Posts tagged “apple store”.


December 28th, 2012

Well, why not?

[via Ffffound!]

iPhone 3G goes boom

August 14th, 2009

iPhone shattered 2

The worst possible thing happened to me last Friday: I dropped my iPhone 3G and shattered the glass screen.

I say “worst possible” only because of the way I felt at the time. When I picked it up after dropping it on the tile floor at work, I nearly sobbed. It felt like my dog just died.

Friday’s incident wasn’t the first time I dropped my iPhone. Thankfully, each time before, I dropped it on its protective white case.

Last week, however, it landed like a piece of toast and jelly, business-side down.

I couldn’t tell whether the awful screeching sound was from the phone or from me, but I knew right away that something terrible just happened. Picking it up from the floor, turning it over to see the damage, I felt my face grow pale. Everyone has to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, I reasoned, even in non-combat situations.

This was it. My phone was doomed. It turned on, luckily. The touchscreen still worked. But now there was a horrible spider-web crack across the top half of the screen. It was more than damaged – it was shattered. I took it back to my work desk and just stared at it.

Then I did some research. I didn’t opt for the Apple Care plan, so I was on my own financially. The best I could do is take it to my nearest Apple Store and see what they could do. From everything I read online, the best option was to pay $200 and have the Apple Store mechanic replace the glass screen. iPhone 3GSs are nice, but my phone was fine, and I don’t qualify for an upgrade. Not yet.

The glass replacement is exactly what happened, but that’s only half the story.

I took it to the Ann Arbor Apple Store, at the Briarwood Mall, and explained my situation to the Geniuses. My option was exactly as I had figured: $200 for a new glass screen ($100 of that is just for labor). And it was a quick fix. I had my iPhone back in about 10 minutes. When the Genius gave it back, I clicked on the wake button, saw that the iPhone was alive and kicking, and headed out the door.

When I got home, however, I found that the home button on the phone wasn’t working. I would open an app, get done with it, and click the home button to return to the iPhone screen. But when I hit the home button, nothing happened.

Whatever happened between the Genius taking my old glass screen and replacing it with the new one was enough to make my iPhone malfunction. The home button wasn’t taking me home.

I placed a quick call back to the Apple Store. A representative, Mike, answered. When I started to explain my problem, he kept saying, “Hello? Is anyone there?” Then he hung up. Weird.

A second call yielded the same results. A rep named Cat answered, asked “Hello?” a few times, and hung up.

My mic, it seems, was busted too. In fact, everything from the the home button down was malfunctioning. I called the Apple Store on the home phone and set up an appointment for the next day – Saturday at 1 p.m.

I came back into the store, and the Genius that helped me the night before recognized me.

“Weren’t you just in here last night?” she asked.

“I was, now I’m back,” I said. “However you guys replaced the screen, it busted the home button and the microphone.”

The Genius tried connecting my iPhone with the USB cable, but it wouldn’t sync with iTunes. Even the USB port, it seems, was broken. The technician took my phone to the back, disappearing for a few minutes, and came back with good news:

“We’re going to give you a new phone.”

Hoo-ha. He switched my SIM card out of my old phone, popped it into the new phone, and kapow – I had a brand new iPhone 3G.

I took it back home and, after a few connection issues involving resetting the phone several times and a lot of cussing, synced all my apps and data back to my phone.

The whole process, from me shattering my iPhone’s screen to getting a new phone from Apple, was a lesson. Now I grip my phone a little tighter and treat it like a new parent treats their bundle of joy.

But I have to give credit to Apple. Sure, I paid $200 for a new glass screen, but they made the whole process as easy as possible – right down to recognizing that their technicians did something to break my first iPhone. They remedied that with a brand new phone, and it was the right thing to do.

11 Ways Newton is STILL better than iPhone

September 22nd, 2008

So you went to an Apple store, made your purchase, sold your soul to some wireless carrier, and now you have tons of free apps downloaded and your voicemail is all set up. You’re an iPhone 3G owner. What makes you so special? It might be that you don’t have an Apple Newton MessagePad to play around with.

