Company selling refurb iPhones in custom colors without the usual steep premium

If you want an iPhone or other iDevice in a custom finish or color, you normally have to pay a third-party company a significant premium for the privilege. But one French company is offering refurbished iPhones in custom colors for less than Apple charges for a brand new phone in a stock color – and not much more than a standard refurb.

For example, the iPhone 6 and 7 are available in green, blue, raspberry, and yellow …

The phones were spotted at MWC by Macworld.

Among the usual silver, black, and rose gold variants, I saw green, blue, raspberry, and yellow iPhone 6 and 7 models. They felt like a regular iPhone to the touch, yet they most certainly weren’t designed by Apple in Cupertino. These were manufactured by Remade and sold as refurbished. Make that “better than refurbished,” as the company’s slogan proudly declares […]

For the iPhone 6 and 7, Remade strips the rear case down to the raw aluminum and repaints it with its own palette of colors, in addition to Apple’s space gray and silver. When I asked about glass models, the rep said that Remade was experimenting with different manufacturing processes and hopes to bring the same color customization to the iPhone 8 and X.

Remade buys non-functioning phones from electronics recycling plants, replaces broken parts, and swaps out the batteries for brand new ones ‘built to the same specifications as Apple’s.’ Buying a phone with a third-party battery is more practical than it used to be thanks to a recent change of policy by Apple.

Remade says that it offers the same one-year warranty as Apple.

The custom iPhones are currently only available in France, where the illustrative cost of an iPhone 7 with 32GB storage is €450 ($508). This compares to $569 for a new one, or $479 for a refurb, from Apple. An iPhone 6, in a choice of five colors, costs just €240 ($271).

However, Remade has plans to sell in the US too.

Remade recently opened a plant in Miami with the hopes of expanding to the U.S. The rep told me that they are in talks with Verizon to sell Remade phones through the carrier in U.S. stores, with the hopes of beginning sales this year.

The big question, as Macworld’s Michael Simon observes, is how Apple will respond to the move.

Remade [said it] hasn’t received any pushback from the company “so far.”

Apple does seem to ignore companies doing much more garish things at far higher prices, so the company may be lucky – but that may be because the stupidly expensive devices have a tiny market. If Remade does launch in the US, and you want one, you might want to get it sooner rather than later.

Check out the video below to take a closer look.

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