Money talks especially when news of the economy tanking is constant. So, with this thinking in mind, I scuttled the idea of giving my 1st generation iPhone to my grandpa. It's dreadful to think of (1) the hassle and how long it would have taken to go into an AT&T store to swap his Nokia, invariably, AT&T will something screw up, it's just a question of how badly they do; and, (2) how much more adding a 2nd iPhone data plan would be. It just didn't make economic sense to get him an iPhone as the ability to change the user interface into traditional Chinese characters couldn't balance out the increased monthly bills from AT&T. I'll be on the look-out for a Chinese language cell phone, or ones with instruction books in Chinese at the very least.
The decision was sealed when I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the second market (not a gray market as the NYTimes calls it) price for a first generation 8-gig iPhone was $250 - well in excess of the $100 I had thought I could get. I underestimated how the first generation iPhone's unlockability made it much more valuable, well, at least until someone unlocks the 3G generation.
Freeiphoneswap.com had been running full-page newspaper ads and was featured on the NYTimes. Logon to Swap's site, enter your details, mail off your iPhone and wait for a check for $150, $250 or $350 depending on your iPhone's capacity. So, I logged on to their website, entered my details, got a FedEx label from them, affixed it to a padded envelope and mailed it off to Randomtown, New Jersey, a week ago and waited. During that time, my thoughts drifted towards the refrain: in tough economic times scammers become all the more aggressive...." But, this proved irrational as I now have a check in hand.
Sure Freeiphoneswap.com's name may seem confusing (there's no requirement you buy a new one) and while it's website has a certain fly-by-night feel, it appears to check out. I hope the check is worth the paper it's printed on and you bet I'll be cashing this one right away. And, whether it's actually valid legal tender supported by liquid funds remains to be seen as the check arrived in a handwritten envelope and was also handwritten itself. But Freeiphoneswap.com performed everything it promised within the timeframe it promised. Now, as for promises made and kept, Part 2 of this post considers the iPhone's battery life after 2.0...