Unboxing: 8 GB Refurb iPhone from AT&T

I'm sure you may have heard horror stories about refurbished iPhones, specifically those from AT&T. Some of the first batch of refurbished iPhones reportedly came with face grease and scratches, others were already even jailbroken--the issues kept getting more and more outlandish and I began to wonder where the truth lied.

Well after we reported the $249/8gb $349/16gb deal here at TiPb, I just had to see them for myself. I managed to purchase a 8gb version before it sold out that same day and eagerly anticipated its arrival.

Though I already have an 8gb iPhone and before you all tar and feather me for being unaware of the imminent release of the 3G iPhone, I figured that an iPhone, no matter when, where, or how, makes a great gift for a special someone. And in the case that they deny the gift, it’s a good way to make a quick buck by simply unlocking & jailbreaking to those poor, poor souls who live in a country with no current ‘official’ iPhone. And if I received one that was in terrible condition, well I would have struck story gold! So it’s a win-win-win, well unless the 3G iPhone does really come out for a subsidized $199, then I might cry.

Read on for the Rest of the Story & Pictures!

To give you a quick summary of the purchase, I bought the iPhone around 1:00 PM Pacific Time on Wednesday through AT&T’s website and promptly received a confirmation number. Thursday afternoon I received notice that my iPhone was already being shipped by DHL (which, by the way, has a great feature that update the status of your package via SMS or e-mail). After receiving silly updates over the weekend and seeing the package ship from Texas->Ohio->California (not my first route choice), I promptly received the iPhone Monday morning at 9:40 AM.

It arrived in a very unremarkable cardboard box that weighed much less than I originally remember my first iPhone weighing. After removing the contents from the box, I found the weirdest of sights. An Apple Product in a carrier-branded box. Complete with the company’s orange and blue, the box screamed AT&T and you would never imagine that there was an iPhone in there.

The packaging was also very anti-Apple, with the use of Styrofoam and careless placement of accessories. It seemed like the earphones and pamphlet didn’t have a slot in the Styrofoam packaging so it was just placed on top of everything. Whatever I thought, I was already wowed by the original packaging of the iPhone but was hopeful to see if it came in one of those white boxes that other refurbished iPhones have been boxed in.

I carefully examined the iPhone and its accessories and well, it suffices to say, I didn’t get to tell one of those crazy, outlandish stories. The iPhone was in flawless condition and doesn’t even look like it has been used. The screen feels great and the back is unscathed. However, some of the accessories do have some wear on them, the USB cable has a few marks and scratches on it and the other accessories don’t look BRAND NEW, but definitely new enough and most importantly, all are in perfect working condition.

The iPhone functions perfectly too. I quickly jailbreaked it to see if everything was functioning and sync’d it a couple times and well, everything turned out fine. So in all, next time there is a refurbished deal for the iPhone, whether it be through AT&T or Apple, fear not! The iPhone works perfectly, looks flawless, and you'll have a great toy to play with for the rest of eternity (or until the next one comes out).

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iPhone 3G Launch Date: June 9th?

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There are 11 comments. Add yours.

Dieter Bohn says:

Wow, so it's clearly AT&T that's doing the refurbishing and not Apple -- no way they'd allow such horrible packaging even on a refurb!

Rene Ritchie says:

Let's see, Jobs and Ive spend hours pouring over packaging, making the unboxing experience relevant and intoxicating, and wrapping their tech as well as they engineer it.
Wanna bet AT&T didn't spend 3 seconds on that?

Dieter Bohn says:

So, did you find any confidential information on the refurb?

WatersWest says:

Most importantly, how's the battery life?? (I assume that "refurb" doesn't mean "we put a new battery in it for you" ...) Or does it?

Galley says:

Mine arrived in minty fresh condition, with no previous information.

amjad says:

when buying those refurbished iPhones from AT&T, do you really HAVE to activate the iPhone through iTunes and sign a 2-years contract with AT&T?
'cause I've been hearing that if you purchase the iPhone from AT&T and you do not activate the iPhone within a certain period, they would immediately put you in a plan and start deducting the fees of the plan every month from the credit card you purchased the iPhone from. Is that true?

james wales says:

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Cap Sparling says:

I live in Mexico, US and Canada during a year. I want a iPhone 3G but want to know if it's possible to remove the sim card on the phone I get from you and then get one for each of the three countries I live in. How does the phone work if I'm not on a contract?
thanks
Cap

Jeff says:

Are these iPhones 1st GEN? If so, is the $49.00 GO plan with MediaNet I had on my old (but gave away) iPhone still available?

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