Should i buy an iPhone 3GS ?

green9206

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 14, 2014
38
7
I am a student and i have never owned any Apple device but i want to experience the Apple ecosystem so am considering a used iPhone 3GS as a sort of first Apple device i use.I do have a Lumia 520 so i just wanted to know is it still ok to get a used 3GS just for basic use and to experience what iOS is all about ?
Also it would be helpful to know what must i look for while buying a used iPhone so i don't get a faulty unit.Thanks and if i like it, my next phone would probably be a used iPhone 4S but right now am a bit short on cash so should i get a 3GS ?
 

uchosen

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2010
344
9
3GS is a fine choice if you are strapped for cash but be aware that a lot of the features of the latest iOS are not supported.
 

penajmz

macrumors 68040
Sep 11, 2008
3,759
3,899
New York City
In my opinion, I don't think you will get the best experience of iOS with one of those older devices. I would consider an iPhone 5 or later and if you want the smaller screen then the one I would recommend is a 4s minimum.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,539
8,164
Colorado
In my opinion, I don't think you will get the best experience of iOS with one of those older devices. I would consider an iPhone 5 or later and if you want the smaller screen then the one i would recommend is a 4s minimum.
Agreed. You are not going to get the best experience on a 3GS. He the latest device you can afford, OP.
 

Ayr

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2014
266
0
I'll sell you one for £30 if you're in the UK. Wifi on it don't work right. Otherwise fine.
 

bueller1

Suspended
Jun 13, 2012
486
144
I am a student and i have never owned any Apple device but i want to experience the Apple ecosystem so am considering a used iPhone 3GS as a sort of first Apple device i use.I do have a Lumia 520 so i just wanted to know is it still ok to get a used 3GS just for basic use and to experience what iOS is all about ?
Also it would be helpful to know what must i look for while buying a used iPhone so i don't get a faulty unit.Thanks and if i like it, my next phone would probably be a used iPhone 4S but right now am a bit short on cash so should i get a 3GS ?
How much does a used 3GS go for
 

green9206

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 14, 2014
38
7
Hmm 3GS 8GB is $50, 4 is $150 and 4S is $250 so do you think the extra cost for newer models are worth it? I will only use it for calling,texting and maybe some apps and little web browsing.
 

Jazper

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2012
644
34
4s is as low as I would go. I'd recommend a used 5. Plenty of those coming up,for sale shortly.
Agreed, 3GS isn't really worth it, 4 is alright but compared to the 4S it's pretty slow - only good if you're literally planning on using it just as phone for calling and texting.

I'd definitely try and get the 5 if you could.
 

jrana

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2014
6
0
Hell City
I would love to have 3gs any day .. being my first i device.

If cost is the constrain , you can have it , use it and later may be sell it off .

I still have my 3gs and working awesome , been like 4-5 years.. Not even a single issue ever faced ..

You can get 3gs for 30$ or so in ebay .. just try your luck .. try to buy from good seller ( better rating)
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,016
Sunny Florida
No, a good 3GS will run $80+. Anything less and you'll be getting crap.

Are you not able to get a subsidized phone? I missed that part.
 

saltd

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2010
759
346
The cutoff point for iOS 8 is the 4S, 4 won't do it apparently. Just a thought, it probably won't run it very well though.
 

iBlazed

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2014
1,593
1,224
New Jersey, United States
No, a good 3GS will run $80+. Anything less and you'll be getting crap.
BS. I got a perfect condition 3GS on ebay maybe 6 months ago for like $40. It's my grandma's first iPhone now. :D

As for the OP, remember, the 3GS supports up to iOS 6, which is no longer representative of the modern iOS experience. It's an obsolete device. It's 5 years old for god's sake. Come on, dude.
 

JUiCEJamie

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2011
748
18
It's awesome to know that you're wanting to start with iPhone, but Apple are constantly updating both their hardware and their software.

For me, Apple gets it right when it's software works perfectly, and we're lucky enough that iPhone can get the latest iOS for many years.

But, if it can be helped; try not to get the 3GS buddy, the device itself is over 5 years old.

iOS 8 will launch in a few days, and the 4S will be compatible.

But if that's out of your price range, you could get an iPhone 4, and still run iOS 7 on it, and only miss out on a few new features.

My bet, iPhone 4. iOS 7.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,181
13,025
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
OP, lots of comments here, but I will just state my experience.

I got my sister's 3GS in December 2011 as a Christmas present. It was not my primary phone and I am not on AT&T, but my point in getting it from here was exactly the same as yours.

At the time it was iOS 5. And it was a very good introduction to iOS. I however, had to find workarounds for using the device as a phone (a secondary phone). Talkatone allowed me to use a GV number to actually make calls and text without having to force anyone else to use an iPhone or an iPhone app. iMessages covered me as well.

iOS 6 came out and I also got my iPhone 5 at the time. But the 3GS had prepared me for what I could expect. Now, the 3GS can only run iOS 6. That'll make it two versions out of date when iOS 8 releases. However, being on iOS 7 after trying very hard to stay on iOS 6, other than a few things, it is my own personal opinion that iOS 7 sucks eggs. iOS 8 may be better.

In any case, from a basics perspective, not much has changed over iOS 5, 6 and 7. Sure, new features have been added, but the basics are the same.

It's my opinion that when you upgrade you may appreciate the additional features after having learned the basics. It also might have you appreciating the simplicity of the basics as well.

I get where a lot of commenters here in this thread are stating that the 3GS is not good for todays modern times, but really, if all you are doing is basic stuff, you don't need things like Airdrop, Touch ID, so on and so on. Calls, texts and browsing will still work on a 3GS just fine. In fact, that 3GS I had, I gave it to a friend who needed a phone a few months ago. He's using it as his primary phone and it's worked flawlessly for him since.

Just my two cents.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,547
17
I am a student and i have never owned any Apple device but i want to experience the Apple ecosystem so am considering a used iPhone 3GS as a sort of first Apple device i use.I do have a Lumia 520...
Since you already have a phone, why not look at a newer iPod touch? You will get a newer device for less money than a same-generation iPhone and it will let you play around with iOS and iOS apps.
 

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Dec 28, 2009
1,919
340
Why would anyone want to use a 2009 phone in 2014 going in to 2015? Not too mention, it only supports iOS 6, and even that is limited, e.g. maps. If money is an issue, he should consider the 4S on contract, as its now FREE.

Seems like nobody remembered the fact that the 3GS has been discontinued since September 2012.
 

Ayr

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2014
266
0
Why would anyone want to use a 2009 phone in 2014 going in to 2015? Not too mention, it only supports iOS 6, and even that is limited, e.g. maps. If money is an issue, he should consider the 4S on contract, as its now FREE.

Seems like nobody remembered the fact that the 3GS has been discontinued since September 2012.
To make calls.

I'm using the original iPhone at the moment.