I _HATE_ Apple

So today I got an unlocked iPhone 3Gs, from a Canadian store (that was for a unit agreed to get acquired a month ago btw, before my decision to stop my Apple purchases a week ago). It came with firmware 3.0.0, and I went ahead to upgrade to 3.0.1. I wasn’t afraid of activation, since my iPhone 2G works just fine with my AT&T prepaid SIM card (the voice part at least). So when I got it, I simply put it on iTunes to update its firmware, and when it would ask me for a SIM card, I would just put in my AT&T one.

Well, things didn’t exactly went as planned. The iPhone 3Gs got activated all by itself, and I was wondering why. Well, when opened the SIM tray there was another fucking SIM card in there!!!! The Canadian store forgot their FIDO sim card in! The Fido sim card didn’t work in the US, so I really thought that this was just a bare iPhone that I received. But it wasn’t. The Fido SIM activated the iPhone with the Fido network, with a SIM that doesn’t really work anyway (at least in the US)!

So I go ahead, and I do what I have to do: jailbreak and unlock the phone. The jailbreakiness and unlockiness of the 3.0.1 firmware worked, and my AT&T card was recognized. So now, I thought, if I restore the firmware again, and not keep any data, it should default back to the AT&T network and won’t be locked to Fido anymore. I thought, I would be able to use the iPhone 3Gs as I do with my iPhone 2G, which doesn’t require special activation as long as I am on AT&T.

But this is not how it works.

Once you have activated an iPhone ONCE, then the iPhone’s “default clean slate” is not “clean slate” anymore. It’s now FOREVER locked to the FIDO network, and it now requires jailbreak/unlock EVERY TIME you upgrade the firmware. If the Canadian store had not made the mistake to put the FIDO sim in there, then I would have activated the iPhone with the AT&T sim card for the first time, and so it would be “locked” to the AT&T network instead (which is what I wanted). Every time there would be a new OS version out, it would just work.

Don’t get confused. There are TWO kinds of SIM locks on the iPhone. One kind is the “easy” lock, which is what the hackers are hacking at, the one that lets you use any SIM. But the other lock, is the REAL fucking lock, which is NOT MODIFIABLE once you have activated the iPhone with a certain network. That lock is much more lower level, and part of the baseband/radio firmware, and not the OS firmware. And that’s a part that no hacking tool can touch, except Apple’s own tools that are not freely available (unless you know of one that can really flash the actual baseband firmware of the iPhone, and not the OS part).

So basically, between the stupidity of the Canadian store to leave their fucking SIM into the phone, the stupidity of Apple to lock things in such a way, and my laziness to put my SIM in the phone immediately after arriving instead of waiting for the firmware upgrade, I am now left with an iPhone that can only be used with the jailbreak/unlock combination. Each time Apple releases a new firmware, I have to jailbreak/unlock the phone manually, and honestly, I rather not since I shouldn’t have to (since I use an AT&T sim, and AT&T doesn’t really mind). I am simply against jailbreaking because it’s just not safe. But now, I have to fucking use it in order to be able to use the phone. And no, don’t suggest to me to buy an iPhone with a full AT&T contract, because I simply don’t need such a contract — I barely do 5 phone calls a month. But I still want an iPhone, and I still want my prepaid sim. This should have worked.

I put the biggest blame on this situation on Apple, because locking phones this way SUCKS GOATS. I hope someone taps Apple’s ass, to feel how good a locking really is. Apple is THE ONLY company that could have bring REVOLUTION to the industry by saying “no” to the carrier-manufacturer phone locks. Apple is successful and big enough to give the FINGER to any carrier that demands locked phones (at least starting with iPhone 3G). But noooooo! Apple WANTS its EXTRA BUCK that it gets from the carriers by locking the phones like that. So instead of bringing revolution, Apple brings me headaches instead.


Thomas Führinger wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 12:53 AM PST:

Just say ‘No’ to the iPhone and you have a peaceful, balanced life like me.

These are business practices even Apple customers should be able to see through.

memson wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 2:23 AM PST:

Carriers can unlock the iPhone, they choose not to. How do I know? A friend, who is over from Australia, has an iPhone that was carrier locked. He phoned up his carrier before leaving Australia, they waved a magic wand. He then did a complete restore (not sure if he used stock firmware or “special”, if I remember to ask him, I will) and now it will work on any GSM network with any SIM card (he has got a prepaid O2 card in it whilst in the UK.) So, the issue is slightly less black and white. The question is, why does his Carrier have the tools to do this and AT&T and O2 in the UK don’t? Because, I believe, they choose not to – they are evil. Apple therefore looks bad because of this, but… well they are not entirely.

memson wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 2:25 AM PST:

Oh, and this is all legal and officially sanctioned by an official Australian iPhone carrier (forget the name, sorry.) No Jail breaking, no hacking, nothing but the carrier flipping a switch somewhere and then on reactivation it all magically worked.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 2:26 AM PST:

I have already replied to your comment on Facebook and Twitter about this.

