How to Know if Your iPhone is Original or Refurbished

Check if your iPhone is original or refurbished

Your iPhone may be an original one, and may also be a refurbished one. Then how do you know whether it is original or refurbished? In this article, I’d like to provide multiple methods for checking if your iPhone is original or refurbished.

Before that, let me introduce the differences between original iPhones and refurbished iPhones.

Differences between original iPhones and refurbished iPhones

First, what are original iPhones?

If any parts of an iPhone have never been changed or repaired since it went out of factory, then we call this iPhone an original one. For example, if the screen of your iPhone has been changed, then it can’t be an original iPhone any more. Instead, it is a refurbished one.

One thing we should pay attention to is that ‘original’ does not necessarily mean the iPhone has never been taken apart. Even if an iPhone has ever been taken apart, it is still an original one only if any component of it has never been changed or repaired.

What are merchants’ definitions of original iPhones? In fact, all merchants’ definitions of original iPhones are different from each other. But most merchants assume that iPhones should reach these standards to be judged an original product:

  1. The main board of the iPhone has never been removed or repaired.
  2. The outer frame of the iPhone has never been changed.
  3. The touchpad and the LCD screen are original.

In regard to the second point mentioned above, some cunning merchants are likely to cheat you by taking an iPhone whose outer frame has already been changed as an original one. But generally, merchants tend to regard it as a refurbished one.

Next, what are refurbished iPhones?

Refurbished iPhones are iPhones sold as new machines after our repair or processing of original microchips inside the machines, original shells of the machines or original outer packaging that we’ve collected. There are diverse kinds of refurbished iPhones, but the main sources include the following:

(1) A refurbished iPhone may be made from an old iPhone where the electronic circuit of the microchip has problems. It will be sold with a new packaging for it after our repair or after the new components are put together. Refurbished iPhones of this kind are of the least stable performance.

(2) A refurbished iPhone may be sold as a new machine made by processing, beautifying or changing the shell of a normal old machine.

(3) A refurbished iPhone may be sold as a new product through unofficial channels after people refresh software on it and design new packaging for it. Generally, there will be huge drawbacks in the stability of the software on such refurbished iPhones.

Although there are various sources of refurbished iPhones, there is a common feature of them. That is, customers cannot enjoy normal after-sales service from them.

Then let’s move on to a crucial content:

how to know if your iPhone is original or refurbished

Method 1: Check if an iPhone is original using the serial number

Step 1 Tap Settings on your iPhone

Step 2 Tap General

Step 3 Tap About

Step 4 Look at the serial number

Step 5 Enter this website using Google Chrome:

Then you’ll come to the following interface.

Step 6 Enter your serial number as instructed and then enter the given code. Click Continue.

If the interface displays a tick in a green circle as well as the words following it as above, you can conclude that your iPhone is a valid and original Apple product.

Method 1 is the main method. The following are some additional methods that you can also use to check whether your iPhone is an original or refurbished product.

Method 2: Check if iPhones are original by comparing their prices

When we purchase an iPhone, we’d better know the prices of iPhones beforehand. If sellers quote customers a very low price, we should be alert, because such cheap iPhones are either refurbished ones or ones sold through unofficial channels, or ones whose components have been partly processed or saved just for more profits.

Method 3: Know if your iPhone is original by checking the outer packaging and the instruction book of the iPhone

The packaging of refurbished iPhones is mostly made a little later than that of original ones. The craft for the packaging is relatively rough. The text and images on the instruction book of a refurbished iPhone tend to be so blurry as to look like a copy version. By contrast, the packaging and the instruction book of original iPhones are made with clear, high-quality and exquisite print.

Although some refurbished iPhones adopt the packaging and the instruction books of original iPhones, their packaging is quite old and their instruction books also have traces of use.

Method 4: Find if an iPhone is original by carefully checking the state of the shell of the iPhone

When we look at a new iPhone, we easily notice that there are protectors stuck on the surface of its key parts such as the screens and the camera. Only if these parts are touched, undoubtedly there will be fingerprints left. So if you see fingerprints on the new iPhone, you can judge it a refurbished iPhone instead of an original one. 

In addition, it is also inevitable for dust and traces of use to be left on refurbished iPhones. The charger slot, the gap between the upper and lower shell of the iPhone, etc. are places where dirt and dust tend to hide.

The shell of a new and original iPhone is tightly connected, and the part where the gap forms has a smooth and even surface with nothing that looks like fur or thorns. By contrast, as for refurbished machines, they are usually made by imitating original shells. Besides, the part where the gap forms has an uneven surface with something that looks like fur or thorns. The upper and lower parts of the iPhone shell are not tightly closed and there is a large gap left.

Method 5: Find if an iPhone is original by checking the iPhone’s accessories

If it is a new iPhone bought from an official manufacturer, it should have a full set of original attachments, including at least one charger, while refurbished iPhones’ attachments are either partly absent or not original. So before we purchase a new iPhone, we’d better go to visit some related websites to know what are original attachments of original iPhone. In this way we can avoid being fooled and cheated to some degree.

In addition, if you find scratches on the matching charger and earphone, then this iPhone is also likely to be refurbished.

Method 6: Check if an iPhone is original by testing the call quality of the iPhone

Bring your own SIM card and call your friends to test the call quality of the iPhone. Ask the friend who received your call about the call quality, for example, whether there are sounds of electric current or other noise, or whether there is a sudden drop in the sound volume.

Method 7: Find if an iPhone is original by viewing the records of use of the iPhone

Take a look at the text messages, contacts, call history and photo albums on the iPhone to know if someone else has ever used it.

Additionally, during the process of normal use, if the iPhone frequently shuts down automatically or frequently crashes, then we can get a conclusion for sure that there exist some problems in the mainboard or in the compatibility of the software system.

Method 8: Find if an iPhone is original by knowing the iPhone’s warranty period

Ask the retailer about the iPhone’s warranty period and claim an official invoice. Customers who buy a refurbished iPhone have no right to enjoy all the rights and interests stipulated in the “Three Guarantees” of an original iPhone. Generally it has no warranty period or has a relatively short warranty period.

If the retailers say that they are responsible for the warranty, you still can’t take it seriously, because official iPhones are generally under nationwide guarantee. If the retailers are unable to perform the guarantee, then undoubtedly the iPhone has some problems.

That’s all for my tips on how to know if your iPhone is an original or refurbished one. I hope it will help.

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