Finally giving in… got the iPhone 3G!

3 Sep, '08
Finally giving in... got the iPhone 3G!

I’ve not really been an advocate of the iPhone at all, happily concentrating on the negatives rather than recognising the positives. Well no more. I decided that as I have started to hate the newly bought Sony Ericsson C902, it’s time to just accept the call of lust and go for the iPhone 3G and give that a go.

Fortunately, a reader of this blog had become adept at securing reasonably priced units – don’t ask how, that would be the secrets of the trade – but as it comes with a bona fide box, albeit bashed and battered and copiously taped with Aramex 2-inch special, it does contain all the bits and pieces as His Royal Majesty Steve Jobs required.

That; though, was not the end of the story. To get it to work in these here climes, the gentlemen came with a tailor-sized pair of scissors and an old-school shaving blade! It doesn’t stop there either, yes there’s more!

Out comes the magic adapter, a tray and my massacred and ‘reshaped’ SIM card gets cajoled into being sandwiched between the adapter and the tray all of which get judiciously inserted into the slot. A restart and it comes alive and connected to the Zain network.

I – am – in!

It was jailbroken unit too, but as I want to experience the “pure” 3G experience first, and as I am always a sucker for the latest releases, I came home and immediately plugged it in at which time iTunes came up with a resolute objection: “You have no right to use this phone!”

The SIM, it declared, was not on the authorised list, one which was blessed especially by His Royal Majesty, and a state of semi-panic sets in. If this is the start and if I can accept the currently installed version, how am I going to sync my contacts and get my email and ical appointments – which is one of the major reasons why I bought it in the first place?

A call to the intrepid suppliers and after a brief panic-filled moment, they duly informed me to eject the magic tray and connect it. Sure enough, that is exactly what I did and iTunes – now assured that I shall not have the temerity of using it on a network not fleeced by the King, acquiesced to my request and started downloading the latest software release in order for the iPhone to be restored to a factory default virginal 2.0.2 release. That – iTunes tells me – will take about 3 hours to download (at 2Mbits and about 250MB of data). So, I shall leave it as it is for now, and shall continue to look forward to explore and play in the morning.

Thank God for weekends!

Update 080904: That was a short lived experience. I opted to return it to the seller who accepted it and offered a full refund. Time to get another phone, so your suggestions are most welcome!

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Comments (40)

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  1. The Stallion says:

    Mabrook on the new phone! I’m not falling for the whole iPhone! I’m waiting on the Bold to come to Kuwait and if I don’t get it here I’ll get it on my trip to the US next month!

  2. bahraini4eva says:

    iPhone SUCK!

  3. ALIsszz says:

    مبرووك ….بس ياريت تقول سعره

    وتشكر

  4. Hamed says:

    Do us a favor please and answer these questions 🙂

    1. Did your iphone work after the firmware update just fine?
    2. Can you read arabic sms’s?
    3. They started selling them at geant for 599BD, are those jail-broken as well from the box as like yours you think?
    4. You should’ve waited just a bit to see the newer ipod touch coming sept. 9th. It may have all the features (minus the phone) plus more (like higher than 32GB).. a bit of an after-thought 🙂

  5. Amjad says:

    Hamed,

    iPod touch already has all iPhone 3G features (software-wise). You just gotta update your iPod’s firmware to 2.0 (actually 2.0.2 now) and you get everything, including App Store.

  6. mahmood says:

    Well, I woke up this morning thinking that I can make calls. Not so. After the download was done, iTunes refused to do anything with it because the SIM is not authorised.

    Bummer.

    So basically I have an expensive paperweight that I don’t know what to do with, because I followed the seller’s advice that a “simple connection to iTunes will restore it to the latest version”…

    I guess I’ll have to give them a call to come sort it out.

  7. mahmood says:

    Well, it appears to be more trouble than it’s worth. I called Tariq (the guy whom I bought the phone from) and he was good enough to agree to take back the phone and offered a full refund with not questions asked.

    I wish that the shops were this good!

    Anyway, it’s on it’s way back to him this morning and I’ll just wait for Apple to pull it’s head out of its ass and offer the phone as other phone vendors do, or when enough countries grow the balls to tell it that they won’t allow locked phones to be sold in their countries.

    Either way, as I have donated the Sony Ericsson to my daughter last night, I have to go out and buy another one…

    SO, what do you guys recommend? 😮

  8. Try the HTC diamond.. its available in Batelco outlets for BD 299/=

    I’m buying the iPhone 3G, it would be great if you could provide me with your supplier contact details 🙂

    Thanks

  9. mahmood says:

    Call Tariq on [# removed] Khaled. He’ll set you up.

  10. Kiwi Nomad says:

    Well you can pick up a legal, unlocked iphone from Vodafone stores in New Zealand for less than BD300… I found out from Mark in Kuwait
    I asked wifey to pick one up before she came back from the annual pilgramage, but I guess she thought that it was still far too much to spend on a phone and the credit card had suffered enough already…
    Not sure if I’d have had the same problems that you experienced Mahmood when I tried my local Zain SIM card though.

