The old iPhone 3GS a limited time and only in South Korea

Image – Tecground

Apple hasn’t manufactured a new iPhone 3GS since the now-ancient smartphone was retired in 2012. But shoppers in South Korea will be able to pick one up before June is over.

South Korean wireless carrier SK Telink discovered an unsold shipment of the third-generation iPhone hidden away in a warehouse, local news service ETNews reports (h/t VentureBeat). Each one will be sold unlocked for the U.S. equivalent of roughly $40.

All of the devices are never sold, new-in-box products. Though given their age, SK Telink plans to open each one, test it, and — provided it works — repackage it. The iPhone 3GS arrived in South Korea for the first time in late 2009, and there’s no way to know if their rechargeable batteries still work without testing them first.

Just be clear before you pick one up, if that’s something you’re considering: In 2018, you’re going to get a very stripped down Apple experience using an iPhone 3GS. This third model in the line to be released was the last to sport a plastic shell; it also used a larger SIM card than iPhones currently do, and it sported the pre-Lightning Apple port.

It’s also capped in terms of performance. The iPhone 3GS is so named because of its support for the last-gen 3G cellular network. You can connect it to the internet via WiFi, but speeds will be noticeably slower than they are on more modern devices that support a 4G/LTE network.

The big advantage you get when you’re buying a six-year-old (or more) smartphone is a lower price. As VentureBeat points out, the $40 cost attached to these newly discovered iPhones is significantly below even Apple’s cheapest smartphone in South Korea, the iPhone SE, which retails there for roughly $450.

It’s also not clear what kind of warranty SK Telink plans to offer customers.

All that said, if you feel a sense of wonderment over technological artifacts like this and you happen to live in South Korea, these affordable new-old iPhones are worth a look.


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