Nine year old iPhone 3GS goes on sale in South Korea at just $40 apiece

iPhone 3GS press image

Apple discontinued iPhone 3GS in September 2012, but now we learn that a South Korean company has revived the handset and started selling unused units in their original packaging.

SK Telink will sell iPhone 3GS via the SK7 Seven Mobile online store by the end of this month. “iPhone 3GS has been launched to celebrate the opening of the SK Seven mobile online mall while expanding the selection of consumer smartphones,” SK Telink announced .

Incredibly advanced for its time, iPhone 3GS was the first Apple smartphone model to offer video recording capability and basic voice commands.

Priced at just 44,000 won contract-free, or about $40, iPhone 3GS could be viewed as an alternative to cheap Android phones, especially considering that iPhone SE, Apple’s most affordable model, starts at 490,000 won in Korea, which works out to about $452.

iPhone 3GS debuted in Korea in 2009, five months after its US launch on June 19.

Brought back to life

Korea’s ETNews reported today that SK Telink has managed to retrieve the nine-year-old iPhone 3GS model units from a warehouse. The devices have been tested and repackaged and include original chargers, cables and other items.

Be sure to watch Apple’s original TV commercial for iPhone 3GS.

The ad’s tagline “fastest, most powerful iPhone yet” surely rings a bell, doesn’t it?

This iPhone 3GS video is one of my favorite iPhone commercials ever. Cleverly conceived,  it preemptively countered early notion by an anti-iPhone camp arguing phones should have brand new designs each year. Indeed, iPhone 3GS looks like iPhone 3G complete with a curved plastic back and a shiny stainless steel bezel.

No new apps for you!

Of course, many customers will be buying these units for sentimental reasons because these phones cannot run a vast majority of today’s apps due to hardware and software limitations.

iPhone 3GS supports App Store, but cannot run iOS versions later than iOS 6. Today’s apps are built for modern iOS versions, like iOS 11. In turn, it’s impossible to use messaging apps on this device other than KakaoTalk although basic functions such as text, phone and music do work.

For those wondering, iPhone 4 is the first iPhone with an in-house designed mobile chip. iPhone 3GS (“S” stands for “speed”) runs Samsung’s off-the-shelf 600MHz chip with 256MB of RAM. As per Apple, the phone is up to twice as fast as its predecessor, iPhone 3G.

While customers could use popular services like Facebook and Twitter in the Safari web browser, the experience will leave a lot to be desired due to its small 3.5-inch screen at just 320-by-480 pixels—or four times fewer pixels than Apple’s first Retina device, iPhone 4.

Would you buy it?

Despite its outdated hardware, I’d purchase this phone in a heartbeat, just for bragging rights and sentimental reasons—especially at just $40 a pop.

And how about you, boys and girls?

What do you make of this unusual move and would you even consider getting an iPhone 3GS in working condition for less than $50?

Share your thoughts in the comments section down below.