I had gotten an iPhone 4 and was hoping to use it as sort of an all around electronics device on this trip, but the evil people at AT&T had locked it to their system. Luckily, the Chinese, being very good at this sort of thing, have found a way around it. I bought a new SIM card tray for 150 RMB ($22) from some guy working out of his apartment. Like many apartment buildings in Beijing, the paint was falling off the walls, not too clean, the lights in the halls were broken, and half the elevators didn’t work. Other parts of the world that would be somewhat sketchy and I might be hesitant venturing in, but in China, that is par for the course. Our office secretary had bought one of the same things from these guys so if she could get out of there alive, I thought I could as well.
The SIM card tray fools the phone into being unlocked through a hardware crack. Pretty nice. I can keep updating the operating system without being worried about it being locked up again. Not only that, but I got the ‘PRO’ version…whatever that means. But it must be better than the non-PRO versions.
I have thought it over more, and I will bring a normal camera too because the iPhone doesn’t have as good battery life. My regular camera takes AA batteries that last a long time and are easy to replace and carry extras that I can also use in my lights. I can buy a cheap Nokia phone for $20 that will have a battery life of a couple weeks. Now I am having doubts about the iPhone usefulness as an all around. But I can use it to read books, write email, and other things like that. Maybe get a data package for it if there is one prepay — knowing how backward the US is on mobile phones and options probably not.
Still very happy to have defeated AT&T’s evil ways.
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