Should I return the iPhone I just got as a gift but won't be using for the next 2 months?
March 22, 2008 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Should I return my iPhone? The ex gave me one as a gift yesterday as an early graduation present, but I'm leaving for Guatemala for 2 months tonight.

I won't be using it in Guatemala, so it'd essentially sit unused for 2 months, in which time maybe the 3G version would come out?

I'd a) worry that it would be stolen and b) have to use it on international roaming, which would cost thousands of dollars and just ain't happenin' or c) would have to unlock it illegally and believe this can turn it into an iBrick (I haven't read a whole lot on this option).

It's unopened in the box right now, and I'd imagine I could return it to the Apple Store for a store credit? I'd like to have an iPhone eventually, just wonder if I should just get it when I return to the US, in the off-chance that the 3G upgrade would happen while I'm gone (or maybe even in June), which I could wait for.
posted by gramcracker to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're unsure about it and you're afraid it will be stolen, I think you definitely should return it and wait for possible Iphone 2 announcements.

If you want to take it and get a SIM card there, here's a handy unlock guide.
posted by sharkfu at 9:39 AM on March 22, 2008

I would return it and see what happens.
posted by -t at 9:53 AM on March 22, 2008

Wow, you and your ex must be on good terms. :) But yes, I'd return it for store credit and wait. Even if you could use it there, you won't really need it, and it would just serve as a shiny thing to catch thieve's eyes.

That said, have fun in Guatemala! It's fantastic. Make sure you spend some lazy days on Atitlan.
posted by lunasol at 10:23 AM on March 22, 2008

Ok, firstly, it's not illegal to unlock/jailbreak your iPhone. That said, it will void your warranty. Secondly, there are big developments for the iPhone along the way but chances are none of them will hit the end-user until June or later. Among these, the two most important is that the next iteration of the iPhone is slated to be released with 3G within the next year (read the news about the 700 spectrum auction that AT&T just hunkered down billions for), and perhaps more importantly the release of the software development toolkit. In your case in particular, the latter means ePocrates on the iPhone as it's practically already in beta already. It's going to be one of the first pieces of 3rd party software available (go watch the video here.)

I have the thing and it certainly has its perks but if I were you I'd wait for the next version of the device, which will truly be an all-in-one solution. Given the crap service AT&T currently offers, despite having the device I'm still pondering buying in again when 3G is rolled out (depending on what early adopters have to say about the new network), or firmware patching the 2.0 firmware once it's finalized to be unlocked and used on a better network (T-mobile has far superior coverage at least in my area). Granted, even if you do stick to the device you have now, you'll only be a firmware upgrade and a few months away from the SDK, new software (at a price), and better enterprise features (CISCO VPN, Exchange).
posted by drpynchon at 10:40 AM on March 22, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks Dr. P--was definitely gonna get one once the epocrates app came out, but figured it might make sense to wait and see if anything comes up by July when I'm started residency (woo).

Related-question: will 3G make the bandwidth better on the iPhone, or is the limiting factor AT&T's crappy Edge network?
posted by gramcracker at 10:48 AM on March 22, 2008

so it'd essentially sit unused for 2 months, in which time maybe the 3G version would come out?

Who knows. There are only rumors. Last year they rumor-mill was saying February at the latest.

If you do not need this phone right now I would return it. I imagine the 3G model would be out by the end of the year. So far all that has been said is 'sometime in 2008.' AT&T's 3G rollout is looking good too, but if youre not near a major city/metro area then you'll probably be stuck on edge.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:57 AM on March 22, 2008

Return it. Besides 3G Apple is also cooking up iTunes for life.
posted by Gungho at 12:17 PM on March 22, 2008

Well, many of my friends are happily using their iPhones here in Guate, and as some have said unlocking it isn't overly complicated. I wouldn't worry much about it getting stolen, except if you're thinking of using public transportation almost exclusively. Another option is getting a Q100 (about $12) phone here which no one will try to steal anyway.

Hope you get to spend some time in Antigua Guatemala, and lunasol's suggestion is great, as Lake Atitlán is just beautiful. IMO, it's best to avoid the tourist-trappy Panajachel and instead head out to one of the other towns that border the lake, San Pedro, Santiago, San Marcos also comes to mind.

And, if you want to maybe hang out or have a coffee/beer/whatever while you're in the city, mefimail me!
posted by papafrita at 7:35 PM on March 22, 2008

If you're thinking that a new one will be coming out soon, it's worthwhile to keep in mind what sourwookie noted on this topic the other day. To wit: Apple will have to submit the design of a new iPhone to the FCC 6 months before it becomes available to the public. When they submit to the FCC, you can believe you'll hear about it. So, while there may be software updates sometime soon, it's most likely that at the earliest, Apple will announce new iPhone hardware at the June developer's conference and submit the design to the FCC for approval then. Which means you're waiting until December for the new model to be released, just in time for the holiday rush.

So... I probably wouldn't return it. I'd take it to Guatemala and try to use it. In that other recent iPhone thread, the people who have them all pretty much say it's the best thing ever and they wish they never waited. Of course, you're probably already in mid-air now, eh? I wonder, did you return the iPhone?
posted by mumkin at 10:38 PM on March 22, 2008

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