True story. I had a speck of dust behind the screen of my nearly 1-year old iPhone 3GS. I had read you can bring in your iPhone (under warranty) for dust under the screen and Apple will take it in the back & either clean the dust out, or replace the whole screen. I gave it a shot, and after looking closely into all the crevices using a little magnifier, the Apple Genius suggested he just replace the phone with a new one instead of just swapping out my screen. He pointed out that there’s lots of dust & ‘gunk’ in the bottom, around the dock port and speakers; he also pointed out a tiny hairline crack I had never noticed before (around 3 or 4mm long- seriously!) on the edge of the dock port, and some scoffs on the case – mostly around the corners. The way he said it, it sounded like he considered them all defects, and not regular wear-and-tear. I guess they’re giving all of their still-under-warranty iPhone customers the kind of service usually only reserved for AppleCare owners. Fine by me! I wish they considered the dings on my MacBook Pro to be defects, too!
So he pulled out a new phone, and I specifically asked him if the phone was refurbished, or new. He didn’t directly answer, but I was intrigued by what he said: the screen, case & battery were all guaranteed to be brand new. Other parts may have been serviced & re-used; So technically, it’s a refurb; but all the parts that really matter are brand-spankin-new, and the phone doesn’t say anything on it about being refurbished. And it comes with a 90 day warranty. My original warranty had 26 days remaining, so that was good news, too!
So when the new iPhone 4 comes out, I should be able to get a premium for my ‘old’ 3GS on eBay, since it’ll be nearly new, and even come with a couple months of Apple warranty remaining. Not bad for a piece of dust behind my screen. The funny thing is, the phone is bright enough that you couldn’t even see the dust speck unless you were really looking for it.
From what I’ve gathered, the new iPhone (iPhone 4) will actually have the screen laminated to the glass – so there will be no way dust will be able to get in there. So I guess I’ll have to find a different ‘defect’ to complain about a year from now, to get a replacement for my ‘old’ iPhone 4 – right before the new iPhone 5 is released… on Verizon. Then I can sell it, and use the money to buy my way out of my AT&T contract, and jump ship to the Verizon contract. I’m the first to say 2-year contracts suck, but when you can resell your phone every year for the cost of buying the new phone, isn’t really not such a bad deal.