What Happens To Your Old iPhone When You Sell It To Gazelle

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When you sell your old iPhone to a third-party, what happens to it? It enters a thriving third-party marketplace in China, where it is restored to almost new and sold in gray and emerging markets. Weird!

According to a report from Chinese tech site ITHome, when an iPhone with a shattered screen, scratched back, broken motherboard, or more is sold to some third-party sites, it ends up being sold in bulk and, if purchased, getting shipped into China from the USA, Hong Kong or Japan. There, it goes to a place like Shenzhen, where phones are disassembled and restored to pristine condition, thanks to the surplus of spare parts these iPhone-making centers can afford.

Once they are refurbished, these iPhones are then wrapped up in pristine Apple product packaging, even going so far as to stick replacement serial numbers on the boxes and putting the original screen protector back on. Then, the boxes are shrink wrapped, and sold to China’s emerging markets at a considerable mark-up.

Due to the fact that there’s plenty of spare parts lying around and they are easier to take apart than the iPhone 5/5s series, the iPhone 4 is a more popular device to get this sort of treatment.

So now you know what happens to your old iPhone when you sell it to someone like Gazelle. Who knew?

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    I’d always wondered why there were so many different companies advertising to buy old iPhones, even broken ones. Now it all makes sense. The manufacturers are hoping to get as many back as possible at a low price so that they can refurbish them with actual Apple parts (not 3rd party copies) and sell them as valid refurbished Apple iPhones. Excellent idea that keeps the old phones in use and out of land fills.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    It’s great for Apple that these companies are keeping the iOS ecosystem strong and thriving. It might not impress Wall Street that Apple isn’t selling as many iPhones as it wants them to but the number of older iPhones in use will stay relatively high while older Android smartphones end up in a trash heap. I suppose the only drawback of the older iPhones is that if you upgrade them to the latest OS version, they’re probably sluggish as hell.

  • Arney Gwinn

    I’d rather sell to UpgradeSwap…they pay way more and you don’t have to wait for payment.

  • Kerry zhou

    Yes,there are a lot of companies in China,who are doing this.But on the other hand,there are many companies in China as well,who sell best iphone spare parts & repair even in wholesale price.So,It’s better to replace old parts with buying this new parts from these companies and enjoy your original iphone!!!

    iPhone Spare Parts Wholesale

    iPhone Parts Wholesale

  • http://www.ios-data-eraser.com/ Kidd Rasual

    WARNING: iPhone “Restore” does not delete personal data! – From CNET

    So before selling your old iPhone you must erase everything on it first. View my profile for some helps.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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