Here are ten eleven reasons to sell your 3G and take up the ten-years-abandoned Newton platform for fun and recreation:

  1. It’s cheaper. The Newton MessagePad 1×0 series may cost you $15-30, while the 2×00 series might cost you $100-200. But that’s it. Except for wireless cards and the extra stylus, there’s no “plan” or “rate” to buy in to. You pay for it once. That’s it.
  2. The batteries last longer. Way longer. Like, weeks longer. I’ve noticed that my 3G iPhone can last up to two days with light usage, but in the end I still have to plug it in. My Newton 110? I’ve lasted a month on the same Sanyo Eneloop batteries. No color and no wifi help, of course, but the point still stands.
  3. You can fax. Faxing may be on its way out, or at least moving to the electronic world, but the MessagePad’s ability to fax – with the special modem – can be an advantage if (Steve forbid) wifi or cell towers ever went down. It could happen, and faxing lets you use the tried-and-true phone lines to do your communicating. Someone may release a faxing iPhone app, but in the meantime, your MessagePad has the market covered.
  4. No in-store activation required. No lines, either, and if you use eBay, it’s not as scarce as you think.
  5. It’s more rugged. Drop your iPhone and step on it. Now drop your MessagePad and step on it. Which would survive the fall and subsequent stomping? Place your bets.
  6. Newtons qualify as “underground.” Retro. Rare. Counter-culture. Whatever you want to call it, the Newton fills the “not-everyone-has-one-so-mine-is-cool” gap the iPhone 3G left behind. Before, the iPhone 1.0 was the rare species, eliciting looks and whispers when someone whipped one out. Now, Apple is selling tons of them. Which means, like the iPod, the “coolness” factor dips a bit. Not so with your MessagePad. You could probably count on one hand the number of people who own one in your 50-mile radius. Kids these days love their retro and throwback technology – what serves that purpose better than a Newton?
  7. It still has fun games on it. Every cell phone in the world has Tetris and chess and tic-tac-toe. So does your Newton. If your gaming style is “simple” over “Crash Bandicoot Racing,” keep your Newton around. Many games can be had for free.
  8. You’ll never have activation problems. Maybe an error message now and again. But nothing on the scale of the “iPocalypse.”
  9. You already have a system that works. Why switch now? If your MessagePad fits your GTD needs already, switching to the iPhone involves setting up a whole new system. I, for one, am still trying to decide on what flavor of to-do app I want to use on my 3G. Save yourself the hassle.
  10. No AT&T involved. This goes along with point one, but really – any situation where you can avoid giant nation-wide media and communication carriers is a chance to show your shutzpah. Those of us who settled on buying an iPhone are still grappling with the catatonic depression that goes along with signing up with AT&T. And the fact that we had to wait in long lines to do so only strengthens the insult. Do your own thing. Hold your Newton tight.
  11. Your Newton is a “project” device. This is what originally drew me to the MessagePad. Setting up wifi and Bluetooth, sending and receiving e-mails, playing around with third-party apps and games, even syncing with OS X – the Newton gives you weekend projects that satisfy your inner DIY’er. The iPhone? Too easy. Unless you’re an app developer or a jailbreaker – in which case, Mr. Jobs would like to have a word with you – the iPhone is a device of convenience and comfort. You don’t even need Apple’s permission to make applications for the Newton. All you need is knowledge of NewtonScript, an inner drive, and a mild case of masochism.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m loving my iPhone. Just the camera and the GPS are worth the madness that I lived through that Friday in July.

Anything I haven’t thought of? Have a different point of view? Let me know in the comments.

iTunes blocked by Great Firewall of China

August 20th, 2008

Remember last week when I found that collection of “Free Tibet” songs on iTunes? Turns out the Chinese found it, too.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the communist government of China is blocking iTunes and the Songs for Tibet collection. All after finding out some Olympic athletes were downloading the music.

Maybe they just don’t like Moby?

Anyway, those cryptic Chinese messages I found in the reviews section of the collection? Ars Technica found the translations, and they’re not very nice. Is this anyway to treat Apple after they decided to build a store in Beijing?

How sad. Here we were worried about the Olympic athletes choking on all the smog; in reality, they’re chocking on the authoritarian bullshit.

NewtVid: iPhone 3G launch in Ann Arbor

August 12th, 2008

It seems like forever ago now, but all the fun we had on iPhone 3G launch day comes back to me when I watch that video.

