Apple iPhone 3G 16GB

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Apple iPhone 3G 16GB

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Review of "Apple iPhone 3G 16GB"

published 02/02/2010 | Brianmini
Member since : 29/01/2010
Reviews : 43
Members who trust : 10
About me :
Pro Save heaps of Money
Cons There is always an associated risk
very helpful
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"Grab a bargain iphone"

So, the iPhone, expensive isn't it!? But it need not be if you don't mind bagging a pre-owned phone.

As ever the best place for a bargain is our friend ebay! But first lets look at the cold hard facts.

I'm a recent convert to the way of iPhone, I work in the IT sector and I've always liked the iPhone, but I've just never felt I was wealthy enough to own one until now.

Firstly for the standard 16gb 3G S your still looking at around £190 up front cost then an ongoing £30 a month minimum over an 18 month contract putting the total cost of ownership at something close to £730. Even if you can get the iphone 16gb 3G S on a 24 month contract with a £89 up front cost, with a £35 tarrif its going to actually cost you more at around £929.

Another route would be to get yourself last seasons model, the 8gb 3G (still a great phone and only lacking a couple of 3G S features). On and 18 month contract you'll pay just £99 upfront and £35 a month tarrif but then overall that costs £729. There is no point on going for the £30 a month tarrif as you only get minimal call minutes, and usually in the range of 125 texts, which by today's standards is nothing. You'll soon rack up excess charges when you go over and above your allowance.

So what are your other options? Well you could try Pay As you Go with the larger upfront cost of £349 up front, have the device unlocked for £15 and use it with which ever is the cheapest Sim only deal on pay as you that suits your needs. Still quite expensive i'm sure you'll agree.

So whats the final alternative

Well from personal opinion I think the iPhone 3G is 95% as good as the Iphone 3G S, and its the model any serious bargain hunter should seek. Avoid the old 2G model like the plague unless you live in a 3G blackspot and want more of a status symbol than an always connected quick device.

So who's selling these bargain 3G models? People foolish enough to be tied into an ongoing high tarrif contract who'd been tempted to stay with their telco by the offer of a shiny new 16GB iPhone 3G S. But lets not put these people down, if it wasn't for them we couldn't be able to join them at the iPhone party.

Its a simple fact of life, why keep your old phone when you could get a new one, and why hang onto your old phone if you can sell it for cold hard cash and recoup some of your initial outlay.

So what are we looking for when we look on ebay?

Firstly as above your looking for adverts where sellers are advertising sale because they've just upgraded. Your looking for sellers whom advertise saying that they'll provide the case their iPhone lived in for its 12 months in their ownership, and the 12 month bit is important as it should have been looked after (the 1 year honeymoon period) and should be close to pristine condition. Don't even consider iPhones with dents, cracks or scratches on the screen (run a mile from iPhones with cracked digitizer glass, or advertised as refurbished). Light scratching on the back and silver bezel appear to be the norm and a weak spot even in the most fastidiously kept iPhones. We've got a solution for that later.


Do what I did, put a watch on upwards of 20 iPhones that meet the above criteria, don't watch any auctions where the description sounds a little shady, and avoid anyone with less than 99.5% positive feedback. Its not worth being caught out by a chancer, your out for a bargain but you still can't afford to get fleaced.

What you'll now be wanting is the average sell price for great condition 8gb iPhone 3G S models.... At the time of writing this article the typical going rate for what we're looking for is about £225-245 anything more and your getting drawn into a fruitless bidding war. The reason I've said to watch 20+ actions is that ebay prices for popular items can ebb and flow and its worth watching for a few weeks to see if there are any trends yourself.

So £225 for a great condition iPhone, bargain is it not! Well yes and No... you can get cheaper and just as good condition. How I hear you all cry?

Auction end times.... what your looking for is auctions that end either very late 2am, or very early 7am! Especially on a weekday, keep a keen mind and a steady hand and like me you could land yourself an 8gb iPhone 3G S for £170. I could potentially list it tomorrow on a 1 day auction finishing at 9pm and make £225 or more... £55 profit for just being savvy!

So lets say you've followed my guide, you've secured a bargain iPhone, its close to spotless, but its new to you and those light scratches on the back and silver bezel cheapen the experience for you? Well while your on ebay pick up a pack of screen protectors (probably under £2), and a Plastic slide case, various manufacturers make them and they are by far the best case type for the iPhone (the cheapest I've seen are £4.99), these cases have a large part which slides onto the iPhone from above and is perfectly fitted to protect the case and bezel, a smaller clip on part of the case slides onto the bottom and is easily removable if you want to use a univeral dock. Now you've got a customised iPhone 3G that will get you noticed for all the right reasons... and you've spend under £200!

So how much would you spend on an iPhone? £920? £730? £349? I'll stick with under £200 and no tie in thank you very much.

So whats left to discuss?

Well you've not looked at the SIM options yet? Well if you picked up an o2 branded iPhone you can pay £15 go have the phone genuinely unlocked by o2. Or you could go the free Jailbroken route which is ever popular with few disadvantages.

Once your iPhone is unlocked to any network your free to pick and choose what sim package you want! From a sim only contract, to a free pay as you go sim that you top up at your leisure. Pick wisely and some providers such as the 3 network will give you free internet, txtx, calls if you top up £10 every 90 days! How does £50 a year for calls/txt/internet sound?

