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I've reached the point where I'm almost ready to try and overcome my loathing of itunes and replace my current phone with an iphone, but there's a few bits & bobs I'm a little unsure of so I thought I'd ask on here, rather than spend a good while scouring the web to find umpteen variations on the info I want etc.


Previously I'd dismissed the prospect of owning one as I didn't like the old hardware, didn't like Apple (still don't) and despised itunes, but the iPhone4 has a great hardware spec compared with the old one and so my only real concerns about owning one now are the cost and itunes, the latter of which I'll learn to live with. I'm not stupid enough that I'd refuse to use a good gadget just because I don't like Apple either.


I want to get a 32gb one and they're about £600 from Apple. Can't afford that as it's a bonkers amount of dosh that I just don't have. Can't get a new contract as mine runs til sept and to "opt out" I have to pay every single penny that I would have paid anyway but get nothing for it so that's not an option.


So I'm looking at ones that are network locked on ebay at the moment potentially. You can get a sort of 'as new' one for about £450 if it's network locked, and I can just about afford that once I sell my phone and get a couple of quid that I should have shortly. I'm happy enough to have a used one providing it's in good nick and not from some dodgy shyster likely to send me a 'hiphone' or something.


The thing that concerns me I guess is how easyit is with these to remove a lock to a network. I have a suspicion that if it was an easy thing to do, then the unlocked ones would not be around £100-150 more than locked ones but I'm not sure what's involved, and if there are any pitfalls etc in getting one unlocked.


I don't mean jailbroken btw. I might do that at some point, but for now I'd like to see if I can get along with one of these as Apple intended, so purely removing a network lock to ensure it works fine on Sure's network. Anyone know about this stuff? Alternatively, is there a flavour of uk carrier that it could be locked to but would also definitely work on our networks here, ie I think O2 locked phones are fine with MT, but is there a carrier it could locked to and would still work fine with Sure?


I'd hate to buy one naiively thinking it was a bargain but then find I couldn't use it, or that it had got me banned from the istore or something because of how it's been unlocked etc. Do I need to worry about stuff like that?


Realistically, I could be persuaded to get a 3GS one until my current contract is up maybe, but it'd have to be pretty damn cheap and either a 16gb or 32gb model.



The other question I have, is whether or not I can easily get it to speak to Outlook. Yes I realise they're mortal enemies so it might be a stupid question but I like Outlook, and I like the way my calendar and contacts etc sync at the moment. I don't want to stop using Outlook, so I'd need it to somehow speak to iphone, and preferably without tons of hassle. Is that a reality, or wishful thinking on account of too much 'us vs them' mentality out there?


Thanks for any useful info, and sorry if any of the questions are dumb.

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if it's a question of only just being able to afford something .... well is it really a good purchase ? Is a basically second hand iPhone with no guarantee really going to provide you with £450 worth of long term satisfaction vs a more or less free Nokia. I always end up dropping my phones in the mud or water and am loathed to spend good money on one.


And how well will it retain its value vs say a well looked after lens or even a DSLR. You can get about a 1/3 - 1/2 of the purchase price back on a Nikon or Canon DSLR after 5 years. How much is an iPhone going to be worth after that time ?


Apple stuff is very well made and cool. Personally I think iTunes is great - but I run it on Macs. I have often heard it is not so great on Windows. Nothing is. But if you don't like Apple stuff anyhow I can't see the point of buying into it.


Why not put the money in a savings account ? The phone you want now will cost even less in 18 months time.

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The HTC Desire HD is a better phone and I have an iphone 4 and a blackberry.


itunes is an awful piece of spyware that takes over and slows down your PC.


You can get the iphone 3GS unlocked a lot easier and cheaper than an iphone4 - £50 on ebay last time I checked for a 4 but im not convinced they are not scams. Thing is the 4's have only been around 5-6months so not many around and hence high unlock price.

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Thanks for the replies chaps. Please don't take this the wrong way as I certainly don't wish to sound rude, but not the questions I asked. I realise you're trying to be helpful and I appreciate that, but I've spent quite a long time pondering this. I haven't 100% made up my mind but am close to it, hence investigating what the issues are with unlocking. Second hand doesn't bother me as I frequently buy used phones and I've yet to have a problem, although I realise there is a risk. Oddly enough, I don't give a hoot about cool, but now that the spec of iphones is up to what I want, I realise there is a fair bit of good about them because of things like iphone/ipod docks being everywhere now, and that they just work rather well.


