It is clear that Remade doesn’t have ordinary iPhones. A Remade representative said little about the French company’s process.
They buy busted iPhones in bulk from electronics recycling plants and proceed to disassemble them. Any broken parts are replaced, and all batteries are swapped out with new ones built to the same specifications as Apple’s. But it’s not just the inside of the iPhone that’s new—the outside of the phone looks a lot different, too.
Among the usual silver, black, and rose gold variants, there are 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.
Custom for cheap
We’ve seen previous one-off iPhone customizations with solid gold and studded diamonds, but this is a different beast. Remade is something of a used car dealer, with a business built on restoring old iPhones and selling them at fair market prices.
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. 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.
Otherwise, the iPhone you get from Remade is the same as the one you would get from the Apple Refurbished Store, with one exception: your warranty is through Remade, not Apple. Remade couldn’t speculate on the cost of a refurb iPhone in the U.S., but the rep said that they would be 30 percent to 40 percent less than Apple’s prices. For reference, an iPhone 7 with 32GB of storage, for example, sells for 450 Euros on the Remade site. Apple sells the same model on its website for about 530 Euros.
Until the cease and desist letter arrives, Remade will continue to refurbish iPhones in inventive new ways. Although they wouldn’t turn on, the iPhones I handled were every bit as beautiful as the ones that come off of Apple’s assembly line, and it’s intriguing to dream of a line of iPhone XS colors beyond the three available from Apple.