My old iPhone 3GS died earlier this year and, knowing that it had been dropped a few too many times anyway, we got a new iPhone 4 (as did my Beautiful Wife, who was, at the time, still using a phone based on can-and-string technology).
I kept the old guy, though. The only problem was that it would no longer take and keep a charge, and I figured that if I could just replace the defective piece–which I assumed had been damaged after one drop too many–then it would be a great WiFi-only device. And besides: I’m a sentimental sort of sap, and I did like the little guy. As nice as the iPhone 4 is, the old one still feels better in my hand and we’d all grown pretty fond of phone we’d come to call “R2” so if it could be fixed on the cheap it would be worth it.
And “free” definitely qualifies as “on the cheap.”
The reason I had assumed there was something physically wrong with the phone was that I had done all I could do from a software perspective (while it was slowly dying and losing its charge) to prevent its demise, all to no avail. However, my Beautiful Wife recommended bringing it with us on a mall visit today to see if the Apple Store Genius Bar folks had any recommendations.
They took it in and tried to charge it like I had, and–comfortingly–they met with the same results. However, they decided to try replacing the software with the newest iOS version (how they did this without being able to charge the phone, I am not sure) and–TA DA!–it began holding a charge, again.
Now, I’ve got it fully charged and synced up, so that my family officially has more computing power than I ever thought I would own: two desktops (though one without a monitor), three laptops (two PCs and one MacBook), and three iPhones (two iPhone 4’s and one WiFi-only iPhone 3GS). If I could go back in time and tell junior-high-school me that this would be the case, junior-high-school me would probably faint. Of course, junior-high-school me lacked a great deal of perspective that mortgage-paying me now has…
The next decision: With a “bonus” iPhone to play with, should I jailbreak it? I’ve been tempted to do so in the past, and–as I understand it–jailbreaking an iPhone is not illegal (if so, then it’s a no no! — see Romans 13:1!) and the phone can always be “un-jailbroken” by restoring it to defaults. I would love to see what apps are out there in Cydia. Any comments or recommendations?
And it all might be moot, anyway. The Apple Store Genius suggested that I keep an eye on it to see if the battery life lasts. If not, a fix (new battery) would clearly be an unjustifiable expense. But if it does, it will be nice to see R2 enjoying a second chance.