Ask Techland: How Should I Replace My Ancient Cell Phone?

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Question: My ancient AT&T cell phone—it has a Cingular logo on it, if that gives you any indication of its age—is rapidly circling the drain. People can’t hear a word I am saying and the battery life is shot. I’ve heard that I could get a refurbished iPhone for $50 or so. How do I go about doing that?

I have shied away from buying a new phone because I don’t know what to get and hate getting nickeled and dimed by those companies with the hidden fees and small print. Know what I mean?

Answer: I do know what you mean—absolutely. Let’s take a look at your iPhone options, as well as some alternative ideas.

There are three iPhone versions available. Oldest to newest, they are:

1. The iPhone 3G

2. The iPhone 3GS

3. The iPhone 4


The iPhone 3G is the one you can get refurbished for $50, but it’s more than two years old and it’s being phased out completely. AT&T currently shows it as out of stock and Apple doesn’t even sell it at all anymore.

If you’re going for price, you should look at the iPhone 3GS instead. You can currently get a refurbished one for $80, but you can get a brand new one for $100. I’d just get a brand new one, if I were you.

If you want to spend a little more, you can get a refurbished iPhone 4 (which is the newest model) for $150 or a new one for $200.

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