Considering an iPhone!

Never thought I would be writing this, but I am actually considering an iPhone now that the iPhoneSIMFree is available on line for $50.

Let me explain myself before you shoot me down in flames:

I will in all probability buy a new iPod Touch, in which case I will be paying either £199 for the 8GB or£269 for the 16GB.

However because of the current exchange rate I could get an iPhone for $349 for a refurbished 8GB, $299 for the 4GB or $399 for the 8GB. When I add the $50 for the SIMFree license that makes the prices $399, $349 and $449 respectively.

So with the current exchange rate that works out as something like: £175, £150 and £225 for an unlocked iPhone.

Comparison wise this makes the 8GB iPod Touch £199 or the 8GB iPhone £175.

So what do you think? My inclination is to wait and see that the SIMFree works OK and see if the 8GB price drops further in the US when they announce the iPhone in Europe which in all probability will include a 16GB version as well. I don’t see a 16GB making any difference to the one I would get as to me 8 or 16 is academic in that they are both too small to be my sole iPod (the 5G 60GB iPod lives on in that role), but both will do the job I have in mind equally well so 8GB is going to be just fine.

Of course I will need to enlist the help of a friend to buy the iPhone, and check that the IMEI number is compatible. If it isn’t the phone goes back to Apple. If it is I buy the unlock code, friend checks that it works, again if it doesn’t restore iPhone to original state and return, then hopefully with everything working iPhone gets shipped.

As the shipping costs are going to take the overall price up I reckon I could cover those by buying Sands iPod Nano in the US at the same time and save some money that way, that will go towards the cost of shipping them both over – separately and as gifts of course!

Have discussed this with Sands and the theory got a thumbs up. Need to keep an eye on exchange rates as ideally would like to be doing this in November – effectively our Christmas presents.

So flaws, thoughts, what you reckon ……… what have I missed. On the basis that the iPhone does everything that the iPod Touch will do and more this seems a cool plan to me!

Learn about Phone Systems

When it comes to personal phones, you can’t beat an iPhone. When it comes to business telphone systems it’s a bit more tricky to pick the best option. Just like with the copy machine you want to make sure your office equipment works. Look into these phone system terms and pick the best option for you!

46 thoughts on “Considering an iPhone!

  1. Andy Rudkin

    Sounds like a plan… It’s a no brainer that the UK prices won’t marry up to the US prices, as we’ll have to pay our extra special taxes, so it could be worth while for someone here, but I don’t know what the taxes and prices are like on the continent?

    The only issue I have with unlocking the phone onto any network is that I am presuming the deals Apple are trying to but in place will include decent data tariffs, where as if you go on to a non-Apple friendly provider, there could be seriously high bills in terms of data transfers. I think!

  2. Chris Marshall Post author

    Well a couple of things to respond to there:

    – at the moment there are no signs that the iPhone will make it over to Spain in the near future
    – I have said before (but didn’t say in the post) that I have no desire or need for a data plan. At the moment we pay 15€ per month as a tariff for both our phones, and we very rarely go over that. I in particular hardly ever use the phone and that wouldn’t change. As such I would be more than happy just to use my current SIM card (or my vodaphone one if I was in the UK) and pay extra for any data charges that I incurred.

    I know this isn’t using the iPhone fully but I would be more than happy with this.

  3. Andy Rudkin

    Yeah I think in that sort of instance then your plans are faultless. What happens in the future though if they do but the iPhone into Spain with a reasonable data plan? Is the process of hacking the iPhone reversible? I know that Microsoft seek out and shut down anyone using a cracked XBOX using their Live service, do you think Apple will use similar tactics? I don’t suppose anyone fully understands the ins and outs at this stage, so I offer this post as a discussion point.

  4. Wayne LeFevre

    Pie anyone? 🙂

    That’s alright. I don’t think AT&T will be coming to Vermont anytime soon, either! They will probably get there before here!

  5. Chris Marshall Post author

    Well the SIMFree stuff that I have seen so far says that if you have any problems you just reset the iPhone to its original state which would be OK, althought then I would be left with a US iPhone wanting AT&T.

