons, are working as intended. Battery life testing also occurs to ensure it meets manufacturer standards.


Step 6: Quality Control

The final step of iPhone refurbishment is quality control, which involves conducting a detailed final inspection to ensure all new device standards are met, and all deficiencies or malfunctions that were missed during testing have been resolved.


At this stage, the device is also carefully examined for any software issues and updated to the newest operating system version. This should result in all features of the device working perfectly before being certified as ready for sale.


Step 7: Resell 

Once all testing and quality control stages have been successfully completed, the device is ready for resale. Refurbished iPhones may be sold through various channels, including online marketplaces and electronics retailers.

Why Should You Purchase Refurbished Phones?


Attractive Price Point  

One of the primary advantages of purchasing a refurbished iPhone is cost savings. These devices typically sell at lower price points than brand new versions, making them an appealing option for those seeking high-quality smartphones without breaking the bank. Refurbished devices may save you hundreds of dollars without sacrificing the quality of your purchase.


Environmentally-Friendly Options


As previously mentioned, purchasing refurbished iPhones is also an environmentally-friendly choice. Purchasing used devices helps reduce electronic waste in landfills while simultaneously decreasing demand for brand new devices to be manufactured.


Quality Assured

One advantage of purchasing a refurbished iPhone is the quality assurance provided with it. Before being put up for sale, each refurbished phone undergoes rigorous quality testing to ensure it meets the same standards as brand new devices – giving you peace of mind knowing your refurbished device will work just as effectively!



Many refurbished iPhones come with warranties, giving buyers extra peace of mind. Depending on the refurbishment company and device you purchase, warranties that cover defects and malfunctions for a set period could give added protection from unexpected issues with your device.


Why Refurbishing Your iPhone Might Be the Ideal Option


If you’re considering selling your old iPhone, reselling may be the way to go. Not only will refurbishing help you make some extra money, but it will also have less of an environmental impact than throwing it away.


Can any iPhone be refurbished?


While many iPhones can be refurbished, eligibility requirements must first be fulfilled for it to qualify for refurbishment. Here are a few factors that could determine if your iPhone can be refurbished:


  • Cracked Screen: Even though an iPhone with a cracked screen may still qualify for refurbishment, it’s at the discretion of the company to accept your device or not. If your device has extreme damage, you may receive a lower offer in the sale.
  • Power Issues: iPhones that do not power on are usually ineligible for refurbishment. In these instances, battery replacement may be part of the refurbishment process if the company accepts it. But if there are more serious issues, such as damaged logic boards, refurbishment may not be an option.
  • Water Damage: An iPhone that has experienced water damage may no longer qualify for refurbishment, as water can severely affect its internal components. It may not be a cost-effective option for the refurbishment company to try to repair it, making recycling the better choice.


What can I get for my old iPhone?


Your old iPhone could get you upwards of hundreds of dollars, depending on its age, model and condition.


Generally speaking, newer models in good condition typically receive higher offers than older devices or those with significant damage. Your results will also depend on where you sell your device – online marketplaces like eBay or Craigslist may offer higher returns yet require more effort on your part for selling or shipping it.


Here’s a general estimate for popular iPhone models in good condition:


  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (512GB) – up to $418
  • Apple iPhone 14 (128GB) – up to $447
  • Apple iPhone 13 Mini (256GB) – up to $302


Please be aware that these are only approximate estimates; your device’s actual worth could vary based on various other factors. If you want to find out how much your old phone is worth, use our online tool.


Final Thoughts on Refurbished iPhones  

Refurbishing an iPhone is an intricate process that involves careful evaluation, testing, repairs, and cleaning steps in order to restore it back to like-new condition that meets all industry standards.


If you’re thinking about selling or throwing away your old iPhone, consider reselling it instead. Gazelle makes it easy to trade in your iPhone, Samsung phone, iPad, MacBook and more. We offer actual money instead of account credit like most carriers. Visit our online pricing tool and see how much your old device could be worth today!



Leave a Reply