  11. Ehsan says:

    My recommendation to you is still the same: An iPhone 2G which can be jailbroken, unlocked, and easily updated without scissors or shaving blades 🙂

    And I think I’ve mentioned it here before, unlocked 3G’s can only be obtained from Italy and Hong Kong, hence the prohibitive costs. Hardware unlocks are just not worth it.

  12. mahmood says:

    I wonder if I could pick one up from Milan then! We’re going there for Eid..

    I’ll set Arif to cruise the sites to find out if there are any Apple stores we could visit 😉

  13. mahmood says:

    I just read the comments on Mark’s site. I just cannot believe the hype and passion (both ways) about this product. How can I create such passion for things I sell?

    This really requires a good looking into to emulate don’t you think?

  14. Anonny says:

    Damn, if Apple are going to be that arsey then we should be buying them just to smash them to bits with hammers and then upload videos of said smashing onto Youtube.

  15. Abdullatif says:

    I’ve done some research on the iphone and there are two “versions”.

    1- US versions which are illegally hacked. These can be used as long as you don’t upgrade them.

    2- Other versions which are legally unlocked (in countries such as Italy and Australia). I have found suppliers on ebay which are willing to send this version to Bahrain for a total cost of BD380 (give or take a few). These are sold unlocked by Apple in these countries and can be upgraded and so forth.

    I’m thinking about ordering one myself, but I’m torn now that SE is introducing the X1.

  16. Starkville says:

    BD380 for a phone?!?!

    You people are cracked!

  17. The Stallion says:

    I’m waiting on the Sony Ericsson Z1 to come out and I am going to see if the BlackBerry Bold will come out in Kuwait before my trip to the US or if I will be getting one when I’m there!

  18. Redbelt says:

    Mahmood
    This is the perfect phone:
    The Samsung Omnia i900

    Specs:
    http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i900_omnia-2422.php
    Review:
    http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i900_omnia-review-267.php

    It has every connection option on earth, a real 5 MP camera with flash, an accelerometer, GPS, pure touch user interface (ala the iPhone), Divx computability out of the box, comes in 8 GB or 16 GB models WITH AN SD CARD SLOT (Ya3ni you can make this phone hold 24GB Max!).
    It can also make you breakfast.
    BD 300-350 when it is released here or around 260 if you order it from ebay.
    I’m considering an order. Wanna join?

  19. The Stallion says:

    X1 I mean!

  20. Romster says:

    I got my son an Iphone from Canada. The thing will not work here because it has Apple’s latest firmware 2.0.1…….not cracked yet. So I end up paying another BD 35 for a “PHONY CHIP” that will fool the phone to work. The damn thing will not accept the chip because the slot isn’t big enough for both.

    IPHONE FOR SALE….

  21. mahmood says:

    I just came back from buying the Nokia E71. The last one in Bahrain it seems! That popular they tell me. Thankfully MENA Telecom just down the road had the last one is stock and I pounced!

    Downloaded the iSync component from the Nokia site and it’s right in the midst of transferring my contacts into it.

    Looks pretty snazzy too!

    Now gotta run for a meeting.. later!

  22. Nokia E71 is not a bad phone actually, but it freezes allot and the BlackBerry client on it is unusable!

  23. Loki says:

    Personally, go with an old iphone update to latest to version with pwnag (and apply our custom built bahrain phonebook fix from waish.org) and get a MobileMe account.

    all this fuss just to get 3g and GPS, its not like your likely to get lost in Bahrain or be more than 5mins away from a wifi spot.

    hmmm… just before i pressed submit i thought I’d check to make sure you hadn’t already bought a phone. Which clearly, you have. Truly, Nokia leads to sadness, sadness leads to anger, and anger leads to the dark side.

  24. bahraini4eva says:

    I agree with The Stallion, my next phone will likely be the Xperia X1. Check out the trailer on YouTube. It’s hot!

  25. Kate says:

    Both my kids have the i phone, Beth the first generation and Alastair upgraded to the new 3g, they love them. Here it is only available on O2 which we all used anyway. You need to push your phone company to get them in but Apple will not release without the customer support ( and numbers) in place.
    My other half never turns his mobile on these days!! Have fun finding something!

  26. mahmood says:

    There could never be an “ideal” phone or solution of course, and I’m not going to cry buckets if I find out that the E71 isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be.

    I saw the E71 with my nephew Ali a few days ago and it looked very nice, I liked the shape and feel and the toys it comes with. A quick look at the forums and blogs searching for it gave me the impression that it’s generally okay. Someone commented here that it doesn’t have WiFi, which is something I certainly was looking for and certainly a primary consideration, but imagine my surprise when the lady at the shop said that the 2GB version I’ve got actually does have WiFi and it does! Very pretty!

