The Apple and AT&T Circle Jerk

Trying to deal with these two companies on iPhone issues is like a dog chasing its tail – you will never get anywhere.  They are like “who’s on first” skit always referencing some bullshit restrictions of the other and in the end, neither really care about the consumer.

That being said, I really love the functionality my iPhone offers and beleive it makes me more productive.

I upgraded to the 3g version and have been using my old iPhone as an expensive iPod touch that I take to the gym in one of those geeky arm bands.  Being fat I sweat like a pig on the elliptical and did not want to drown my good iPhone.   This option has worked well for the past few months.

I got tired of receiving the note to upgrade the old phone to v3.0 when I synced with my computer and last weekend succumbed and upgraded – that was a HUGE mistake.  Once I upgraded it turned it into a brick and that is where the circle jerk started.

Because the old iPhone does not have a sim, they moved it to my new phone, I was not able to connect to AT&T to verify that it was registered and thereby nulling the phone since it could not ping AT&T to make sure it was registered with AT&T.

I headed to trusty Google and started to find a away to roll back the upgrade.  Online, I read of people going to AT&T and them putting in a demo sim and then syncing with iTunes and it working.  I also heard of a number of people just accepting defeat and chucking it into the trash.

So, I paraded down to my local AT&T store and asked for help. They told me that the only way I could get a sim was to add a new account to my phone – at a minimum that would be $10 for 24 months.  They told me to go see if Apple support, since this was a “technical issue” not “connectivity” and they should help me at the Apple Store.  They further suggested that I give it to one of my kids or sell it on Craig’s list.   A true salesperson would have had the balls to suggest I upgrade my current phone to the 3gS version to get those additional features and use the current phone as a “newer iPod.”  😉

I went up to the Apple store and got an appointment with a “Genius” – now to be fair, they have rocked on helping with the ton of Mac gear we have in our house.  But in this case, they told me that due to the agreement with Apple they can’ even tough the phone unless it had an active sim card.   They told me to take the one out of my current iPhone and use it to sync – nope, the card is tied to my current phone and wont’ work.  They told me that there is no way to roll back the upgrade so my only option was to try to sell the phone on Craig’s List, get an account or donate it to a women’s shelter.   I told him none of them were acceptable and that it worked before the stupid upgrade and they have rendered it useless.

So clearly I was pissed that I could not use my expensive iPod.  So I went home, did some research on cracking it and 45 minutes later my phone was working again – good as new without the bonds of AT&T.    So now it is working and I can take it to the gym and I am happy.

I am very dissatisfied with Apple and AT&T and will not likely to give either of them any business very soon.  I have persuaded a number of people already this week from adopting the new generation iPhone and become an evangelist for cracking your phones so you can get out from under the restrictive practices of AT&T.

I totally understand the desire to keep people locked into single suppliers but there should be a way to “demilitarize” the phone so that people can use the multiple other features that the device allows.  This is not one of the cell phones of old that once you were done with them they had no other function so you chucked them or donated them.   There is residual functionality to them.  There must be a better solution since now most people will not be upgrading all of their toys as frequently as they were.