Reconditioned iPhone

Reconditioned iPhone – are phone handsets that have been returned back to the mobile operator (or high street retailer) via a warranty return, unwanted item return or a money-back scheme. When the iPhone handsets are returned they are returned to Apple and any faults are repaired, parts replaced and the iPhones are reconditioned following Apple’s stringent refurbishment program. Prior to sale the phones are then re-packaged, shipped back out to the mobile operators and re-marketed as reconditioned or ‘refurbished’ iphones.

The great news is that, not only is it difficult to tell the difference between a recondition iPhone and a new one, but – in addition to your statutory rights – the phones will come with a 6-12 month warranty (the length of waranty will vary depending on the mobile retailer, so do check).

You can purchase reconditioned and refurbished phones on both pay as you go and monthly contract tariffs.

Reconditioned iPhones on pay as you go

Pay as you go is great because you can purchase an iPhone for a smaller initial payment and plan how much you are going to spend each month.

Reconditioned iPhone

If you get a refurbished iPhone on a contract you will be able to get the phone handset on a smaller ‘per month’ contract – typically £5-£10 less per month for essentially the same phone AND you are likely to get the iPhone for free.

Reconditioned iPhone 4

You can now get reconditioned iPhone 4 phones. They are in limited supply across the mobile operators (refurbished stock tends to sell quickly). I have provided a set of links straight to the reconditioned/refurbished sections of the main mobile website so please feel free to keep checking back to see if there are any reconditioned iPhone 4 available.

Quick links to reconditioned iPhones

  • Reconditioned iphone 3GS on the O2 website (FREE on £13.50/month, 24-month contracts – ABSOLUTE BARGAIN and a lot cheaper than buying an iPhone and running in on a pay as you go deal! Note:To keep the costs down to £13.50 remember to select only 100MB data per month not 600MB (which would cost £16.50/month))
  • Reconditioned phones on the Orange website (hard to find reconditioned units)
  • Reconditioned phones on the Three website (collection of refurbished phones including Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Sony)
  • Reconditioned phones on the T-mobile website (sadly I couldn’t find any reconditioned iphones on T-mobile)
  • Reconditioned phones on the Vodafone website (currently no refurbished iPhones on the website but check back in and you might get lucky)
  • Reconditioned phones on the Apple website (buy a handset direct from Apple – £244 for a 3G phone) (check out the refurbished ipad with 3G for £389)
  • Reconditioned phones on the Carphone Warehouse website (phones but no iPhones at the time of last checking their website)

Why get a refurbished iPhone?

A cheaper way to own an iPhone could be for you to purchase an iPhone (or other smart phone device) as a reconditioned phone. The phone will likely be an unwanted returned, unit but it will be in very good condition. In fact, the phones are normally in such good condition they have had their case and screen replaced, and will be offered with a 12 month warranty against defects.

Reconditioned versus pay as you go

The good thing with reconditioned iPhones is that they can obtained for a much lower initial outlay (upfront payment for the handset), plus, for those considering cheaper monthly usage contract, the minimum cost commitments are lower. The ongoing, monthly contracts are normally low enough to be seriously considered if you have been thinking of buying a reconditioned iPhone against an iPhone on pay as you go…

You will have a lower upfront cost for the iPhone AND your minutes and text included each month as part of the contract will be higher than if you were to purchase these items each month on a pay as you go basis.


When getting a reconditioned iphone, don’t think second-hand think refurbished and ‘as new’. The phones are cheaper to buy and the monthly contracts are cheaper. The total cost-of-ownership of a reconditioned iphone is going to be considerably cheaper than one purchased on a PAYG (pay as you go) basis or a new handset on a monthly tariff.