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How to Decide if a Refurbished iPhone is a Good Idea to Buy

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 1/20/2010

Refurbished iPhones are cheaper than new ones and better than used, but are they the correct purchase?

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    Problems with Refurbished iPhones

    The iPhone has so many features and such an air of corporate chic around it that many people over look some of the serious problems with the device. It is regulated to AT&T for service, unless you jailbreak it you have a limited pool of applications that are available through the App Store, and it is so sensitive to trauma that buying a used one is a questionable purchase. Now Best Buy, one of the limited numbers of retailers actually licensed to carry the iPhone, is selling refurbished iPhones right along side the new ones. If you are considering going in that direction, there are a few things to think about.

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    Shorter Life

    The overall consensus about the refurbished iPhone is not that it is too worn to work well but that it’s over all life will be less. It is difficult to replace batteries in the iPhone and the fate of many old “i" products is the trash can and not the repair shop. If you plan on using it also as your primary portable media device then you are going to want to get a brand new one that will give you a little life. If you already have an iPod sitting at home then you may want to give it a shot.

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    Price Discounts

    The refurbished iPhone is intended to appeal to a lower economic market of people who may not want to spend the new price on an iPhone. If you are doing a spontaneous upgrade on your phone then the refurbished models are a great choice, but if you are just signing your contract there is not much of a price differential between the brand new ones and the refurbished models.

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    Better Option Than Used iPhones

    If you would not be able to even consider the item unless it had the refurbished price reduction, then it is definitely worthwhile. It is not enough of a difference to take it off the table completely. It is going to be much more reliable then buying one of an auction site, especially since you are guaranteed the quality of the device and that it will work correctly with your AT&T 3G service.

iPhone Repair and Replacement

Here are articles with information about cases when you need to repair or replace your broken iPhone.
  1. Options for a Cracked iPhone Touch Screen
  2. An iPhone Buyer's Guide
  3. Prolong Your iPhone's Life
  4. How to Decide if a Refurbished iPhone is a Good Idea to Buy
  5. iPhone Quick Maintenance Tips