iPhones on eBay

So I’m looking into selling my old iPhone 3G on eBay, and there are so many friggin’ options, I’m not sure what I have exactly. There are unlocked phones, there are jailbroken phones, there are GSM phones, etc.

  1. Unlocked - this just means that it’s not under contract, right? I was under AT&T, but my new iPhone 4S is the one under contract. So is my old 3G unlocked? Or does it mean that it has to be able to connect to any/all networks?

  2. Jailbroken - this is when you use software to “break” the firmware, in order to be able to install 3rd party apps, right?

  3. GSM - is some sort of global communications standard, right? They sold these at a premium for people who travel all over the place and don’t want to swap out SIM cards?

  4. Firmware - I’m at 3.1.3, which was the last stable version before iOS 4.0 rolled out, which was a gigantic bust for iPhone 3G users (slowed the thing down to mollasses). I see a lot of people advertising they have 4.2.1, which is the last version supported on the 3G. Is 3.1.3 still a desireable version, or should I upgrade it?

  1. It’s not unlocked unless you’ve unlocked it.ATT can do it (slowly…).
  2. Yes.
  3. All iPhones are GSM.
  4. I would - newer apps are going to required the newest firmware.

I don’t think that this is true. The Verizon iphone 4 does not seem to be gsm. The Verizon 4S does look like it has GSM. I am not sure if there are different models of the 4s like there are for the 4.

I don’t believe Verizon had the 3G. When they got the iPhone it was the 3GS yes?
So the OP’s phone is GSM.

I suggest calling ATT and ask for it to be unlocked. Poor saps like me still on T-moblie would happily buy a carrier unlocked iPhone 3G. T-mobile users would be your main (domestic) market, assuming you are in the USA. To get the best price you need your phone to be unlocked. You could go the jailbreak way, but if a call to ATT will do it, you might as well start there.

Upgrading the firmware is kind of moot since the buyer can upgrade it herself if she wants.

The 4s is GSM (for international use). These unlocked 4s iphones are selling for ~$1,000 (which seems high to me).

Speaking as one with 3G that was updated before I bought it - leave it for the purchaser to update, I wish my seller had done that.

Also, it can be used as a GoPhone - pre-paid minutes and no data other than WiFi. It is amazingly cheap that way.

Don’t upgrade the firmware. Someone might want an older firmware, and it’s much harder to downgrade firmware. Sometimes it’s not possible, although I don’t know the specifics for your model and the firmware version numbers.

Agreed that if you’re out of contract you should try to get your carrier to unlock the phone. You might want to look for a script to use on the call center employee you’re going to talk to. Or it might be as easy as asking.