Saturday, September 15, 2007

Time for Some Reflection

As you can no doubt surmise I have abandon my 9 month quest for the iPhone. The quest does not end easily. If Apple announced within 3 months that the iPhone would appear in Canada I would surely wait for its arrival. But that will not happen. I believe the iPhone will not reach these maple leaf shores for at least a year if not more...or God forbid....never. Despite Rogers protestations to the contrary.
So when Apple announced the new iPod Touch, I jumped at the chance. Here was a device that I have been looking for. This will be a surprised to many of you but I do not own a cell phone. For various reasons I have not wanted to be at the beck and call of anyone and also been deterred by the prohibited pricing. So I have turned my back on the cell phone. Now, you may ask, why have I coveted the iPhone......For one reason. I have always wanted to have the Internet and email in the palm of my hand. Ever since watching Star Trek original series I have always wanted a "Tricorder" that would give me the world's knowledge at my finger tips. When the iPod Touch was announced I thought my wish was fulfilled.....But as always with dream fulfilment there are prat falls. The first reviews of the iPod Touch are good but with one craveat....Something is terrible wrong with the screen!? It seems that the first round of iPod Touch releases have a problem with "white to black" gradient . The Touch has a very dark portfolio. Meaning it is very hard to distinguish features in a photo or video that is in a dark setting. I was flabbergasted when I heard the reviews...I would have never expected Apple to release their best iPod with the not so best video display. I began to imagine the scenario in China -the iPhone was on the assembly line and there must have been many screens being tested that did not pass the high quality expected to be among the inaugural screens on the iPhone. If you remember the first reviews about the iPhone, it had amazingly sharp contrast . Did Apple set aside the not so amazing screens, that did not pass the mustered for the iPhone, but may have been reserved for the inevitable release of the up coming iPod Touch....I hope not.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I Pre-Ordered The iPod Touch!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Screw The iPhone!

Steve Jobs: This is a worldwide product, the first touch product Apple's going to ship outside the US, it's going to be shipping all around the world.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You Can Buy An Unlocked iPhone!....For A Price.

Well technically Canadians can now buy an unlocked iPhone....But for a price. Puremobile  is now selling unlocked 8 gig iPhones (personally made by that 17 year old kid), on their web site. It costs US$ US$20 shipping...It also comes with a voided warranty because each of the phones have been opened up and soldered....and a warning not to ever update or restore the phone..."There are absolutely no returns or refunds on this product"...and then there's a video of an iPhone using a Fido SIM ends the sales pitch.

Good luck. Let me know how it turns out when you buy one. I for one will not bite. Too expensive, too many pitfalls. The iPhone is a very complex gizmo. A year without a warranty is a long way to go without a safety net. And the no return policy of Puremobile's should make one pause before leaping into the abyss. You could spend a large amount of money only to open the box and find a dead iPhone and there would be nothing you could do about it. Also the "No Restore" is a deal killer. I know for a fact that many iPhones out there get kinda of wonky after a couple of weeks and need a restore to get itself back to normal. No Thanks. I'll wait to see what the software unlock has to offer. And so far those companies offering the software hack have become ominously silent. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

To Hack Or Not To Hack....That Is The Question.

