Millions of new cell phones are sold, shipped, unpacked and put into operation every year. But what happens to the old devices? If the used cell phones are in good condition, or if they were not even used properly, they are candidates for so-called “refurbished” programs. Used smartphones are professionally refurbished here and made fit for a second life.
When it comes to used, cheap cell phones and the professional maintenance and repair of these devices, a comparison is quickly made with used cars. As with old cars, minor quirks should be repaired and a kind of basic cleaning carried out. The comparison is lagging, however, because used smartphones are even easier to process. In addition, these cell phones are cheaper and it also protects the environment if working devices do not end up in the rubbish, but are reused.
Why used mobile phones can often be real bargains has to do with various properties of the models. Provided that they are treated well, cell phones, for example, hardly wear out even when used frequently – and even if they show signs of use, they can be professionally serviced and equipped with a new battery. In addition, dealers usually give at least one year warranty on refurbished products, should something be wrong with the device.
What does “like new” mean?
There is an effect that comes from the fact that many smartphones are ordered online. Users receive their new cell phone, but then exercise their right of withdrawal under the Distance Selling Act and send it back within 14 days.
These smartphones, which are used only briefly, can no longer be sold as “new”. This often makes them cheaper, even though they are actually new. The best thing about it: Under certain circumstances, you can even buy brand new smartphones that are well below the market price.
Refurbished: Professionally maintained and freshly put on
Refurbished smartphones are rather devices that have actually been used. However, in the “refurbishing” process (“refurbished” in German: “renovated” or “refurbished”), the mobile phones are professionally prepared for their new use – and this includes both the hardware and the software.
Depending on the provider of the cell phones and the strength of their signs of use, these may remain or be repaired. So that buying a used cell phone does not become a lottery, retailers usually point out the condition of the refurbished smartphones and whether, for example, the screen or the battery has been replaced. The software is also completely reset to the factory settings and data of the former user are removed.
In the best case, used cell phones are used again or, as in the example video, dismantled and recycled by Apple’s Liam robot.
Used cell phones protect the environment
It’s not just the lower prices that make used cell phones so attractive. It is also the fact that you are protecting the environment. As we reported in 2014, millions of used mobile phones worldwide are just in drawers because new models have replaced them. Many retailers and manufacturers take back used devices or even buy used smartphones from you when buying new phones. If they are well preserved, they will also be reprocessed and offered again.
If working smartphones, which may even have only been in use for a short time, are bought and used again, fewer new devices have to be manufactured. The exchange of old smartphones from manufacturers and retailers can bring you money and also means that used devices are offered again or raw materials can be recycled. The use of used smartphones has many advantages.