BestBuy to sell iPhone 3GS for free

Even as the entire world waits on Apple to finally release the long delayed iPhone 5, the 2009 version of Apple's smartphone is still being sold over at AT&T. The iPhone 3GS has been priced at $49 with a new two year contract for a while now but starting today that changes, at least for one retailer. AllThingsDigital.com reports that Best Buy will being selling the iPhone 3GS with 8 GB of hard drive space for the price of ... nothing. Not a single cent.

Of course, there are a couple of catches to this deal. One of them is that the customer must sign on or upgrade to a new two year contract for AT&T in order to get the iPhone 3GS for free. The other catch is that there are no online sales for this deal. You have to go to one of Best Buy's stores in order to secure your free iPhone.

Many people, we suspect, might be happy with the iPhone 3GS even as Apple gets closer to the launch of the iPhone 5. As a result some retailers have cut the price of both the iPhone 3GS and current version, the iPhone 4. Last July we reported that Radio Shack and Target had cut the price of getting an iPhone 3GS down to just $19.99 and the price of the iPhone 4 by $30 to $50, depending on which one you visited. We will likely see even more retailers taking discounts on older iPhones before the iPhone 5's launch which is now expected to be announced in September and released in early October.

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23 Comments

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the 3GS was probably the best iphone to date. Ive had them all and the 3GS was just rock solid. Are salespersons telling these people that iOS 5 wont run on their "new" iphone? (I cant remember if its the 3G or 3GS that wont run iOS5)

I wonder if this is approved by Apple. Afterall they have a big issue with retailers devaluing the brand by saying any of their products are Free.

Slightly off topic, anyone see the sesame street ipogo (pogo stick)skit? It does all sorts of things but doesn't bounce when you jump on it.

I feel you guys in the states get a raw deal.

Here is the UK I like to think we have a fair few options when buying a phone. I think its stupid to tie yourself down to a two year contract these days.

I got an iPhone 4 last October and after looking at all the iPhone 4 deals at that moment in time I worked out that the cost of the phone and the monthly bills would cost something like £900 over. Also the amount of minutes and texts I got for the avaliable contracts (usually a minimum of £30/35 a month) was pretty crap.

The best option I found was to buy the phone from Apple unlocked for £500 and then get a £20 a month contact (for me it was Vodafone) that is a £20 a moth, 30 day SIM gives me 600 minutes and unlimited texts and 500MB internet (3G). The over all cost of me doing that and keeping that contract for lets say two years costs about an extra £100 BUT I would rather pay that extra £100 and have the freedom to a) sell the phone when I like b) end the contact when I like and c) actually own the phone.

I cant believe companies in the US can get away with such ****ty deals.

How about Three?

2000 minutes
5000 minutes to other Three users
5000 texts
Unlimited data

Its usually £25 a month but with the Quidco offer its on for only £109 a year. Bargain imo. £609 all in for your phone for the year.

Richard Cousins said,
I feel you guys in the states get a raw deal.

Here is the UK I like to think we have a fair few options when buying a phone. I think its stupid to tie yourself down to a two year contract these days.

I cant believe companies in the US can get away with such ****ty deals.

you Europeans have commitment issues.

in the uk, most phones are "free" on contract this obviously means you pay the value of the phone on the contract in the long run but if you stick to your "inclusives" you wind up paying about the cost of the handset give or take...

Just did a little research, and I'm shocked. In the UK where I live, it's standard practice to offer phones for free (except the highest-end models) on tariffs which cost between £10 and £30 a month including several hundred minutes, unlimited texts and a slug of data. We simply assume that we are paying for the phone in a spread-out way over the term. Which we are.

From a look at the AT&T and Verizon websites, it seems that in the US none of the phones are usually free at purchase, and to top that, the *cheapest* Verizon contract (when you include the texts and data UK users take for granted) is $40 + $20 + $30 = $90 a month. That's about £60! Suddenly "rip-off Britain" doesn't seem like such a rip-off after all.

Timble said,
Just did a little research, and I'm shocked. In the UK where I live, it's standard practice to offer phones for free (except the highest-end models) on tariffs which cost between £10 and £30 a month including several hundred minutes, unlimited texts and a slug of data. We simply assume that we are paying for the phone in a spread-out way over the term. Which we are.

From a look at the AT&T and Verizon websites, it seems that in the US none of the phones are usually free at purchase, and to top that, the *cheapest* Verizon contract (when you include the texts and data UK users take for granted) is $40 + $20 + $30 = $90 a month. That's about £60! Suddenly "rip-off Britain" doesn't seem like such a rip-off after all.

Same in spain, most are free or below €100, depending on the tariff you choose (the more expensive the tariff, the cheaper the phone).

T-mobile in the US used to have a cheaper tariff for those who didn't purchase a phone. So not only do they pay upfront for their phones, they're also paying extra for the 2-year contract.

Its not a good deal its a dam contract... Here in the UK I got the 3gs for so called free well over a year ago... and how??? because I paid the phone company cash each month.. Does no company do the phone for nothing up front over there? You should never pay upfront for a mobile, you pay monthly with the tariff

windows95isg8 said,
Its not a good deal its a dam contract... Here in the UK I got the 3gs for so called free well over a year ago... and how??? because I paid the phone company cash each month.. Does no company do the phone for nothing up front over there? You should never pay upfront for a mobile, you pay monthly with the tariff

Exactly. The whole thing "with a contract" is a joke after all. In Belgium you just pay for your phone in full right away, and you get whatever contract you want (or even none at all). Result: much cheaper contracts.

For example, my contract: 1 hour of calling to any network, 2000 texts to any network, 2GB of data (tethering and everything allowed) = €15/month. And I'm not stuck to it, can change or go away whenever I want. I can call more than 1 hour ofc at very cheap rates, or just upgrade to €25/month which is 2 hours, 2000 texts and 2GB.

Sure you pay the full price of your phone right away, but for that you have the completely free choice of phone. It doesn't matter where you buy your phone in Belgium, you can always use it with any network and any type of plan. Always. And in the end it comes out cheaper anyway.

Twisp said,
Old iPhone is old.

i know hey...

in other news microsoft office 2003 is now cheaper then when first released!!

I dont understand how people see a subsidized phone as being "free".. compare the cheapest phone plan out there and then the phone plan that comes with the "free" phone and they are like 20 bucks more a month... that over the term of the contract is more then the actual amount you save on your free phone

Lachlan said,

i know hey...

in other news microsoft office 2003 is now cheaper then when first released!!

I dont understand how people see a subsidized phone as being "free".. compare the cheapest phone plan out there and then the phone plan that comes with the "free" phone and they are like 20 bucks more a month... that over the term of the contract is more then the actual amount you save on your free phone

Those cheap phone plans are cheap for a reason, terrible coverage area.
Boost mobile is cheap but the only place it works around here is deep in the inner city, which is why everyone call them ghetto phones.

Lachlan said,

i know hey...

in other news microsoft office 2003 is now cheaper then when first released!!

I dont understand how people see a subsidized phone as being "free".. compare the cheapest phone plan out there and then the phone plan that comes with the "free" phone and they are like 20 bucks more a month... that over the term of the contract is more then the actual amount you save on your free phone

Those cheap phone plans are cheap for a reason, terrible coverage area.
Boost mobile is cheap but the only place it works around here is deep in the inner city, which is why everyone call them ghetto phones.