Apple Replacement Phones All Questions Answered


You are on Apple Care+ and broke your iPhone. Now you start to wonder if the replacement iPhone Apple sends is new. Or maybe, are you confused about the meaning of a replacement iPhone? Is it a new phone, or is it used?

In this article, I will answer all replacement iPhone questions you might have.

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Does Apple Give You A New Replacement Phone?

If you need to replace an iPhone within the initial 14 days of purchase, Apple will provide you with a new iPhone. After 14 days, Apple will give you an Apple refurbished phone with a new battery, a new screen, and a replaced case. The phone will look and feel good as new. The older your iPhone is, the most likely you will get a refurbished replacement iPhone.

Before you go crazy, remember something, Apple refurbished devices are very different than most carriers or sites like eBay selling a ‘refurbished device’ that means they tried to clean the phone and make sure it works.

The Apple service replacement deviceOpens in a new tab. will have a unique model number starting with ‘N’ coming in a white box without the Apple graphics and accessories like chargers or cables. However, all the phone parts that count will be brand new, like the battery, case, and screen. So you can rest assured your replacement iPhone will work well.

There is also a chance your replacement will be new! If the iPhone model you are replacing is relatively new, the iPhone replacements are likely new as the phone isn’t old enough to age. As the model gets older (6 months and above), the supply of Apple replacement devices will likely be reconditioned or become repaired phones with new or used parts. Some iPhones returned within Apple 14 days return periodOpens in a new tab. cannot be sold as new. But would function as new and still be classified as secondhand devices.

So your iPhone needs replacing. Did you drop your phone? To see if dropping an iPhone causes internal damage, please read my article.

How long does it take for Apple to ship a replacement phone?

Apples Express Service is the place to send your iPhone to Apple for repairs. The shipping for a replacement typically takes 3-5 days, but you will receive a replacement iPhone at the Apple store the same day you take yours for evaluation.

How Apple Express Replacement Service Works

  1. You contact Apple to request Express Replacement Service. 
  2. Apple would send you the replacement iPhone within 3-5 days with instructions and packaging for you to return the damaged iPhone.
  3. After receiving the replacement, you can then send your damaged phone to Apple within the next ten business days.

Express delivery has no charges, but they will be for the phone replacement if you pay any fees. Of course, if your products fall under Apple Limited WarrantyOpens in a new tab.AppleCare+Opens in a new tab., or consumer lawOpens in a new tab., there won’t be any fees at all for the replacement either.

However, if your phone is damaged and falls under the “accidental damage” category, then you will have to pay $99. This category applies to people covered under AppleCare+ insurance for ALL eligible iPhones models. To see if the Apple warranty covers water damage, check our article.Opens in a new tab.

What does it mean when Apple sends a replacement product?

An Apple replacement product will either be a new Apple product, a ‘liked new’ used product, or a service unit not in retail packing. It will look and function as good as new with a screen, new battery, and usually a replaced case. 

The way to tell it’s a service product is by looking at the model number. If it starts with an ‘N,’ it is not a new replacement.

Unlike Amazon’s Amazon Renewed, infamous for having poor quality control and selling bad electronics, Steve Jobs’ deep attention to detail has installed in Apple a service standard. It promises not to provide replacement iPhones that are not good as new.

AirPods, one of Apple’s most popular products, are loved the world over for the excellent sound quality in a small, compact, beautiful design. If you have any questions about AirPods, please read my detailed article here.

What is the difference between refurbished and replacement iPhones?

Refurbished iPhones bought from Apple are up to 15% off with a standard one-year warranty and are eligible for an extended warranty with a new battery and outer shell. Replacement iPhones usually are service iPhones or refurbished phones used to replace a device under Apple Care +

See Apple refurbished lineup here.

Both refurbished and replacement iPhones are very similar. They both will be tested thoroughly with genuine Apple part replacements with a thorough cleaning with the latest iOSOpens in a new tab. installed.

The difference is replacement iPhones are used to replace broken iPhones under a situation like a phone being broken while covered by Apple Care + or within Apple 1 year limited warranty with all products. Replacement iPhones could be brand new or have failed a factory inspection that required repair. The iPhone is removed from the standard shipping line, and once fixed, it becomes a service unit.

A refurbished iPhone will ALWAYS be a used phone repaired well and new by an Apple technician with a new battery, screen, and a new outer shell. It looks and performs as well. The device will come in the original packaging in a new box with accessories and cables,Opens in a new tab. unlike a replacement iPhone.

Ever wanted to charge an iPhone with your MacBook charger? Is it safe to do so? To know for sure, please read my dedicated article.

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