Tip o' the Week: Old iPhone Useless?

The iPhone 3G is SOOOOO close, I can practically taste the doubled speed, GPS and iPhone 2.0-and-web apps sweetness!  It's hard to believe that it's already been over a year since I held the object of my obsession (a.k.a. iPhone 2G) for the first time in the Apple Store.  Now, my still-gleaming 2G is about to become a has-been.  Will it be worth the box it was shipped in after July 11?  Read on for this week's Tip, the possible future of YOUR "old" iPhone!

iPhone 3G on Sale July 11 People buying an iPhone for the first time are waiting until July 11 or after. In some ways, they are the lucky ones.  They don't have the conundrum of figuring out what to do with their iPhone 2G.  Sell it on eBay for pennies on the dollar?  Donate it to charity?  Drop it in their "old icky outdated technology drawer" from where there is no return?

I was an "early adopter" -- translation: I was suckered into paying $599 (still hurts to type it to this day) for my little slice of techno-nirvana. Given the new iPhone 3G is just around the corner, this week's Tip is a timely one regarding what YOU can do with your old iPhone!

In no particular order, here are some ideas:

1)  Use your old iPhone as an iPod (a really expensive iPod, but hey, it has a pretty multi-touch screen!)

2)  Hand-me-down: give it to your spouse, significant other, child, friend, boss (possible bribe potential), etc.  I'm sure the beneficiary will LOVE it (especially if they have not experienced an iPhone before) and AT&T will love it too ($$$)!  Besides, the tax write-off may be higher than what you'd get on eBay.

3)  Keep it.  Don't upgrade.  It's humanly impossible to resist the siren song of the iPhone 3G, but if you are super-human and manage to stick to your 2G, then at least be comforted in knowing that you will keep your same rate plan and you can point your finger and mock all the 3G'ers that are paying more for their data (see tidbits.com).

4)  Doorstop, paperweight, pond-skipping, coaster, or all the above.

Thanks for dropping by for this week's Tip about what you can do with your old iPhone 2G.  What will YOU do with yours?  Leave a comment and share!

Disclaimer:  Tip o' the Week makes no guarantee, express or implied, that any tip found herein will be new or particularly useful to the reader (except for #4 above - I suspect that even the iPhone 2G's sleek design would beat just about any flat rock in a pond-skipping contest).

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Reader comments

Tip o' the Week: Old iPhone Useless?


I think that i have an add on to your third tip . . . If you keep the iPhone until your 2 year plan runs out, then you'll be able to get next years iPhone with no outrageous upgrade fees. It's going to be hard to do, but it will be worth it in the end when people find out that the next iPhone as 5 megapixel camera and a whole slew of other features that were only dreaming about right now.
in my opinion it's probably best to wait it out . . . but what does everyone else think?

If you keep playing the technology waiting game you'll never own anything. I've waited long enough to get an iPhone...can't wait any longer! It's still a hundred times better than anything else right now.

I have no problem sticking with the 16GB 2G iPhone I purchased for 1/2 what the 8GB cost at release. I do not purchase tunes or video. I do send lots of emails, and surf the web. I have found that most places I stop at have free wi-fi (schools, businesses, home, work). 3G does not exist outside the 3 metropolitan in Minnesota. It seems an arrogant waste to dispose of something that is still way ahead of every other mobile device. It also seems the pricing model is more advantageous for the 2G iPhone.

1) Since the new 3G version will be locked to AT&T and no-contract price is $599 (8GB), the ebay price for my legacy model should be better than pennies on the dollar.
2) Looks like iPhone 2.0 will support iPhone as Wi-Fi iTunes remote. Pretty cool. There might be some additional 3rd party remote software coming. Who knows.

The only problem with "using it as an iPod" is that some 3rd-party accessories/dock & speakers/etc don't play nice with the iPhone. My advice would be to sell it on eBay because frankly, they are still bringing good prices. In fact, sell it NOW before the rest of the world puts theirs on eBay (& either go without for 1 week or slap your sim in a go-phone for a week) and you'll probably make out pretty well.

I am selling mine on Craigslist. I figure that since the 3G iPhone's 3G is different than T-Mobile's 3G network, and it will be at least a month before any are sold used, the first gen model will still get a decent price.
I picture the 3G model being listed used for ridiculous prices up in the $500-$600 range. That is a lot to pay for 3G you can't use and GPS... I figure I will be able to get $300 out of mine since it is jailbroken and I will unlock it for the buyer, plus include a protective case.
I think the used market will remain strong for at least a good couple of months.

I scored one of the $249 refurbs (with full one-year warranty), so I not only got a great deal, I get the cheap data plan.

I'm keeping my still beautiful iPhone 2G. We don't even have 3G really! Plus I can stand to wait a couple of seconds for a page to load if I can pay less!

Im perfectly happy with my 2G iPhone also and don't plan to replace it. Key factor is that the software upgrade is not exclusive to the 3G version ... And I think the silver back is nicer :)

IMO, i am going to keep my 2g i just got it in march, and its just.. everything i've ever wanted. I've had treos, i've had blackberrys, and i was a "phone every 3/4 months" kind of girl, b/c i was just NEVER pleased.. i couldn't do everything i wanted. Once i recently got my 2g in march, i was really blown away. I will most likely wait the 2 years, and wait to purchase the follow up iphone to the 3g, b/c i don't need navigation that badly, and my wifi works amazing, so not really needing the 3g speeds anyway. And, considering the 2.0 update will be available to the 2g owners, i think i will be okay for now. i totally applaud apple for letting all iphone owners available to that perk, helps us get our money's worth, considering at the time, we all bought our phones, for 400,500, and even 600 dollars. :)

I've had a 2G iPhone for the past 10 months (jailbroken and unlocked). I Was ready to buy iPhone new 3G today, but long queues and lack of stock forced me think twice...Did I really need a new phone and a contract?
I was on PAYG for the past 10months with iPhone 2G and never used the edge network due to prohibitive costs. I was going to sign up and go Legit because I was sick of searching for free wifi out and about.
I came to the conclusion that I'd switch from PAYG to Bill pay and add a data plan. It works out 27.50 euro a month as opposed to 45 euro a month on the official 3G tariff. I can cancel this contract with 30days notice.
I'm going to upgrade to firmware ver 2.0 when an unlock comes out, then sit on the fence until the next hardware upgrade to tempt me.
I believe, for the sake of a GPS chip, Recessed Headphone jack and 3G surfing speeds if you have a 2G and can wait, I'm sure the next Hardware update of the iPhone will have something more special (hopefully even a better camera!)

I'm going to hang on to mine since it works great and I can get on wi-fi in most places i want to use (despite living in a rural area). In addition to that 3g networks aren't available everywhere so I'll wait until the next hardware update comes along. Or better yet something beyond what we can even imagine comes a long.

Hey the 2G is right for me. Just got one today. $20 data plan and I paid a whole $50 for the phone. Practically looks brand new and you can't beat that kind of deal!!

For those considering upgrading to the 2G Iphone to 2.0 OS, consider waiting. 2.0 OS is considerably slower response times on simple & routine tasks. It's becoming quite noticable. Hope Apple has in the works. They need to do some work to restore the Iphone to it's previous responsiveness. 2.0 is also less stable than the older OS. Practice powering down before upgrading to 2.0.