November 2007 Archives

So you want an iPhone eh?

Very quick email I just sent to an acquaintance in Montreal who was asking if he should get an iPhone and have it unlocked. I know a bit about it so...

So basically here's the deal:

the iPhone is not yet being sold in Canada. That means if you get one, you are *outside of the frameworks that Apple and their carrier* want you to be in.

Those frameworks are:
- economic
- technical
- political (support?)

If you buy an iPhone and have it unlocked, be aware that:
- Apple will continue releasing software updates that will kill your iPhone if you install them
- to bypass this you have to do alot of work, staying on top of hacker community developpments
- pay someone who does that for you.
- never install updates. totally acceptable current functionality will continue to work indefinitly

When the iPhone does come to Canada, it will be because Rogers (and/or Fido) will finally offer a special rate plan for data access. "So what" you may say. Well. About 80% of the cool features of the iPhone rely on a data connection, either "EDGE" or "WiFi". WiFi is free at home and here and there at caf├ęs etc (though rare). "EDGE" is expensive. Very expensive. In fact Canada has the highest mobile data rates *in the world*. No shit.

So when Rogers/Fido release the iPhone they will *have to* introduce a special data plan (because Apple won't sell it via them otherwise). When they do this, *do not* expect to show up at Fido/Rogers and say "hey I have this iPhone, gimme the rate plan!" They will tell you to take a hike, because you got the phone otuside of their "jurisdiction", outside of their economic framework.

There are basically two kinds of people who by and unlock iPhones:
- showoff morons with too much money
- hackers/mobile technology geeks who buy 2-3 new mobile devices every six months anyways and who don't care about restrictions and work involved.

Still want it? ;)

p.s.: They say "where there's smoke there's fire", and there is *alot* of noise about Rogers offering the iPhone as of this January. Let's see.