Monday, June 9, 2008

Hey Apple, What Am I Supposed to Do With My Old iPhone?

Ok. Let’s see: I paid:

$599 for an 8GB iPhone on June 29, 2007

I know, you think I’m a total dope. Don’t blame you, really, but I’m an early adopter and a gadget geek and having the phone for those few extra days before Apple cut the prices by $200 was OK with me. They did give back $100 as a credit. I’m OK with how all that transpired and I wanted the phone day one so I don’t feel ripped off.

On July 11, 2008 there will be a new iPhone, billed as “twice the speed, half the price”.

I don’t mind paying $199 for another phone. Or even $299 for a 16GB version. I’m that geeky and love the version one model that much. Twice the speed isn’t a ton faster, but it will likely get me using the network more than twice as much so I don’t mind that the data will cost $10 a month more and effectively eat up all the hardware savings over and then some after two years.

There are perils of being an early adopter and to anyone who’d say to me, “It’s your own damn fault, you should just wait a few years, the damn thing will be FREE!” I would completely agree with you if complaining about money was the issue. Some will complain fiercely on that score and I too would say to them, “It’s your own damn fault!”

But there’s a problem with the iPhone. If I could upgrade to a new phone and use the old one as an iPod touch that I could synch with iTunes and use as a normal iPod without jailbreaking it, or give it one of my friends with kids so they can use it as a portable video/music device instead of buying an iPod touch, I’d be fine with that.

But here’s what’s going to happen. I’ll get a new phone and then – my old phone is in a precarious state. It doesn’t work unless it’s activated and I can’t have two phone active with the same phone number without causing some complexity in my life. Essentially, unless Apple is going to do something special that allows me to use the phone, sans the phone as an iPod touch that I can sync with iTunes I’ll need to sell it.

Since the new frakking phone is $199 I don’t see getting more than $50-$75 or so for the old one, and it’s worth MORE to me than that as an iPod touch.

What do I think should happen? One of two things:

A.) Apple needs to give me some way to use the old phone as an iPod touch without hacking it or
B.) Apple needs to let me trade it in for $100 (which coupled with the $100 credit would essentially make the phone free, but from my perspective I will still have spent $499 for one phone). Again, it’s not about the money. If my current phone would work as something other than a pretty paperweight without hacking it, I’d be OK with that.

Sadly, my guess is it will be C.) none of the above and Apple will answer the question of "What am I supposed to do with my old iPhone?" like this: "not our problem."

I hope I have that wrong.

What’s it gonna be, Apple?


Joe Buhler said...

Exactly my own thoughts! As an early adopter of Apple products I'm not bitching as I know the game but something along the lines you mention would be a great marketing /customer loyalty move. Are you listening Steve....?

Anonymous said...

umm my friend had the old iphone, they unlocked it and sold it on ebay for 800 bucks, her husband sold his for 900...because the new G3 cannot be unlocked, so the old iphone is worth a lot in other countries where an unlocked iphone is widely usable.