I currently have an HTC HD2 and to be fair it's a fantastic piece of kit but it's flawed and I'm sick of the flaws because they've chipped away at the ownership experience for too long now. The worst thing (whilst it may sound trivial) is the fact that it is always unlocking in my pocket. I've tried lots of roms and operating systems on it now, lots of different lockscreen apps etc and the same issue remains, which is that it has raised keys on it which get pressed in your pocket and then my leg touching the screen is enough to finish the job and start running apps, making calls, and generally making it a real nuisance to use, and running the battery down etc. I don't want to use a pin code or unlock pattern on top of the standard stuff as it's extra annoyance and I shouldn't need to. The iphones have one key which is recessed and no-one I know has had this problem.



No need to tell me what itunes is like Dave - I really hate it, but I;m willing to try. I've actually got a Desire HD android Rom on my HD2 at the moment and I love Android for its flexibility but I'm fed up with the worse than crap task/process management that it suffers from. Even with an automated task killer app installed and setup, I'm constantly having to tell it to manually kill apps off to keep it running smoothly, and I've tried various flavours of Android on it for quite a long time now. Winmo is too buggy, and Windows Ikea (WP7!) is great to use, but hardly has any decent apps for it which really hampers the experience.


The common thing with all these is that they're all great in some respects but whilst I really used to enjoy endless mucking about and tweaking, the novelty is finally beginning to wear thin. I didn't think that would happen, but I suppose it's because I have way less free time to muck about with stuff like this than I used to. So somewhat reluctantly I just want something that works now, which is what iphones are good at from speaking to everyone I know that owns one. Yes I know they still can go wrong, but everything can, and they seem to be less buggy than other things.


As I say, I could possibly live with a 3GS but the screen resolution would be a downgrade for me, as would the camera and I use the camera a fair bit. That's two main reasons why I'd previously refused to have one. The iPhone4 is great hardware though so regardless of the fact I dislike Apple and iTunes I want to get one, it's just the cost is the issue.


Realistically if unlocking costs £50 or so, then I'm inclined not to buy a locked one as that's a stupid amount to pay for someone to presumably run a program on my behalf, or whatever it entails, but it would be good to know from someone savvy with how this works what options there are in this respect. Sometimes these things can be done free and at home with the right information for instance, but I know nothing about Apple stuff having never owned any!


Possibly I might opt for a 3gs iphone as an interim measure until my contract is up. It's not really what I properly want but would be benefit to blood pressure and battery levels, and would not cost much at all to swap to. Then in September I will likely end my Sure contract and go to MT who hopefully have a more reliable data service, and get an iphone4 on contract there. The new one should be out before then, so I'd hope that they'd drop the price a bit on the current model at that point.


If I don't do something then I fear for the safety of my HD2. I've had a lot of enjoyment from it but it's all getting a bit bitter now and I think it's best that I end the relationship before it gets to the claw hammer stage.... :unsure::lol:


Decisions decisions..... :rolleyes:

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1) software unlock is possible but you need to jailbreak it first and than apply unlock, theres a downside of software unlock on some models, quick battery drain caused by phone trying to download a valid certificates from apple( sometimes 200mb data per day, 8h of battery life)

2) get an unlocking code from unlock its a pricey solution 90pounds :)

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Thanks for the info chaps. I don't really have a problem with jailbreaking it, especially if it's to remove a network lock, but that's crazy that there are issues involving so much data use like that! :blink:


As for £90 to unlock it, I'd rather not have one than pay someone so much money for what is presumably a relatively easy but secretive thing to do, purely on principle that it's horribly greedy.

Guessing that the £15 for O2 to unlock them is only for the older models perhaps?

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Just a word of warning Cret the battery life on the iphones is stupid. You will end up charging it at every moment if you use it regularly.


From what i remember its a standard charge the O2 do for unlocked iphones. Who are the iphones on ebay locked too?


I really wouldnt bother with a 3gs cret, id keep the htc over it, you will still be looking at 200-300 for a 3gs, I sold a 3g on ebay about 2 mths ago and it went for just over £200. this was a 3 year old battered phone, that had just had a screen replaced!

Edited by Sarah
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Thanks for the tips Sarah. Interesting re' the battery life.

I know some people who complain a lot about it with the iphone and others who praise it, and I know some of it relates to the Apple updates too.


