Apple’s Long Dead iPhone 3GS Goes Back On Sale In South Korea, Here’s Why

South Korean carrier SK Telink is bringing a device back from the dead that Apple first introduced nearly a decade ago. That device is the iPhone 3GS and sales will kick off again at the end of the month. The reason that the carrier is resuming sales of these long out of production devices is a practical one. The carrier found a cache of unsold iPhone 3GS smartphones at a warehouse and plans to sell the devices new in the box with all the original accessories.

iphone 3gs

The device will be dirt cheap and should be appealing to those wanting a cheap backup smartphone or a “throwaway” device for a kid. They will sell for 44,000 won, which is about $41 with no contract. Even though the phones are considered new, the carrier will open them all to test them so it can be sure the devices are in working order. After sitting for nearly ten years, the batteries on some of the devices could be in need of conditioning (or replacement).

Apple’s iPhone 3GS was the first model to be sold in Korea by Apple due to protections that the country had in place for local manufacturers like Samsung and others. The device originally launched in June of 2009 and hit South Korea about five months later. It was the final iPhone to have a plastic case, which is a good thing considering the fragile enclosure was prone to cracking.

There are caveats for anyone in South Korea considering this phone. First of all, you can’t run any recent versions of iOS and certainly not iOS 12 set to launch in September. That means that many of the apps that people enjoy today won’t work on the device. It will be able to send and receive basic texts, make phone calls, and play music.

Another big caveat is that replacement parts are going to be very hard to find; break a screen and you might be out of luck. With that said, at a price working out to about $41 and no contract you could just replace the entire device. There is no indication of exactly how many iPhone 3GS devices were recovered.

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