Buying a used iPhone, though thrifty, can be a bit of a minefield. Fortunately, Apple can now tell you if the iPhone you’re buying has been repaired, and whether or not any replacement parts used are genuine Apple parts.
Checking an iPhone’s Parts and Service History
Like a car, your iPhone now effectively has a logbook of any parts that have been replaced. This area will only show up on a device that has had any components replaced, which means if you don’t see it then you can be relatively sure that the iPhone has remained sealed since it left the factory.
This feature is available as of iOS 15.2. Head to Settings > General > About and look for the “Parts and Service History” section beneath the device’s serial number. If the section is missing, nothing has been replaced (not even the battery).
But if any parts have been replaced, you will see them listed in this section. Since the feature is relatively new, it’s most useful on newer devices and the parts you may see listed differ depending on the device.
On an iPhone 12 or 13, you can see whether the battery, camera, or display has been replaced. On an iPhone 11 this is limited to the battery and display, and on the iPhone XR, XS (and Max), and iPhone SE, only the battery will be listed.
Any parts that read “Genuine Apple Part” are first-party and have been replaced by Apple or one of their authorized service partners. For any other parts, you will see an “Unknown Part” label instead.
Does a “Genuine Apple Part” Matter?
Apple’s first-party replacements are generally considered to be higher quality than third-party alternatives. This may include any parts that you buy and install yourself. This is often reflected in the price, since getting your iPhone repaired from an unauthorized technician is generally much cheaper.
You also have no idea what sort of parts are being used, and instead must take the technician at their word. This isn’t to say third-party technicians are not to be trusted, but rather that Apple guarantees a certain level of service and high standards for its replacement parts.
Genuine Apple parts are generally more expensive for a reason. They’re built to a higher standard than cheaper alternatives which third-party technicians may opt for to save money. This can lead to them not lasting as long, particularly when it comes to battery replacements.
One More Upside
There’s one last benefit to this new feature. If a seller tells you that the battery in a device you’re considering buying has been replaced, you can now check for yourself without solely relying on the battery health check information.
Knowing for sure whether or not a genuine Apple battery was used can help you make a more informed purchase (and maybe save some money if you want to haggle).
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