Where to get the best deal on a refurbished iPhone

Make the most of your money with the right deal on a refurbished iPhone in Australia.

Refurbished iPhone 14
iPhone 14 in Product Red
iPhone 14 128GB
Starts at
$978
  • Fire Emoji
    180-day supplier warranty and free delivery
  • pro
    Available in Midnight, Starlight, RED, Blue
Refurbished iPhone 13 mini
iPhone 13
iPhone 13 128GB
Starts at
$714
  • Fire Emoji
    180-day supplier warranty and free delivery
  • pro
    Available in Blue, Midnight, Pink and Starlight
Refurbished iPhone SE
Image of the Apple iPhone SE 2020 64GB smartphone
iPhone SE 64GB
Starts at
$219
  • Fire Emoji
    180-day supplier warranty and free delivery
  • pro
    Available in Black, White and Red
Refurbished iPhone 12 mini
Apple iPhone 12
iPhone 12 mini 64GB
Starts at
$419
  • Fire Emoji
    180-day supplier warranty and free delivery
  • pro
    Available in Blue, Black and Red
Refurbished iPhone 11
iphone 11
iPhone 11 64GB
Starts at
$409
  • Fire Emoji
    180-day supplier warranty and free delivery
  • pro
    Available in Purple, White, Black, Red, Yellow and Red
Alex Kidman
Jun 20, 2024
Icon Time To Read11 min read

Apple’s iPhone line is, without doubt, its most important product. While there’s a lot to like about iPads, MacBooks and Apple Watches, the iPhone lies at the core of the modern Apple ecosystem.

However, Apple does position itself as a luxury brand, and that means picking up a brand-new iPhone can be a painfully expensive experience. Apple simply doesn’t do “cheap”, with even its lower-tier iPhone SE range sitting at a price point that’s high mid-range for Android handsets.

So what’s an Apple fan to do if you want or need an iPhone on a limited budget? One option is to look to the second-hand market, where “refurbished” iPhones are available most of the time. That’s not surprising; sales figures suggest that Apple’s iPhone line sells well locally, which means there’s always plenty of second-hand stock to be had, and that’s led to a quite wide market for refurbished second-hand iPhones.

Info Box
What does refurbished mean?

Refurbishing is the process of repairing, rebuilding and polishing products that have been returned to retailers for one reason or another, in order to sell them again in an as-new condition.


Different retailers have different processes and quality assurance benchmarks, but for the most part, a refurbished product should be practically indistinguishable from a brand-new product unless stated otherwise. As in the case of iPhones, there are savings to be found when buying refurbished but they also come with the understanding that the product you purchase is living its second life. Still, most reputable retailers will offer their own warranty and stamp of approval. Amazon, for example, offers a 180-day warranty on its refurbished products via its Amazon Renewed program.

Refurbished iPhone deals in Australia

Pictured: iPhone 12 in a pink case.

What is a refurbished iPhone?

When you get a brand-spanking-new iPhone fresh out of the box, it’s in (or should be in) perfect condition. A few years down the track, maybe it’s a little less so. Actually, there’s no maybe about it; even if you’ve given it the most gentle experience possible with a thick protective case and only used it to upload cat memes to social media once a week (we won’t judge, we promise!), there’s going to be wear and tear on the screen and particularly on the battery. 

Naturally, if you’ve used your iPhone a bit more than that, it may have bumps and scratches on the casing, cracks on the screen or dust or detritus in the speakers, maybe the risk of some water ingress… you get the picture.

Just buying a second-hand iPhone involves taking on the risk of any or all of those issues, but in theory, a refurbished phone has been checked to some degree to cover off on some or all of those potential faults. The screen may have been replaced, for some models touchID sensors may have been fixed up, and the battery may have been refreshed to give it a little more service life. 

What commonly happens with a refurbished phone is that it’s given a grade by the company that’s selling you the phone. An “A” grade phone should (in theory) be nearly as good as new, while B or C grade phones may have some imperfections in play, typically more around how the case looks than anything else.

The important factor to bear in mind here when shopping for a refurbished iPhone is that the grades don’t actually have a standard they need to work towards. They’re not entirely meaningless – an A graded phone should be in better condition than a C graded one – but there’s no absolute standard that each refurbisher works towards to award those grades, and as such the choice of grade is very much up to the company that’s selling you the handset in each case.

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Can I buy a refurbished iPhone from Apple Australia?

