With the launch of any new iPhone the prices of older models fall, usually with the oldest model disappearing in very shortly afterwards. This means a scramble to catch any deals before they are gone forever.
Although now laughed at by Apple disciples who have the latest technology the iPhone 3GS still does what it was designed to do. It was the bees’ knees just a few years ago and if you buy one you can still use apps and features that are identical to the ones everyone else uses on their more recent phone models.
Whether the price has fallen far enough for you, only you can decide. All Apple phones are over-priced and that includes this one. If you want an iPhone then you have no option but to pay an inflated price for one.
The 3GS has a 320 x 480 pixel full colour screen. This is perfectly adequate for reading email, text and browsing the Internet. Newer models have a higher resolution screen, but unless you see the different screens side by side you will never notice any difference.
The screen size is just the same as on the iPhone 4 and 4S. Even the iPhone 5 only has a marginally larger one. It is a touch screen, too, just the same as on newer models.
Be sure to get the 16Gb model rather than the 8Gb one. The 8Gb solid state hard drive fills up very quickly with operating system updates, leaving you no room for storing music, apps or photos.
You can use your iPhone 3GS to connect to a wi-fi network when you are out and update your Facebook status or read your emails. You can also do this using your data allowance over a 3G network for greater security if you prefer.
You can use Google maps and the built in compass and GPS, which is probably the single most used app on any iPhone.
You can update the operating system to iOS 6, the most recent Apple update very easily. All you have to do is to connect the phone to your home computer and it is all done automatically in 15 minutes.
Somehow the price of an iPhone never comes down. Even when it has had three years hard use people still want $200 for them. There seem to be buyers for used iPhones at that price, which always surprises non-Apple aficionados.
Should You Buy One?
Choosing a phone is always a very personal choice. If you are desperate for an iPhone without the costs that are associated with newer models then an iPhone 3GS is worth looking into.
Be sure to compare the costs because the monthly savings are not that great over the iPhone 4 or 4S - around $10 a month at the most for a phone that is three years old and which will not be worth very much at the end of the contract.
What are the Alternatives?
There are alternatives and plenty of them for the same price. Only a true Apple believer could convince himself that a phone that was designed more than three years ago is better than anything else on the market.
If you do go for the 3GS then really consider buying it outright and just adding a sim-only data, call and text package to use it on your preferred network. This works out quite a bit cheaper than buying it on an 18 month contract.
You can still find iPhone 3GS Pay as You Go bargains which will suit you better than a contract if you are only an occasional user.
Amazon offers a wide range of smart phones for under $200 without any contract. Some have mixed reviews, but there are many that have four and five star customer ratings. You will need a sim-only deal from your provider to use these phones, but a basic deal can be had for around $10 a month.