Well its been 47 days since my last post...And there is still nothing to report...Nada....Bubkus.....Rogers is quiet as a church mouse...And don't get me started on the BestBuy fiasco...The only news I can report is that Europe is about to get its iPhone. T-Mobile will carry it in Germany, Orange in France and O2 in Britain.  As for Canada, Rogers and Apple are eerily silent....nothing but tumble weeds blowing in the sage brush. Since the romance between Rogers and Apple has fizzled I am starting to think that a shot gun marriage is in order.  In the last week it has been reported in the news and all of the tech blogs that no less than 3 hacks have been discovered to unlock the iPhone. The first one to be reported was by a 17 year old kid on his summer vacation. He unlocked the iPhone using software and hardware manipulation to get his iPhone working with T-Mobile instead of AT&T. A neat stunt but when I hear the words "soldering." I "shuddered". I still remember my last attempts of soldering in an electronics class in High School. I soldered my circuit board to my desk...So I will not be opting for that hack. But no less than 2 hours after reading about the iPhone Wunder-Kid, I heard from my friend that there was a website up called iPhone-Sim-Free claiming they had a software only hack to unlock the iPhone. And then Engadget posted a video using the software to unlock one of their phones. Sure enough the hack works. There on the iPhone was the word "T-Mobile" and the word was good. Then the next day the company Uniquephones, who unlock phones as a business, also claimed to have a software hack to unlock the iPhone. Their claim was taken very seriously by AT&T who promptly threatened legal action against Uniquephones
So what does all of this unlocking do with me getting an iPhone?  Well it may be the only way for a Canadian to get their hands on an iPhone in the foreseeable future. If I was in Europe or Asia I might play the waiting game but I'm thinking Rogers will not budge on its data rates and Apple probably does not think Canada is a big enough of a market to bother with for some time. 
But there are still some land-minds ahead if I decide to go the "unlock the iPhone with a hack" route. 
1. Legality. Can I unlock the iPhone legally? Some say yes some say no. This is one for the Lawyers.  I'm not too concerned about this one but it would be nice to be on the right side of the law...for once.
2. Warranty. If its a "firmware" hack, even if its only software, it pretty much voids my warranty...and on a product as complex as an iPhone that's not a good thing to happen. I would be chewed, stewed and barbecued out of luck if the phone stops working.
3. Firmware Updates. Apple could come along and send an update which would "brick" my iPhone. The people at iPhone-Sim-Free say that their software is Firmware safe but I doubt it. More likely it would be an on going cat and mouse game between Apple and them to keeping the phone unlocked.
4.Rogers Data Rates. Nothing has changed with Rogers. Their data rates still suck. No unlimited data rates for me. I would have to be very careful to use WiFi and not Edge while I was surfing the web and checking email. As for YouTube it would cost me about $200 to watch 1 video on Rogers data plan.....crazy.

Well what to do? Do I go for it and hope that the unlock software is easy to implement, firmware resistant, and carefully tiptoe my way around Rogers data plans or wait....and wait....and wait for Rogers and Apple to get their act together.......I will have to think on it. If any Canadains out there goes for it I would love to hear how it went. Email me at

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Rogers iPhone Data Plan Petition

If you think it will do any good here's the Rogers iPhone Data Plan Petition. I don't really believe Rogers will listen. But what the hell, I can't think of anything else to do.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Financial Post Confirms My Suspesion...It's All Rogers Fault!

Peter Nowak of the Financial Post confirmed my hunch that its Rogers high priced data plans that are stopping me from having an iPhone. AT&T's $63 a month for 4450 minutes and unlimited data turns out to be about $295 on a Rogers plan. Thats nuts! No one is going to pay out that kind of money month in - month out.

Well this is a low point in my expectations of ever getting an iPhone. Looks like its back to tin cans and string for me. My list of enemies preventing me from getting my mitts on an iPhone is growing. Thats right Rogers. I damn you like I damned BestBuy. May your icy heart melt into a puddle in the darkest pits of Hell.

BestBuy Ownes Future Shop!

My friend Geoff emailed this to me.

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) operates a global portfolio of brands with a commitment to growth and innovation. Our employees strive to provide customers around the world with superior experiences by responding to their unique needs and aspirations. We sell consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services through more than 1,150 retail stores across the United States, throughout Canada and in China. Our multi-channel operations include: Best Buy (, and, Future Shop (, Geek Squad ( and, Pacific Sales Kitchen and Bath Centers (, Magnolia Audio Video (, Speakeasy ( and Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co. ( Best Buy supports the communities in which its employees work and live through volunteerism and grants that benefit children and education.

...You win this round BestBuy. Damn your evil soul.

Monday, July 9, 2007

CNET doubts BestBuy

A CNET news blog throws a cold bucket of water on BestBuy selling an iPhone anytime soon. (Why do the American press always throw in the word "hosers" to sound hip with Canadian culture...Nobody and I mean nobody uses that word here.) Like I said before if BestBuy used this as ploy to round up a bunch of email addresses, then they will dearly. They don't know who they are dealing with. For starters I'll take all my business to Future Shop. That will show them.

Hold The iPhone!...BestBuy?!

