My 18 hours without an iPhone

My 18 hours without an iPhone

Summary: The 18 hours I spent without my iPhone over the weekend were some of the most annoying in my Gen Y life.

TOPICS: Apple, iPhone, Telcos, Optus

The 18 hours I spent without my iPhone over the weekend were some of the most annoying in my Gen Y life.

My dear TARDIS (named after the method of transport used by The Doctor) iPhone 3GS dropped to the ground on a quiet street in Stanmore on Saturday, and refused to turn back on. I was on my way to a friend's house and my first instinct was to text or tweet him that I would be delayed. No can do.

After grieving for a moment and resolving that phone wasn't going to work for me, I went to my friend's house. Later that night when I went to catch a train, I thought I'd check the train times. But no TripView app. How would I know how long I would have to wait unless I wandered over to the station?

I decided to get a cab, before remembering that I didn't know how much money I had in my account. Normally I would check by logging into my online banking account through my bank's app but that was a no go and there was no ATM nearby, so I took a chance. Thankfully I was alright.

Back in front of my computer at home, and with an internet connection, the first way I let most of my friends and family know that I was utterly phoneless was through social media. I announced the death of TARDIS on Twitter and Facebook and encouraged people to get in contact with me that way. Considering I have no home phone, getting in touch with me would have been difficult otherwise.

There was no alarm to wake me up the next day for my trip to the gym. I normally book my gym classes through the Virgin Active app, I couldn't do that either.

Despite these hurdles, by mid-morning I was almost used to not having the phone. The disconnect from having mobile broadband at my fingertips everywhere I went was almost a calming experience. Until I had to visit a friend.

For the first time in a year, I had to write an address down because I didn't have Google Maps on hand to check whether I was going to the right place. That was the point I realised my dependency on the device was far greater than I could cope with.

Thankfully said friend loaned me his old iPhone 3GS, so the experience was relatively short lived, and thanks to backing up my iPhone in iTunes, TARDIS is reborn — sort of.

I now have a 10 to 12 business day wait until Optus' insurance company can let me know if they can resurrect TARDIS or if it will be replaced with a shiny new iPhone 4.

I'm aware this would all fall under the hashtag of "firstworldproblems" on Twitter but considering I've only been a smartphone user for just over 12 months, my dependency on this technology is relatively frightening to me. Telstra CTO Dr Hugh Bradlow is right, smartphones will eventually replace my keys and wallet, I just hope future smartphones are more resilient to being dropped by their clumsy owners.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Telcos, Optus


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Try Windows Phone 7 with your next mobile phone and you'll never look back.
    Seriously this is the phone for Gen Y
  • I think that society in general these days is becoming far to reliant on this type of technology without really thinking through what they would do if it suddenly becomes unavailable. Natural disasters, workers strikes, and now even viruses or DOS attacks for example can have a major impact on the operation of telecommunications or electricity supplies which we all rely on every day. Forget your iphone, even simple things such as buying food may not be possible if telecommunications are down and you cannot access cash from a ATM!
  • The Apple equation:
    iPhone model (right,1) in (2,3)
    1 x iPhone + >8 months = problems
    2 x iPhones + >8 months = solution
    1 x iPhone 1 month = problem
    2 x iPhone 1 month = problem
    3 x iPhone 1 month = problem
    4 x iPhone 1 month = problem
    5 x iPhone 1 month = problem
  • Yes a good old solar storm could consign much of this technology inoperative
    Blank Look
  • @HubiVedder - Are you a microsoft shrill? Exactly what has Windows 7 phone got to do with this story? This story is about going back to not using phones at all, and interracting with society the same way we have done for 2 million years.

    Oh - and by all accounts Windows7 "me too" phone has bombed in the US.
  • One word.... Android.
  • I read a review recently where the group of smatphones being tested were subjected to a "drop" test.
    The iPhone 4 was found to be the most fragile and failed the drop test miserably.
    The others passed with varying degress of damage, but all still working.
    So, if you must have an iPhone then invest in a case with very good shock absorbing quailites.
    The others smartphones, running Android and Windows etc are better but there is a lot of room for improvement in durability. Then again, poor durbaility = built-in obsolescence = sell more devices.
    I like the ones made with a single piece of aluminium like the HTC Desire HD and the old HTC Legend but I wouldn't use any of them without some sort of shock absorbing case.
  • Regardless of what type of phone you like or hate, it shows that these devices are much more than just a phone. The fact that they are so popular proves that the UI is a much simpler and enjoyable experience. Most phones had these same functions years ago but were hardly used by the masses because of the difficulty to find that menu.
    It also amazes me that two companies that never made a phone until four years ago can claim so much of the market from the previous dominant players.
    Would I say I can't live without my iPhone, HELL NO but it does make life much easier on the move.