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?