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How to be careful while buying an iphone from the grey market

iphoneNow you want an iphone in India and you go to the grey market to get it because either it’s not officially available where you live (like not launched yet) or the price of a new (also locked) iPhone is very expensive and you are afraid to get a second hand product? Well have no fear just keep the following things in mind and you might actually get a very sweet deal.

So here is what to do…

Buying an Officially unlocked phone

cydiaThere are lot phonies out there and there is a possibility that the phone he claims to be is officially unlocked may be jailbroken, So look for the Cydia app in the iphone, So if the phone has cydia app in the phone that means the phone is jailbroken and then unlocked not factory/officially unlocked. Though jailbreaking and unlocking wont do much harm in the phones usage but the only issue you will face when apple comes out with an update or you need to restore the phone to factory settings, now the thing is apple is making unlocking locked phone more and more complex and also some times the DEV team sometimes may skip to provide and unlock for an update. So though jailbreaking has its problems but in India most of the iPhones are jailbroken and unlocked, so be sure what you are getting.

Checking out how old is the phone

Now if you getting an iphone 4 then you can be sure that the phone is not very old, but if you are buying an iPhone 3G or 3GS the phone can be older than the seller claims it to be so the best way to check  is see when was the phone manufactured. Honest sellers will say if the phone was refurbished because refurbished iPhones come with a box that’s completely white.  On the white box, it will say “Apple Certified”.  Chances are if the seller doesn’t have a box for the iPhone, there is a strong chance that they purchased the phone as a refurbished unit from Apple’s online store or from AT&T’s online store.


Well why would it matter?  First off, for MOST of Apple’s products, especially the iPhone, the serial number will start with a 5K.  If the serial number starts with that for an iPhone, then it’s guaranteed to be refurbished.

New iPhones have either a 7k or 8k.  The 4th digit of the serial number means the week of the year it was manufactured.  So for an example, if it’s 8k801xxxxx then it means the phone was produced it was manufactured the first week of 2008.  7k745 would mean that the iPhone was manufactured on the 45th week of 2007.

Also just so everyone knows, Apple will not honor the warranty if you have an “unlocked” phone.  It’s very hard to obtain support for the phone if you can’t provide the receipt.  It is possible, but difficult because “unlocking” is breaking Apple’s TOS.

When an iPhone has been unlocked, the total usage time for the phone has also been cleared out.  So the true way to determine how old the phone is, is to ask for the serial number.  If the seller isn’t willing to give out the full serial number, it’s fine.  As long as it includes the first 5 digits!

iphone 4 india

Check the External Hardware

Be sure to check the all the buttons if they work smoothly, check if you can feel the click in the home button and also see if double press works on it coz if even there is a small problem in any hardware, that problem can anytime become a very big issue so be careful. Also what most people forget is to check the two speakers at the bottom, see if they both work.

Just follow these steps and spend your money wisely and be safe.