  6. Mac Sokulski

    Personally I would wait, to see what the European version of the iPhone will have. Then make a descision based on that.
    Touch is becoming less and less appealing, after Apple confirmed that there will be no Add button in the calendar. Yes hacks will probably fix that, but it’s hacks… hacks work great when they do, but if something goes wrong you have no one to turn to. Right now I’m sticking to my 5th gen ipod my razr and my palm.

  7. darren rolfe

    @ Mac wait and see what the european version holds in store for us.

    As I mentioned in our little article before I wasn’t that fussed about an iPhone partly due to form factor, cost and due to the fact that I can’t get one.

    Also I am under contract for at least another 13 months…

    But the touch does look very interesting… and I really do need another iPod.

  8. Danny

    Bit of u-turn chris :p
    However, the logic is sound – and I am now too considering it to get one over here in the UK – the price drop + exchange rates = amazing bargain.
    D

  9. Chris Marshall Post author

    Not quite as big a U turn as you seem to think guys. I have always said that the ‘only’ option that would be remotely attractive would be a hand set only deal whereby I didn’t have to commit to the large monthly fees as I don’t use a phone enough to warrant it nor am I remotely interested i (or need) a always on data service!

    That said I still don’t particularly rate the form factor of the iPhone as a phone, but am coming round to the idea that ‘I may as well’ have one at this price. What is the worst case scenario? I end up with an iPhone that I can’t use as a phone, but is still a better 8GB iPod Touch than the actual iPod Touch will be for effectively the same price as I would pay for a iPod Touch in the UK.

    With the recent news of FREE unlocking http://tinyurl.com/2qvn93 the deal just got $50 cheaper potentially anyway, which is probably what I would pay in postage ……….

  10. Dunks

    The iphone vs itouch ipod situation is one that intrigues me. I have long wanted the flawless sync with ical, address book etc. The best situ I’ve got to so far is a blackberry 8800 using missing sync which to date has been very good compared with previous treo’s and a horrible windows smartphone (xda mini via O2).

    I am more interested in the pda functions than phone aspect but if the right deal was on offer I’d swing towards the iphone.

  11. Merlin

    Hi Chris
    I’ve been listening to your contributions to the MacReview Cast since forever and I really value them. You have got a thoughtful and business savvy take on things. But don’t you feel in retrospect that you were harsh on the new iPod line up the other day? I mean aren’t they an extraordinary set of gadgets that are just going to fly off the shelves between now and xmas?

    Mind you, I thought the notion of the missing 16 Gb iPhone could be spot on…
    Merlin

  12. Danny

    Bit of an update (especially for mac). It looks like the iPhone will be released in the UK on 15/12 – youch. Im not waiting that long, I think Im going to join Chris. I worked it out at £200 gets you an imported iPhone which I can use on any contract I like – that is really appealing.
    D

  13. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Merlin – appreciate those kind words 🙂

    I think the way the conversation came over may seem a little harsh, but Tim seemed to be on a different agenda to me 🙂

    I agree totally that taken as a whole the line up is amazing, and I have nothing for admiration for them and the way they are marketed. The main thrust of the arguement I was trying to make was that I couldn’t see anything that wasn’t a proven (previous) strategy, or uniquely different – so what was all the fuss about. As a quick aside this is something has been happening a lot recently – Steve opens his mouth, the Mac community faints in admiration!!

    Back to the iPods:

    – adding colors to the Shuffle is cool and fun, but a tried and tested marketing tactic that has worked before and will work again

    – moving the Nano more towards video is a market trend, not an innovative step. I have since head that the form factor is beautiful, but in effect they have increased the capacity, moved to video and made it sexier, again a natural progression rather than a stunning innovation

    – the classic is just that, classic = old and tired, but we give it a new brand name, add some of our developments from other products (slimmer and more capacity) and we have a few more sales out of it yet, but for how long will it remain? Initially Apple wanted u sto buy an iPod that would store all our music, now they want us to spread our music and video over multiple devices so for how long are they going to offer such a huge storage device that is based on old technolgy i.e. hard drives

    – the Touch seemed awesome and if it had been available that day I may have bought one, but I am glad that I didn’t! I think it looks great, but initially was marketed in a very exagerated and misleading way. The lack of email, and the ability to enter appointments renders it useless as a Personal Organiser.

