I have a friend who refuses to buy anything used: he insists that all his purchases be untouched by human hands before his. Sure, I can see the appeal to getting something brand-new, but it’s also a pretty expensive habit. Fortunately, if you don’t have the same hold-ups as my buddy, you can now snag a refurbished iPhone 3G from AT&T.
You can snag the black 8GB model for $150 or your choice of black or white 16GB units for $250. That’s a savings of $50 in either case, though you will have to sign up for a two-year commitment, just as with a brand new iPhone. The refurb devices are previously owned, but “unused or lightly used” and returned to AT&T within the 30-day trial period. While the units are tested and upgarded to the latest software, the company warns that they may have minor scratches.
AT&T says only that devices carry a warranty of “90 days or more,” compared to the new iPhone, which comes with a one-year warranty. Personally, I’d guess that Apple will honor the one-year warranty on refurbished iPhones as well, though you can check online if you have a serial number.
Oh, and don't worry: they don't have that honking big AT&T logo on them.