AT&T have announced a drop in the price of the 8GB iPhone 3GS. Starting today, users can get hold of a new iPhone 3GS at a price of $49. That is just half of the original price of $99. The new iPhone 3GS price shall be applicable on all units purchased off the online channel as well as on the AT&T and third party retail outlets across United States. Of course, as you may have guessed, this new price comes with the caveat that users must sign up for a new two year contract with Ma Bell.
The timing of this announcement is interesting considering that AT&T normally announces a drop in iPhone prices just a week or two ahead of new iPhone launches. It is possible that this move is being made ahead of the iPhone’s launch on Verizon that is speculated to happen in under a few weeks from now.
Still undecided about what smartphone to go for this shopping season? How about an iPhone 4? Sam’s Club, it is learned, is offering brand new iPhone 4 units to customers at a price of $147. If you are looking for something cheaper than that, you could also check out the iPhone 3GS at $47. Of course, these prices come with usual caveats about signing a two year contract with AT&T.
Sam’s Club – a members-only retail chain in the United States operated by Wal-Mart – announced their foray into the iPhone segment few weeks back. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS units have until now been sold at the retail price of $199 and $99 respectively. The $52 cut in price is sure to get a lot of customers who are yet to finalize their Christmas purchases interested.
What about you? Are you buying one as well?
A long running thread on the Apple support forums has had a number of iPhone users complain over the months that their iPhone, primarily the 3GS, has been turning off randomly despite the fact that their battery is sufficiently powered. Some users seemed to have experienced this issue even when the battery was loaded by more than 90%.
The initial suspects for the problem was the iOS. Users complained that they started seeing the problem soon after upgrading to one of the several recently released versions. However, as some of them are now beginning to conclude, the issue could be due to a batch of bad batteries that may be causing the problem. Users who have got the batteries on their iPhone replaced have noticed immediate improvement.
If you are one of the affected users, you may approach your nearest Apple Store for a battery replacement. Of course, if you don’t care much about warranties and want to replace the batteries yourself, you can click here and here to purchase replacement batteries for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 respectively.
If you are in the United States, here is some good news. Best Buy shall reportedly be offering free iPhone 3GS units to customers on December 10. The offer shall be valid for all customers looking to buy a new AT&T connection, or add an additional line or go for a qualified upgrade.
Unfortunately, this deal is valid only for a day, it seems. Here is what folks at BGR got to say,
“Best Buy will be offering up Apple’s iPhone 3GS for free for one day only, this Friday the 10th. This offer is valid to both new lines, additional lines, and also qualified upgrades. We have been told that all stores have inventory levels to support the promotion, and it’s an instant rebate type deal.”
You will still be signing up for the two year contract and so it is not technically free altogether. Nevertheless, this deal is sweet and if you are looking to buy a new smartphone, go for it right away.
If you are one of those iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS users who have been experiencing problems with GPS signal connectivity since unlocking your iDevice with the latest version of RedSn0w or PwnageTool, then some fix to the problem may be coming soon.
Folks at the iPhone Dev Team have indicated that they have been working on a solution that will let these iPhone 3G and 3GS users to downgrade their iPhone baseband from the new 06.15.00 back to 05.15.04. While there is no clear indication on how this works, we do assume that the baseband downgrade will still keep these iPhones unlocked.
You may recall that the latest iPhone unlock solution works by upgrading the baseband of the iPhones to the original iPad firmware that was seen to be vulnerable to an exploit. Now if the baseband is downgraded, there is also a likelihood for the phone to get locked back.
There is no clarity on this as yet. We will get you some more info when we get it.
American retailer Radio Shack has announced a limited time promotion for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS units that will bring these units to customers at a discount of $50. The promotion begins on December 4 and shall run through the week till December 11. The deal is only applicable on new units and not on the refurbished phones and in case it wasn’t obvious enough – you need to sign up for a new two year contract to be eligible for the deal.
