I noticed last week it wasn’t charging or syncing over USB. I performed all the usual tests to trap the problem–swapped cables, swapped ports on the Mac and on my USB hubs, swapped ports on my Ubuntu box–nada.
I was really freaking out, as the battery faded, but luckily, I can still charge it with the AC adapter, if I jiggle the connection just right.
Not a good thing because behavior like this almost always spells the end of a gadget. An hour, mostly waiting, at the local Genius Bar, confirmed my suspicions; water damage, the Genius said, was corroding the port.
Crap. I’ve never dropped my iPhone in water. However, it does rain here in Portland sometimes, and I do talk on the phone in the rain. Still, the port is at the bottom of the phone, making it tough for gravity to put rain in there.
So, it looks like I’m going to need to replace it. I can limp along for a while, but eventually, I’ll need to sync my calendar and iPhone OS updates from iTunes. Bummer.
Usually, I’d feel guiltless joy at the “need” to replace a gadget with a newer one because I love those shiny objects.
And I’m out of contract with AT&T.
Before we go on here, I should clarify that I’m sticking with the iPhone, despite the numerous Android phones out there; I’m too attached to it, and the iPhone envy would consume me. I have love for Android, and the Nexus One looks awesome.
But I just can’t do it.
And no, I won’t consider a Palm or Windows device.
So, now I’m in a quandary with several options, and I’m looking for some good old crowdsourcing to help me suss out all the arguments.
The following are the choices I’m considering.
- Buy a used OG iPhone and just swap my SIM card.
- Buy a used or new third party (i.e. not AT&T) 3G iPhone and upgrade to the 3G plan.
- Buy a new 3G iPhone from AT&T, upgrade to the 3G plan and get into another two-year contract.
I’m not considering a 3GS because I don’t really need video, and I’m pretty sure it will soon be out-dated. More on that in a minute.
Used OG iPhone
This is the easiest solution; all I need to do is locate a used OG iPhone and swap my SIM card. No change to my current plan, no new contract. No fuss, no mess.
Thanks to Twitter, I’ve already found a friend here in Portland willing to trade/sell me his old OG iPhone.
The only cons here is that it’s not a new shiny object, and it’s slower, both the device and the network.
This is the practical solution, but also the boring one.
Used/Third Party 3G iPhone
This solution allows me to get a new device on a faster network, and stay out of a new contract with AT&T.
The 3G data plan costs $10 more each month, plus $5 a month to get 200 text messages. So, my monthly outlay would go up $15, not terrible.
Thanks again to Twitter, John (@jpiwowar) has let me know he would sell me his used 3G at a very fair price. Even if John comes to his senses, I’m confident I could find a 3G at a decent price on Craigslist or through Twitter.
I’d also need to get a new hard shell case for it, since the OG accessories don’t fit the 3G phones properly. Not a big deal.
This plan is a nice combination of practical and shiny.
New 3G iPhone from AT&T
Finally, I could just buy a new 3G from AT&T for $99 and sign a two-year contract. The plan would still cost me $15 more each month, but the equipment would be cheaper. Oh, and I’d still need a new hard shell case for it.
I guess I’m least excited about this plan because it means a new contract with AT&T.
Apple is rumored to be updating the iPhone this June, which seems pretty solid, since they’ve done that two years running. Today, I saw the latest rumor that hints an update might come sooner to answer the wave of Android devices swarming the market.
This affects my decision by further burying the 3GS. I’m not about to pay full freight again, only to have a new model out-mode me within months.
I suppose I could wait, but I’m pretty sure I’ll need to sync before Apple gets around to announcing a new iPhone.
There are also rumors swirling that AT&T and Apple will be ending their exclusive agreement this year, bolstered by AT&T’s recent announcement that Android and Palm WebOS devices will soon be coming to their network.
I’m not sure how that would impact my decision, but it makes me less likely to sign a contract with AT&T. Will other networks may be offering deals to bring iPhone users to their networks? Seems risky, but possible.
The bottom line is, I just don’t know.
Find the comments and add your thoughts. Help me decide.