iPhone 3G One Week Anniversary Interview

Approximately one week ago, Apple’s revolutionary iPhone 3G went on sale in Canada at 8:00AM at the six Rogers Plus locations in Canada. Yours truly, along with hundreds of others flocked like sheep to wait in line for the iPhone 3G. What changed my mind (and a lot of others as well I’m presuming) was the announcement of the 6GB for $30 data plan. Maybe creating a hissy fit online really does wonders, eh?

Yours truly waited in line at 5:45am last Friday. You think that’s early? How about waiting in line starting at 4:30pm the Thursday night before? Yep, one insane person did that at the Rogers location on Arbutus/Broadway. That person is none other than 23 year old David “Knuckles Dawson” Dreger, who answered a few questions I asked him about the whole ordeal (aka waiting for HOURS to get an iPhone). We’re going to re-live last week through the eyes of the first person to get an iPhone 3G in British Columbia. The following interview is just as long the time it took to wait in line. Enjoy!

Interview with David “Knuckles Dawson” Dreger…

iPhone Fan (iPhoneF): When did you decide that you were going to line up for an iPhone 3G?
David Dreger (DD): I was planning on lining up in the back of my mind when Steve Jobs announced the July 11th date and Canada was on board. That being said I seriously was looking at my options at the tail end of June, and even convinced a friend of mine to join me (he ended up 4th), and then when they announced the 8:00 AM lunch with “breakfast”, I was felt that it was my best bet to get my hands on a 16 White iPhone.

iPhoneF: What time did you show up? What did you bring with you?
DD: I showed up around 4:30 PM Thursday, which was the same time as Trevor Wick, so we more or less tied for first. Great minds think alike, right? In fact, he knew who I was off of the iPhone in Canada forums because I mentioned showing up that afternoon and he wanted to see if I was there, and I was. I brought my laptop, girlfriend (who stayed the whole time just to spend time with me), Nintendo DS, and two foldable lawn chairs and dressed warm.

iPhoneF: What was the hardest part of waiting for that long? The easiest part?
DD: The hardest part of waiting in line is eventually getting bored. Fortunately for us, the first 6 or so people in line turned out to be really cool people. That and we kept the whole thing casual. People could come and go as they pleased for bathroom breaks or coffee runs and no one was gonna be a jerk about placement. In fact, the first bunch of us sorta had a semi circle of seats that really didn’t pertain to order at all, but for socializing. So in that way, the easiest thing is making new friends who have the same passion and anticipation as you do for what you’re waiting for, so there’s that instant bond/connection.

iPhoneF: How did you pass the time while in line?
DD: This wasn’t my first time to the launch line up rodeo, if you catch my drift. I’ve done hardware midnight/overnight launches with the Xbox 360, and Wii, and have attended software ones like Halo 2, Halo 3 and GTA IV, so I knew what to expect. One thing I try to do is make sure everyone else is enjoying themselves, so around 10:30 I ordered a couple large Boston Pizzas to the line and shared slices with everyone who was waiting. Also, a couple friends of mine and Dominic (my friend in 4th) came by and hung out with us till 2 AM, so that helped keep everything social and whatnot. Also, media outlets came by throughout the night to interview the first person in line and I was more than happy to oblige. I knew my stuff about the iPhone and was very capable about talking plans, pricing, and features without missing a beat.

iPhoneF: What was the delay in getting your iPhone 3G once you got in store?
DD: Well, at roughly 5 AM Pacific, the East Coast was getting their hands on the iPhone and was doing their activation and unbricking. At 6, Central joined in, and 7, Mountain. So by the time 8 AM rolled around here, we had the rest of the country clogging the servers with their requests. People doing HUPs had to get to Customer Relations and the hold time was at least 40 minutes. I was a new activation and had the forethought to create my account the previous night, so I was the first to get to the unbricking station. My phone was activated and had a number assigned to it, but wasn’t going to be usable until the stripped down Activation/Unbricking version of iTunes Rogers had done it’s job. It was failing on the unbricking. So after 45 minutes of trying to get it to unbrick instore so I could walk out with a working iPhone, I decided to take the bricked one and face the media, who was eagerly awaiting to speak with the first person in BC to have an iPhone 3G, bricked or otherwise. After telling them the situation, I had to hang out at the store for another two hours because Dominic still had to get his phone set up. He was getting an upgrade to his 4 year old phone on a business account, which was a huge hassle. Thankfully, we eventually got everything settled with him and he too walked out with (bricked) White iPhone 3G. Turns out they only had 8-9 of those of their initial stock, so I feel like my lining up was justified.

