is buying a 3GS now a bad decision?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by teddymexico, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. teddymexico macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    I'm in kind of a tricky situation. I want an Iphone 4, but my top priority is saving money and getting a smart-phone before my upcoming trip to South America (I leave July 16th). I am not due for an upgrade on my current regular cell phone. I really want an iphone now for the Spanish Translator app, and I'm assuming I can get a currency exchange app, plus I can use skype to essentially call people back home for free (if I understand correctly), and I can use wifi to get on the web in many of the hotels.

    The Iphone 4 would cost me $399 and there's no telling how long it would be until I can actually get my hands on one. Being that I'm new to iphone, i will want at least a week or so to familiarize myself with all of the settings, apps, etc. So on many levels, it seems like the 3gs might be my best option. It's cheaper than 4, leaving me with more $$ to spend on vacation. Plus, I believe the 3gs will receive the price drop in a week, so I could get one and still have plenty of time to get comfortable with it.

    I guess my question is in the thread title. Would buying a 3gs now be a bad decision? Will it be rendered obsolete or stop getting software upgrades and apps anytime soon? If I understand correctly, I should be able to upgrade to the new ios4 software, right? Sorry for all the newb questions, any help would be much appreciated.
  2. Rajani Isa macrumors 65816

    Rajani Isa

    Jun 8, 2010
    Rogue Valley, Oregon
    If you got the 3GS:

    You would not be able to use any apps require the gyro that come out.

    You can upgrade it to iOS 4 - and I don't see Apple leaving the 3GS out any time soon, although the older the phone, the less likely you are be able to use the newer features in the upgrades.

    I'd say wait for the 4, myself (camera has a flash, better video, etc) - if you want to familiarize yourself with one, try asking anyone you know with an iTouch to let you borrow it for a few days - basics are the same, just won't be able to make phone calls :)
  3. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    I wouldn't.

    Yes, right now, it can do almost everything the iPhone 4 will be able to, with iOS 4, but with the faster processor and double the RAM (not to mention the gyroscope, better camera, front camera, etc.), the iPhone 4 is already much better, and the gulf is only going to widen.

    The only way I'd advise someone to buy a 3GS right now is if they really don't care about using it to its capacity.
  4. teddymexico thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    Yeah, I was just sort of thinking that I fell into that category. I don't really care too much about having the best camera phone. I'm a photographer and pretty much always have a camera with me whenever i want to take pics. I don't care about front camera video phone, because the only people i talk to on the phone with any regularity don't have/aren't getting phones that will video chat. I honestly only care about the few travel apps I mentioned, and being able to make phone calls with skype and surf the web.
    If i will be able to use all those features for the next year or so that's definitely what's important to me.

    All that said, one of the biggest factors is my vacation to South America in less than 4 weeks. I don't even know if I will find an iphone 4 in stock before I leave. And I definitely need a smart phone (that i've had time to become comfortable with) by the time I leave. If I could walk into my ATT store in the first week of July and buy an iphone 4 I probably would, but I don't think that's gonna happen.

    Anyone else have an opinion for me?
  5. chargit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2010
    Evansville, In
    well I think all of the replies so far are wrong! I think the 3gs is a great decision with everything you said you were looking for. now dont get me wrong the iPhone 4 is going to be an awesome phone but it doesnt seem you are looking for what it can do. so it would be overkill. if I were you I would buy the 3gs now before they drop it to the 8gig. and as far as support Apple just stopped supporting the 2g with updates earlier this year so You will be in good shape for some time. I have a couple 3gs's and a 3g and I really like the 3gs. I will be waiting until August until I get the 4....cause AT&T says I have to thats why! lol but you will be more than happy with the 3gs.
  6. neil1980 macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2008
    Seems the usual thing on here that as soon as the latest and greatest is replaced its suddenly no good.

    The 3GS is a great phone... if you can get one at a good price and you don't need the latest then I'd get one now before you can only get the 8GB one
  7. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    I would recommend you wait. The big thing isn't that the iPhone 4 can record 720p or anything like that.

    The big concern is that the iPhone 4 has twice the RAM and a faster CPU. So in one years time you may be sitting with a phone like the 3G currently is. Unable to use the latest OS features, and unable to use the latest apps. Now two years down the road you may not even get any updates.
  8. nvelker macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2010
    Kansas City
    on the flip side

    Honestly, if you don't care about all the latest features, you could find a cost effective phone (at a good price due to the new release) and save your upgrade for the next iphone 5, or iphone 4g or whatever they'll call it. Thus saving your upgrade until it will save you the most money. OR, you will be able to get a new iphone with a new carrier... which might be a plus.

    It sounds like you've made up your mind already. The 3gs is a good phone and will work with everything accept the gyro for at least a year until you are ready for an upgrade. As for the ram, the ios runs on the ipad at 256 ram just as it will on the 3gs, also 256 ram. They won't upgrade the ipad for a year so you can be sure it will function well for at least that long. The 512 ram in the phone 4 will get you some cool apps, but they will all be games. Not necessarily functional apps. The 3gs will do what you want it to, and you will have plenty of time to get aquainted with the new phone before you leave on your trip.

