How to tell the difference between 3G and 3GS?

Aug 27, 2009
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#1
Hi guys,

This is my first post and hoping to join the iPhone community soon!

I've come across a guy who has an iPhone 16GB 3GS for sale at quite a good price. Phone is apparently new with plastics, boxed with accessories and jailbroken with software 3.0.

I'm completely new to iPhone so my questions are:

1) How do I know if it's actually a 3GS and not a 3G in a 3GS case?

2) And how will I know if it's genuine?

3) Is there any way to check if it is actually jailbroken?

4) Is there any advice any one can give me about buying this in general?

Thanks guys
 

RossMc

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Jun 28, 2009
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#2
1. There is no way to tell the difference by just looking at it. If you actually go to meet the person for the phone open the camera app and check that the slider is there to allow you to switch to video mode. Also check that there is a compass application on the phone and also hold the home button down to check if voice control comes up.

2. I would tell the guy to give you the serial number of the iPhone so you can check it out then once you get this go to https://selfsolve.apple.com/GetWarranty.do and type the serial number in and this will tell you what type of iPhone it is and also how much warranty is left on the device.

3. There is no way to really check unless you see the phone itself if you do look for a application called cydia installed on the phone that will tell you that it is jailbroken. Even if it is and you don't want it to be its just as simple as doing a restore in iTunes which will remove the jailbreak.
 
Aug 27, 2009
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#3
Thank you for your detailed reply. I do plan to go see the phone in person so I can check all the things you've mentioned.

Is it possible to upgrade the software/flash the phone (?) to make it appear to have the functions you metioned above and thereforee "trick" the person into thinking it's a 3GS instead of a 3G?

Let's just say I'm getting the 3GS for around 3G money so I'm a bit apprehensive about it being the real thing ;)
 

Europa

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Dec 12, 2008
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#6
You can tell if it is a 3G or 3GS by the serial and other numbers on the back of the phone. You can also tell if it is a factory unlocked model or a imitation iPhone from these numbers.

Looking for the Cydia app wouldn't be the most reliable way to check if it was jailbroken as that app could be deleted. Instead, install iPhoneBrowser (free PC program) and connect the phone. You'll be granted root file access if it's jailbroken, you'll be locked out if it isn't.

What is the asking price?
 
Aug 27, 2009
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#7
Looking for the Cydia app wouldn't be the most reliable way to check if it was jailbroken as that app could be deleted. Instead, install iPhoneBrowser (free PC program) and connect the phone. You'll be granted root file access if it's jailbroken, you'll be locked out if it isn't.

What is the asking price?
In that case I won't be able to check if it's jailbroken on the spot?

I think my best bet is looking for those little apps mentioned by RossMc and checking the serial number.

He's selling for £400 negotiable.
 

RossMc

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#8
You might aswell buy it straight from Apple or O2 new for £40 extra if you are going to pay £400 for it.

You don't need to check if its jailbroken really as if its not you can easily jailbreak it if you want to and if it is you can easily get rid of it with a restore.
 
Aug 27, 2009
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#9
Also a good point. But then it's the hassle of getting it unlocked, jailbroken etc. Plus I'm saving myself a few quid. It'll probably go for around £380.
 

Europa

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#10
I agree with RossMc. It doesn't really make much difference if it's already jailbroken or not.

I'd just pay the extra as he said, that way you'll have a full 12 month warranty, rather than possibly 9 or 10 months coverage (depends when it was purchased), and you won't need to worry if it's legit or not.

You'll need to learn how to jailbreak and unlock it yourself sooner or later anyway. If you want to stay up to date with the firmware, you'll be doing that every couple months as well as when problems occur.
 

Saurabh

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Sep 5, 2007
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#13
But I wouldn't just rely on that, make sure the other things such as compass listed above are there. But I am sure that the chrome letters vs matt black/white will help you distinguish.
 

Saurabh

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#18
Yes , however i noticed t they day i got it, while i was doing a examination of the phone hahaha. Thats one of the ways to see the difference.