No, you can’t. Apple has never sold refurbished iPhone models in Australia, though it does offer a range of Apple certified refurbished iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches and Apple TV devices through its local Certified Refurbished web site.

One trap to avoid here when shopping for a refurbished iPhone is to carefully check vendor’s claims. Because Apple doesn’t sell refurbished products itself, be very wary of any claim around it being “refurbished by Apple” or “Apple Refurbished” – because while individuals can get iPhones repaired by Apple at cost, that’s not a service it offers to reseller businesses. 

Chances are that at best they’re playing tricks with grammar (it’s an Apple product, and it’s refurbished, therefore it’s “Apple refurbished”), or at worst they’re outright fibbing.

What to look for in a refurbished iPhone

There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a refurbished iPhone:
Price Tag
Price

This isn’t just a question of how much you’re paying, but also how much the iPhone you’re looking at is actually worth, and how that compares to current new models. One common play for refurbishers here is to compare the price they’re asking against the original RRP of the iPhone when it was brand new, which ignores the fact that Apple often sells the last couple of generations of iPhones cheaper once new models come out. There’s no point overpaying and thinking you’re getting a discount!

Heads Up
Warranty

Different companies offer differing levels of warranty – and Australian Consumer Law also applies here. It’s also worth checking how warranty claims are actually handled. You’ll have to hand over your iPhone to deal with any warranty concern, but is that a question of mailing it away or having it collected? Will it be serviced in Australia, or shipped overseas in the event of any warranty claim? It’s well worth reading the warranty fine print before you buy.

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Condition

Naturally the condition of the iPhone matters, but here be careful to check any photos of the device before it is sent out to you. Most refurbished phone sellers operate online, and it’s important to check that the iPhone that you see on site is the one you’ll be shipped, not just a “reference photo” of what it might look like. 

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iPhone Generation

Older iPhones are cheaper, and it could be super tempting to save a few bucks and pick up an iPhone 7 for cheap, right? The problem here is that older iPhones no longer get iOS updates, and that can mean lessened security, slower performance, missing features or even apps that used to work stopping operation because they rely on newer iOS frameworks.

At the time of writing the iPhone Xs/Xr 12th generation phones are the oldest that will see the upcoming iOS 18 update, but even there it’s worth considering how long you want to use your new iPhone for. Only Apple knows for sure, but it’s likely that iPhone Xr wont’ see iOS 18, where the iPhone 12 or 13 might, making them perhaps a better buy.



Where can I buy a refurbished iPhone?

There are a number of sites selling refurbished iPhones in Australia, so your choices are quite wide. Amazon, for example, offers up refurbished technology (including iPhones) under its Amazon Renewed Program, there’s a host of resellers operating through eBay, as well as a number of other sites, including:

Where to buy a refurbished iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max

Amazon
Price
Starts at
$978
Storage options
128GB, 256GB
Colour options
Midnight, Starlight, RED, Blue,
Extras
180-day supplier warranty and free shipping
🔒 Go to site

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update. 

2022’s iPhone 14 line saw Apple drop the Mini in favour of the iPhone 14 Plus, alongside the more plain-jane iPhone 14, while on the Pro side of the fence, Apple finally jumped up its camera megapixel count, making it a quite desirable model for photo fanatics. As a newer iPhone, however, there’s typically less refurbished stock out there – and prices are a touch higher as a result.

Model
Price
Best price
iPhone 14 128GB
From
$978
iPhone 14 256GB
From
$1040
iPhone 14 Plus 128GB
From
$1101
iPhone 14 Plus 256GB
From
$1299
iPhone 14 Pro 128GB
From
$1347

iPhone 14 plans

Prefer to pay off a brand-new iPhone 14? Vodafone, Telstra and Optus are still stocking the 2022 model on a plan.

Where to buy a refurbished iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max

Amazon
Price
Starts at
$703
Storage options
128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB
Colour options
Midnight, Pink, Starlight, RED, Blue, Graphite, Silver
Extras
180-day supplier warranty and free shipping
🔒 Go to site

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update. 

2021’s iPhone family included the last of the iPhone mini lineup if you genuinely prefer a smaller iPhone, alongside the regular iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models.  For the regular iPhones it was a case of gentle improvement in battery life, while the Pro models were the first to see 120Hz screen refresh rates, or “ProMotion” in AppleSpeak. 

