The iPhone 3GS has been on the market for a little over three years. Is there still life left in the old horse? Will it be put out to pasture, or continue as Apple’s entry-level drug for value minded consumers?
The iPhone 3GS is also the first model that Apple has offered directly from its site brand new for the watershed $0 subsidized pricepoint.
This was a major threshold for Apple, who has always started selling their iPhones at what most customers would consider a ‘premium’ price. Even subsidized, the iPhone 4S starts at $199, a price that is consistent with the top models of smartphone from other manufacturers, or more, as they continuously cut costs. Yes, there are outliers that are more, but $200 is definitely a top tier price for a smartphone.
At a price of $0.00, the iPhone 3GS opens up the iOS world to a whole batch of consumers who might not have considered owning an iPhone in the past. Walking into a store, and walking out with a brand new iPhone for no out of pocket costs, (and no shoplifting alarms sounding), is a powerful attraction.
While the 3GS is beginning to show its age, it still holds up well against other low priced, or free handsets. And few of those have anything like the massive App Store and iTunes entertainment libraries behind them.
The iPhone 3GS is one of the few older devices that is still receiving OS updates from it’s manufacturer. The fall release of iOS 6 will include a version for the device. The 3GS won’t be able to support some of the newer features of iOS 6, but I have an Android phone that has never received an update in the 1 1/2 years I’ve owned it!
When will Apple take the iPhone 3GS off of the market? Will they put it out of its misery when it begins to hold back new features they can include in new version of iOS? Will they use it as an no-contract pre-paid device?
TNW says in closing its article: “There are hundreds of millions of customers using pre-paid devices that would gladly replace their devices with a cost-effective iPhone, gaining access to Apple’s app library and its aggressive support for software updates on older devices.” Sounds like a good future for the device that refuses to die.