How to: Swap your recently purchased 8 GB iPhone for a new 16 GB one - Macenstein

How to: Swap your recently purchased 8 GB iPhone for a new 16 GB one


Faithful Macenstein reader jonro had been writing me for months leading up to Macworld, asking my thoughts on when a new iPhone would be released. He really wanted to make the leap, but was worried an impending update would leave him feeling like he wasted his money. I kept telling him it seemed like Macworld was a sure bet (whoops) but if not, then soon after. I wasn’t expecting a 3G iPhone, but I thought for sure 16 GB model was likely. Well, no less than 18 days ago he wrote me saying he decided to take the plunge, and had bought a new 8 GB iPhone. I made fun of him (as I should) and told him the 32 GB 3G iPhone was a week away.

Guess what?

Well, obviously, as you can guess, this morning jonro wrote me asking my thoughts on the odds of successful swap of his 18-day-old iPhone. I told him I doubted it would be easy, as his iPhone wasn’t defective, and he wanted to trade it in for a newer, higher-priced model, not a flat exchange. Add to that the fact Apple only gives you 14 days for exchanges, and the outlook appeared pretty bleak.

However, just an hour ago jonro wrote me with good news – the exchange was a go, and was easier than he thought! I’ll share his story with you now, in case any of you out there are contemplating attempting the same thing. Pay attention!

“First, I spoke to a friend of mine in California. She told me that she had a couple of iPhones replaced and all she had to do was to swap SIMM cards. Then she said I should tell them how long I was waiting for a 16 GB phone and that I gave up after MacWorld Expo. I thought to myself, ‘Well, that will work for you because you’re cute and sweet, but I’m not sure it will work for me, because I’m neither’.

Anyway, I called the closest Apple Store. Spoke with the manager and told him the situation. He said come on down. The store was packed, but he took care of me right away and had me out of there in about 5 minutes and he didn’t charge me a restocking fee (and I didn’t ask him to waive it). He told me that this change caught them by surprise and they didn’t receive a tech note on switching phones until the afternoon.

There was nothing to it. When you sync the new phone with the old SIMM card, iTunes asks if you want to replace your other phone with this phone or if you want to add it to your plan. I selected replace, and that’s about all there was to it. I can cut Apple a little slack for needing a few hours to get their act together. The service I received at the [Name withheld in case it would get them in trouble] Apple Store was excellent, an example of the attitude that sets Apple apart from a lot of other companies. And now I have over 10 GB free on my iPhone. I love wide open expanses of storage.”

I was pleasantly surprised the Apple manager was so accommodating. Jonro said the manager told him they have some flexibility there. “He mainly wanted to make sure that it was 18 days and not 38 days”.

So jonro’s story ended happily ever after – a straight swap (plus $100 for the price difference, of course). But what about the rest of you poor slobs, folks who bought iPhones 38 days ago? Well, jonro has another tip for you as well:

“The manager of one of the Apple Stores told me that he gets people from South America that want to pay cash and he can’t sell it [an iPhone] to them. He said that if I hang out at the store for a while, I could certainly sell it for cash. But that wouldn’t help me because I would have to deactivate it at an AT&T store first and then I would lose my phone number. Way too much trouble.”

So there you have it, three foolproof plans to swap out an 8 GB iPhone for 16 GB.
1) Be a cute and sweet girl
2) Be very nice and speak to a manager right away, play up your angst at waiting until Macworld and eventually giving in, only to be broken-hearted by today’s announcement
3) Sell your iPhone to a South American, and then use that money to put towards a new 16 GB model.

While we’re at it, anyone want a lime green 8 GB model?

17 Responses to “How to: Swap your recently purchased 8 GB iPhone for a new 16 GB one”
  1. Andrew Akker says:

    Was this swapped for $0? I assume he had to pay an extra $100…

  2. OldStacks says:

    Good story! I also just got a new iPhone – a little earlier however – mine came in on Christmas. I’m slightly jealous of the new models. What’s worse is that I got bumped in a crowded bar the other night, and my iPhone fell from my hands onto the ground cracking the screen in the top right corner. Everything still works – just the phone’s sex appeal is gone. 🙁

  3. widgetboy says:

    great article. inspirational. will be attempting this at the doc’s local store this weekend.

