Upgrade Paths to iPhone 4 (Early Upgrade)

After yesterday’s keynote from Steve Jobs many are eagerly awaiting June 24. The iPhone 4 is a great device, one that lots of people are going to get.

A phone that records the same quality video as the Flip Ultra HD, and for $5 can edit that same video on that device, is enough to almost push me over the edge. Almost.

I like my 3Gs. In order to get it I had to rework my contract with AT&T, and now I don’t get to upgrade until February 2011. But never fear, AT&T has released it’s pricing for poor guys like me who are not ready to upgrade. TUAW reports that the cost to early upgrade with a new 2 year contract is $399 for a 16GB and $499 for a 32GB. Add $200 to that price if you don’t want to extend your contract.

That’s a lot of money. But let’s say you don’t want to wait… What then?

If there’s a line on your account that is eligible for upgrade you can upgrade that one and then swap the equipment to your line. Bear in mind that both lines will be locked into a new 2 year contract, and will have to wait at least 18 months to upgrade again (with special pricing anyway).

You can also sell your current iPhone. When the 3Gs came out, I sold my 3G on eBay for $400. It wasn’t jailbroken, it was just an iPhone without a contract. I would not even ship overseas. If you could sell your 3Gs for that, the new iPhone 4 16GB would be covered.

Currently, 3Gs iPhones without contracts are selling between $300 and $600, depending on condition, memory size and other factors. If you go this route, beware of scams. The iPhone is a highly sought after device and you will probably get an email asking you to do something for a sale, something that could set you up to get ripped off. Just remember that eBay and Paypal are designed to protect the buyer first. Take precautions and then don’t bend the rules.

When I sold my iPhone 3G I was requiring Paypal immediate payment, and only shippng to the USA, to verified Paypal addresses. I got an offer from a buyer that seemed legit on the surface. The buyer from New York would pay me through his account, but would I please ship the phone to his brother in the Phillipines for a birthday present. Simple enough. Unless you know how Paypal works.

I get the money from the buyer. I ship to the Phillipines where the package cannot be tracked, and as soon as the phone arrives he opens a dispute with Paypal claiming I never shipped it. Without package tracking I cannot prove I did. Because of Paypal’s rules, he wins the dispute. I’m out phone and the money.

I did not sell to that guy. I told him he could pay for overnight shipping to his Paypal confirmed address, then he could ship to his brother. I never heard from him again.

Be careful if you do sell your current phone on eBay. Done right, you could make enough to cover the early upgrade pricing for the iPhone 4.

I am still thinking about whether I want to go this route. The iPhone 4 is tempting. But of the iMovie app can work on an iPad or my 3Gs, I will probably wait.

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