Model
Price
Best price
iPhone 13 128GB
From
$703
iPhone 13 256GB
From
$887
iPhone 13 mini 512GB
From
$1569
iPhone 13 Pro 128GB
From
$969
iPhone 13 Pro 256GB
From
$969

iPhone 13 plans

Prefer to pay off a brand-new iPhone 13? Vodafone, Telstra and Optus are still stocking the 2021 model on a plan.

Where to buy a refurbished iPhone 12 mini, 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

Amazon
Price
Starts at
$394.80
Storage options
64GB, 128GB and 256GB
Colour options
Black, White, Red, Blue and Purple
Extras
180-day supplier warranty and free shipping
🔒 Go to site

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update. 

Apple’s iPhone 12 family dates back to 2020, and it’s arguably the sweet spot right now for refurbished iPhone models. Why?

While it doesn’t quite have the fancy trappings of an iPhone 15, you do get a lot of good quality of life improvements such as MagSafe charging, 5G compatibility and the choice between regular and mini models of the phone in the regular series. Critically, though, they’re old enough that the discounts on refurbished models can make a big difference to your bank balance, while still being new enough that they’re likely to get iOS updates for a reasonable length of time. Dipping further back into the history of iPhones, while still including models that will get updates this year, runs the very real risk of becoming obsolete a whole lot faster.

Model
Price
Best price
iPhone 12 mini 64GB
From
$419
iPhone 12 mini 64GB
From
$439
iPhone 12 mini 128GB
From
$429
iPhone 12 64GB
From
$489
iPhone 12 128GB
From
$529
iPhone 12 Pro 128GB
From
$647
iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB
From
$758

iPhone 12 plans

Prefer to pay off a brand-new iPhone 12? Vodafone, Telstra and Optus are still stocking the 2020 model on a plan.

Where to buy a refurbished iPhone SE

Amazon
Price
Starts at
$219
Storage options
64GB and 128GB
Colour options
Black, White and Red
Extras
180-day supplier warranty and free shipping
🔒 Go to site

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update. 

The iPhone SE has, since its inception, been Apple’s lower-cost iPhone alternative, built essentially around the chassis of the iPhone 8. There’s a big challenge when buying a refurbished iPhone SE, however, because unlike Apple’s other iPhone lines, there’s not just the one of them. There are three generations of iPhone products that can be called the “iPhone SE”, from 2016’s Apple A9-based iPhone SE, through 2020’s iPhone SE based on the A13 platform, and then 2022’s iPhone SE, which runs on an A15 bionic platform.

As you might expect, that means the performance and features of the 2016 model are quite a bit different to that of the 2022 variant, so the key factor here when buying a refurb is to make sure you’re getting the iPhone SE that you expect. We’d argue strongly that the 2022 model is the one to go for, maybe the 2020 if it’s suitably cheap enough – though given this was already Apple’s “low cost” iPhone, the margins there are slim for resellers, so it’s also worth checking prices against what an actually-new iPhone SE might cost you.

Model
Price
Best price
iPhone SE (2020) 64GB
From
$219
iPhone SE (2020) 128GB
From
$279
iPhone SE (2020) 128GB
From
$269
iPhone SE (2020) 256GB
From
$334

iPhone SE (2022) plans

If you're hunting for a deal on an iPhone SE, you still have the option to get a brand-new 2022 model through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Here are their cheapest deals.

Where to buy a refurbished iPhone 11 or 11 Pro

Amazon
Price
Starts at
$409
Storage options
64GB, 128GB and 256GB
Colour options
White, Purple, Yellow, Red and Black
Extras
180-day supplier warranty and free shipping
🔒 Go to site

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update. 

They’ve been superseded many times over now, but we reckon the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are some of the best phones Apple has ever produced. And the good news is that you can still nab a refurbished iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro outright through sellers like Amazon and Kogan. Each retailer has its own refurbishing process and guarantees, so be sure to check the fine print before hitting ‘Buy Now’.

Here are the best offers below.

Model
Retailer
Price
More information
Apple iPhone 11 64GB (Black)
Amazon
$409
iPhone 11Apple iPhone 11 64GB (Red)
Kogan
$435
iPhone 11Apple iPhone 11 64GB (Red)
Amazon
$461

iPhone 11 plans

Even though it was released way back in 2019, the iPhone 11 is still available on a plan through the major Australian telcos (and for a pretty decent price.)
Photograph of a refurbished iPhone 11 in a pink case

Find more deals on refurbished iPhone 11

Check out our comprehensive guide to deals on refurbished iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Where to buy a refurbished iPhone X, XR or XS

Amazon
Price
Starts at
$299
Storage options
64GB and 256GB
Colour options
Space Grey and Silver
Extras
180-day supplier warranty and free shipping
🔒 Go to site

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update. 

