Yes, it’s actually true. No, jailbreaking, no violation of an AT&T contract. I actually have one, for a grand total of $30…Here’s how I did it…
Well, a few weeks ago I was around my 1 year mark on the 2 year contract I had signed with AT&T when I got my iPhone 3G. So, I logged in to my online account, and, as I suspected, I didn’t have many upgrade options to get the newly released iPhone 3GS for a reasonable amount. Resigning myself to wait out the term of the contract and frustrated, I wrote the article about Apple, AT&T and iPhone’s with contracts being expensive.
Then, this past week, out of sheer morbid curiosity I signed in to my ebay account (of which I haven’t used in ages due to exorbitant fees and the PayPal monopoly they created) then proceeded to see what, if anything at all, a black, 16GB, iPhone 3G was going for. After all, if I could get enough for it, maybe it would be worth putting out another couple hundred to get the new phone and I was frustrated, the new toy was out and I wanted it…NOW.
It turns out, what my ebay searching showed, that a “contract” must be worth a couple hundred dollars because an OUT OF CONTRACT, Black, 16GB iPhone 3G (yes, previous generation) is going for around $275, USED! Because WITH a contract AT&T and Apple are still selling this model new for $99. So the contract is worth a couple hundred to someone. Buying an out of contract phone also allows you to jailbreak & unlock this phone and activate it freely with another carrier, e.g. T-Mobile.
Wow, I thought, if I could just get out of this contract… So I signed back in to my AT&T wireless account, clicked on “upgrade options” and voila! To my amazement and wonder, AT&T was offering the iPhone 3GS at the NEW CUSTOMER pricing of $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models respectively. Even for me, with still a year left on my previous contract. I think somebody wants me to upgrade…so of course I proceeded to do so as the planets were aligning in my favor.
So, I went to sell my 3G on ebay for $250 “Buy It Now” and it sold within hours. After seller fees and the free ground shipping I offered (that everyone seems to be offering nowadays), I took in roughly $220 for my year old, gently used, iPhone 3G.
I then went to the AT&T store who had just restocked 15 units of the Black, 16GB iPhone 3GS, paid my $199 + tax + $18 upgrade fee, totaling $250, and activated my shiny new iPhone 3GS.
It is very possible I could have gotten more for my iPhone 3G on ebay compared to the others I saw, but for $30 total a little ebay craziness and an extra year with AT&T I’m a happy camper. The phone is great and worth every penny. If anyone else has a similar story please post it here, I’d love to know about it.