Leaving for a long trip in a few days: Should I buy a 3G?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ob81, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    Having a really tough time deciding if I should buy the iPhone 3G now, or wait until I return in November and grab the 3Gs.

    The thing is, I depart 3 days before the 3Gs comes out, and no way of purchasing 1 until November sometime. Will I regret not having the new features (speed, camera, etc) of the 3Gs, or would it be safe to buy the 3G now, and wait to upgrade next summer to the new phone, or 3Gs.

    I need an iPhone right now so that I can make free Wifi calls while I am abroad. I don't know any other phone that is capable of this, plus I can use chat apps to easily stay in contact with my family.

    I did consider a laptop, but I would have to purchase a new one, and that isn't in the budget.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Doju macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    UGH. Tough decision. I'd go with the 3G personally. The step up is great, but not so much that you'd cry over the lost features.

    Have fun on the trip.
  3. OlgaJ macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2009
    Is having an iphone with you while traveling worth $300 or less if you upgrade again when you return? Or would you prefer to visit internet cafes while gone?

    Here's how I would look at it and how I come up with $300 or less: $99 now for the 3G; plus +$200 premium in a few months for the new phone, less whatever you can get selling the 3G later. And that's only if you want to get the 3Gs quickly.

    Don't forget, there will be another bigger, greater, newer iPhone a year from now. You can hang onto the 3G till then and it makes it more than worth it to buy now for your trip.

    It's not that the 3G will stop working. And it's not that IMHO AT&T (if you're in the U.S.) will be providing higher speeds any time soon.

    Personally I would go for the 3G and just decide to upgrade next year.
  4. Betelgeuse macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2008
    If it were me, I'd just get an iPod Touch (to make the free wifi calls) and then get a 3GS when you return. Unless it's a necessity that you have an all-in-one phone thing, I'd put off the purchase.
  5. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    That is what I would do, especially if you were not going to use your actual phone service till you get back. You will need to buy a microphone attachment but those are around ten bucks. Then when you get back you can sell the iPod and buy a 3GS.
  6. pol0001 macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2008
    Skype/Fring offer their program for many cell phones that have wifi. So if you don't want to buy an iPod Touch and later on an iPhone look on ebay or so if you can find a used smart phone with wifi and use that one till you get back in November.

    Just my 2 cents.
  7. davidlw macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2008
    If you buy the 3G now, won't you be able to do the OS upgrade before you leave or even on the road somewhere. That way you will have most of the new features until you get the 3GS.
  8. ob81 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    Spending the money now would be worth it, especially initially. It is the fact that AT&T would charge an arm and a leg to upgrade when I get back. I agree that I could just wait until next year. I have been running down the difference in specs, and they are few. I just want to avoid that upgrade feeling when I get back! If I purchase now, I will surely wait until next year.

    I thought about the touch, but I haven't kept up with the market for it since I sold my first one. I was worried about the resale value, and spending that much for 4-5 months of use seemed "too far".
  9. uiop. macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I'd just buy an iPhone for the time being. Yeah, a better camera and speedier processor would be great, but it really isn't that big of a deal. If you want to upgrade when you get back, unlock the iPhone 3G and sell it on ebay for a pretty penny.

    Have a safe trip.
  10. hbg macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    No. Don't do it. Here's why (I just went through this with daughter going to Europe)

    1. You cannot stop people from calling you. If someone calls you from the US (maybe they don't know you are overseas): a) if you answer it AT&T charges you $1.50 per minute, b) even if you don't answer it and it goes to voicemail on the iphone they still charge you $1.50 per minute. AT&T cannot turn off voicemail on the iPhone, which is different than with other phones. In short, you could end up with a huge bill.

    2) Unless you disable text messaging with AT&T (turning off data roaming on the iPhone will NOT stop this- you have to call AT&T) you will be charged $0.50 for each and every text message you receive, the overseas rate. Imagine my daughter, the typical college kid, who gets thousands a month and figure out how big my bill would be.

    3) If you don't worry about #1 and #2, be darn sure you turn off data roaming on the iPhone so you can make sure that if you will open up the browser on the iPhone you will not get charged for data on 3G or for any emails received.

    AT&T has an international data roaming plan you can get, but it is very expensive and does not solve problems 1 and 2 above.

    The best and much cheaper solution is to get a prepaid cell phone overseas. The rates are far cheaper and you can find one that has internet access, etc. Or, if you just want Internet and skype see if you know someone who has either an iphone 3G or older first generation iPhone they are not using that no longer has AT&T service. Then you won't have any of the problems above and can use it everywhere in internet cafes and wifi hotspots in Europe and also download and install, for free, Skype on it for free from the app store before you leave.
  11. MACoconut macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    hmm. how about a netbook?

    can get a decent one for 300usd? ;)
  12. hbg macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Yeah, but an iphone can be almost as good, but fit in your pocket. You could get a cheap used first generation one on ebay.
  13. MACoconut macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    the issue is : you'll be spending quite alot of $ on the 3G given it's expensive plans you have to maintain. Furthermore, the new iPhone (next generation) will be released next summer i guess(every iphone product cycle), and this one will be much more impressive.

    The netbook (at 300usd), you do not have to maintain the high costs and you can watch movies (with the larger hdd).

    TS: in your sig, it shows that you already have an iphone right? :confused:
  14. orange42 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2009
    Can someone buy the 3G S and mail it to you when it comes out?
  15. beamer8912 macrumors 65816

    May 30, 2009
    You're going to be paying a ton in cash to use the iPhone overseas. If you're that loaded then buying the 3GS when you come back should be no sweat.

    I do hope you realize that AT&T's international charges are anything but cheap.

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