    Iphone 4 will be cool, but not necessary. Next year they'll have one that is better, since apple trends constantly upward. Just in time for your upgrade. If you've never owned an iphone, the 3gs is a great phone! I have one! I love it.
  9. neil1980 macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2008
    Thats not necessarily a bad thing though?

    I've got a 3G and its still better than the majority of phones out there and it still fetches decent money on ebay

    based on that you'd be fine
  10. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    If the "Spanish translator app" that you are talking about is jibbigo, then you definitely need the iPhone 4. That app takes forever to use on my iPhone 3GS.
  11. teddymexico thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2010
    Thanks for the replies.

    Yes, it sounds like I'm leaning towards the 3gs over the 4g, but now i'm comparing the iphone 3gs to other network's best/newest smart phones. The bottom line is I just can't wait for the iphone 4 because I need a good phone for the vacation. I HAVE TO have a spanish translator app (and the one I was thinking of is by, access to currency conversions, mp3 player, skype, etc.

    I really would like the iphone brand, and will probably go with the 'early upgrade' options for the 3gs. I'm still a little confused how much that will cost me. I thought I heard Att was going to charge 299 for 3gs early upgrades starting now, but when i look at the website it still says 399. I think I'm going to head over to ATT store here in a bit and talk to them.

    But like I said before, one of my main questions/concerns was if the phone would be come obsolete in a year. I realize that newer apps will be coming out that I won't be able to use, but that's not really a deal killer for me. You're talking to a guy who has never had a smart phone or any phone with internet access.
  12. chargit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2010
    Evansville, In
    stop right there..........there is no better phone than the iPhone! I have had just about every smart type phone out there and no matter what iPhone you choose you will not be sorry!
  13. solarguy17 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
    Lets see, the HTC Droid phones are cool to, with the EVO that just came out, the Incredible coming out soon, and the soon announcement of the Droid X (Motorola) Apple has some major competion.

    From a UI standpoint the iphone is pretty pale in comparision to the HTC Sense UI, in fact I spent over 3 hours tweaking a Theme and installing it onto my iphone to give the iphone a similar look to the HTC HD2. VAST IMPROVEMENT!!! Much cleaner and much more useful. Realistically, Apple needs to consider add theme options and widgets to the iPhone OS (I refure to call it iOS, its a dumb name) to keep up. Otherwise, I am thinking of switching to the Incredible on Verizon...ALso, AT&T sucks so that will make the desicion easier.
  14. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    Agreed. I wish people would stop acting like the 3G is some POS. It's still a good phone. If I wasn't eligible for upgrade prices I'd just keep my phone and wait cause it wouldn't be worth 700 dollars to get a new phone. My phone still does what I want and still is very useful and I'd still be happy with it. Yeah, it lags a little but I've honestly only recently noticed that.

    And there are plenty of people out there that my 3G is all they really need. Hell, I gotta co-worker who just upgraded her original iphone to 3G and she didn't have too many complaints about the original (prolly found hte 3G for cheap).

    No, it's not the iphone 4. Yes, it is slower. But if you just want a good phone that has some useful apps and decent internet browsing ability, it's a decent phone. There are plenty of people out there who my phone would still be a great phone even if they could no longer update it or use any new apps.

    That being said, if I were in OP's shoes I'd be really annoyed at having to go with the previous model just cause i had to have it by a certain time. And honestly, in my opinion, 50 dollars more is way worth getting an iphone 4 over a 3GS. I'd probably be trying harder to assure that I could just get one on launch day from the store (I already am going to be sitting in line for a phone I reserved just so I can have it before I go on my vacation but unlike him, I don't *have* to have it before then, just would be really really disappointed to not have it for the vacation. I'd still hold out though and wait til afterwards if I couldn't get it before. But then again, I do want the better camera and video capability. I find I use my iphone for pictures more than my camera cause it happens to be on me when I suddenly get the urge to take photos where as my camera doesn't. And I can easily upload the photos to facebook right then and there).
  15. lionqueen macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2009
    I'm going to have to disagree with the ppl who say go with the 3GS. Even if you don't care about the camera/video, the iPhone 4 has so many new features, better hardware, better screen, it's faster. I realize you want a phone for your vacay, but what I would do is just bite the bullet and go camp outside an Apple or ATT store overnight (or show up reallllly early in the am) and see if you can't grab an i4. If you cant, and you have to have the phone for your trip, then go with the 3GS. But if I were you I'd make a concerted effort to get i4. You won't regret it.
  16. TheAppleGeek macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    St. Louis
    Quite honestly, upgrade to the iPhone 4. It seems like the features aren't a big priority, but the processing speed and the hardware itself is creating a phone that will last longer. Come this time next year, the 3GS will be where the 3G is today - slow, practically ignored by Apple, in terms of updates and enhancements.

    All in all, iPhone 4 is just a better piece of hardware.

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