>Apple therefore looks bad because of this, but… well they are not entirely.

Sorry, but I won’t feel sorry for Apple. You see, Apple keeps playing their game while they have the strength to NOT to. Apple is BIG right now, big ENOUGH to give them the finger. But they don’t do that, because they want the extra buck. This is what pisses me off. Apple is in a position right now where they COULD CHANGE the carrier industry! An industry that NEEDS changing. And instead of doing just that, they keep bending over to the carriers and do their bidding. This was ONE BIG CHANCE, with the newfound power of Apple, for the mobile industry to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and instead of Apple going towards the light, they go all the way back to the darkness. Fucking miserable shit.

As I told you on Facebook, if this was a small manufacturer I wouldn’t be asking them to show some balls and stand up to the carriers. But from Apple, I demand it. They are in a leadership position right now, and they are strong. They could end the madness. But instead, they just side with the carriers because of a bit of extra money. So I don’t care if Apple “doesn’t really like lockings on phones, blame the carriers instead”, because all it matters is what they actually do. And they do nothing about it.

Andreas wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 4:01 AM PST:

This is unbelievable. Are there not any laws in the US to protect consumers from this kind of crapy corporate policies? This is anti-consumer and anti-competitive. I thought the US was the model for free-market consumer friendly countries.

As you already know, in Greece, and I believe in the rest of the EU-countries, the iPhone is sold unlocked.

Chris Herborth wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 5:38 AM PST:

Hate cell phones and cell phone providers so very much.

I do want an iPhone though, it’ll cut down on the number of gadgets I “need” to carry, and provide a ton of functionality I’ve been avoiding because I don’t want discrete gadgets for everything.

Avoiding buying it though due to ridiculous Canadian cell provider terms and insanely expensive voice/data plans.

Every time I look into or do anything with Canadian cell phones/providers I’m filled with nerd rage. 🙁

– chrish

Don wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 7:23 AM PST:

So let me get this straight. Apple “sucks goats” because they’re stopping hackers? Does that also mean that they “suck goats” because there’s no malware in the wild for it? And does that mean that Microsoft is wonderful because their OS is so hackable it costs companies hundreds of billions of dollars every year to buy AV software, waste time removing malware, etc.?

Eugenia, you’ve got an incredibly perverted sense of reality.

Kragil wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 7:55 AM PST:

Don, you have no clue. This stupid cell lock-in does not stop hackers. It just makes honest owners of the phone jailbreak their phone. It is just anti-costumer.

Olaf wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 8:20 AM PST:

So… nobody here tells Eugenia that it was HER fault to not even make sure the works with the right SIM card.
Girl you profess to be an IT professional; n’est pas ?

axl wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 8:21 AM PST:

Nerds. You should have checked before. Not Apples problem.

Kelson wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 8:35 AM PST:

I disagree with your statement that Apple is in a position to take on the telcos on this issue.

The iPhone prices is hugely subsided by the carrier, who can afford to due it because they make the money back up in the monthly service fees.

If the iPhone price is not subsided, then Apple sells a fraction of what they do, resulting in them having little to no impact on the market.

If Apple sells the iPhone at the subsidized cost, eating the extra themselves, they end up making a product and selling it at cost, making no profit and crushing their gross margins, which in turn will crush their stock price.

Apple has a responsibility to maximize shareholder value in a fair and ethical manner, so they really don’t have an option.

It might have been a better idea to have just swapped the SIM card before you first turned it on. There might actually be a reason for that second lock, such as a security feature to prevent stolen phones from being sent out of country and re-activated on another network.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 8:50 AM PST:

>it was HER fault to not even make sure the works with the right SIM card.
>You should have checked before

And you think I haven’t? To say this, I don’t think you even understand the problem explained in the article.

Don wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 8:58 AM PST:

Kragil, millions of iPhone users have no desire to jailbreak their phones. Frankly, I don’t understand all the whining. If you don’t want an iPhone, get something else. You and Eugenia are like someone who buys a new car and then complain that you’ll have to pay to modify it because it doesn’t have wings. Get a clue and stop whining.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 9:02 AM PST:

Don, you are the one who needs to get a clue. You, and some of the rest around here, just don’t seem to understand what this is about. No wonder Apple has such a free ride with that crap. This is not about unlocking a phone (although I prefer unlocked phones), but actually *locking* it to AT&T (because AT&T allows you to use an iPhone with any of your AT&T SIMs). But once a phone has been MISTAKENLY activated with another carrier, it can’t be activated again with another one to correct the problem. Its baseband firmware is forever baked to use the first-activated carrier — that’s the problem. But you keep talking about crap putting your finger on the consumer, without understanding the actual issue here.

