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iPhone Buying Guide

written by: Nicholas•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/23/2010

The iPhone, although competitively priced, can cost a bit more than most people would like to spend. Luckily, there are several options that you can take advantage of, which should give you the best possible deal on an iPhone and iPhone accessories.

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    Apple iPhone

    Apple's iPhone has gained a lot of momentum lately, even with competitors like Google's Android and BlackBerry OS on the market. So, if you have decided that the iPhone is the phone for you, the next step is to find a cheap iPhone, or at least a good deal on an iPhone. If you are wondering where can I purchase an iPhone? There are a vast amount of options that you can take advantage of whether you want a cheap iPhone 3G or the latest iPhone 4. The most reliable and most popular retail outlets and places to buy Apple's mobile device are as follows:

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    ATT Since AT&T is the number one carrier and network for Apple's iPhone, that makes AT&T one of the best places to purchase an iPhone. Arguments and rumors over a Sprint or Verizon iPhone have been circulating for a while, so there may very well be other carriers that will start stocking Apple's next iPhone as network and carrier technologies are improved and grow.

    Often the decision about whether to purchase a new phone or upgrade your existing phone depends heavily on upgrade dates and prices from your carrier. AT& and AT&T retail stores are a good place to purchase an iPhone. You will be paying the retail price, but you can take advantage of exclusive deals and carrier discounts. It's always a good idea to seek out the best AT&T iPhone plans.

    Make sure to add a compatible Apple Care plan if you are rough on phones and don't want to risk having to pay for repairs or replacements for your new iPhone.

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    Apple Store

    Apple Store Apple and AT&T are currently under contract, making AT&T the exclusive wireless provider for the iPhone. Thus, should you not want to go to AT&T for an iPhone, no need to worry. iPhones with contract are available at all official Apple Stores as well. This does not mean that every Apple supplier deals with iPhones. Only official Apple Stores carry the iPhone in stock. Many authorized retailers are not allowed to deal with the iPhone.

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    Best Buy and Other Wireless Providers

    Best Buy Some electronics stores like Best Buy, some Walmarts, and some other 3rd party wireless providers stock the iPhone and also sell wireless contracts. Places like Best Buy work in combination with AT&T in an affiliate like partnership. Thus, choosing to purchase a phone from Best Buy will actually get you an AT&T contract. However, that does not mean that the two stores are 100 percent compatible. If you should have any problems or difficulties with your iPhone, you will need to take it in to Best Buy if that's where you purchased it. AT&T will likely send you away with tech support.

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    More iPhone

    So far, we've covered the three major outlets for purchasing an Apple iPhone. Although the above three retailers are the most popular, they only sell the iPhone for retail price. Continue on to page 2 to learn about some more places where you can buy Apple's iPhone.

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    Best Places To Buy A Cheap iPhoneThe iPhone is an in-demand item that is not always readily available. However, our list of best places to buy an iPhone should have you covered, no matter which specific iPhone you are searching for. Whether you want a cheap iPhone 3G 32GB or the latest iPhone 4. The Apple store is not your only option to purchase the hot mobile device. Check these other places before buying, as the price difference could be significant.
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    ebay eBay has just about everything. So, the iPhone selection on eBay is usually vast, with plenty of deals floating around. Auctions are your best bet if you are trying to get rock bottom prices, and auctions ending at the right time can get you an iPhone for way below retail.

    You can also choose to do a Buy It Now on eBay, which will surpass the annoyance of having to bid against others and wait for an end time. However, Buy It Now prices may be a bit more expensive, and only slightly cheaper than what you'd pay at AT&T.

    Remember, eBay is an auction site that is made up of many sellers around the world. It's always smart to purchase the iPhone from a seller that is living in the same country as you. Often iPhones on eBay are used. This is why they are much cheaper. If you are considering purchasing a used iPhone, be sure to ask the seller any questions that you may have before purchasing.

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    Craigslist If you don't mind using the internet to seek out a good deal on an iPhone, but would like the actual transaction to happen the old fashioned way, Craigslist may be the best place to find an iPhone. Craigslist is basically an international website that is broken down into countries. From there, you can search for local classifieds on all kinds of items. If there is a good deal on an iPhone in your area, you should email or call the seller and arrange a time to go see the iPhone. From there, you can decide whether the purchase is a good one.

    Beware, as Craigslist has plenty of scams floating around. Never wire money to anyone on Craigslist and never fall for out of town scams. The best way to use Craigslist is to buy locally only. You can find great deals on iPhones on Craigslist, but you can also find many iPhone scams.

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    This concludes our list of top places to purchase an iPhone. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any experience with any other reputable iPhone dealers.