Well folks the first crack in the iPhone-Canada caper may have just occurred. But where was the first leak? Not at Rogers, or Telus, or Canada Bell. No the first official iPhone offer comes from BestBuy Canada! Who would have thunk it. They just put up a web page on their site soliciting your email for what they promise to be updates on the availability of the iPhone.

Either this is the worst case of gorilla marketing or we really have a fish on the hook. This might be legit since Apple have only about 4 stores in Canada and 3 of them in Toronto. BestBuy, which have about 40 stores nation wide, may be a means for Apple to sell the iPhone in Canada. I've put my email in the BestBuy system to see if the line tugs the right way. If all I get is a bunch of BestBuy spam I'm going to freak. Freak like I've never freaked before. Well...they've been warned.

A week after the iPhone is released into the wild.

Its been over a week now that the iPhone has been released in the States. The reviews and the blogs give the cell phone an A minus. They rave about the UI and the sharpness of the screen and the battery life. Most seem to catch on with the keyboard. Some not. Many find Edge too slow, almost all find the WiFi fantastic. Lots wish there was Flash support, but all marvel at how great the web pages look on the phone. Youtube "Awsome", Google Maps-"A revelation", video-"Traffic stopping", "The Pinch", "Multiouch", "The Flip" The number one word on everyone's lips is "Fun". It seems to be a ball just to use the iPhone. When was the last time someone said that about a cell phone? Anyways I'm not here to talk about the features of a phone I've never touched. No, this blog is about the iPhone coming to Canada. Now that the phone has been launched States side one would think that it would not be too long before we hear of a date for release in Canada...Well one would be wrong. The only rumors about a release are coming from Europe. With various carriers in Germany and the UK being touted as the ones to bring the iPhone over seas. But all is quiet on the Canadian front. Rogers, who are the hands on favorite to bring the iPhone here, have been saying that Apple wants to concentrate on the US, to make sure all is well there before looking to other markets. But I think they protest too much. My sources....OK....My hunch is that Canada's notoriously over priced data plans are the real culprits here. Rogers, Telus, and Canada Bell have the most expensive data plans in the world. Averaging about $50 a megabyte. In Europe its about $12. The Canadian parliament has only just recently begun to investigate this oligopoly.
A lot of people were worried about AT&T's service plan for the iPhone. The thinking being that since the demand for the iPhone was so high there was an opportunity for AT&T to gouge the customer. But to their credit they offered a very reasonable plan. A friend of mine living in the States said that he now pays less for his cell phone than he did before buying the iPhone. I have a sinking feeling that Rogers is balking at giving out unlimited data plans and to having the customer choose his or her plan in the comfort of their own homes through iTunes. Even though there was some problems with about 3% of those activating their iPhones the first couple of nights, most people said it was a painless and pleasurable experience. And considering that about 700 000 phones were being activated at the same time, AT&T should be commended for a job well done.
Now, well there is talk that some European carriers are chafing at some of Apples demands, there is no doubt that they will fall in line, the profit margin is just too juicy for them not to. The question is will Rogers relent and offer a fair and equable data plan and allow Apple to activate the phone through iTunes. I don't know what is going on at Rogers headquarters...but the silence is deafening.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Canadian Without iPhone checks his messages.

My reenactment of Brian telling me he has the iPhone

A Canadain with iPhone

My friend Brian, a Canadian working in the States, sent me this picture of his new iPhone. The picture on the iPhone is me learning that Brian has the iPhone....It still hurts.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"The Truth Is We Arn't Very Far With Apple."

These sad words were spoken by Rogers' chief financial officer Bill Linton yesterday as reported by the Globe & Mail.
After reading the article I decided I would start this blog. I, along with 2/3 of the population of the planet, want an iPhone. But the Geek Gods are not kind and it looks like no one in Canada will see the iPhone any time soon. So I have created this blog to vent my envy, pity, and unapologetic whining about the dearth of iPhoneage in my hands.
I will be gathering together as much news about a release date and any other news about the iPhone and its relationship to Canada. And of course I will be mostly posting my moans and groans about not having an iPhone. If you have any information which will facilitate my getting an iPhone, or have your own rants, please leave a comment or email me at the complaining begin.