The iPhone 3GS is the model before the iPhone 4 but it's still available and at a greatly reduced price which makes it worth considering if you're on a budget. It does most of the same things as the iPhone 4, including web browsing, email, music & Apps. The main differences are it's slower, the screen & camera are not as good, and it doesn't have GPS. It is however a lot cheaper so if those things don't matter to you (perhaps you just want a phone with iPod & internet access) then the iPhone 3GS can be a very good buy.
The iPhone 3GS is a great phone, it was possibly the best smartphone in the world until the iPhone 4 came along. With the release of the iPhone 4 which is better in every respect, the main benefit of the iPhone 3GS is it's low price - if you don't need the more advanced features of the iPhone 4 or 4S then why pay more for them?
There are two ways to buy an iPhone 3GS - as part of a contract with a network such as Vodafone or O2 (either directly from the network or through as reseller such as Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4 U or Dial A Phone) or to buy it outright and buy your phone service/SIM card separately. Amazon and eBay are good places to find cheap deals on iPhone 3GSs for outright purchase. We have put together an iPhone 3GS price comparison page checking prices from all these sources to find the best deals for you.
Secondhand can be an attractive option, saving you the initial depreciation that happens as soon as you open the box, and if you buy a fairly new secondhand one, all the manufacturer's warranty will still be in place so you will be fully covered in the event of any faults. If you're prepared to go slightly older, you can often pick up some real bargains with last year's model going for a fraction of it's original price. eBay is of course one of the best places to find secondhand iPhone 3GS bargains and we have created a page that searches eBay for you to find the best deals. Our unique filtering system trawls through the eBay database selecting only the most relevant offers and best deals to save you time.
The price of goods at auctions is not fixed - it depends upon how much people are prepared to bid and that's why you can pick up some great deals on both new and used iPhones at auction. To give you an idea of what you might pay, here are some completed items so you can see what price they went for:
In the USA, the iPhone 4 comes in two different versions - the original AT&T iPhone 4 and the new (February 2011) Verizon version of the iPhone 4.These phones have different chipsets inside because of the different technologies used by these two carriers (Verizon use CDMA and AT&T use GSM) and are therefore not interchangeable. Be careful if you import an iPhone from the US!
For a detailed look at the iPhone 3GS, it's technology and development, take a look at this great Wikipedia article on the iPhone 3GS.