Released across 2017 and 2018, the iPhone X, XR and XS are getting on in age. That doesn't mean they aren't still great smartphones—their cameras and processors still pack a punch even today—but you do make a few compromises when opting for an iPhone released in 2018 or earlier. First of all, you'll be restricted to 4G (that was introduced with iPhone 12,) but more importantly, older phones are only supported for so long by Apple. The iPhone X has already reached its end of life and the iPhone XS and XR aren't far off either.

Still, if you're simply looking for the cheapest iPhone to last you long enough until you're ready to upgrade to the latest and greatest, you can still find some stellar deals on refurbished iPhone X models.

Model
Price
Best price
iPhone X 64GB
From
$299
iPhone X 256GB
From
$369
iPhone XR 64GB
From
$309
iPhone XR 128GB
From
$369
iPhone XS 64GB
From
$350
iPhone XS 256GB
From
$427
iPhone XS 512GB
From
$494

Where to buy a refurbished iPhone 8 or 8 Plus?

Amazon
Price
Starts at
$219
Storage options
64GB and 256GB
Colour options
Space Grey, Silver and Gold
Extras
180-day supplier warranty and free shipping
🔒 Go to site

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update. 

Like the iPhone X range above, the ever-popular iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are a few years old now, but they still give some more modern phones a run for their money—especially considering how much of that money you can actually save by buying an already cheaper model with that sweet, sweet refurb discount.

Besides the iPhone 7, which we wouldn't recommend at this stage, the iPhone 8 is the next cheapest iPhone you can get with a refurbished discount. But the 2017 smartphone comes with the same disclaimer as the X range—Apple no longer supports it.

Model
Price
Go to site
iPhone 8 64GB
From
$219

iPhone 8 256GB

From
$239

iPhone 8 Plus 64GB

From
$319

iPhone 8 Plus 64GB

From
$335
iPhone accessories
These are the best sellers on Amazon

*Pricing and deals only accurate as of last page update. 

Where to get a refurbished iPhone on a plan

If you want a cheaper iPhone but need to split the payments up with a contract plan in the same way that you could for a genuinely new iPhone, you do have a couple of options in play.

If your network of preference is Telstra, numobile offers refurbished iPhones on contract terms, though there is a significant catch here. You don’t have to pay for the phone upfront, but you’re actually only leasing it, with handsets needing to be returned at the end of a 24 month period to avoid a penalty fee.

If TPG/Vodafone’s network is more your style, Kogan Mobile offers either subscription pricing – similar to numobile’s leased phones, with the need to return the phone after your 24 month term is up – or “own and pay” pricing that’s slightly higher for iPhones, but with the phone ending up being yours once it’s paid off. If you take up a Kogan Mobile SIM at the same time as you get your iPhone, Kogan Mobile will give you the first month’s access for free.

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Are refurbished iPhones second-hand or pre-owned?
Most retailers that sell refurbished tech products have their own process of inspecting and refurbishing devices. Generally speaking, refurbished iPhones are likely to have been pre-owned or second-hand at one point, but through the process of refurbishing have been restored and inspected to meet strict certification standards before reselling. This means that, although the bones of your refurbished iPhone may have technically belonged to someone else at some point, the iPhone you purchase will have been restored to a quality that feels brand-new.

What’s the best plan for my refurbished iPhone?

One of the real benefits of buying a refurbished iPhone outright (or, indeed, any phone) is that you own it and have the flexibility to pick and choose from the very best SIM-only deals to go with it.

Buying a refurbished iPhone is all about making the most of your money, so it’s worth matching it up with a great value mobile plan. Here’s our pick of plans with at least 20GB of data to use with your refurbished iPhone every month:

*All prices quoted in this article are accurate at time of publishing on 11/6/24

Alex Kidman
Written by
Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is some kind of word-generating AI from the future that somehow worked out how to sneak back in time to 1998 to start its journalism career. Across that time, including editorial stints at ZDNet, CNET, Gizmodo, PC Mag and Finder, as well as contributions to every major tech masthead, nobody has quite managed to figure out this deeply held secret. Let’s keep it between us, OK?

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