    The ‘original’ iPod was a ‘wow’, the iPhone was a ‘wow’, the iMac in its current form was a ‘wow’, this latest announcement was nothing more or less than a natural progression baseds on tried and tested marketing strategies. Admirable, yes. Effective, certainly. Wow – not al all.

    Sorry if this has gone a little 🙂 And again, thanks for listening and particularly thanks for commenting – hope to see more of you on the site 🙂

  14. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Dunks – exactly!!! I am looking at this as a 8GB iPod, with full PDA functionality, that just happens to be a phone if I need it to be.

  15. darren rolfe

    one thing that hasn’t been mentioned here is the fact that iPhoneSIMFree don’t make any guarantees that it will continue to work after any future iPhone updates.

    is it worth the risk??

    i know you mentioned that would use it as a super-duper PDA an iPod. But seems pointless buying an iPhone and not use the mobile facility.

  16. Chris Marshall Post author

    Good point – but considered.

    1. On the basis that the actual phone element is the least important to me then I will in all probability be happy enough to leave it in the state that I get it. As I wont be using the phone bit for anything other than basic calls, have no desire or need to buy music off iTunes on it I am not sure that they will actually upgrade it to anything that I couldn’t live without.

    2. I will know in advance if SIMFree is compatible so wont get caught out by upgrading and not knowing as there will be no point in rushing into upgrades.

    3. I have a feeling that the SIMFree market will be big enough that they will pretty much always work out how to hack the iPhone, and really – why would Apple have a problem with this? They can’t endorse it sure, but they can’t be made to make it ‘hack proof’ and they will just sell more handsets on the back of the hack.

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  18. Amelia

    Hey Guys,
    I only wish I had the same problems of choosing what to do
    Down here in Australia…..
    God only knows when the iPhone will be available.
    Good luck with your decisions, personally I would go for the
    iPhone.

  19. Chris Marshall Post author

    Well if they are doing France, UK and Germany late October, and rumours are Spain early 2008, I imagine that they will do a number of other countries early 2008 so that would be my hope for you!

    Current position for me is that I am going to wait until the announcement next week and see what that does to the range, and at the same time I need to let the next Firmware upgrade get released and then make sure that the unlocks still work. If they do then I will be getting the iPhone.

    If they don’t I will not get the iPod Touch unless they sort out email and entering new diary and address book entries.

  20. Amelia

    Sounds good to me.
    Plus it is always wise to not rush in on the day of release,
    give things time to settle down… Along with any lurking hiccups.
    Although, I am a little coy to confess I ordered my new iMac
    on the day it was released here.
    It is running like a charm, and I LOVE it along with the new keyboard
    Thanks for the opportunity to have a word or two,
    for others enjoyment ,
    Take care,

  21. Wayne LeFevre

    @Chris – The Touch??? Your going to get my Touch? Wait, I thought you said meh to the whole line-up! You are just trying to make me REALLY jealous, aren’t you? 🙂

    @Amelia – I live in the states, and still can’t get the AT&T iPhone!

  22. Chris Marshall Post author

    Nope, I said I wouldn’t get the Touch. IF the iPhone option doesn’t work out then unless they improve the Touch significantly i.e. Mail App, data entry for iCal and Address Book I can’t see it is worth it for me.

  23. Amelia

    @Wayne – I really am sorry to hear The iPhone is not freely available throughout the USA,
    I suppose it is easy to make assumptions… Very easy infact, when you want some thing that is not available and it is such a desirable item!!!

  24. Amelia

    @Wayne….a million curses on AT&T.
    We don’t even have AT&T here so I hate to think who the provider will be!!!
    None are my Favourite, So maybe we will all save some money ….
    until the urge becomes unbearable.
    Take care, sorry for the misunderstanding.

