Repairing and restoring used cars to resell them is a pretty common thing. Now, there’s a company that does that for iPhones, too.
The company is a French firm called Remade who, according to their slogan, sells “better than refurbished” iPhones. But Remade’s custom Apple devices aren’t just your standard third-party refurbished smartphones.
Take a look at the company’s site and it’s clear that these aren’t stock iPhones. There are color options ranging from Celestial Blue to Electric Orange. At an MWC booth spotted by MacWorld, Remade showed off raspberry and green iPhone models, too.
That’s because Remade buys broken iPhones from recycling plants and painstakingly restores them.
According to an informational YouTube video, Remade tests each broken device, replaces all broken and aging components, and then strips down the rear aluminum casing and repaints them with custom colors.
As far as the quality of the components, take the battery as an example. Remade says that all batteries are swapped out for third-party ones that are built to the same specification as Apple’s own.
If you’re familiar with customized iPhones, you’re probably expecting a pretty hefty price tag. That’s not Remade’s game. In fact, the “better than refurbished” iPhones that the French company sells are cheaper than Apple’s own Certified Refurbished devices.
Each Remade device even comes with a one-year warranty. But, as you might imagine, that warranty is from Remade itself and not Apple.
It appears that Remade only offers custom colors on aluminum devices like the Phone 6 or iPhone 7. But a Remade representative at MWC told MacWorld said that the firm is experimenting with different production processes to customize the color on glass-backed Apple devices — such as the iPhone X and iPhone 8.
The service seems like it’s a great way to save junk or broken iPhones from ending up in a landfill. That’s in addition to the fact that consumers can save some money and get cool, custom devices.
It isn’t clear, however, whether Apple is aware of Remade — or if it would be okay with the company’s refurbishment process and custom paint jobs. The same Remade representative told MacWorld that they haven’t faced any pushback from Cupertino “so far.” But there’s no guarantee that a cease-and-desist letter isn’t in Remade’s future.
Remade’s devices are currently only available in France, but the company is hoping to expand to the U.S. It recently opened a plant in Miami and is even in talks with Verizon to sell their own refurbished devices in carrier stores.
When it comes to price, Remade sells a 32GB iPhone 7 sells for about 450 euros. For comparison, Apple sells the same model on its Certified Refurbished site for about 530 euros. In the U.S., consumers could expect prices about 30 to 40 percent lower than Apple Certified Refurbished.