  4. Sweet. I’ll be there too at some point.
    -The Doc

  5. RE: lime green iPhone

    Depends on for how much.


  6. Sam says:

    You could always intentionally brick your phone (by pulling the plug in the midst of a firmware update / restore) and try to get it replaced.

    I’ve known Apple to give the option of paying for a update when they replace an item. Of course this method isn’t quite as elegant (or legitimate) as yours, but could work for a 138 day old iPhone!

  7. darmowe gry says:

    Das iPhone ist ein völlig neuartiges Mobiltelefon: Ein simpler Fingertipp auf einen Namen oder eine Nummer in Ihrem Adressbuch, in einer Favoritenliste oder einer Anrufliste genügt, um einen Anruf zu tätigen. Das iPhone synchronisiert all Ihre Kontaktdaten von einem PC, Mac oder Internetdienst. Außerdem können Sie Ihre Voicemail-Nachrichten auswählen und in beliebiger Reihenfolge anhören – ganz so, wie Sie Ihre E-Mails lesen. Das iPhone gibt es mit 8 GB für 399 € und neu mit
    16 GB für 499 €.

  8. Turk says:

    Just had the same experience, my phone however did fit in the 14 day time span

  9. buzz says:

    I tried calling two Apple stores and both said the could NOT exchange my iPhone. It’s been 18 days since I bought it.

  10. William Saathoff says:

    My son recently purchased an Iphone 15 days ago from AT&T. At&T said he could not return it because it was after the 14 day limit. He called apple and they said that Apple has required AT&T to extend the 14 day period to 30 days. Do you know any of the?

  11. Boner Stabone says:

    worked for me too. Purcased 8GB on Jan. 20. Manager at the local store extended the 14 days. Had to pay the restock fee.

  12. Cas24 says:

    I purchased my phone from the AT&T store on 1/19 and i called customer service and the store i purchased it from to see if i can exchange it and they said no. Does anyone know if i can bring it to an apple store?

  13. J says:

    My experience was very similar, except mine was within the 14 days, but they did it with no muss, no fuss, only paid the extra 100+tax and was in and out of the store in like 20 minutes. Of course 15 of that was waiting on the person in front of me to have the same thing done.


  14. Abhishek Karol says:

    Anyone willing to sell off their 8gb iphone can contact me:

  15. BubbaJudge says:

    I purchased 2 iphones from my local at&t store(the nearest apple store is 70 miles away) on the friday before the tuesday announcement of the 16g, and actually didnt activate them until monday because of an at&t screwup.

    so, after the tuesday announcement I of course went into the at&t store to exchange 1 day old iphones and was given lots of were sorrys but pony up the 80 bucks. Also was told to contact apple because they are only distributors. Called apple and was given the runaround, lots of sorrys, we didnt even know till tuesday excuses, and then passed back off to its at&t’s responsibility.

    made a post on the apple forums asking why after the price cut debacle would the marketing dept not give a moratorium on restocking fees for maybe 2 weeks whenever non competing product(16g doesnt compete with 8g sales) comes out, since they dont forewarn their own employees or distributors who could(like every other phone company) forewarn potential buyers to hold off a day or two till the new product comes out.

    my post was promptly deleted.

    As I told apple, I have been away from apple hardware for 15 years(had my first apple at age 7) and this was my start back, but after being jerked around for 80 bucks, and the money isnt really the issue its the feeling that apple doesnt give a crap about customers, that this was the last apple product I buy.

    its too bad, I love this phone.

    if anyone was successful getting the restocking fee waived for phones purchased from at&t, please post.

    I am new to this site, its great, and now bookmarked, thanks.

  16. freddie says:

    i purchased my 8GB iphone on january 19th and i am trying to find out what the exact date the 16GB was released. Does anyone know??? and will i be able to swap it in????

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