everything my technolust heart desires

The requested image size is not available for this photo on Flickr (uploaded when this size was not offered yet). Try another size or re-upload this photo on Flickr.

I have a question for my phone geek friends. My current workhorse phone is a well-loved and well-worn Nokia 6800.

It is a market anomaly: it is one of the few phones available that has a QWERTY keyboard. I have loved it because it has suited my needs well over the years. My phone tends to be used more for text messaging than phone calls, so I value ease of text input over most of the flashy functions that other people obsess over.

It does not have Bluetooth, though, and I'm really wanting a wireless headset. Adam's call last night to test out his new Jawbone headset impressed both of us greatly. I wantses one of those.

My parameters:

  • We are T-Mobile customers, and do not wish to change. We have a plan that suits us well and is surprisingly inexpensive as well. I actually don't even know if we're still under contract. We don't see a reason to shift services, so whatever I purchase needs to work with T-Mobile.
  • I think the iPhone is seriously sexy, and I want one, but I'd have to unlock it and it's $pendy.
  • There is a Nokia 6800/6822, which is the successor to my current phone. It is cheaper than the iPhone but gets so-so reviews. It is hard to tell how much of those reviews penalized the phone due to its lacking features that I just don't care about and would rarely use, like a camera or mp3 player.

I'm wondering if it's really worth saving up for the iPhone and the resultant unlock gambles, or if I should go with the cheaper, sure-thing option that doesn't get me everything my technolust heart desires.


And here's where I note that refurbished 8GB iPhones are now just $350.


[No, I'm not interested in a 16GB iPhone so you can make me an offer on my 4GB. And after a bit of time SMS'ing, I came to not mind the on-screen keyboard a bit.]

That's less expensive than I was expecting. I can't get a Nokia 6800 for under $80 on eBay, so I consider $80-$100 the base cost of upgrading. That's for a model which comes used, with no guarantees.

Does the process needed to hack the iPhone for other networks void the AppleCare plan?

The 6820 is a great phone -- I've used an unlocked one on T-Mobile with no problems whatsoever. The 6810 (just the 6800 with Bluetooth added) was never released in the US, alas. The most current successor to the 6800 is the E70 (http://tinyurl.com/3b8dc8), which can only be found on eBay but may be a little pricey for your purposes, considering it's the same form factor but is now a smartphone.

Here are two problems with the iPhone unlock hack, and why I haven't purchased one, despite also having AT&T Mobility service now as well:

1) It voids AppleCare, all warranty and support options. Even Apple stores will turn you away.

2) Every new software update from Apple reverses the SIM hack, which means waiting for the community to release something new to circumvent the latest update, re-apply, repeat, etc. or paying a third-party to ship in your phone and have them unlock it each time there's an update or trying it yourself and risk creating the world's most expensive paperweight.

If you want the 6820 but with some peace of mind, you can purchase one brand new from a reputable seller here complete with the one year warranty from Nokia intact: http://tinyurl.com/2vvlao. It's first-class service. Both Jake and myself have purchased from them in the past.

(Oh, and the Jawbone is seriously sexy. Considering one myself.)

Bluh. Of course it voids the warranty. I figured.

I just looked up our plan and verified that we are definitely on a sweet T-Mobile plan that isn't even offered any more.

I've not seen any reason to unlock mine, Duckie ...

...I would want it unlocked is because I am still with TMO and will be for the forseeable future. That's my primary phone, and there's no way I would spend $350-400 on a device I can't use on that line. The AT&T line I have is for work more than anything else.

Hey, good question. I'm in a very similar boat: T-Mobile customer, my beloved Treo is falling apart, what do I upgrade to?

I could get the latest Treo (benefits include bluetooth, qwerty keyboard, moving all of my data and apps intact), except that I'm a bit dubious about the future of PalmOS.

I'm not a terrifically happy T-Mobile customer, and I've flirted with the idea of switching to get an iPhone, but I don't have a Mac-centric lifestyle and I'm not sure I want to start. Plus one of my killer apps on my Treo is PocketMoney, which I sue to keep track of my bank and credit card accounts.

I'll probably end up getting the most basic phone I can with good Bluetooth, and they get a PDA also with Bluetooth to control the phone, but eh, I don't want two devices in my pockets!

... PalmOS is dead. RUN, even if it's to Windows Mobile.

...with gfmorris on that note. But I will say that I personally love Windows Mobile and if you're itching for a new PDA, WinMo is the safest way to go. T-Mobile sells two excellent WinMo devices made by HTC, the Wing and the Shadow. You may want to check these out.

If I remember right, Apple's exclusive contract with AT&T is two years long, and thus has about 15 months left. After that's up, they may offer an unlocked version in the US; they've already been obliged to do so in other countries.

That last bit is speculation, of course, but I don't think it's entirely unreasonable. Maybe gamble and make do with an okay phone for the next year or so, and possibly buy an unlocked iPhone later on?

The two-year exclusive deal is only for the 1stGen iPhone. The 2ndGen, 3G-compatible iPhone is reasonably expected to be delivered sometime in 2008, maybe 2009. [AT&T sez 2008, but Apple has never announced a date, and I don't expect it much in advance of late 3Q2008 to support the 2008 Christmas cycle.] I fully expect that a new deal will cover the 2ndGen iPhone.

I had a talk with my AT&T rep this afternoon about this very subject. The initial Apple-AT&T deal was for five years, with AT&T having right of first refusal on anything Apple wants to sell in the US with the 'iPhone' moniker.

And yes, 2ndGen is coming sooner rather than later. That's the talk, at least. Won't matter if you're using it on TMO, however, as they don't have 3G yet, and when they do, their frequencies will be different.