The offer details are not over yet. There are more attractive offerings to be had if you already own an iPhone 3G or 3GS unit. Radio Shack has launched a new “Trade and Save” offer that will credit you with $75 and $125 respectively when you trade in one of these devices in return for a new purchase. That means, if you trade in an iPhone 3GS, you can buy a new 16GB iPhone 4 for as low as $24.99 while the 32GB variant will cost you $124.99.
Of course, it goes without saying that these devices that are traded in need to be in working condition and cannot act like bricks.
If you are an iPhone 3G/3GS owner who has just updated to the new iOS 4.2.1 platform, you may have been disappointed to see that the free Find My iPhone feature is not available on your model – by default, that is. Apple has always been known to push the sale of its newer handsets by making certain attractive features unavailable on the older models. This time however, they have simply chosen to make it a much more cumbersome process.
So technically, it is possible to set up the Find My iPhone feature on your phone provided the service is available in your country. This is how you will do it.
II : If you don’t have a MobileMe account yet, launch the application and create a new MobileMe account.
III : Now go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add a MobileMe account and enter your MobileMe login credentials
IV : Turn the Find My iPhone on the MobileMe account on
V : Launch the recently downloaded application once again and enter your MobileMe account details
VI : Now get hold of your older iPhone or iPod Touch model and download the Find My iPhone app once again from the App Store
VII : Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add a MobileMe account and enter your MobileMe login credentials
VIII : Launch the downloaded application and enter the MobileMe login account to set up the functionality
IX : If the newer iPhone/iPad model is not yours, disable the MobileMe account from Settings and delete the application.
You are done. You can now track your iPhone or iPod Touch anytime it gets lost.
We have been hearing from the iPhone Dev team that the UltraSn0w unlock for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS users should be out by this weekend. Earlier this week, we had speculated that this solution could be released as early as Friday – that’s tomorrow. Now, jailbreaker MuscleNerd has confirmed that the development work is indeed on track and the unlock should be released by the weekend. But unlike our earlier speculation, the release could take until Sunday. In a tweet, he posted,
“Good progress today…everything is on track for updated ultrasn0w by Sunday/Funday at the latest (longer for iPhone4!)”
That is still not a long time to wait and we look forward to its release. But if you are an iPhone 4 user, you may not be amused at all. But that was quite expected all along, wasn’t it?
The latest iPhone 4 may offer you a lot of features that are not available on the older iPhone models. But if there is one area where owning an older iPhone can be a blessing, it is with respect to jailbreaking and unlocking. Yesterday, we wrote about the RedSn0w untethered jailbreak solution already available for iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS users. While iPhone 4 users too shall be able to jailbreak their iDevices soon, it is still a tethered solution which is not exactly ideal.
Now popular jailbreaker, MuscleNerd, has revealed that a new UltraSn0w unlock for iPhone 3G/3GS should be out as early as by the end of this week. In a tweet, he wrote,
“now that redsn0w is out, can focus back on the unlock. The 3G/3GS version should be out this week. i4 will be longer.”
Yet again, if you own an older iPhone, the unlock should be out soon. If you are an iPhone 4 user, good luck with waiting for some more time till your phone becomes capable once again.
There is some good news if you are the owner of one of the older iDevices like the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch 2G or iPhone 3GS (running the older bootrom). The iPhone Dev Team has noted that iOS 4.2.1 jailbreak for these devices is already ready for download.
This is thanks to the updated RedSn0w 0.9.6b3 that was released last week to jailbreak the GM build of the iOS. The Dev team says that the recently launched iOS 4.2.1 is primarily a public version of the GM build and so the same RedSn0w tool should work on these devices as well.
A word of note if you are also looking to unlock your devices. A new updated version of Ultrasn0w that will work on these devices (with the older bootrom) is expected to be released later this week. So unless you have an iPhone 4 or a 3GS with new bootrom, your device should be good to use by the end of this week.