I can get a good condition unlocked 16gb 3gs for about £250-275 on ebay. My HD2 is less than mint so I'd expect maybe £170 or so for it so the difference between the two is something I'm quite happy to pay for a smoother user experience.


The network locks vary from AT&T on a lot of the iPhone4 models (I think that's a US network so not sure what the implications are of that), to O2, Orange, and Vodafone on others.


Will an O2 locked phone work fine on either network here? Think I had a Nokia in the past that was O2 and worked fine but can't quite recall.

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Just a word of warning Cret the battery life on the iphones is stupid. You will end up charging it at every moment if you use it regularly.


From what i remember its a standard charge the O2 do for unlocked iphones. Who are the iphones on ebay locked too?


I really wouldnt bother with a 3gs cret, id keep the htc over it, you will still be looking at 200-300 for a 3gs, I sold a 3g on ebay about 2 mths ago and it went for just over £200. this was a 3 year old battered phone, that had just had a screen replaced!

On average I get 2 days standby and 9 hours usage (90% wifi) from my iPhone 4 and iirc around 1 day standby and 6 hours usage from my old 3GS, I would personally recommend a 3GS to anyone who hasn't previously had an iPhone as the improvements on the 3G are worth the slightly higher price and it's a nice middle ground (I wouldnt be too disappointed to go back to a 3GS from a 4)


iPhones hold their value exceptionally well if you look after them, I bought my mint 3G with warranty (unlocked 8GB) for £200 which I sold on after 3-4 months losing only £20, I then purchased a HTC Hero but wasn't won over by android although the phone itself was fantastic, my 3GS (unlocked 16GB) was again mint with warranty for £280 which I sold on after 4-5 months for a profit of £20 and now have my (again mint with warranty) 4 which was £400 (unlocked 16GB).


You could easily buy an iPhone and give it a good try out for a while before selling it on if you don't like it, with iPhones the warranty is connected the phone itself (from date of activation) and can be easily checked online and aslong as it hasn't run out you have the option to extend it for a further 12 months at any point.


eBay is in world of it's own in terms of prices, I'll shoot you a PM with a link to where I get my phones so you can have a quick look, if anything it will give you a better idea of what you should be paying.

Edited by Virtual_Boy
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You seem sold on the hardware, so nothing to talk about there.


The two questions I’m seeing is 1)unlocking. This is possible see the Dev Team. I haven’t done this in a while so I’m not well versed on the problem fastie described above. Perhaps you might need to research a little. Something you might want to look for is a unit that was purchased from Apple directly, these came ‘unlocked’ by default.


And 2) Outlook. This also works by default. Work fine with my work Outlook, Gmail and (obviously) MobileMe accounts.



One thing to consider, as you mentioned, is that a new model is expected in June. At that point Apple will drop the price for the 4, but you will also see an increase to the amount of second hand units hit the market prior to this as people sell theirs on in anticipation of a new one.

Edited by theycallmesteve
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Thanks chaps.


Am seriously considering a used 32gb 3GS now as I can get an unlocked one for say £275 and get about £200 for the HD2 so that's not much extra to pay for a 'trial' one before potentially in future swapping to an iphone4 when prices drop a bit and/or my contract is up. Seems the most sensible and almost the least costly option (aside from keeping the HD2).


Found all these sites instantly re' unlocking iphone4 (and others), cheapest of which was about £18.

They look reasonably convincing, and claim to work for any iphone model, some stating you pay for a 'lifetime unlock' (presume that's if the phone re-locks again with a software update?). The URL names suggest they're perhaps legit sites rather than shady fly by night ones that I'd expect to have URLs to match, but who knows. Anyone know if these sort of places are ok to use or not?


http://www.iphoneunlocking.org.uk/ - $25 paypal

http://www.iphoneunlockuk.com/ - £20

http://www.iphoneunlocking.co.uk/ - £20

http://www.3gsunlock.co.uk/ - £18 paypal


And a claimed free one but I've not looked into that yet to see if it b0llocks:



Appreciate all the advice. Almost settled now though on the idea of 32gb unlocked 3GS because of the minimal cash outlay. :)

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prob the best you can do if you want minimal cash outlay cret, I myself wont be going back to the iphone, due to lack of battery power.


The iphone4 is a bit of an upgrade from the 3gs but if you have the latest OS system you prob wont notice much difference on day to day emails etc.


Photos are crap on them, so dont be expecting great pics like u do on dslr! lol

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