Why I Ditched My iPhone

November 12, 2009

I’ll admit, I’m the furthest thing from a Mac fanboy there is.  When someone tells me they’re thinking about getting a Mac Book, I fight the urge to smack them upside the head.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Microsoft fanboy either, I cringe whenever the word Vista is mentioned.  I just hate how every the sheeple herd in front of Best Buy or Future Shop every time there’s a release of some new shiny gadget that Apple crapped out.  It’s quite sad really.

Despite this pent up angst I have for Apple I some how found myself an owner of the iPhone. I’m really not sure what made me think that it might be a good idea to buy one, my ex did tech support for the iPhone right from the day of their release. I knew all of their quirks, and there were a lot of them.  Mind you most of them had been fixed with the newer models but there were always new ones waiting to be discovered.

For years I refused to even get a cell phone, I didnt want to deal with the enormous bills or the BS of dealing with phone companies.  Eventually I got the most basic pay as you go flip-phone.  That served me well for about two years, but everytime I turned around a friend was showing me their new iPhone, insisting that I play with it.  Every time I ended up with one in my hand I found myself in some weird torn state of denial.  It was like discovering that I had a crush on Hitler’s daughter.  I knew it was wrong, but I just couldn’t help but like the thing.

So eventually I picked up a black 8gb iPhone 3G, and the nightmare began. A friend had bought the new Black Berry and offered me his phone for such a low price I couldn’t pass it up.  Since I hate cell phone companies and refuse to go on a contract, I decided that instead of putting it on Rogers I would go with Fido since they did not require that you sign up for a contract.  From what I had been told, it would be a breeze to unlock it and use it on the Fido network.  That did not turn out to be true.

My friend had already installed Beta 2 of the OS 3.0.  I had no idea at that time how much of a royal pain in the butt that would become.  Since there was no Unlock for 3.0 I figured I’d downgrade to 2.2.1 .  Just fire up iTunes, do a shift+restore and give it the right file and I’d be good to go.  Or not.

I spent the entire weekend running restore after restore. Digging through every website I could find trying to make sense of all the errors I was getting. Each restore attempt gave me a different error. 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 13, 19, 1002, 1011, 1013, 1601, 1602, 1603, 1604, 1608, 1609, I saw them all.  Eventually I got it to boot up after installing an old version of the firmware, 2.0.2, and was able to activate and jailbreak it.  But alas I could not unlock it as the baseband had stayed at 4.30.02.

So I scoured the Internet for answers.  From the sounds of it I was stuck with that baseband until a newer one came out.  If I had the 5.8 boot loader I could’ve downgraded, but the 5.9 boot loader that I had would not allow me.  So I ordered a RebelSim card.  Everyone seemed to think that would fix the issue.  It did not. It would recognize my sim card, it would show the available carriers, but when I tried to connect it would tell me they were no longer available. After taking my sim card down to the local Fido kiosk and having them test it, it was apparent the phone was the issue.

Ultimately I grew tired of the frustrations getting the phone to work, and was forced to sell it on Kijiji for a low price. My flip phone will do for now, perhaps when Android rolls out I’ll try the smartphone thing again.

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