Let's talk about the iPhone 12

By Matt Thorne

Let’s talk about the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple launched these bad boys back in October to huge fanfare and with a lot of talk about the return of the squared edge design, a throwback to the iPhone 4. Ah how I loved that phone! 

The iPhone 12, the obvious successor to the iPhone 11, is very significant to me and reboxed. In terms of the business, it’s the first new iPhone launch since reboxed started. Personally, it’s the first iPhone that has made me feel differently.

For many years, I’ve been tied up in an expensive but favourable EE contract on annual upgrades. The iPhone XS Max was the last launch where I felt the upgrade was worthwhile – going from the smaller iPhone X to the bigger screen was a big deal for me because of the amount of time I spend on my phone for work. I could really justify that switch and made the jump. 

After a year, my phone was still in top condition and I’d engineered my contracts so it wouldn’t cost me to upgrade – I just had to stomach the contract extension. This had always been fine but the problem came with the arrival of the iPhone 11. For the first time, I felt that the whole phone upgrade thing wasn’t sitting right. Why? Literally nothing was noticeably better other than the camera, which I would rarely use, plus SIM-only deals were at their all time best – especially when compared to my contract. 

It didn’t help my sense of disillusionment that when I tentatively listed my iPhone XS Max on Gumtree, I was inundated with offers but unlike when I’d sold my previous iPhone X with very little hassle, the amount of scams were insane. It felt like 90% were fakes or frauds and it took me a good few weeks of sifting through all the offers to find those that were too good to turn down.  

Left hand holding a black iPhone 12 against a reboxed purple background

If I’m honest, if I wasn’t in the contract-upgrade-contract loop, I actually wouldn’t have switched from the iPhone XS Max to the iPhone 11. I said to myself this would be the last time I lock myself in just to get a new release.

I also began to question whether I needed to buy new at all. The phones I had sold were always in peak condition (I’m a bit anal about keeping things pristine!) and I was beginning to realise that I wasn’t the only one like that.   

Fast forward six months and we were head down building reboxed. When we started trading in September 2020, we knew soon there would be a slew of iPhone 11s coming onto the secondary market as millions upgraded to the new iPhone 12 – and we launched just in time. 

What we didn’t realise, however, was just how many iPhone 12s would also be on the resale market within a few months of their release. The funny thing was, as soon as the 12 became available, we started getting enquiries on our site about when we would have some in – never did we imagine that it would be so quickly!

 

How are refurbished iPhone 12s available already?

Turns out these guys have been super popular. The iPhone 12 has flown off the shelves and, as anticipated, many people have upgraded (this is why so many second-hand iPhone 11s are now available too).

But as with all products, some iPhone 12s had issues right out of the box. Others may just have been returned within the 14 day window if they were unwanted gifts or didn’t suit the customer. Similarly, a lot of Android users will have attempted to switch and if it didn’t work out for them in the Apple ecosystem, they made the switch back. 

Right hand holding a blue iPhone 12 against a reboxed purple background
All of this poses a problem. Opened iPhones that have been returned cannot be sold as new – if even they haven’t actually been used. Instead they have to go through a process of being checked over and then put into the secondary market. 

Many of these devices get gobbled up by insurance companies but when we saw iPhone 12s becoming available for resale, we managed to grab some and quickly put them through our TechCheck® process to meet the demand we’d already seen from our customers. And here we are. 

 

Are they actually refurbished?

Some iPhone 12s on the resale market will be refurbished. If a device had a defect, it would have gone back through the official Apple channels to be fixed then repackaged as refurbished. But the majority will only have needed a data wipe and a once-over before being ready to go again.

All of our iPhone 12s have been TechCheck® certified, data wiped, cleansed and reboxed ready to go. And the best part is that if you bag one of these, you’ll save yourself a few quid and save the planet from an unnecessary new purchase. If you’re clever, you won’t need a contract either. You can use Klarna to split the cost, part exchange or sell us your old one, and make the most of the amazing SIM-only offers out there.

What’s even better, later this year, we’ll be launching reboxed:rent, a way to free yourself from contracts and pay monthly on a refurbished device. Win win.
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