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When the first generation iPhone was released I looked at it and thought it was cool, but I said at the time there was no way I was going to give up push email.
When the 3G version has released with Exchange ActiveSync support I decided to buy one and try it out. Initially it looked like I was going to have to wait a while as the Telcos in Australia were only selling them on a plan, except for Optus which had a pre-pay option available. That is they said they had a pre-pay option available but if you went into an Optus shop and tried to buy one you would be told that they did not have enough stock and were only selling them on plan.
Then - the week before last - I got word that some Telstra dealers were selling the phones "outright". I put it in quotes because unlike every other phone you can buy from Telstra outright the iPhone comes locked to the Telstra network and you have to pay AU$150 Telstra Tax to get it unlocked for use on any network. None the less I trundled down to the local JB Hi-Fi and picked up a 16GB iPhone.
So why have I not posted about this before now? Well suffice to say that I have had a few issues. In fact I am now on my third unit in a week and a half!
The first unit I got looked fine, but when I got it back to the office I found that it could not see or connect to any wireless networks. It would just constantly search, even if I was standing within inches of the access point. A colleague had also bought one and had no issues. I tried the usual troubleshooting steps such as soft reset, hard reset and flashing the firmware, but to no avail. Then next day I returned to the point of purchase and uttered the magic words "not fit for purpose" which under the local trading laws means they have to refund or replace it and got unit number two.
Unit number two functioned brilliantly - for almost a whole 24 hours. Then on the first day I actually carried the device in my suit pocket it developed what appeared to be a small crack in LCD. Not the glass over the LCD, but the display itself. This manifested itself as a vertical line of dead pixels a few millimetres long surrounded by a cluster of off colour pixels around it. this was centred in the bottom right corner of the display roughly where the "9" key sits when the phone keypad is up. The real bummer is that I noticed this late on Thursday afternoon and I was leaving the next morning for a family holiday, so I was not going to be able to take it back again for more than a week. The phone was still functional - so I took it with me. Over the next week horizontal lines of dead pixels slowly crept across the screen from the original vertical line, eventually reaching both sides.
So today I took iPhone II back to Sydney's Apple store. This is where the story improves greatly. The service I got was excellent. I approached one of the greeters at the door and asked how I submit an iPhone for warranty. He said the best way was to make an appointment with one of the geniuses and walked me over to one of the Macs and booked a session starting in about 20 minutes. I went up to the genius bar about 10 minutes later after grabbing an espresso and my pre-booked guru (Roger) was already free and waiting.
Roger was brilliant. He didn't accuse me of dropping the phone, trying to fold it or using it as a hammer. He just took me at my word that I had not abused the phone (which was true, btw) and said "it shouldn't do that - I'll just check stock and see if we can swap it out now for you." It was in stock, he did swap it out and because I had already unlocked phone II from Telstra he unlocked phone III on the spot as well. He even took the time to ring me to ensure that the unlock had gone through and gave me a sticker with the new IMIE number on it to stick on the original box.
This iPhone is the first Apple product I have ever bought. Had they not handled my screen issue so well it may well of been the last. While it has not been smooth sailing I am willing to write this off as bad luck, especially since everyone else I know who has one has had no hardware issues at all. The good service I received as a decidedly unhappy customer has gone a long way making me a happy camper again.