What to look for in a used iphone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jmelick07, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. jmelick07 macrumors member

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    Grand Rapids, MI
    #1
    I am interested in buying a used iphone. I'm a t-mobile customer so (yes i understand the 3g won't work). What all should I look for? Specificlly for it to work on t-mobile. I am open to either the 8 or 16g so how much should I expect to pay?
     
  2. jman240 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2009
    #2
    I'll be selling my 3gs at the launch of the new one. It's an untethered jailbreak (the best kind) and its running 3.1.2 which is unlockable with Black Snow.

    for the 16gb 3gs unlocked (software) im expecting to pull in around $500, maybe more.

    You really want a 3g or pre-new boot rom 3gs running a software version that you can jb and unlock. Safest and cheapest will be a 3g, there is no kernel signature required on the 3g to do a software restore while there is one on 3gs (makes it harder to restore to older firmwares).
     
  3. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

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    #3
    you want a factory unlocked iphone off of ebay. you'll know its factory unlocked when every time you restore, it will show a message saying that your iphone has been unlocked in itunes. if you buy one off ebay, and you restore, and cant use your sim and doesnt come up with that message, by law you are entitled a refund. if information in the ebay product description is false, by law they have to give you your money back. also if you restore you wont be able to jailbreak.
     
  4. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Thanks for this thread OP. I'm on the same boat as you.

    I'm trying to buy an iPhone for my mom to use on t-mobile. I want the iPhone for her because I think it'd be pretty easy for her to use simple apps and it will get her using the web, e-mail, etc more.

    Seems from this thread that the iPhone 3G is the way to go. Best way to play it safe. What am I missing out on by not getting an iPhone 3GS? Just curious.

    I was wondering about something though..

    What exactly does it mean "and you restore"? Is that the part where you jailbreak?

    Also, I wanted to go the craigslist route since it would usually be cheaper than ebay. But it seems that it could be risky to find the right one so maybe I should just suck it up and pay a little more to get a factory unlocked iPhone 3g from ebay. What should I look to pay? Any sample auctions/sellers that I could use as an example?

    Another question.. similar to my earlier one:

    I assume this is similar to the restoring comment made in the earlier post I quoted. Anyone mind elaborating on what the restoring is all about?

    My last question is a jailbreak 101 question I believe. How would purchasing/using apps work with an iPhone 3G on t-mobile?

    Again, there is only so much she'll be doing with her iPhone. I'd like to make it as trouble-free for her as possible since I won't be using it myself and able to stay on top of things. So I don't want her to be dealing with too many issues. And she'll only be using the web to a limited degree. This is why I want to get away with a cheaper t-zones plan - I think it's $9.99 now but maybe I can get it for $6.99 since that's how much I'm paying for another line on the family plan.
     
  5. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

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    #5
    tmobile's 3g frequency is not compatible with the iphone 3g and 3gs. you can only use them on edge. what i mean by restore, is to check that its factory unlocked, click the restore button in itunes before you do anything, i mean seriously right out of the box because theres something else i have to tell you about putting in a tmobile sim and using it with them. also restore are also for if something screws up your phone. once you restore, if its truely factory unlocked, itunes will display a message saying its unlocked. apple keeps track of factory unlocked iphones by imei number. once an iphone is factory unlocked, its always factory unlocked. factory unlocked iphones can not be serviced in a country that does not permit factory unlocks by apple. so over here you have no warranty. now if itunes doesnt come up with that message, like i said before you are entitled to a refund by law, if you buy it on ebay. the description cant say any false information. to use the iphone with tmobile, first thing you need to do, is go to settings > general > network and turn 3G to OFF. if you need to activate it first, insert your sim card, then wait for it to activate, remove the sim card, then do what i told you before about turning off 3g, then put the sim card back in, and you should be able to use it on tmobile.

    I recommend buying a 3GS rather than a 3G, considering that, apple is focusing the updates more on the 3GS rather than the 3G. The 3GS is alot faster, and supports the compass application. And the 3GS is available in black and white, also there is a 32gb model. There is white and black 3g models, but the white models have been discontinued, so you have to buy a used one, which will probably have a lot of scratches. also im not so sure if there is a 32gb 3g model. Personally, i would go with a 3GS, because, for one, i already have one and love it, and two, i like having the latest and greatest.

