There are two types of iPhones available on the market: retail and refurbished. And there are a number of reasons why you may want to identify the refurbished ones. Maybe you purchased one from eBay or Craigslist, or maybe Apple sent you a replacement after your original one broke. Or maybe you are just curious to find out. Read this article to learn how to identify refurbished iPhone.

What is a Refurbished iPhone?

A refurbished iPhone is also an original unit, but it is repacked and made available for sale by Apple. Usually it is an exchanged or returned phone, repaired by Apple technicians and then certified as fully functional. Many sellers try to sell such units claiming them to be retail ones. That’s why it is important to identify the refurbished ones from the retail ones.

How to Identify Refurbished iPhones

Following are some ways about how to identify refurbished iPhones:

1. How to Identify Refurbished iPhones - Check the Box and General Information

Check the box and the general information is the easiest way to identify refurbished iPhones. Check it and see if it’s tightly sealed with the model number on the front and the serial number on the back. If everything checks out, then it is likely that you have purchased a new (retail) phone. The phone is likely refurbished if there is no box or there is a box but it doesn’t include manual or don’t have serial number on it.

iphone box

2. How to Identify Refurbished iPhones - Check Model Number

Another way to distinguish a refurbished iPhone from a retail one is to check the model number from the phone’s settings.

Follow these instructions:

Step 1: Open Settings app on iPhone and navigate to General > About > Model section.
Step 2: Check the first letter shown at the right side of Model.
Step 3: Your iPhone is a retail model if the first letter is “M”.
Step 4: Your iPhone is refurbished if the first letter is “N”.

mobel number

3. How to Identify Refurbished iPhones - Check Serial Number

You can verify the serial number of your iPhone on Apple’s Check Coverage website to know how to identify refurbished iPhones.

Follow these instructions:
Step 1: Open Settings app on your iPhone and navigate to General > About > Serial Number section.
Step 2: Note the serial number and then visit Apple’s Check Coverage website and type the serial number there. It will tell you whether the phone has been activated before or not.
Step 3: If the phone is already activated, then it is likely that it is refurbished or at least not ‘new’. If it is not activated, then it is a retail unit.

serial number

What’s the Hidden Trouble of a Refurbished iPhone

There are many disadvantages associated with refurbished iPhones. Following are some of the hidden troubles of such units:

  • Refurbished iPhones don’t have original parts, instead they have replacement parts. The shelf life of these parts is lower than the original ones.
  • Although refurbished iPhones are repaired and repacked with new parts. You cannot be 100% sure that there aren’t any defects.
  • The warranty of refurbished iPhones may either be out of time or it won’t cover most things as compared to what it normally does with retail iPhones.
  • It is likely that the refurbished iPhone still contains previous owner’s information (in the form of data fragments/traces).

How to Completely Reset a Refurbished iPhone Before Using

If you have purchased a refurbished iPhone, then it is likely that it still contains private data fragments of its previous owner. That’s why it is recommended that you completely reset the device and wipe such data fragments permanently before using it. iMyFone Umate Pro for Win or for Mac will help you achieve that. Erasing all data from your iPhone permanently is better than resetting it, if your main goal is to start fresh.

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Key Features:

  • Permanently erase any or all data from the refurbished iPhone.
  • Delete private data fragments of previous owner from the refurbished iPhone.
  • Increase the performance of your iPhone by cleaning up junk files, temporary files, etc. and free up space in the process.
  • 1-Click to completely reset a refurbished iPhone by wiping all of its data so that you can start using it without hassles.
  • Scan and permanently erase already deleted files from your iPhone.

iMyFone Umate Pro (Windows version)    iMyFone Umate Pro for Mac

Steps to Reset a Refurbished iPhone

Step 1: Use a working lightning cable to connect your iPhone to your computer.
Step 2: Launch iMyFone Umate Pro.
Step 3: Select Erase All Data option on Umate Pro and then click on Erase.

erase all data

Step 4: Confirm your preferred Security Level of deletion from the provided options. Selecting ‘Medium’ level is recommended.

erase now

Step 5: Type ‘delete’ in the textbox and when everything is configured, click on Erase Now. Data deletion process will begin.

Tip: Why There Are Refurbished iPhones

The market for buying used phones is quite popular among consumers. iPhones while being very sophisticated, are quite expensive if you are buying a new one. That’s why most people purchase refurbished ones as they are relatively cheaper. Because of such reasons, refurbished iPhones exist as they cover the needs of such consumers. Even Apple sells refurbished iPhones with 1-year warranty at up to 15-20% cheaper prices.