3gs up close

AT&T will soon start offering refurbished iPhone 3GS models to prepaid GoPhone customers, according to a new report from MacRumors. The device will be sold full retail to those that don’t qualify for a subsidized phone.

Quoting an anonymous tipster, the site says that the handset won’t be openly available. Apparently the phones won’t even be displayed publicly, but sales reps will be able to offer them to certain price-sensitive customers…

MacRumors’ Jordan Golson reports:

“AT&T retail stores will be offering refurbished iPhone 3GS models to its prepaid GoPhone customers — no-contract accounts that do not qualify for subsidized phones — according to a MacRumors tipster.

The tipster claims the phone will not be displayed or promoted publicly, but sales reps will be able to offer them to certain price-sensitive customers.”

There’s no word on what AT&T will charge for the device, but the site points out that since the carrier offers refurbished iPhone 4 models for $325, it’ll likely be well below that. Also, it doesn’t sound like all stores will have them.

The offering is curious for a couple of reasons. For one, the 3GS was discontinued last fall, and will not run iOS 7. And second, Apple is widely expected to release a new budget iPhone model next month for around $300 or $400.

Still, if the handset comes in well under $300, it could appeal to folks who either don’t care about the latest and greatest, or can’t afford it. We’re not sure exactly when the refurbished 3GS will be available, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled.