Each time a shiny new iPhone model is released, there’s a suitably prohibitive price tag to match. It’s no surprise that when it comes to premium models - particularly iPhones - more people are turning to refurbished handsets.
If you’re desperate to get your hands on an iPhone but can’t afford the latest model, buying a refurbished iPhone is a more affordable option.
What is a refurbished phone?
A refurbished phone will previously have belonged to someone else, but don’t just think of it as a second-hand handset. If it’s refurbished, it means the phone has been restored to its factory settings and given a thorough maintenance check and repair - as well as a good clean and polish.
There are lots of reasons why someone has returned or got rid of a phone, such as:
- The phone had a fault, was returned, and the fault has now been fixed.
- The owner upgraded to a new phone and recycled or sold their old one.
- The owner changed their mind a few days after buying the phone - and sent it back.
- It was a company phone which isn't needed any more.
It’s worth keeping in mind that Apple make its iPhones to an extremely high standard, which means they’re built to last and are generally very reliable. Picking up a refurbished iPhone doesn’t mean you’re buying a second-class handset.
What are the best refurbished iPhone deals?
The best deals on refurbished iPhones will depend on your needs and how you use your phone. You can search our deals table to see what’s on offer from different mobile networks.
Have an idea of the number of minutes and texts you will need each month - and consider how you use data. Watching movies on the go and using a lot of data-hungry apps will mean you’ll need a decent data allowance in your contract.
You can also compare refurbished iPhone mobile contracts from different networks and balance an upfront cost against the monthly fee.
What are the cheapest refurbished iPhone phones?
Signing up for a refurbished mobile phone contract is generally much cheaper than a new handset contract - particularly an iPhone contract.
New iPhones are very expensive. The good news is each time Apple release a new model, the price of older iPhone models comes down - in some cases, a lot. This is when going for a refurbished iPhone mobile contract can save you a lot of money.
New iPhones tend to get released in the autumn months of September and October; a good time to keep an eye out for price drops on refurbished older models.
When deciding on what type of refurbished iPhone mobile contract to go for, consider how you want to split your costs, as some networks will vary the upfront fee against the monthly contract cost.
Some require a large sum upfront and then a lower monthly fee, while others flip this and include a higher monthly fee, but you’ll pay less upfront.
What are the benefits of a getting a refurbished iPhone?
- It's quite a bit cheaper
- You can get most of the features of the latest iPhone, but at a more affordable price
- Plans are more flexible, since you can go SIM-only
- It will have been thoroughly tested and should function as new
- You'll have more control over which mobile network you choose
- Recycling phones is better for the environment