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Hidden code tells if your iPhone was new or refurbished

Some sellers offering "new" phones that were really used
Posted at 3:53 PM, Dec 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-06 15:53:14-05

So you just spent $800 or $1,000 a new Apple iPhone.

Or perhaps your provider sent you a replacement one because your old one broke.

But how do you know if that new phone is really brand new?

It turns out there is an easy way to find out, thanks to a hidden code in your settings.

Recent reports in the Daily Mail, How-to-Geek, and other sites say every iPhone has a code in the model number that will instantly tell you if you are holding a previously-owned phone.

To find out:

  • Go to "Settings."
  • Then go to "General."
  • Then click on "About," which tells you all about your phone.

That is where you will see the code.

Look for "Model," and specifically the letter in front of your model number.

  • "M" means it was a brand new phone when you activated it.
  • "F" means it was refurbished, and that someone else used it first.
  • "N" means it is a replacement device, for a phone that broke.
Hidden code tells if an iPhone is new or refurbished

Third party sellers may misrepresent your phone as new

But from the "doesn't that stink" file, some folks have paid for what they thought was a new phone and ended up with a used one.

Apple forums are filled with complaints from people who said it happened to them when they bought a discounted phone from third party sellers. In most cases, you cannot get a refund.

And if it was refurbished by an independent repair shop, it may not have an Apple warranty.

Apple reminds customersthat all its Certified Refurbished phones come with a one year warranty, but one refurbished by a cell store or third party may not.

So check the hidden code number before you buy. Or if you are buying from a 3rd party seller, ask them what letter the model number starts with.

That way you don't waste your money.


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