    Have fun and enjoy your unlocked iPhones. - Geohot
     
  6. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    Jul 7, 2009
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    SoCal
    #6
    This is the exact time to buy, right after the new model is released. I am planning on selling my 3G as well. It isn't unlocked or jailbroken (yet) but if it will pull more money, then I'm in. :D
     
  7. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #7

    Thanks a lot for taking the time for responding. I've learned now to a) check the restore right out the box and b) know that I can go back to the restore if something ever screws up my iPhone. Also, you gave me the heads up on using the phone with t-mobile (try to go into "settings > general > network and turn 3G to OFF" without the sim at first, but if it must be in, then let it activate, pull sim out, and go back in to do this. (I repeated everything to make sure I understood everything perfectly).

    You suggested going with the iPhone 3Gs but what's bothering me about going with that is what happens if you accidentally upgrade to 3.1.3? From my understanding, after seeing jman240's post in this thread, and also other threads like the So You "Accidentally" Upgraded to 3.1.3. Now what?. It seems that with the iPhone 3G you are the safest. Remember my mom will be using this phone and I do want to teach her how to use it with iTunes and stuff so I am worried she might accidentally upgrade one day. one of the perks you mentioned was large hard drive space but I'll be getting the smallest size for her. Plus, I'm sure there is a cost advantage right? In this thread it was mentioned that jman240 was looking to get $500 for his iPhone 3GS. In the other thread, I saw a jailbroken iPhone 3G (I know I want a factory unlocked one though) for $250-$275. Seems the big thing I'm missing out on is the compass and future updates but I think it will be good enough for her. What do you think?
     
  8. chargit macrumors 6502a

    chargit

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    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    Evansville, In
    #8
    I would like to see proof of that law! as long as someone does not false advertise there is no law stating this! if I say factory unlocked then yes you may be correct but if I say unlocked then you are wrong! don't confuse the law with eBay rules!

    a clean 3G 8gb brings $300-$350
    a clean 3G 16gb brings $450-$500 (in white)
    a clean 3Gs 16gb brings $600+

    by clean I mean it will have scuffs on the back but you dont want where it is terrible. but as long as all functions work and there is no water damage you will be find. just put it in a nice case. take a flashlight and check for water damage in the charging port and in the headphone jack. you are looking for pink. if the tabs are white you are in good shape. I would try to buy off craigslist locally so you can inspect the phone. you will also get a little better deal cause they don't have to pay the eBay fees.
     
  9. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    ^ I looked on craigslist but am not seeing factory unlocked. I see unlocked, but these are unlocked/jailbroken phones. Even on ebay, searching for "unlocked" is tricky. Most of the time it's people who've done it themselves.

    On ebay, looks like I just missed out on a brand new sealed factory unlocked iPhone 3g that was $299 (http://cgi.ebay.com/Brand-New-seale...wItemQQptZPDA_Accessories?hash=item3caa188614). Nobody bought it I'm guessing because the guy had 0 feedback? This one was sealed too so I think it would have been nice, I wouldn't have to worry about scuffs, water damage, etc (thanks for the info on how to check water damage by the way). I'm going to message him asking if he's going to relist at a lower price. I'm still nervous buying from someone with no feedback though.
     
  10. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

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    Sep 28, 2009
    #10
    ok you need to find one on EBAY, with the words FACTORY UNLOCKED, in the title or description. if you get one thats been jailbroken to be unlocked, then it wont be able to withstand updates. also, that thread about "So you updated to 3.1.3, now what?" is only for people who do not have factory unlocked iphones, that have or want to jailbreak/unlock that have accidentally upgraded to 3.1.3. if you get a factory unlocked iphone, its unlocked by apple, and can pass through apples updates. i doubt your mom wants to jailbreak, considering you said you want it to be easier for her to use. she probably wont even know how to work cydia a freak when it says it needs to respring the device...or if she goes into safemode because her springboard crashes. the safemode i understand 100% lol. i got stuck in safemode once, resprings wouldnt get me out...had to do a respring with categories.
     
  11. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Got it, I set up my ebay search (http://desc.shop.ebay.com/i.html?LH...2&_ssov=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282&_udhi=&_udlo=) . Let's see what I can find. I see some 8gb that come up now but they're ridiculously expensive $600 to $900 or more. But cheaper ones come and go and I'm seeing the 16gb ones come for $400s. I would thinkt he 8gb would be cheaper

    I'm not sure what the stuff in the bold is, but I guess it's jailbroken tech speak.
     
