Reseller market for iPhone 3G is a lot like used Macs

One of things that long-time Macintosh owners will tell you is that the resell value for Apple computers trends higher than other PC brands. It’s not uncommon for even three- or four-year-old Macs to sell for hundreds of dollars, while PCs of similar vintage go for less. It’s the sort of thing you tell yourself before you drop a couple thousand dollars on Apple hardware to mute the sting a bit, but in my experience it tends to be true.

I just sold my iPhone 3G—a well-worn 16GB model that was listed with a nice, big picture of the crack in the plastic up around the headphone jack, and isn’t unlocked—for $300 on eBay. I’m a bit shocked, frankly. You can pick up the same model brand new at AT&T for $99, or $200 for a 3GS, with a two-year contract.

But for those that don’t want to sign up with AT&T, it seems like it’s worth paying a few hundred to use an iPhone on another network. That certainly makes the $500 I paid for a new iPhone 3GS feel a lot less painful.

It reminds me an awful lot of what it’s like to be a Mac owner who upgrades every 12-18 months. A high initial investment lets me use gear of recent revision, provided I’m willing to keep it in decent shape and resell the old stuff.

And in this case there’s an added bonus: I can free an iPhone from the bonds of AT&T service. It’s almost like a good deed.

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6 Responses to Reseller market for iPhone 3G is a lot like used Macs

  1. philipb says:

    I sold my original 8GB iPhone for more than I paid for it. The Craigslist purchaser was anxious to know if I had any more to sell too!

  2. Michael B says:

    So, last year when a coworker bought a 3g, I bought his 2g at a discount. This year he bought a 3gs, so I bought his 3g for $200 (meaning his upgrade was free) and sold my 2g to someone else for what I paid for it.

    It’s like the circle of life.

  3. Not a Doktor says:

    well duh, don’t you know the battery is cocaine based?

  4. brettcee says:

    I wasn’t going to upgrade from 3G either, but I tried listing it on craigs list, about an hour later I had 400 cash, an hour later from that I had a new 3GS 32GB for $168. I’m glad I upgraded, much faster, especially the internet.

  5. karrock says:

    Joel:

    Well that’s damn encouraging to know, certainly more $$ than the few organized online stores buying out used 3G.

    But the important bit is what did you do about your previous 2 year AT&T contract? Break it, transfer to a prepaid and start a new one?

  6. Scott says:

    Hey Joel, you’re the first person I could find that upgraded from 3G to 3GS — after paying so much for the 3GS upgrade do you think it’s worth it?

    I’m still on the fence. Please give us your thoughts.

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