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Where is the Best Place to Buy an iPhone?

written by: Daniel Barros•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 1/12/2010

You want the iPhone, you've got the money, but you just can't seem to find it around. Read on inside to see our top three choices on where to buy an iPhone.

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    A Tale of Three Stores

    Finally, after arguing with yourself over whether you need it or not, you've decided to take the plunge and buy an iPhone. Only there seems to be one little problem - finding it. You've been to the Apple Store (online and off) and stores like Best Buy, but what's really the best place to buy an iPhone?

    Through mostly user-guided experiences, we've compiled a top-three list of places to buy the iPhone with their respective reasons why. So without further ado, here are the choices:

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    AT&T (Online or Off)

    AT&T is the best place to buy an iPhone for several reasons. First, because they have many more stores than Apple, they seem to have a constant supply of iPhones coming in on a regular basis. That means that walking in, you'll probably be able to purchase an iPhone within minutes. Secondly, you can usually see details about how much the new iPhone plans will cost you, helping guide your decision to buy. And finally, as long as you don't already have an iPhone, a contract extension won't occur just because you've decided to buy one. A word to the wise, if you have an iPhone 2G and are looking to upgrade - look elsewhere, AT&T is surprisingly medieval about letting you have the privilege to pay them an extra $15 a month on top of your iPhone costs.

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    eBay (Online)

    If you don't mind paying a little extra or getting a pre-owned iPhonee - eBay is your best option. The auction style or the buy-it-now are both easy purchase options and eBay gives you the added protection of using PayPal as your method of payment. Overall, it just comes down to whether or not you find a good deal on there. The other bonus is that you can buy a pre-owned iPhone without AT&T ever getting wind of it - allowing you to unlock the phone and use it on another carrier's network. That is, provided you can extract the SIM card out of the iPhone, which is a task all on its own.

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    Walmart (Offline)

    Walmart has also recently decided that they'd like a piece of the iPhone pie, and are therefore selling it at all of their locations nationwide. This is a good thing for you because finding an iPhone can be as easy as hopping from Walmart to Walmart. However, in my limited time inside a few Walmarts recently, there wasn't an iPhone in sight. Of course, such a thing might be easier to find once this hectic shopping season is brought to a conclusion. Just keep at it - if not, try finding it at one of the other two stores.

    And there you have it - we'd give you a list with more stores on it, but unfortunately, for now it seems that these are the only three popular places (five if you count Apple and Best Buy) where you can actually buy an iPhone. Make sure that you go into the store knowing exactly what you want - don't let a salesman tell you that the iPhone doesn't work unless you buy a car charger too. But I know you're saavy, after all, you're here on Bright Hub. Keep checking back as we'll update you on all your iPhone needs.