What to Do With Your First Generation iPhone?
I never purchased a first generation iPhone, mainly because I've learned that paying for first generation Apple hardware means subsidizing the next generation, which is typically a lower price than the original. This is not a swipe at your first generation iPhone buyers. You were trend setters. Hip. Stylishly nerdy. Maybe a little broke after your purchase. But dang, you helped make history.
However, now you're faced with upgrading to the iPhone 3G (or is it iPhone 2.0? I guess it depends on how you look at it.)
No doubt, many first gens are now hinting at their wives or bosses about a iPhone 2.0 purchase, but indeed what are you going to do with a $500 phone that's hardly a year old? How much could you even re-sell it for, given that the upgrade is only $199.00? What to do, what to do?
Well, Aaron Vronko of Rapid Repair, sees that ironically the new iPhone will open up an untapped market for the old version. In a press release put out by his company, Aaron claims that this new market birth "will be a buzzing hotbed, more active than the selling of 2.0 itself. Everything from busted warranties, the sale of damaged devices, carrier intolerability hacking, theft, and other market swirling topics...will change the face of the used market forever."
He may indeed be right. As it stands now, AT&T will require all new iPhone customers to activate the 2.0 version from right within their stores. They want to users totally locked this time. Not so with the first generation iPhone. As I understand it, you can use the phone without AT&T activation, or at least not having to pay the $20/month service fee for Edge access. So is it a good idea to get rid of iPhone 1.0? Maybe not. With voice internet phone services and poor G3 service in many areas of the country, what's the big deal about owning 2.0 if you already have 1.0?
Sure, 2.0 is thinner, supposedly better sound quality (is that voice sound, music sound, or both?) It may be plenty of nice to have all those fun little iPhone apps that might run more smoothly on the newest version (even though they will run on on 1.0 as well.) And of course, the biggest selling point is that 2.0 will have much improved internet and data transfer speeds. But how useful is all this to average users, especially those diehard Apple addicts who burned a hole in their wallet or purse to buy 1.0?
Well, yours truly can't provide much advice about what you first gens should do. I've about convinced my spouse that she really ought to have my iPod Touch instead of the now ancient 5th generation iPod that I gave to hear over a year ago. (It was the viewing of a slide show of our children and a short family video that convinced her. Of course, she has the same features on the older iPod, but the screen size on the Touch sealed the deal.)
So yeah, I might well be standing outdoors my local AT&T store on July 11th. But if I had the first generation iPhone, I'd certainly take my time in upgrading it. The difference doesn't seem great enough just yet, unless you just have the money to splurge. iPhone 2.0 software will be available to all iPhone users. So what's the big deal!
The last I checked, the first generation iPhone was selling for like $300 to $400 on eBay. And there were no shortage of bids either. So it would be prudent to wait and see, because if you haven't figured it out by now, it's quite expensive for die hard Apple fans to keep up with all the latest and greatest Apple products any more. It just doesn't make financial sense. If you have a good Powerbook G4, you realized that you could survive without a Macbook Pro, and hardly anyone would really know difference. Unless you won the lottery, you realized that you didn't need MacBook Air. And though you don't brag about it, you may still be using your old Mac mini and getting things done just fine, thank you.
But hey, maybe the question is not about whether you should sell your phone or buy a new one, but there's larger question for all us Apple users. What indeed should be our annual budget be for Apple products? How many iPods and iPhones will we indeed purchase in our lifetime before we go for broke? It's hard to tell when you got a company like Apple constantly setting trends and attempting to make our digital lifestyle easier and more efficient.
1st Generation owners out there, what are you planning on doing with your (old) iPhone?