Tip o' the Week: Old iPhone Part Deux

Were you an early adopter of the iPhone 2G? How about an early adopter of the iPhone monolithic-slice-of-tech-heaven 3G? Are you still contemplating a migration from your 2G to a shiny 3G? Is the 3G in your hand and the 2G in your nightstand drawer, collecting dust? Questions, questions. What should you do with that 2G? Read on for this week's Tip!

We've covered the "what to do with your old iPhone" question before in a previous Tip. Although you could feasibly use your old iPhone as an iPod Touch, backup phone, paperweight, doorstop, etc., money can have a strange way of changing attitudes and behaviors. If you have a strong sentimental attachment to your old trusty 2G iPhone and want to keep it that way, stop reading now and continue your 2G love-fest. If you think you can handle an extra $500 or $600 bones in your purse or wallet, then this Tip is for you.

The venerable Erica Sadun over at tuaw.com posted about this very subject about the steady rise of first-gen iPhone prices. She wrote the following:

From easy-unlocking to contract-free usage to eco-consumerism, consumers are looking for those original units and paying premium prices to get them. A majority of phones are heading outside the US for resale while growing demand at home keeps resale prices high.

It's just the good old-fashioned basic economics of supply and demand. New iPhones require a contract with AT&T and, unlike the first-gen iPhone, they can't be bought off the shelf for later activation. The 2G iPhone can be bought, unlocked, and used contract-free. Just a quick browse on eBay and you will find that 2G iPhones are selling for about $500 for the 8GB model and $600 for the 16GB model, respectively. Obviously, the better the condition, the more likely you'll fetch a higher price.

As I write this, I'm staring into my open nightstand drawer at my 2G iPhone. Do I see an older, unused iPhone or do I see a stack of Benjamin's? Needless to say, it's very tempting right now to take advantage of the current market conditions where you can get top-dollar for your used iPhone. What are you waiting for? If you won't sell, then what are you doing with your old iPhone?

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 (and make sure you let eBay know where you got this Tip -- I want a piece of the action!). 

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Reader comments

Tip o' the Week: Old iPhone Part Deux


@Guinness -- it was released with 4GB and 8GB, but the 4GB was later dropped and a 16GB was introduced. I hope the hosing isn't fatal!

I bought a 3G FIRST and then last weekend bought a 4GB 2G for $250! It was "inactive" from a former AT&T subscriber who paid the disconnect penalty.
Took it home-pwnage tool (I think) and a baseband download and now I have an unlocked phone for when I travel to Canada (3-4 times per year). Slid my Rogers SIM into the 2G and called home with it. A bargain-even at $50 more than the 3G!

I am on my 4th iPhone. The first, 2G 8GB bought ($300) in the US was at that time unlockable. Sold with 20% margin to a Russian hacker. The second, French Orange ($800), officially unlocked and the third ($300), US pwned I still have (well, the wife has it). Now I have Czech, 16GB officially unlocked ($850) . There is a big run on these from the Russian hackers. The work on any GSM net.
I think I will keep my iPhones because I can hack the hell out of the Frech one and always virginize re-unlock it. Perhaps I could do some development on it, too.

Got the 8G iPhone on the first day. A year later bought a 16G 3G. Upgraded the year-old first gen to version 2. Pwned it. Got $450 on ebay for a year-old phone.