Modern technology has made cell phones smaller and smaller as time goes by. This benefit also has some serious drawbacks. Since there are so many small parts necessary to make a cell phone operate properly, there is a much larger chance that one component will fail. Cell phones are basically small handheld computers with resistors that generate heat. This heat can cause any number of things to go wrong from a fried motherboard to a malfunction in the speaker.
Manufacturers have figured out that component failures are increasingly more common as the equipment continues to become more of a miniature version of what they were 20 years ago. From a business standpoint, it is actually more cost-effective to repair a cell phone and reuse it through the warranty replacement as a refurbished phone. It is also better for the environment to recycle rather than to dispose of it in an ever-growing landfill.
Most cell phones can be restored to full functionality with the installation of a few small parts, provided they have not had any major damage such as from water or through significant owner abuse. Phones that are too damaged can usually be recycled.
Many large companies such as AT&T Wireless Services offer a warranty replacement program at no additional cost to their customers. Phones can be exchanged once per year as long as they are under the original manufacturer's warranty. This service is completely different than a cellular phone insurance that has a monthly cost added to your bill. Insurance companies will have you pay a deductible just like your car insurance before you can receive a replacement. After the deductible is paid they will mail you a brand new phone complete in the box. You can also purchase refurbished phones from cellular retailers other than the major service providers.
Refurbished phones are the only phones that are available through the use of a warranty replacement program. New phones are not available. Do not fret though. Keep in mind that the quality of these refurbished phones are comparable to that of a new phone. Technicians have certain requirements that have to be met before a phone can be placed into the rotation of the warranty replacement program. These requirements are very similar to the original inspection that was completed on the phone prior to it leaving the factory for distribution for new sales. Warranty replacement phones may have minor imperfections on the exterior but utilizing one of these is still a lot cheaper than a new phone.
Refurbished phones may have minor imperfections on the exterior, but utilizing one of these is still a lot cheaper than buying a new phone or even paying for the phone insurance deductible. Besides, scratches are bound to happen even with the utmost care.