Today someone stole my son's Ipod touch. Gutting and more so because he has special needs and has just gone out by himself (aged 14)
He loved it as he is obsessed with musicals and had them all on his ipod..he also loves the apps.
Needless to say we will get another.. but it occurred to me that I might be better getting him an iphone off ebay and using it with a payg sim. We have a couple knocking around the house. Would they WORK or do I need a special sim for the iphone (I know the Iphone 4 has a micro sim but my own one is a 3g and it looks standard!) He has just learned to use a phone and I have no fear of him using up credit, but he finds my iphone easy to understand ...
iPhones are usually sim-locked so you would either need to get one that has been unlocked or else been originally sold for use on O2. I've only ever had a 4, which does indeed need a micro sim, but I think the previous versions used a standard sim. An eBay seller should be able to confirm the details.
If you are buying new then yes, iphones are in general locked to the SIM network you bought it from.
You can buy from eBay unlocked ones. Avoid the ones which are unlocked via "Jailbreak" and get ones which are factory unlocked (ie. properly unlocked). If in doubt, ask the seller and assume anyone who mentions Jailbreak has done it themselves.
I'd also recommend a GiffGaff sim over an O2 SIM. Mainly because they're a damn site cheaper than O2, you get unlimited Internet on their £10 a month "goodybag" tariff and GiffGaff are owned by O2 and unsurprisingly use the O2 network.
I'd say if you can afford it, go for the iphone 4 since the 5 is around the corner, so the 3GS will be seriously outdated in about 6 months time. The microsim isn't a big deal. Most operators will send you a new one out and port your number over.
might be worth waiting a week to see what comes out of the Apple conference, and see if the launch date for the USA is September, or later, and then allow any UK mobile networks to announce when they will have the iPhone 5.
It may be "only" 3 months away, but if it is longer, then I doubt anyone will drop the price of the iPhone 4 until it comes out (as they will surely be able to shift the existing stock at the current high prices until the iPhone 5 is "imminent" and they need to sell them off to not be left with them in warehouses0.