One of the “hottest” gadgets on the market right now is Apple’s iPhone. The iPhone was initially introduced in the U.S. in the summer of 2007 but the list of countries that sells it right now has become pretty big. Here on Curacao you can also purchase an iPhone but keep in mind that they are the first generation iPhones and that they need to be unlocked before you can use it with your SIM card.
First generation iPhone
Most people, myself included have the first generation iPhone. This is the version that was originally released in 2007 and the internal storage capacity was either 4 GB or 8 GB. Apple later discontinued the 4 GB models and introduced 16 GB models on the market. The first generation iPhone supports GSM (the most popular standard for cellphones in the world at the moment) and EDGE data transmission.
The phone has internet capabilities, meaning that you can browse the web, check your e-mail and download applications for use with the iPhone. It can function as an iPod and you can obviously also use it to make phone calls, send text messages and take pictures using a 2 megapixel camera. The multi-touch screen is specially designed for use with your fingers and therefore a stylus or gloves will not work with an iPhone.
The iPhone runs on what Apple calls the iPhone Operating System and it’s based on Mac’s popular OSX Operating System. This means that you’ll surf with the Safari Browser, sync your music with iTunes on your pc or laptop, have Quicktime to view videos and have applications especially designed for use on the iPhone OS.
The phone also has Wi-Fi connectability, bluetooth 2.0 and a built-in, rechargable, unmovable battery. The battery will last for over 250 hours if just on stand by, but goes 8 hours when talking, 7 hours with video playback, 6 hours with internet surfing and 24 hours when playing back audio.
For a review of the first generation iPhone, please click here.
On July 11th 2008, Apple brought the iPhone “3G” on the market. The main difference between the two models is that the 3G version supports UMTS and HSPDA. The HSPDA allows for faster data transfer speeds, meaning that you can put your “3G chip” in the phone, and have much faster data transfers than with the normal GSM chips. It also means that you’re online wherever you are, all day long, unlike with the regular GSM chip, where you have to rely on finding a Wi-Fi signal.
Other improvements are better GPS capabilities, a somewhat increased battery life and the phone is also a bit lighter and looks a bit sleeker. There was also a lot of noise being made with the fact that the 3G was going to be sold at a substantially lower price than the original version. A first gen iPhone was selling for about $599 dollars when Apple announced that the 3G version would go for only $199.
But don’t be totally fooled. If you’re taking the phone with a contract (like they make you do in America), the price you pay over the overall length of the contract is higher than with the first generation model.
Jailbreaking and Unlocking
When you buy an iPhone in the United States, Apple basically wants to force you to take a contract with AT&T so that you can use the phone. But for the people that don’t want to take a contract with AT&T or that want to use their own SIM card, they will have to “unlock” their phone. When the phone is unlocked you can use it with a carrier that does not work with Apple
As for “Jailbreaking”, jailbreaking is basically the unlocking of the firmware to force the phone to allow 3rd party applications. The iPhone’s firmware gets replaced with a slightly modified version that does not check for Apple’s signature. This means that you can install more applications on the phone than the the ones offered by Apple’s App Store.
But, Jailbreaking comes with its risks. If something goes wrong during the process, you risk messing up your phone. And once the phone is Jailbroken, you must remember that updating the phone’s firmware will basically lock it back up. So think carefully before updating your phone’s firmware.
Using the iPhone on Curacao
To use the iPhone on Curacao, you obviously have to Jailbreak and unlock it. The first generation iPhones that are sold on the island are easily unlocked and you can use it with your SIM card with absolutely no problem.
As for the 3G iPhone, it has been unlocked already in the States but the entire process is a bit risky and does not look like the easiest thing to do. If you want a 3G iPhone in Curacao, we’d suggest to wait just a little until a easier, more stable Jailbreak process has been released.
* Update : For those wanting to know where to buy an iPhone 3G on Curacao, check out this post.
*2nd Update: Check out this post for more about the iPhone 3G, using the iPhone 3G in Curacao, APN settings, GPRS settings and using UTS’ 3G with the iPhone
Buying an iPhone 3GS in Curacao
Looking for an iPhone 3GS in Curacao? Check this post for more details…
* Update: L’Amiga Curacao is selling the 32GB iPhone 3GS unlocked. Check this post for more details.