    The camera I’m not sure of yet as I haven’t uploaded anything to compare, but even then I’m not going to use the pictures and video for any poster printing, so it should be okay at 3.2. The SE C902 at supposed 5MP was disappointing and did not compare very well at all as with my old trusty and crusty K800i!

    Kate, you should get that errant husband of yours to come back, he could sort out bloody Batelco (or Zain, whichever he takes on doesn’t matter really, we just need a good telco!) Maybe then he will answer his mobile!

    Say hi to him by the way and get Alistair to get me someone famous’ autograph on a picture for me to hang up, will you?!! 😉

  27. Farook says:

    IPHONE ROCKS !!!

  28. Jon says:

    my better half is harassing me to get her the Samsung Tocco (SG-something-480). That would have been – from what I’ve seen- the perfect antidote for the I-phone which seems should be called I-frustrate!

  29. moclippa says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I got my iPhone 2G in September 07 for $400 new (that was when they were still officially expensive), and have had it since then, comfortably upgraded to 2.02, jailbroken and unlocked without much effort, and at 0 cost. The 2G Pwnage tool works like a charm whatever firmware version you have, and only requires minimum computer skills and the ability to follow simple instructions.

    I can’t imagine why anyone would sell this phone for 350 bd, let alone buy it for that much, that is just a crazy price given that you can buy the 2G new for less then half that price, and upgrade it for free. In all my experience with iPhones, I have never been asked to sign a contract when buying a phone, so I see no justification for the massive price markup.

    Furthermore, the 3G unlock should be around the corner soon, free, and knowing the Dev team, as well as associated hacker groups, easy to use.

  30. moclippa says:

    BTW, I’m sure all of you know this, but for the free jailbreak and unlock you use either

    Winpwn – (Windows XP)

    or the iPhone Dev Teams

    Quickpwn or Pwnage – Mac OSX

    The easiest method to use from both those programs is the Quickpwn method, as it allows you to upgrade all the way up to 2.02 using the official iTunes updater, then with the touch of a button, unlock and jailbreak your phone right after. No 3G compatability that I know of yet from these guys, but that comes out soon hopefully. They all have extensive and user guides online, that will take you step by step through the process, just to make sure you don’t screw it up.

  31. Victor says:

    Hi All,
    I got my Blackberry Bold this morning. Bought it online at Expansys.com (use the Dubai link). Funny enough it doesn’t come with the Blackberry Maps software on it. ust reading some blogs now that say Orange UK is disabling it. I’m about to write the online store to explain why it’s not on.
    It does look good though and it does what Blackberries do best – Emails are excellent, th screen is crystal clear.

  32. M Fakhro says:

    Personally, go with an old iphone update to latest to version with pwnag (and apply our custom built bahrain phonebook fix from waish.org) and get a MobileMe account.

    all this fuss just to get 3g and GPS, its not like your likely to get lost in Bahrain or be more than 5mins away from a wifi spot.

    Thank You so much for the waish.org link, u have no idea how irritating it was trying to figure out who was calling me before this patch. I would often have awkward pauses cause i had no idea who was calling, but not anymore! thank you.

    And i totally agree, a first gen iphone is perfect for bahrain, the 3g is kind of useless, since A) Wireless Data costs are terribly overpriced and definitely not worth it (oh much love to batelco) and B) the GPS feature is useless and cannot replace a fully functional GPS device. and C) the old iphone looks much nicer and has a better build quality than the new ones.

    But if you hate the iphone i recommend the BB BOLD

  33. Abdullatif says:

    Dropped by plug-ins @ seef mall today and found out that their Iphones are officially and legally unlocked. Expensive @ BD599 for the 16GB but at least it can be upgraded.

  34. Victor says:

    Are the phones the same as the ones on display at Geant for the same price? Did you check them out really? Not a sim fit option or any funny business like that?

  35. Abdullatif says:

    Not sure about Geant, but I spoke to the salesman @ plug-ins and he assured me that they are officially and legally unlocked. Still too expensive though.

  36. Bubz says:

    I still maintain that the original iPhone is a perfect little device. It has everyone you would need in a phone, and the it’s firefox-like ability to add plug-ins just means you can find whatever you want and just install it in.

    I don’t see the need for the 3G version because of reasons mentioned above =)

    Mahmood, the E71 is a really really slick phone =) Enjoy it, and let us know what your verdict is.

  37. naddooi says:

    Looks like in italy they are selling unlocked iPhones for 499 and 569 euros (8 and 16 gigs)! 😀

  38. Ahmed says:

    I can Arrange an Iphone-3G 16 GB
    BD : 370

    BEST PRICE IN BAHRAIN

    NO FAKE ….CHECK AND THEN BUY

  39. Yacoob says:

    For those recommending the first generation iPhone, do you know where I can buy one? And how much would it cost?

  40. Arnold says:

    ahmed, please give me your contact numbers, im interested in purchasing an iphone 3g for bd370. hope you can hook me up, thanks..

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