iPhoneF: Are you a big fan of Rogers? Yes/No–Why?
DD: Well, Rogers initial plan announcements really really sucked. For me though, I would be able to cope because I’m surrounded by Wi-Fi at work and at home, so I could probably get away with 400/MB of cellular usage with little to no overages if I was careful. I still signed the petition, and was glad to see it get press recognition, which led to the 6GB/$30/month add on, which is virtually unlimited and no matter how much cellular data usage I won’t reach that cap, so that’s good. I also like free incoming texts. Still on the other other other hand, I have a second phone that I couldn’t upgrade because I renewed my contract last August before PAX. So I have to eat an ECF from that, but in the long run my iPhone unlocks outweigh it, so I’m still in the green if you don’t count the phone purchase. The inability to get a HUP 41 days early when I’ve been using that phone number with Rogers since 2002 is kind of ridiculous. So in the long run I’m an Apple fan through and through, and begrudgingly use Rogers to get the full features of the iPhone.

iPhoneF: What are your initial reviews of the iPhone 3G? What model did you get?
DD: I got a White 16 GB. The iPhone itself is really nice, I’m getting a couple app crashes where it goes straight to home when I’m in the middle of typing/browsing. Some of the free Apps aren’t without their problems.

For example, the Facebook app doesn’t have access to any profile Walls, but the iphone.facebook.com web app does, so you kinda have to juggle them. While the app does have the realtime chat to online friends, you can’t close conversations, and it doesn’t have individual text boxes like AIM, so if you type a long message to one friend, don’t send and check another, the text will still be there and you could accidentally send the message to the wrong person without knowing it. Also, no way of accepting friend requests.

Twitterrific is sleek, and has pay or free versions. The free version has ads, and a built in web browser (that also has a portal to Safari), but you can’t view friends feeds, your replies, PMs, or choose to follow people, so you’d either use twitterforiphone.com or just twitter.com to complement it (either as it’s own bookmarked button or in the portait only built in browser).

AIM is solid except for it forgetting conversations completely or partially when you swap apps to do something else. You also can’t select a silent mode for IMs, so it always has that noise. It also sometimes gets “offline” messages so I’ll need to do some testing to see how functional that is, but you can send SMS from it, so that’s a work around for low text message plans. Still I feel that those should get updated with tweaks to keep customers happy, especially when Devs get their hands on servers with Push notifications in the coming months.

Speaking of Push, I also subscribed to the 60 day trial of MobileMe, and while I’m not using the email, I am enjoying the push contacts and calendars on the web, my iPhone and their respective native apps. If I can find a way to have my primary email address sync up with the @me one, that will save me the hassle of migrating.

Maps are nice, I got GPS working in a car moving at about 110 kmh down the highway, and it was tracking moderately well, with some slight accuracy issues, but I suspect it will be great for when I’m biking around town.

All in all it’s a pretty nice package, and I feel I make use of the majority of its features.

iPhoneF: Awesome interview, DD!
DD: Thanks for your time.

So there you have it, an inside look into the experience of the first person in line at 4:30pm the day before the iPhone 3G launch. DD was unfairly labeled “knife guy” as bystanders watched him take a boxcutter to his iPhone–but that was to leave the clear plastic intact while gaining access to the iPhone’s USB port.

How did your iPhone 3G hunt go? I know the concensus out there is that there were mixed feelings about the iPhone 3G launch by Rogers. Share your thoughts in the comments!

My iPhone 3G Battery Issue

One week later with my iPhone 3G, and I am pretty happy with it. Although I am having some harsh battery life issues, which I find are beyond normal. Lately I’ve unplugged the iPhone from a full charge starting at 9:00am in the morning. After some light surfing on WiFi, texting, and sending emails, by the time 2:30-:3:00pm rolled around I would be getting the 20% low battery warning. My usage was only about 3 hours and my battery would be on the cusp of death. Bluetooth was turned off the entire time and brightness was set at about 40%.

At first I thought this was normal but after talking to my friend who has had some spectacular battery life, I realized it was just me. He managed to get at least 14 hours of standby time coupled with over 5 hours of usage, while still having about 1/3 of his battery left. Take a look at the screenshot he sent me:

So I decided to call the Rogers iPhone 3G support line. After some back and forth about whether or not my battery life was “normal”, we agreed that we would test it again with a brand new unit. The rep told me he was sending me another 8GB model in the mail. So once I get this new unit all charged, synced, and ready to go I’ll get right back to you guys with my findings.

Anyone else with battery issues? Post your battery standby/usage times in the comments. It’d be interesting to see what other people are able to get out of their battery…

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