Just how OLD should a BRAND NEW Phone be (Bought in a Big Retail Store - in the Box) ???

Jimmy Recard

Aug 22, 2021
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So I've just bought 3x pretty expensive Samsung Phones - for myself and my family, it'll be one week today.

I'm planning on taking them back though as I called the Samsung - and they told me how to check the actual Manufacture Date.

It turns out these 'brand new' phones were actually made way back at the start of April?

PLEASE don't post any 'snarky/joke' comments/posts - it just dilutes and reduces the number of actually useful replies you receive.
I'm genuinely trying to solve a problem here - not just talking about something meaningless.

So they've been sitting in a warehouse somewhere with their batteries slowly draining bit by bit.
Also, it might not be stored properly, might be too hot or too humid etc… who knows.

It might have an older Hardware and/or Sofware version than one that was manufactured Today?

I'm concerned about that as you want the newest phone you can get.
More to the point, I've heard Samsung have said something to the effect of - they guarantee 4 (?) major updates in the life of the product.

Now if you buy a phone that was made today - you'll get 4 updates… but if I buy a phone that was made 7-8 months ago - that might require 1-2 major updates just to catch up to the phone that was made today.

So does that mean I'll only have 2 major updates left for the life of my phone (compared to you with 4 left?)

Some of you might think that's not how it works - but no one really knows do they?

Even if the software thing wasn't a concern - it still seems super dodgy/fraudulent to give you such an old 'new' phone'!

Anyone got any advice on my rights here?

If they only have old phones - I might just want a full refund - then try to find somewhere else that has much newer ones….
But can I say that I have that right legally as it was kind of sold under false pretences (not exactly as advertised)?

I don't think the average person would expect a brand new phone to be 7-8 months old already!

Because I bought it at well known retail store, I feel like I have to swap them over on the spot with them as they might try to make it impossible to get a refund.
They might make it impossible to swap them over on the spot too… but those are the only two options i'll accept.
There is no way I am sending in a brand new phone less than a week old - could take 1-2 months if you're unlucky.

Now when I go back to the store where I bought it - is there any way that the retail store I got it from, or Samsung chat support or someone at a Samsung Store (asked over the phone while I'm at the retail store) can do to tell me the manufacture date of a new phone still in the box at the store? That way I can at least see what I'm getting?

Maybe they can do it from the serial/imei and other numbers printed on the box, or via info from the Store Computer system, or maybe they can contact Samsung or someone else?

The only other thing I can think of - is maybe they can check the Store computer and tell give me the newest stock they received and tell me that date?
If I get someone helpful - maybe they could do that, but if I get someone unhelpful they'll probably just lie and say they can't tell?

My dad suggested that maybe it's old unsold stock from overseas…. he could be right?

BTW - is this a common issue with many other tech, computer, home appliances type items?
And how do you check other things/brands in advance or while at point of purchase to avoid this kind of ripoff?

Thank you for your help


Co-Ambassador Team Lead
Jun 10, 2014
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The term "brand new" simply means that the item is as it left the factory - or, originally, as it came out of a forge or kiln or other place of fiery manufacture. It doesn't mean that it was recently manufactured, nor that it is the latest model.

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Kizzy Catwoman

Feb 2, 2017
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And if the phone is the latest model then it will have the same level of updates as the same model manufactured today as April. It is the date of first SALE of a phone that determines when upgrades and updates finally end. So it really doesn't matter when the phone was manufactured, only when it was released. If you want the most up to date phone then preorder the next model and wait for it to arrive on its release date. That is the only way you can guarantee to have the absolute full term of updates and upgrades of that phone.

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B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Mar 9, 2012
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Which phones did you get? Manufacturers typically come out with a new version of a particular model every year. Sometimes it's early in the year, sometimes it's later in the year. But regardless, it will still be the current model-year phone that's sold in the store. The month of manufacture really doesn't matter -- it's not like there is some kind of "sell by" date.

If there were updates made available to the phone since it was first manufactured in April, then you'd just have an update to install straight out of the box. This is not unusual, and I've experienced it with Pixel phones in the past.

If 7-8 months old is too old for you, then wait until early next year for the inevitable next iteration of that model. And then purchase it right at launch time. But keep in mind that buying a phone at launch time will often be full price (or close to it), and you won't get the discounts that typically crop up after about 6 months.


Feb 23, 2011
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I addition to what others said about updates and such, the batteries aren't a big concern either. Li-ion batteries are shipped with a partial charge level, aka a storage charge. They do this specifically to protect the batteries during shipping and warehousing, and can last quite a long time without damage. There wouldn't be a noticeable difference between a month old battery and an 8 month old battery kept at storage charge.


Well-known member
Jan 11, 2014
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I think you're stressing yourself out over nothing. It can take months to get a product from Asia, shipped to the states, sent off to a distributor, sold to a store, then shipped to said store. Once it's in the store, it could sit there a few months, it might sit until the next year's model launches. I worked at Verizon, most phones were only in the store a few weeks at most, some of the less popular phones or less common color/storage options could sit for months. They were still new phones in the box regardless of how long they sat.

Purchase date has no impact on software support. Software support is from the original date the phone released and every individual phone of that model will receive all the same updates regardless of purchase date.

Phones are even put in their box with a partially charged battery as its optimal for long term storage!

Getting a newer manufacturing date will do nothing, it will change nothing with your warranty or software support. Getting them swapped is nothing but a waste of time and resources. Good luck getting them swapped if that's what you need to feel happy about it because you need to convince a business to eat the cost of the phones over something that doesn't even matter.

Laura Knotek

Moderator Captain
Jan 8, 2011
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The term "brand new" simply means that the item is as it left the factory - or, originally, as it came out of a forge or kiln or other place of fiery manufacture. It doesn't mean that it was recently manufactured, nor that it is the latest model.

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That's the same thing as with a new car. How long the car sits in the lot at the dealership doesn't affect its status as being new as long as it has never been sold to a customer.

When the next year's model is released, the older year's model is still going to be considered new for warranty purposes if it's been sitting on the lot unsold for a year.

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