The “don’t-you-feel-bad” guys are T-Mobile reps, who had the bad luck of being stationed next to an Apple store at the Briarwood Mall. They had one customer the whole time I was there. T-Mobile shoppers were either too intimidated or too horrified at the gross consumerism to step foot at their home base.

Good times. Relive the madness of that weird day in July, a whole month ago, when I reported from the front lines.

3G Epilogue: pics from the day

July 11th, 2008

Made it home safe and sound, and finding out news about the server crashes have spread like wildfire. I helped break the news over at Macenstein, but I think everyone eventually got the message.

The iPhone 3G launch was a worldwide event. Something had to go wrong. It’s too bad that “something” was of this magnitude.

More… »

Ann Arbor Apple Store, 12:30, SUCCESS!

July 11th, 2008


At 12:25 this afternoon, I successfully purchased a white, 16 GB iPhone 3G from the Ann Arbor Apple store at the Briarwood Mall.

It’s official. The whole process took about 15 minutes. My “Specialist” said the networks were still being goofy, but I could take my iPhone home and activate it there “in a few hours.”

“AT&T has been fun to deal with today,” he said with a sly smile.

While I’m disappointed I can’t hop on the phone and start playing around, it’s almost better this way. At home, I can take my time and really absorb the thing.

Looking outside the store, the line is still incredibly long – and growing. Before, the line didn’t extend far beyond where I stood. But now the whole mall is full of people in line. It’s madness. Workers on their lunch break, hoping to whip into the store and make their purchase, may lose their job if they’re not careful.

The Apple rep outside the store gave me a “no comment” when I asked how supplies were holding up. My own specialist told me they had just a few of the white models left, so perhaps I lucked out. Whatever. After looking at their store model, I’m sure I made the right choice.

So now it’s past my lunch time, and after all the coffee and water I’ve had there are important matters to deal with. Then I hit the road back home, get everything set up, and life begins again. But this whole thing has been incredible. The people in line were amazing company, the Apple staff were courteous and helpful (if vague with their information), and the in-store setup couldn’t have been easier.

Over and out, for good, from Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor.

Noon. iPhone 3G: half the price, helluva wait.

July 11th, 2008

Almost noon now. Finally made it inside the store, but was getting nervous there for a while. More nervous for Apple employees than anything else (see above).

People keep coming into the front of the store expecting to just “shop.” One can’t feel sorry for these folks; who DOESN’T know iPhone 3G day is today? One lady came up to replace a printer, though, and they let her in and out – with a new box. They probably just wanted to get her out as soon as possible.

The line wait has been a boon in one way: people can read the labyrinthine AT&T disclosures on the brochure they’re handing out. Ann Arbor is a liberal town, and it’s hard to make sense of anything AT&T explains. How can one company, besides Microsoft, be so evil?

One two people in front of me. The lady behind me’s cut-off time was 2:30 p.m. “You’re halfway there,” I told her. California is just now coming on line. Will things get worse?

Ann Arbor Apple Store: 11:15 a.m. back in business.

July 11th, 2008

An Apple rep came out and said the servers are up, but it’s been “up and down” – he said this while giving the roller coaster motion with his hand.

Seems with MobileMe problems and now this, Apple has its hands full.

The line is moving, but super slowly. We haven’t moved in probably 10-15 minutes, but people are walking out of the store with phones again.

The nice lady next to me is off to grab a cookie. Meanwhile, my iBook’s battery is just about out, so more updates when I get into the store and can access an iMac.

Server down? Chaos to follow.

July 11th, 2008

QUICKER UPDATE: It’s 10:30. An Apple rep came out of the store and said they were having “technical difficulties,” and that their “corporate server” is down. I just hope this isn’t nation-wide.

Quick update: the Briarwood store’s servers have crashed, which is why the line hasn’t moved.

Jesus! Can they handle that kind of pressure. How long, O Lord, until the natives start smashing things? How much kicking can an iMac take?

A girl came out of the store with the news, and I can only hope for the best. She barely made it out alive.

Who will survive, and what will be left of them. Shit, two hours in a line for nothing can have adverse affects unless they start handing out rum rations, or more coffee.

More news as it develops.