Maya wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 10:01 AM PST:

I think I need to stop following you. Everything you post is ridiculously depressing. You must be severely depressed and as sick as you claim to be on twitter. Yeah, I agree that this apple situation is screwy but if you hate apple so much and your husband works on the Android then why didn’t you just buy an Android? You talk about how good they are???

Do you ever have anything good to say?

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 10:07 AM PST:

Maya, go ahead and stop following me. If the reality of today’s technology and business makes you uncomfortable, then go ahead and put your head in the sand. I am sure you will be a happier, non-depressed, person if you just stop caring about what’s going on around you and how unfair the business is.

>severely depressed and as sick as you claim to be on twitter

My illness is not depression, it’s similar to Chron’s disease (not exactly Chron’s, but similar). Stop trying to make the issue about me. You try to play on the Apple side by calling my HEALTH on the table? How terribly NOT gentleman of you. You should be ashamed of yourself.

>if you hate apple so much and your husband works on the Android then why didn’t you just buy an Android?

Because Android’s UI user experience SUCKS. The iPhone has the best user experience, and so it’s normal to want to use that. I have 25 different handsets here. TWENTY FIVE. And yet, I don’t even want to TOUCH any of them, because their user experience simply doesn’t cut it. They will piss me off in no time. I am afraid that there is no alternative right now other than the iPhone. Even the Palm Pre, which has the second best user experience, is a JOKE with its non-native SDK. So, I just need Apple to stop being such a pain in the ass, stand up for what’s right, and stop locking phones this way.

>You talk about how good they are?

I never said how “good” Android is, stop thinking in terms of “she hates Apple because she’s a Google-head”. Android is a great idea, being an open project, but the actual user experience, sucks ass. I could have an Android phone for free if I wanted to. But I am choosing not to, because I just don’t like its user experience.

>Do you ever have anything good to say?

I just did, above. Mark the user experience comment. But this alone can’t save the whole customer experience, now does it?

I tell it how it is honey. Whatever is in my head and in my heart, you will read about it. I don’t lie, I don’t make up things, and I don’t try to play nice either. If you have a problem with me being as direct and true as possible, then unfollow me. Go live in your lala land and dig your head in the sand. Stop caring about real issues, because “they are depressing”. It’s better to not know about them, right?

Surftom wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 10:58 AM PST:

I’m on the fence on this one. I bought an iPhone (On Rogers in Canada) knowing full-well that I would be locked to a carrier unless i RedSn0w my phone.
The thing is, I’m off to Europe next week and i don’t want to pay $100 to pick up an email – that’s what the data rates basically are.
So I’m considering jailbreaking/unlocking the phone so i can use a SIM card in EU. But I’d prefer not to. If apple sold the iPhone – unlocked for say… $500 I’d probably buy that before I pay $199 with t a 3 year contract.
Unfortunately, I don’t have that option. You can buy the phone with no contract – but still locked to the carrier for a stunning $700
Jason Calicanis has some interesting thoughts on the direction Apple is going – a good read.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 11:04 AM PST:

Exactly. I wouldn’t mind at all if Apple would sell their iPhone on their stores for $500 or even $700 — unlocked. I would just buy that in a heartbeat. I just don’t need the full contract! Why do I have to buy a contract, just so I can use the cellphone I want?

And this actually shows that Apple is not the innocent entity that people claim over here by saying “it’s the carrier’s fault”. You see, EVERY other manufacturer sells their phones unlocked (as well as locked sometimes). I can buy a Nokia phone LEGALLY unlocked. It’s just how Nokia (and all other manufacturers) also sell them.

And yet, Apple has made none of these options available. So yes, this is Apple’s fault for not standing up for what’s right. Instead, they like the extra few dollars they make from the carrier asking them to not sell unlocked phones. They bend over to the carriers, and they FUCK the consumer.

Sorry, but with these conditions, I can’t be happy with Apple. And the problem is, that all the other smartphones suck, so I am just stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Olaf wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 11:38 AM PST:

> Instead, they like the extra few dollars they make from the carrier asking them to not sell unlocked phones.
There you have it. It’s the better product and therefore they want to earn the extra money. That’s called BUSINESS.

> And the problem is, that all the other smartphones suck, so I am just stuck between a rock and a hard place.