Bargain of the decade? Oh yes, but remember, just like everything on ebay its always a gamble. But go in forewarned, analyse the market then pounce when the deal is sitting in front of you.


If the worst should happen and you end up dealing with someone unscrupulous on ebay (like that ever happens.... not) rest assured even a broken iPhone is worth £150 on ebay. So worst case scenario you take a punt and you loose £20. You could repair a broken iPhone...but its better off leaving that to others who have more money than sense.

*Please remember this is only my personal view, I can't gaurantee you'll get a brilliant deal. But it is the method I used and it worked for me.

Prices quoted for iphone from telco are taken from o2 site and could be cheaper from other telco's

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Comments on this review

  • purplehaze13 published 16/01/2011
    i thought this review was brilliant, it was really helpful and full of information without being overwhelming. i want to buy an iphone and am looking for the cheeepest way of doing it. so thanks for the advice.
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Product Information : Apple iPhone 3G 16GB

Manufacturer's product description

Cut, copy, and paste with a tap. Send text, photos, locations, and more. Search across your iPhone. Phone, iPod, and Internet device in one, iPhone 3G offers desktop-class email, an amazing maps application, and Safari - mobile web browser. With fast 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and the App Store, iPhone 3G puts even more features at your fingertips. And like the original iPhone, it combines three products in one - a revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod, and a breakthrough Internet device with rich HTML email and a desktop-class web browser. iPhone 3G. It redefines what a mobile phone can do - again. Find your location, get directions, and see traffic - all from your phone. Maps on iPhone 3G combines GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell tower location technology with the Multi-Touch interface to create the best mobile map application ever. Get directions to wherever from wherever. View a list of turn-by-turn directions or follow a highlighted map route and track your progress with live GPS tracking. Just like Google Maps on your computer, Maps on iPhone lets you switch between views of Google Map data, satellite images, and a hybrid of both. Multi-Touch makes the difference. Tap to Zoom, pan, and change your view on the move. Maps on iPhone shows you live traffic information, indicating traffic speed along your route in easy-to-read green, red, and yellow highlights.

Product Details

Product Description: Apple iPhone 3G - black - 3G 16 GB - GSM - smartphone, Apple iPhone 3G - white - 3G 16 GB - GSM - smartphone

Product Type: Smartphone

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Smartphone Memory: 16 GB

Service Provider: O2, Not specified

Form Factor: Touch

Dimensions (WxDxH): 62 mm x 12 mm x 116 mm

Weight: 133 g

Colour: Black, White

Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Integrated Components: Digital camera, digital player, GPS receiver, voice recorder

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 2 Megapixel

Wireless Interface: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Display: LCD display - colour - 3.5" - TFT

Input Device(s): Touch sensitive screen (multi-touch)

Operating System: OS X

Playback Digital Standards: WAV, AAC, AIFF, MP3, Apple Lossless

Talk Time: Up to 600 minutes

Standby Time: Up to 300 hours

Cellular / Operating System: iOS

Long Name: iPhone 3G

Cellular / Phone Design: Candybar

Display Type: TFT; 16M colours; 320 x 480 pixels

Communications / Wireless Interface: Wifi; Bluetooth

Cellular / Technology: UMTS; HSDPA; GSM; EDGE

Cellular / Band: Quad Band

Phone Design: Classic

Cellular / Combined with: 2 MP digital camera; digital player

Battery / Standby Time: 300

Cellular / Integrated Components: Digital camera; Digital player

Length: 114 mm

Width: 61 mm

Height: 12 mm

Cellular / Phone Form Factor: Classic

Cellular / Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Cellular / Type: Smartphone

Manufacturer: Apple


MPN: MB496B/A, MB500B/A, MB496T/A

Product Type: Smartphone

Form Factor: Touch

Integrated Components: Digital camera, digital player, GPS receiver, voice recorder

Aerial: Internal

Width: 62 mm

Depth: 12 mm

Height: 116 mm

Weight: 133 g

Body Colour: Black, White


Technology: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM

Band: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900

Mobile Broadband Generation: 3G

Service Provider: O2, Not specified

Operating System: OS X

SIM Card Type: Mini SIM

Input Device(s): Multi-touch

Messaging & Internet

Cellular Messaging Services: MMS, SMS

Supported Email Protocols: POP3, IMAP4

Messaging & Data Features: PDF support, Microsoft Word support, Microsoft Excel support


Data Transmission: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA

Wireless Interface: IEEE 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR

Communication Features: Mobile Email client, Internet browser

Phone Features

Phone Functions: Speakerphone, call timer, conference call

Polyphonic Ringer: Yes


Personal Information Management: Calculator

Media Player

Supported Digital Audio Standards: WAV, AAC, AIFF, MP3, Apple Lossless


User Memory: 16 GB

Digital Camera

Rear-facing Camera Resolution: 2 Megapixel

Navigation System

Navigation: A-GPS receiver


Type: LCD display - colour

Technology: TFT

Diagonal Size: 3.5"

Display Resolution: 320 x 480 pixels

Display Illumination Colour: White


Connector Type: 1 x headset jack - mini-phone 3.5mm ¦ 1 x dock connector - 30 pin dock connector


Run Time Details: Talk - up to 600 min ¦ Standby - up to 300 hrs


Included Accessories: Hands-free headset, cleaning cloth, USB cable, power adapter


Listed on Ciao since: 08/06/2010