I used to have a dearth of iPhones. Now I have a glut of iPhones.
October 23, 2009 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Last week I lost my iPhone. Yesterday my new iPhone was delivered. Today we discovered my original iPhone lying face-down in my front yard. Now what?

After drinking way too much bourbon, I woke up last week to find that my iPhone 3GS had disappeared. After tearing up the house looking for it, I resigned myself to the fact that it was lost or stolen, and I bought a replacement.

Through at&t's website, I "upgraded" my phone to a refurbished 3G model with only 8GB of memory, as opposed to the 16 my 3GS had. I paid $250 and reset my contract to get this new refurbished model, which was delivered yesterday.

Today, my roommate discovered my first iPhone laying face-down in the mud of our front lawn. Its sturdy rubber casing prevented it from getting any (obvious) damage, and it boots up just fine. Obviously, I have no idea if there are any problems with the phone I can't see.

So now what do I do?

- Can I return the crappier iPhone to at&t? Can I get my money back, or my contract changed back?

- Should I do this, or is the second iPhone (crappier though it may be) safer, since it's never been exposed to water?

- Can I take the iPhone Mark I to an Apple store to find out if there's any insidious damage I can't see?

- Is there anything else I should be thinking about here?

- Can/should I make the iPhones duel to the death?
posted by harperpitt to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What does AT&T say about their return policy?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:14 PM on October 23, 2009

There's a default 30-day exchange for a 10% restocking fee, but from my reading of the contract it seems to apply only to new iPhones, not refurbished ones. I have no idea about their policy on refurbished phones.
posted by harperpitt at 1:17 PM on October 23, 2009

Clean up the 3GS, make sure it's working with no problems, and sell it. You'll make up the $250, and then some.
posted by nitsuj at 1:18 PM on October 23, 2009

I might buy it... I dropped mine on the subway and it's very very cracked. Memail me if you're interested.
posted by pwally at 1:27 PM on October 23, 2009

I would reactivate the 3GS, and sell the refurbed 3G 8gb model on ebay. If you have the S why lose it?
posted by teabag at 1:33 PM on October 23, 2009

I'd just put the new sim from the 3G into the 3GS and use it for a while, keeping the 3g just in case. After a month or two of smooth sailing, sell it.
posted by advicepig at 1:39 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you're interested in alternative uses for the crappier iPhone (whichever you determine it to be) without getting rid of it, you might look into Airfoil. If you've got a wireless network and a set of unused computer speakers, you can plug them into the iPhone and stream audio from your computer to it. Easy and cool home audio solution. Just leave the phone plugged in and running and hide it behind the speakers. Its small size makes it easy to tuck away out of sight. If I had a second iPhone I would totally do this. :-) Sans speakers, you can use headphones and listen to your computer audio as you do chores around the house, or whatever.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:00 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

I dunno what you should do financially, but if I were you I'd sit the old phone in a sealed container of uncooked dry rice for a couple days to draw out any moisture that may have seeped in.
posted by twistofrhyme at 2:01 PM on October 23, 2009

You can almost certainly ebay one of them for a profit!
posted by crabintheocean at 2:15 PM on October 23, 2009

I suggest taking it to the Apple store so they can check out if there are any glitches with it, specifically if the little sticker has become red due to being exposed to moisture. If it checks out a-okay, throw that baby up on eBay and you'll be able to make $300 minimum. I mean, really, how often do you use ALL of the space on your older iPhone (I'm assuming it is the 16GIG phone)? If it is a lot (meaning you don't have another iPod and use it for music listening), put your new SIM card in the old phone and sell the refurbished one on eBay.

I tried to return a refurbed phone to AT&T back in the day (think RAZR being hot shit back in the day) and the were very no-no about it, and I'm only going to assume that they're even more strict about iPhones.
posted by banannafish at 5:00 PM on October 23, 2009

Sell the 3G, keep the (much nicer) 3GS.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:48 PM on October 23, 2009

I'd keep the 3GS and sell the 3G. In Toronto people pay upwards of $350 for them, easily.
posted by chunking express at 8:08 AM on October 26, 2009

Definitely get the 3GS checked out if you can before making a decision. If you look inside the audio jack you can see a little white dot; if it got wet half of the dot should turn red. There's a second sensor under the dock connector. They've been known to erroneously show water damage when there isn't any actual problem, but if you had any warranty on the phone the red dot would void it.

If the phone seems OK (or if you have the red dot, but it still works fine and you are OK with the potential loss of warranty) by all means sell the 3G and keep the 3GS.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:13 AM on November 6, 2009

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