….riiiight – you are getting closer. They set the conditions for their offerings and there is no obligation for you to buy…but “if the competition sucks”? You MAY accept but not under EUGENIAs conditions but under APPLE’s. Take it or leave it.
People like it enough to prefer it over other smart phones.

And before you activate an IT device next time as an IT professional, know what you are doing.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 11:40 AM PST:

I know very well what I am doing. The mistake was not mine. There was no way of knowing that the store forgot *their* SIM inside a new phone! This is like ONE IN A MILLION chance. Here’s one more Apple zealot trying to make it about me.

And no, I don’t agree that this is called “business”. Apple is in a leadership position right now to do the right thing. Just because they can fuck us over, doesn’t mean that they should.

JrezIN wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 8:16 PM PST:

Here comes the Mindless Apple Zealots Torrent… like lemmings, they’ll continue forward until it’s, well, too late… maybe they like it… like Jim Jones followers…

Come on people! Everybody has the right to complain about something they didn’t like/feel like was right. How about at least some respect? How about at least keep the discussion clean and focused?! I’m not even asking for a nice discussion with real data as why Apple practices aren’t so different from the rest of the industry, or a logical reason why the USA’s mobile market is so closed and in control by the operators… There must be a logical reason, no?

There’s a fucking smile in the left bottom corner of this page! Please look at it before sending a message!

zorkor wrote on August 11th, 2009 at 9:37 PM PST:

hey guys, give the lady a break. She has a point there. If u want the phone , then get the phone. If u want it with a contract then get it with a contract, but dont force people to do both at the same time.
In Asia, we can choose any phone we want. Freedom!

blover wrote on August 12th, 2009 at 12:48 AM PST:

I know tons of friends on verizon that wouldn’t switch in a million years, they are happy, because ATT really DOES suck in big cities.

Soulbender wrote on August 12th, 2009 at 2:07 AM PST:

I dont understand the US cellphone market. Not counting the iPhone, can’t you just go to a store, buy a phone, buy a pre/post-paid SIM from a carrier, install it in the phone and go?

David Adams wrote on August 12th, 2009 at 9:59 AM PST:

And by the way, people, if you can’t vent and curse on your own blog, where can you vent and curse? You’re reading someone’s personal blog. If you want to read a level-headed measured response to everything, go read The Economist.

greg wrote on August 12th, 2009 at 5:39 PM PST:

Well, the way I see the intro of the Iphone is that Apple could force the issue of carrier lock down or unlimited internet. Guess which one they picked!

Why do you think it took like a year and a half to get to Canada…..Apple wanted unlimited and Rogers/Fido didn’t.

I would bet if there were other GSM carriers, the WOULD have offered it up “unlocked” rather than compromise with the internet access costs.

But, us Canadians don’t get either until the cash cow that is cellular gets competition again in the next year. Don’t get me started about how the last two new entrants got bought out by established competitive…..that was BS!

madgunde wrote on August 14th, 2009 at 5:11 AM PST:

*shakes head*

First off, way to redirect the embarrassment of such a bonehead move as not taking out the SIM card THAT EVERY iPhone comes with out before you start trying to hack with the phone in ways that is unsupported by the manufacturer. First rule of hacking/modding is accept the risk that you might just brick your device.

Second, why is this scorn directed at Apple? I’m sure Apple would have loved to offer the iPhone unlocked on every carrier out there if a) they could still get the subsidies, b) it gave them the leverage to convince carriers to implement technology improvements (ie: visual voicemail) and c) it gave them the leverage to not have to bend over backwards to the carrier’s every will.

If you want to blame someone for phone locks, blame the carriers. Apple I’m sure would have been happy to do the bare minimum to lock the iPhone to the original carrier, but given that it’s essentially a glorified computer with a well documented and easy to hack OS, they probably had to do it this way in order to satisfy their contract obligations with AT&T.

You could have bought an AT&T iPhone and unlocked it (or even NOT unlocked it), but you chose to do things the more complicated and risky way, screwed up and want to blame someone except yourself for your bonehead mistake.

Meanwhile, 99% of the rest of the world just walk into a store, buy the iPhone at a great price, take it home, plug it in and 2 minutes later are enjoying the best darn mobile phone/computing experience out there.

For those of you who bitch that Apple could really change the cell industry, a) they’ve already accomplished far more than all the cell phone companies combined have ever done in taking power away from carriers (remember when North American phones didn’t have WiFi?), b) Since when did it become Apple’s responsibility to fix everything that’s wrong with every industry they operate in? Isn’t it enough that they fixed the music industry and are on their way to fixing the computer industry?

Apple is a company, and companies are in business to make money. They wouldn’t be where they are today if their primary goal was to be a crusader for the rights of technology geeks.

Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.