AT&T is the first U.S. carrier to offer the refurbished iPhone 5 starting at $149.99.
The refurbished AT&T iPhone 5 starts at $149.99 for the 16GB model and the price increases by $100 for each increase in storage space. That means the refurbished 32GB model costs $249.99 and the carrier will sell the refurbished 64GB model for $349.99. Each price is just $50 lower than new iPhone 5 units.
Because AT&T needs older units in order to sell the refurbished iPhone 5 there isn’t as big a selection of refurbished models. Anyone who wants a 16GB refurbished iPhone 5 will have to buy the white version of the phone. AT&T does have both colors for the 32GB and 64GB models in stock, however.
Aside from the $50 price cut, the refurbished iPhone 5 comes with the same plans and features as new units. AT&T doesn’t appear to offer any special warranties for the refurbished phone. The refurbished models should look and act like new units, however, so users likely won’t need any extra warranty if they don’t buy one.
With Apple’s website and many stores having difficulty keeping the iPhone 5 in stock, buying a refurbished unit is likely a good way to get the iPhone 5 faster. Despite assurances from carriers many users prefer new models to refurbished models, despite the lower cost. The refurbished units typically sell at a slower rate than new units.
Neither Verizon or Sprint offer refurbished iPhone 5 units yet. Apple doesn’t offer refurbished units either, but the company doesn’t offer refurbished iPhones of any kind. Apple keeps its refurbished units for Genius Bar replacements instead of for sale. Verizon and Sprint will likely offer refurbished units sometime in the future, but it’s not clear when.
Users can also buy the refurbished iPhone 5 from AT&T for without an annual contract and bring it to T-Mobile instead. The no-contract refurbished device costs $50 less than the unlocked iPhone 5.