iPhone 3GS returns to life with South Korean carrier

Posted:
in iPhone
In an unusual move, a South Korean company is planning to resell units of Apple's nine-year-old iPhone 3GS -- new and unused in original packaging.

Image Credit: Lee Dong-geun, ETNews
Image Credit: Lee Dong-geun, ETNews


Models will go on sale later this month from SK Telink, according to Korea's ETNews. The phones were retrieved from a warehouse in their original packaging, including accessories, and simply tested to ensure the hardware was still intact and functioning.

Because the 3GS is unable to run anything later than iOS 6, many modern apps and features are inaccessible. Repairs and accessories may also be difficult to come by, especially since Apple switched from 30-pin connectors to Lightning with 2012's iPhone 5.

Basic functions should work though, such as calling, SMS, and music playback. SK Telink is also selling the product contract-free for just 44,000 won, a little over $40, which is far cheaper than most smartphones. An iPhone SE starts at 490,000 won in Korea, about $452.

Apple discontinued the 3GS in 2012. By that point the device had already gone through three major iOS updates, having started out on iPhone OS 3. The "iOS" name was adopted for June 2010's iOS 4, acknowledging the release of the iPad earlier that year.

Apple will occasionally keep producing and selling outdated iPhones in some markets, such as India. But, Apple itself has never reached quite so far back in its history like SK Telink has.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    horvatichorvatic Posts: 97member
    Why?
  • Reply 2 of 30
    asciiascii Posts: 5,813member
    New old stock. They might have made more money selling them to collectors on ebay.
    bonobobtmayviclauyycStrangeDaysdewmenetmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 341member
    I liked that phone compare to 3G and its limiting iOS 3 was quite usable. With better camera it your be still good phone.

    If they would found original iPhone stocks they could make fortune lol.
    edited June 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,168member
    I'd understand selling a 9yo iPhone if this was the other Korea.
    mike1asdasdviclauyycradarthekatboltsfan17muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobrajony0freshmaker
  • Reply 5 of 30
    hattighattig Posts: 821member
    Reminds me I need to source a new/old 30-pin device for an old 30-pin-supporting speaker I have so I can use it again.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,448member
    That was my first iPhone and if I found a bunch in a warehouse new and unused, I would sell them too!!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 281member
    It must cost them a fortune when they first bought it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 30
    benji888benji888 Posts: 73member
    hmmm, they must have active 3G or Edge cell networks there. Still, phone, text, even maps work ok, some old apps might be ok, but not so good for browsing, shopping, etc. Some people would be just fine with this phone. Outside the US people aren't so enamored with having the latest and greatest, if it has basic functions it's fine for them, better than a flip phone or no phone.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 30
    I would imagine the batteries did not appreciate that much inactivity. Surely at least some of them will be unusable since l-ion batteries like to exercise? I was leery of procuring a new Series 0 in November 2016 for that reason, but so far, so good, although the battery is much newer than the ones in these phones.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 30
    ajlajl Posts: 87member
    Old parents will be able to have an iPhone for as much as 40 bucks. I think this is a wise move, instead of throwing all those phones away.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    "Because the 3GS is unable to run anything later than iOS 6, many modern apps and features are inaccessible."

    ...and it will run many great apps that were orphaned due to various reasons including for one high end app I bought that I was told faced too much cost of ongoing iOS compatibility development... :)

    edited June 14 zroger73
  • Reply 12 of 30
    "Because the 3GS is unable to run anything later than iOS 6, many modern apps and features are inaccessible."

    ...and it will run many great apps that were orphaned due to various reasons including for one high end app I bought that I was told faced too much cost of ongoing iOS compatibility development... :)

    On some of my older iOS devices that have the App Store, when trying to install a more modern app that existed for the older device, the App Store prompts you to download the older, compatible version ... but only if it was already associated with your Apple ID back then. So, if you are just now downloading Pandora for the first time, you can't download the old compatible version.
    muthuk_vanalingamnetmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 30
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,992member
    Soli said:
    I'd understand selling a 9yo iPhone if this was the other Korea.
    Haha. I've heard the Motorola Razr is pretty popular in Pyongyang. 
    zroger73muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    ajl said:
    Old parents will be able to have an iPhone for as much as 40 bucks. I think this is a wise move, instead of throwing all those phones away.
    How old is "old"? Sometimes I see folks here and elsewhere referring to 50-year-old people as "old" and in need of large-button phones, who don't use any data and sit in rocking chairs all day reminiscing about the old days when the whole family used one landline. People older than that built spaceships, went to the Moon, invented your very Internet. "Old" people don't need old phones, just like you don't.
    netmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 30
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 344member
    These are going to North Korea. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Why? Is right...

    I don’t like Android, but people on a budget are better off buying one than a 9 year old iPhone.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    The iPhone 3GS was my first iPhone and I have fond memories of it, but I couldn't imagine using one especially on iOS 6 in 2018
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,704member
    Other than selling to collectors, this is a great example of just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 30
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,678member
    The age of the 3Gs is an issue since if it is indeed original new in the box it means it is running iOS 4. Apple stops signing older iOS versions almost immediately after the release of an update. People who buy this will be stuck on iOS 4 even though technically it could run iOS 6. I don't think you can download that anymore.

    Personally, I'm not financially strapped, but if I was I probably go for a cheap, modern $100 Android phone instead, as crazy as that sounds.
    edited June 14
  • Reply 20 of 30
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 545member
    Got all my old iphones out not too long ago and fired them up.  The 3G still worked to get on the internet.  The old app icons were the biggest treat.  
    king editor the gratewatto_cobra
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