What is the difference between Refurbished and Apple Refurbished iPhones / Certified Pre Owned iPhones?

It's hard these days when looking to buy a cheap second hand iPhone or pre-owned mobile online. There are so many different types of descriptions, so many different sellers and websites, that it makes it hard to choose from.

Often, the price of buying a second hand phone won't be that marginally cheaper than buying a new one. This is because the market for new phones, particularly Apple, is a highly regulated one and they don't offer discounts.

This drives up the price of second hand goods.


Refurbished/Seller-Refurbished iPhones

"Refurbished" or "Seller Refurbished" means that the phone is a second-hand/used/pre-owned phone essentially.

There are a few differences to buying a "second-hand/pre-owned" phone from someone at the pub or at a marketplace than buying one from a reputable online seller. The difference is that most of the reputable sellers these days use professional phone testing software like "Blancco" to test the device beyond just the basic checks, plus they give the devices a good clean and offer a warranty period.

That's the main difference.

Battery health is the next main thing. When you buy from a reputable company, it will have a minimum battery health, and they will have tested to ensure the battery health is a minimum of 80%.


OzMobiles test every single device using the Blancco software and complies with  the Australian product safety laws. This guarantees you that there are no technical faults found within the device. Often, you may see claims that there is a 48-point check or a 72-point check. Ask the seller, how are your devices tested for faults?

A Refurbished device can be confused with "Apple Refurbished", so make sure you read the description thoroughly for the details on the warranty. Just because a phone/mobile phone is described as "Refurbished" does not mean it will look "as new", often you will see that when you're buying a refurbished phone, it does not mean it will have even a new screen.

By definition, refurbished does not mean that the device has new parts like a new battery or a new screen.

The refurbished phones that OzMobiles sell are sourced locally, and thus have genuine Apple parts.


Apple Refurbished iPhones or CPO / Certified Pre-Owned iPhones


Apple Refurbished or Certified Pre-Owned means that the device you're buying has been refurbished by Apple. It will not only look like a new device, but internally will have a lot of original replaced parts and be covered by a min 12 month warranty at Apple. The best thing about buying Apple Refurbished means you know that the device will look as new, but have a battery that's been replaced also.

It's much more popular in Europe, but the term "Certified Pre-Owned" or "CPO" is the same as "Apple Refurbished."

Apple Refurbished items are generally a little more expensive, since they are carried with a 12 month warranty with Apple.

So, should you buy a Seller-Refurbished or an Apple Refurbished iPhone? 

If you're on a tight budget and looking for a fully functional device, then a seller refurbished device is your best bet -- but make sure to do your research and buy from a reputable seller. 


At OzMobiles, you're protected. Every device comes with 12 month warranty and 30 day risk free returns for added peace of mind. Have a read through thousands of our 5-star reviews from our happy customers.

How we rate our devices

A refurbished device that is 100% fully functional.

Scratches may be visible on the screen from arm's length, plus minor dents. Exceptional value.

A refurbished device that is 100% fully functional.

Screen in good condition, with very minor scratches/scuffs visible at arm's length.

100% Fully Functional.

The device is in 'As New' condition with very faint to no marks on the device.

Never used and come with their full Australian Manufacturer's Warranty. Some might have been opened for quality checks, but they have never been activated.

These devices are refurbished and renewed by Apple. They are in “like new” condition, refurbished
with genuine Apple replacement parts and come with 12 month
Apple warranty.