Guess I won’t be needing both of these now, will I?


16 gig for USD499 + 8% taxes + $30 shipping, and a horrifically long wait for shipping by the US Postal Service (damn you for your slowness! And your catchy tunes!). Pretty reasonable price, especially with the hilariously weak USD (the dwindling value of my USD investments mean nothing compared to having an iPhone). Also surprisingly easy to unlock — one click, four minutes, bliss! See here.

Reviewers have said plenty about the phone proper, but I figure there’s no harm adding a bit to the great online blogovoid-of-crap about using an iPhone in Singapore from a heavy data user’s* point of view. Data settings for M1 were reasonably easy to find on Google — Settings, General, Network, EDGE; APN sunsurf, username 65, password user123. Pretty standard.

First slight annoyance after syncing with my Mac address book — the phone either didn’t recognise callers or SMS senders, depending on whether they had the +65 country code prefix in front. Callers were recognised if they didn’t have +65 in front; SMS senders were recognised only if they did. My Nokia used to deal with both fine. I toyed with the idea of adding both versions to my contact list, but was alerted to the presence of Installer application AppSupport, which fixed the problem. I also had to make some changes to the country list to reduce lag — there’s some pretty good documentation at iClarified.

The mobile web experience on GPRS is, needless to say, two giant bucketloads slower than on my Nokia 3G phone. However, the Nokia used to take nearly half a minute just to start up (start Opera Mini, wait 10 seconds; enter address, wait for phone to “scan available networks”, wait 5 seconds; choose the same bloody connection I always use why do you even bother asking and wait for it to connect, wait 5-10 seconds for “Connecting…” dialog; wait for data), so I’m glad to have the iPhone’s seamless experience for getting online (start Safari, wait 1 second; enter address, wait an admittedly long amount of time for data).

Having it able to check my mail every 30 minutes, regardless of Wi-Fi availability, is also nice, and the battery lasts decently long with this setup. The Nokia could do that with the Gmail Java app, but would lose half its battery life within 4 hours of being online. The iPhone does eat data like nobody’s business (1 meg a day if I leave it alone, obviously plenty more if I surf the web), but at least it’s making good use of my M1 1 gig data plan ($22).

After five days of use, I’m satisfied. How could I not be? I’m one of those raving Apple apologists, after all. Hopefully SingTel comes up with something better in September.

* Nearly 100 megs a month, or one-tenth of a ton, depending on how you read that.