  25. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Wayne – you have roaming there thouigh so if someone turned up with their iPhone the SIM card would ‘roam’ and pick up whatever network it could and then work, or do you basically just not get AT&T at all?

  26. Amelia

    @Wayne, Chris has a valid point, Do you really need AT&T???
    Go for it.. off to your local Apple Store. If this is not a viable situation then you will just have to wait for the coverage required..Sorry.
    Take solace in the fact you are not alone.

  27. Danny

    Well its in the UK November 9th for £269 and £35, 45 or 55 a month.
    Hmmm now to decide whether to go for the US or UK.
    No 3G or new features, but its only £65 extra.

  28. Chris Marshall Post author

    Well they certainly haven’t ripped anybody off, but nor have they pushed the product forward at all. Still only 8GB and no 3G for a while yet (end 2008 according to Steve). With only 30% of the UK covered by EDGE it is a good job they have signed up with Cloud for 7,000 free WiFi spots, but all in all I can’t see the iPhone been that useable yet for a lot of people?

    Fan Boys will unite of course, rational people in the UK will wait is my prediction!!!

    Me – US here I come still, just waiting for the iTunes WiFi upgrade to go through to see what that does to the unlock s/w.

    Was a very ambiguous statement Steve made at thelaunch as well – all about cats and mice!!!

  29. Wayne LeFevre

    I’ve “heard” that AT&T works great in Vermont through 3rd party access. (Roaming, I guess.) I guess there’s only one way to find out.

    So, to ease everyone’s mind, I’ll take up a collection to purchase and try a new iPhone. I figure if everyone pitches in a few pounds, the dollars will really rack up! 🙂

  30. Chris Marshall Post author

    Wayne you have given me an idea!!!! Maybe I should ask people to send in donations so that I can buy a 2nd iPhone, then test all the various unlocking options that are on the market, and then give away the unlocked iPhone to one lucky reader?

    Hmmm – think that could be fun?! Best way would be for people to email me directly with any thoughts and suggestions and with an amount they would be happy to pledge. If I get enough to do this I will then write a post on it, get the donations and then do the unlocking and review and then sort out giving away the iPhone.

  31. Chris Marshall Post author

    http://tinyurl.com/3c4pqo

    The race is on!!! I am pretty sure that I wont want any of the features of the next upgrade, as I really only want this as PDA/iPod that I can make regular phone calls on.

    That said have been looking in more detail at all the unlocking options and it looks pretty interesting to say the least!!!

  32. Mac Sokulski

    This is a very interesting idea. Since Canadian chances of getting an iphone are in limbo, meaning no news what so ever… Then again we can’t even buy tv shows from itunes neither. I think Apple thinks there is nothing uphere but igloos and polar bears. So this idea of getting an unlocked iphone cheap is very intriguing. I’m willing to donate. 🙂

  33. Mac Sokulski

    @ Wayne – I just checked my iTunes store thinking that someone secretly slipped in TV shows….. no such luck. No movies and no tv shows in canada. Not through iTunes at least.
    Ice Road Truckers??? I’ve seen the ice roads (drove on them too, while they were melting.. now that is a rush)… seen the truckers…. seen truckers embeded in the ice roads, but never seen that show.

  34. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Mac – cheers, wont even consider this until I know 100% that the unlock works and I can get enough funds to cover it. Don’t want to let anyone down.

    AND don’t forget Wayne has been in hospital having tests over night so is probably ‘away with the fairies’ still 🙂

  35. Mac Sokulski

    Who would have thought…. a show about a normal thing, a normal way of life up north. I guess you can sensationalize anything. When I lived there it was just a normal thing, and it was normal for some moron not to obey the speed signs and put his truck in the ice. Then again most people don’t see this on a regular basis.

  36. Chris Marshall Post author

    @Wayne – you fantasising about Kylie again!!!

    @Mac – I have!!! When I was living in Mpls over the winter we used to drive on the frozen lakes.

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