The most beautiful new iPhone you’ve ever seen … doesn’t come from Apple at all.
The engineers at French company Remade buy used iPhone 6 and 7 models and and repair any problems they find before striping them and repainting them in lush, vibrant, hues: rose, orange, bronze, raspberry, foam, and sapphire. Sure, you could call it a refurbished phone. But it’s more than that: It’s remanufactured.
The company’s assembly line looks like what you’d imagine a smartphone manufacturing facility to look like: white-coated lab workers in a clean room environment taking apart components while machine and robotic arms pass part units down the line. The key, of course, is a proprietary process the company has developed to powdercoat the back of the phones in stunning colors. It’s still a work in progress, however; colors rubbed off the engineering samples I saw and handled at Mobile World Congress 2019.
Ludovic Saint-Aroman, marketing director for the company, told Digital Trends that the phones were definitely still delicate — something that will change with the final release.
“Indeed, the colors presented at the MWC19 were particularly fragile,” he told us. “The objective of the show was to present these new colors to our partners to see which ones seem the most attractive. The entire industrial process is not fully applied on these samples, which were processed individually and manually especially for the event. During the industrial production phase, we of course have no problem of transfer or erasure.”
“Long story short, there is absolutely no risk to reproduce the situation that you describe on a product intended for final sale,” he added. And that makes sense: At MWC, we see lots of products before they are finalized. Remade offered a similar exhibit at MWC18 last year with a full range of different colors.
The future looks as rosy as one of Remade’s iPhones: The company has opened operations in Florida and told me it plans to start selling phones in the U.S. this summer. And while iPhone 6 and 7 are the current focus, Remade also sells iPads and is looking into applying their process to newer models of iPhones as well.