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Refurbed v. Refreshed?
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Thorzdad
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Jun 26, 2022, 09:45 AM
 
My wife is looking to replace her iPhone 6s. She’s always opted to go down the refurbed path. She keeps seeing either “refurbished” or “renewed” in the various descriptions. I want to believe they mean the same thing, but there’s a voice in my head saying that they probably don’t. Like, one term means “uses new OEM parts” and the other means “uses third-party parts, maybe new, maybe not” or somewhere in-between.

Is there an actual difference between refurbished and renewed, or is it just useless marketing-speak?
     
subego
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Jun 26, 2022, 11:29 AM
 
I get the impression the important distinction is “bought from Apple” versus “not bought from Apple”.

The former will have OEM parts and a full warranty, the latter will be a mystery.
     
reader50
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Jun 26, 2022, 12:36 PM
 
To me, Refurb = repaired, presumably by the OEM.
Refreshed = a return that was tested, but did not require any repairs. Clean it and repackage.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 27, 2022, 05:43 PM
 
Only Apple is using true OEM parts. Some are indistinguishable but very very few are OEM. The exception is the LCD but not the digitiser. And the replacement glass on the front is never Gorilla Glass.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
ghporter
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Jun 29, 2022, 11:34 AM
 
To me, “refurbished” usually means that someone has gone over the item with a fine toothed comb, and done anything necessary to return it to as close to factory new as possible. Often this is simply a matter of running all of the factory diagnostics, and “resetting” the device (as with a Mac or iPhone).

This is where cosmetic issues get to be a factor; a fully functional laptop with a few scuffs can’t sell as “like new”, but unless you’re all about the fashion thing with your tech (?!?!) it’s likely to be a really good deal.

In my mind, “renewed” connotes an item that needed repairs. Maybe just replacing a drive, or a drive cable, but it could also be major repairs. With things like phones and tablets, “renewed” makes me think “we replaced the whole display and digitizer, and made sure there were no signs of water intrusion”.

In both cases, I would expect that any firmware, OS or driver updates would be installed once the hardware was fully functional.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Jun 29, 2022, 12:04 PM
 
I had the opposite impression. Refurb is the full deal. Renew is wipe it down and see if it boots.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Jun 29, 2022, 12:15 PM
 
I had the same impression/assumption.
     
ghporter
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Jun 29, 2022, 08:47 PM
 
Maybe it depends on the channel the item comes through. That Dell reseller (Discount Electronics in Austin; they’ve been around for close to 40 years) calls all of their machines “refurbished.” And I know they are thorough in their processes, as I’ve been a customer of theirs for probably 30 years.

“Renewed” is a term that was new to me until I started looking for a cheap Win box. The term seems pretty flexible among the eBay vendors.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 2, 2022, 04:24 AM
 
Across a range of vendors, the two terms are likely to be interchangeable.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Jul 14, 2022, 08:58 AM
 
So, she ended up going with a refurbed SE (2020) from the same place she got her 6s way back when. Seems like a nice phone. The setup was kind of spooky, the way the new phone tells you to sit it next to the old phone and the two just talk to each other and do their thing. It’s neat, too.

It’s interesting to compare the two phones. The quality of the new phone is good, though the tactile difference between the metal 6s and the plastic SE diminishes the SE somewhat. I get that it’s the “budget” iPhone, thus the plastic. Still, it does kind of pale in comparison.

The speaker audio in the SE is a little brasher than in the 6s. I chalk that up to the plastic, again. The metal of the 6s probably works to dampen the noise better. Plastic would tend to reverb a bit more, I think.

She’s having a hard time getting accustomed to the haptic home button, after using the mechanical home button of the 6s for so long. She hasn’t quite figured out the right amount of pressure to use to get the phone to wake up/unlock/etc. That said, having a physical home button was a must-have for her, so it is what it is. She’ll work it out.

Also, the “not an Apple battery” warning they introduced in newer phones is a real dick move, imho.

Overall, it’s a nice phone. The plastic does detract a bit, though.
     
   
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