Why You Should Never Buy An Unlocked iPhone!
“I have an iPhone, what about you?”
iPhones…. The great revolution in mobile phones. Many of us would love to have one. Who doesn’t want a phone that has a large touch screen that works properly and easily (compared to their stylus-based touch screen compadres)?
If you happen to be living in the USA, it’s really easy to get one if you can manage to live with the pricey AT&T mobile contract that all iPhones are currently bound to officially. If you don't already know, all Apple iPhones are locked to AT&T networks only.
Then Came… Unlocked iPhones
Due to its exclusivity and of course, its technological marvels, many people have tried to disable this network lock and make the iPhone usable on all mobile networks. Many have succeeded, allowing iPhone fans to use them without subscribing to the AT&T network.
Now, the question is not whether you have unlocked iPhones available at an unauthorized store or dealer near you (because you probably do); but really about whether buying an unlocked iPhone is worth it?
iPhone’s Greatest Strength & Weakness
The iPhone craze took the world by storm not because of its name, its brand, nor its raw functionality. It derived its phenomenal success from the glorious user interface built on its ground-breaking multi-touch screen technology. This interface allowed pure finger movements to access the iPhones functions with extremely cool animations and user friendliness. Basically, it signaled the new era in touch-screen technology.
As good as it may sound so far, the iPhone’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness.
For the uninformed, there was a report by an analyst from a financial services group, Nomura International. The end-2007 report prepared by Richard Windsor noted a severe structural integrity problem in the touch-screen technology used in the iPhone. His research pointed out that the technology was created by a Finnish firm, which had gone bankrupt and Apple bought over the rights to the technology.
The problem faced by the Finnish firm was that the technology had a serious degradation issue. Extensive use of the screen over about three to six months would cause the problem to exhibit itself as a loss of sensitivity in the touch screen. From what iPhone users have said, an iPhone screen afflicted with this problem will have one portion of it become completely unresponsive to any touch, and this problem is widely known among the iPhone community as the ‘dead strip’ problem as it usually affects a horizontal strip of the iPhone's touch screen.
Now, it has been many months since that report was published, and yet users are still complaining of such problems appearing on their iPhones. Sometimes the problem would occur much earlier, if they dropped or abused their iPhones. Some users have even tried to repair the problem by doing various software tweaks to the iPhone, like increasing the touch screen sensitivity, but to no avail. The hardware problem is so serious that there is just simply no way to repair it, except to completely replace the screen.
Even until today, the newly-released 16 GB iPhones have also been noted to suffer from this dead strip problem. Like the older iPhone models, more of its users have begun to be affected by it (note the estimated 3 to 6 months lifespan for the screen as mentioned earlier).
Apple stores are well-aware of this problem and have been giving customers a direct 1-to-1 exchange for any iPhone with a screen problem. As such, most customers have been very satisfied as they get a brand new iPhone to use, negating their worries over the problem with their previous iPhone, as long as their 1-year warranty still applies.
But what about unlocked iPhones???