I’m sending my iPhone 5 back to Apple for repair. It’s under warranty for another week so i decided to send it in while i still had the chance. The sleep / wake button isn’t working properly and needs to be pressed at a certain angle to function properly. Even then it can be a bit hit and miss…
I’ve never returned anything to Apple before so wasn’t familiar with the process. You can check your warranty status on the Apple website and if it hasn’t expired, you’ve the option of scheduling an appointment with a ‘genius’ at the Apple store or else posting the phone to Apple, free of charge. We don’t have an Apple store in Ireland (although there is one in Belfast), so i decided to post it away instead. Apple send you out a box & small booklet explaining what to do along with a pre-registered UPS bag. You put the phone in the box / bag, ring UPS (or schedule a collection online) and a delivery driver will call to your door to collect the package and take it away… fairly smooth but the downside is that you’ll be without your phone for a few days at least.
This doesn’t bother me as i’m happy to sacrifice a few days without my beloved iPhone if i can get it back working as new. The sleep / wake button issue is very common… so common that Apple just immediately hand out replacements without investigating. It’s common among the ‘launch’ batch of iPhone 5’s but seems to be less common in newer iPhone 5’s so presumably the manufacturing process changed and this was identified very early on. I’ve had this problem for months but had just gotten used to it hence the reason i didn’t send it back earlier. Knowing my warranty was ending shortly, i though i’d may as well get it fixed for free, especially since i know it’s a manufacturing flaw and not something i’ve done.
What worried me about sending the phone away for a few days though was that i wasn’t sure if my nano sim card would work in ‘normal’ phones i.e. phones that hold a full size sim card. Not being able to receive calls or texts at my normal number would have made life awkward. I can live without the apps and internet on my phone but if someone is trying to call me, i need to be able to answer.
Converting a nano sim to normal sim
Turns out, a nano sim card will work fine in most phones. It won’t fit properly, but provided the gold plated side of the nano sim makes contact with the phone’s in-built circuitry, it will work. In other words, a nano sim is just a normal sim with the plastic bits cut off it. You can see from the photo below that the nano sim doesn’t ‘fill’ the sim card slot in this phone, yet the phone still works as if a normal sim card were in it.
Replacement phone while the iPhone is away
I’ve got plenty of old nokia bricks around but finding one that had a working battery and charger was a problem. With most of my old phones, the batteries couldn’t hold a charge. After routing around trying to find a combination that worked, i decided to check online and price cheap, sim free phones. I found this Samsung E1200 on Argos for €18.99 so i bought it.
No camera, no touchscreen, this thing is absolute barebones but it does the job in that it allows me to send & receive calls and texts on my usual number, which is all i want in a backup / temporary phone.
With 660 hours of standby time, it’ll probably last, oh, about 3 weeks longer than my iPhone 5 does without needing to be recharged (i recharge my iPhone every night).
I was surprised you can pick up phones that cheap these days, even shitty phones like this one. It’s no wonder criminals can buy them in bulk and use them as disposable phones. The phone itself is small, light and actually pretty stylish but it does feel like i’m holding a phone from 2003. Buttons, 7 lines of text, a flashlight ‘app’ that consists of the small screen displaying white background, no camera, no email, no internet connectivity of any kind… it’s as close to technological isolation as i’ll probably get but on the plus side, i don’t have to worry about battery life or being completely out of contact at my regular number for the next few days.