My v2 iPhone Buying Experience

Bottom line: I still have a v1 iPhone with 1.1.4 software.

Went by an Apple store a week ago, to see the launch chaos (and check out the hardware.) Was still on the fence, but either way, the lines were insane… several hundreds of ppl deep.

Since then I’ve been popping into at&t stores, to take another look at the hardware… what I like about the new device is that the backing allows for better reception, since it’s non-metal and I have noticed slightly worse coverage with the iPhone compared to my Dash. So that’s a good thing. Screen is a little brighter: good. GPS can be turned off: good for battery life. 3G can be turned off and EDGE used in its place: excellent for battery life. The bad? My v1 docks won’t work with the v2 device and they no longer include docks in the box (this is OK b/c both the BT headset and v2 handset are cheaper) which is slightly annoying. Also, I’d need new cases and a new screen protector overlay thingy – not prohibitive. And of course the biggest thing: moving from T-Mobile to at&t for carrier.

So I’ve been using a SIM Unlocked v1 iPhone on T-Mobile since the day I got it. My T-Mo plan is excellent… had it for years and I really don’t want to change it. I’m not altogether interested in the 3G network, I don’t get much VoiceMail, and well, at&t is simply more expensive. This opens up some options:

Option #1: Get a jailbroken version of the v2 software to run on the v1 hardware. Ideal but it’s taking forever.

Option #2: Get my v1 iPhone on at&t so that I could upgrade to v2. This is the frustrating one… I’ve been to four at&t stores and I’ve gotten six different stories. Everything from “Plug it into iTunes for the 3G plan” to “You need the same plan as a Blackberry with no contract/commitment.” It’s a fuckin’ GSM phone. The whole point of GSM was for carrier mobility between handsets… how can a company that I’m trying to give money to make it so hard to pay them [in a non-2-year and painful commitment]? Jury is still out on this one.

Option #3: Get a v2 iPhone on at&t. Easier said than done… I expect monster lines the first few days, but it’s been a week now. I looked at the Apple retail page for WA last night, like a good consumer would. They said “8GB and 16GB White in stock tomorrow morning – we open at 9:30a.” I pop over to the store this morning at 9a… line in front of the store like it was Day 1 – line down the service corridor like it was Day 1. The first line takes about one hour to empty. The second line is filled with ppl that know they aren’t getting a phone – low stock levels – and they are basically waiting for a shipment to show up. When? No one knows, but there might be something there before 5pm. Oh, and they opened the store early today and plan to open early tomorrow – it’s just not on their web site. The peace offering there is that you can call the store for status on availability… just don’t ask them to hold it or give you any information except for “yes, we have some [or none].” Hours in a line for something that isn’t even in stock at the moment? Uh, no, I don’t think so.

Bottom line: I still have a v1 iPhone with 1.1.4 software.


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