How to Know if an iPhone is New or Refurbished Model

How to Check iPhone New or Refurbished

There are several types of iPhone model that is being sold by Apple. These include the retail iPhone model and also the refurbished iPhone model. If you are interested to learn how to distinguish your iPhone model is a retail model or a refurbished model, here we explain the quick ways in this article.


A refurbished iPhone is a unit that was returned either by a customer or their reseller agents due to some faulty or damage was done. This damage can be in terms of defective parts or damage during shipping. Apple will repair the returned unit and sell it back as new with a discount compared to a new iPhone model. Typically, the iPhone refurbished model comes with a new factory warranty.

What is the difference between a refurbished model and a new model? There is not much difference as Apple would repair it so that it is functioning like brand new before selling it back. The cost of the refurbished model will be much cheaper also.  In terms of performance, it should be performing as any iPhone new model would.

So, if you bought an iPhone from a friend and you would want to know whether the iPhone is a refurbished model or retail one, you can check it using these two quick ways.

Here are the steps.


Check your iPhone Model Number Step 1 Step 2

Step 1

In your iPhone, go to “Settings.”

Step 2

In Settings, go to “General.”

Check your iPhone Model Number Step 3 Step 4

Step 3

In General, Settings, go to “About.”

Step 4

Your iPhone’s Model Number is shown here

Check your iPhone Model Number

Look at the first alphabet of the number. The alphabet represents the meaning as follows:-

M = The Model is a new model

F = The Model is a refurbished model

N = The Model is a replacement unit model

P = The Model is a personalized (engraved) model


Check Your iPhone Serial Number Step 1 Step 2

Step 1

In General, Settings, go to “About.”

Step 2

Your iPhone’s Serial Number is shown here

Check Your iPhone Manufacturing Date

You can see a string of character here.

The fourth character in your iPhone serial number represents the manufacturing date

If you bought your iPhone in 2019, but the character shows that the iPhone was manufactured in 2017, it is most likely that it is a refurbished iPhone.

So, there you have it – two quick ways how to check if your iPhone is a new retail model or from a refurbished model. Please leave us a comment below on what type of iPhone model you have in the comment section below.

Please also read our previous article on how to check the iPhone manufacturing date here.