My iPhone Died, Should I Replace it or Wait to Upgrade?

Good Questions

Q: My 15-month old daughter was playing with my iPhone 3GS (brilliant idea, I know) and broke it, so now I have an exclusive "Spiderman edition" with shattered webs covering the front of the phone. It's still functional (you can make out the screen through the webs), but not at all attractive. Should I replace my phone, or just wait to upgrade when the next one comes out?

- from Jamie


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Editor - You mention two options—replace or upgrade—but there are actually three great options available to you:

  • Replace your iPhone 3GS with another 3GS. You can get a brand new 8GB iPhone 3GS for only $49 with a new 2-year contract (Your carrier can tell you if you're eligible for an "upgrade," which just means that you're able to get a new phone at the subsidized price with a new contract—you don't actually have to "upgrade" your model). If you can't (or don't want to) sign a new contract, you can find an iPhone 3GS through Craigslist or eBay for $100-$200.
  • Replace your iPhone 3GS with an iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 is the latest model to hit stores, and it comes at a new-contract price of $199 for the 8GB iPhone 4.
  • Wait to upgrade to the highly anticipated iPhone 5. We have no clue what the pricing or features might be for this phone, but it's due up this fall. There's rumors that Apple is releasing a lower-priced iPhone at the same time, so the iPhone 5 could be the most expensive iPhone yet. Yikes.


You say you can still work your phone just fine through the webs (we're assuming the touch screen is working just fine). If we were you, we'd just deal with the broken phone until the iPhone 5 comes out. The most recent news says it's expected in early October, so you won't have too much of a wait.

Rumors suggest that the next iPhone will sport a bigger screen and a better camera, so you'll come out ahead if you're the type to always crave the latest tech. But even if you decide not to get the iPhone 5, the short wait is worth it. The price of the iPhone 4 (and even the iPhone 3GS) will drop when the new model his shelves.


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(Images:Flickr member Keisuke Omi licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member kidTruant licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer in Atlanta, Georgia. Living in an apartment with her husband and their Boston Terrier, Bacon, she loves to entertain and hates having a tiny kitchen.