  12. chargit macrumors 6502a

    chargit

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    Evansville, In
    #12
    Be real careful on the the eBay guys with "0" feedback! only buy from a reputable seller otherwise you might get ripped off. now I will say PayPal is holding money on sellers when they sell cell phones for 21 days or until they seller gets proof of delivery and/or positive feedback from the buyer. so that does ad for a little more protection for you. true you wont see as many iPhones on Craigslist but you can at least see it before you buy it. supposedly there is a way to get your iPhone unlocked through iTunes but I have not tried it. I cant remember all the details.
     
  13. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 29, 2006
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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #13
    ^ yeah, I'll def try to avoid buying from a seller with 0 feedback. But thanks for the info on the paypal policy. That does help and I Didn't know that. Makes me more comfortable if I have to.

    And as far as unlocking the phone, I believe that's what we're discussing in the thread and trying to avoid because of the riskiness to it with software updates. Factory unlocked is the safest way to go it seems.

    One of the phones I'm keeping an eye on is this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230436426750) (but am hesitant to get because it is 16gb instead of 8gb, currently $390 too).

    It Says the following:

    I have bolded the part that confuses me. What does he mean you will greatly reduce the chance of bricking your phone?
     
  14. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

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    #14
    the only way to get your iphone unlocked through itunes, is if you bought it from a cell phone store in a country that requires all cell phones to be unlocked if they are to be sold. the company that you buy it from might do it for free for you, but some of them charge. and they call up apple, tell them your imei number, when you get home and plug it into itunes your phone is factory unlocked. you cant do this with a phone that wasnt purchased from the store in the country that requires them to be unlocked, and you need to purchase it from that store, for them to unlock it.
     
  15. jmelick07 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    #15
    Is it really that big of a deal to unlock every time the OS is updated? Personally I think I could be fine with just unlocking it at every major update (ala 3.0 to 4.0). I realize it takes a while for the unlock to come out but I don't see that as a huge issue. Also do people think the link at the bottom of this post is a good price? Also what data plan do you need with t-mobile to have it work on the iphone? I Mroogled it and couldn't get a definite answer.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/APPLE-3G-IPHONE...ZViewItemQQptZCell_Phones?hash=item5639acff59
     
  16. jmelick07 thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
  17. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #17
    The price is decent as long as it is in good condition. I would really try looking on craigslist for a better price, and you can do it in person. I got my iPhone 3G off there, and it was only a month old . :)
     
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #18
    Its going to be really hard to find factory unlocked iphones on Craigslist since there is no factory unlocked iphones sold in the US. You will find US AT&T locked iphones no problem though.
    Odds are you wont find much unless you look on ebay or from a website online for a fully factory unlocked iphone.
     
  19. jmelick07 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 27, 2009
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    Grand Rapids, MI
    #19
    does anyone on here have experience with an iphone on t-mobile?

    When I connect my iphone to itunes to update music and such is it going to lock it or just everytime the OS updates?

    How long does it take for an unlock for a new update to come out?

    Can you unlock without jailbreaking?

    Will the gps still work even without the 3g service?

    Does mms still work on t-mobile?

    Are there any other distinct disadvantages to getting an iphone on t-mobile (not even a possibility for me to go to at and t)?
     
  20. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #20
    My iPhone is on T-Mobile. The only way the phone would "lock" is if you updated the OS. A new unlock depends on when an exploit is found, and basically depends on when the Dev-Team or anyone else chooses to release it. Your phone HAS to be jailbroken to be unlocked because it requires the phone to run daemons when the phone boots to make it accept your sim card, and that wouldn't work on a stock iPhone. My GPS works just fine on the EDGE internet, and I have edited my settings and MMS works just find and goes through perfectly when I send them to others.
     
  21. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    For me what's bothering me is that so many people accidentally update when they don't mean to. And that's what makes things complicated.

    But, if you have an iPhone 3g, I think if you accidentally update to latest, you can still go back and be ok.

    It just seems safer to get a factory unlocked phone. But I'm trying to see if I can find an iPhone 3g 8gb for around $300 factory unlocked and so far I don't see anything. I might have to settle and get an AT&T user-unlocked phone.
     
  22. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #22
    you probably won't find a factory unlocked 3G for that cheap unless it's in really bad shape.
     
  23. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    ^ damn, alright.. if I go the non-factory unlocked iPhone 3G route, what price should I be looking to pay? I'd rather get the iPhone 3G over the iPhone 3GS because I believe if I accidentally update the firmware, I'll still be ok with my jailbreak/unlock
     

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