I have been using iPhone 3G from Dec ‘08 (exactly two years ago) and I got so used to it. By far it is the best device to do email, browsing, twitter, Facebook and above all to make/receive calls & messages. It is very hard to imagine a mobile before the iPhone, that’s the impact it has had on me. The upgrade to iOS 4.0 turned out to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, the device started to support display of Tamil language natively in all applications – messaging, contacts, email, browsing, twitter & more. On the other hand, the device became very sluggish. Clicking on contacts or messages app will take solid 10-20 seconds to load up. I talked to my friend Muthu Nedumaran (the man behind the Tamil fonts that got shipped in iOS 4.0 and Mac OS) who advised me to upgrade to iPhone 4.
I guess due to poor sales of iPhone in general in India, iPhone 4 is not released yet here. After some research, the best place to buy an iPhone 4 turned out to be Singapore, as by law TELCOs there can’t network lock a device. The device bought in Singapore should work with Vodafone India and anyway since I have an iPhone3G plan with them, data also should work. After further research on the web, I learned that you can’t buy iPhone4 from any Apple stores in Singapore or from TELCOs like Singtel, who sell only with Singapore mobile contracts. Apple Singapore recommends you buy from its online store and have it shipped to any address in Singapore. That’s what I did, I gave the house address of my Uncle in Singapore. After a few phone calls he made to confirm my India credit card to them, the device got delivered in a few days, in time for me to pick up during my trip last week there. The device (iPhone 4 32GB), Black Bumper and AppleCare 2 year protection plan together cost me SG$1195 (nearly Rs.41825).
After coming back to Chennai, I had to cross one last hurdle which was to get a MicroSIM. It was not available from Vodafone Chennai, but a trip to a corner mobile store and Rs.100 got my regular SIM cut into a MicroSIM. Finally, I got my iPhone4 working and I love it. Much better speed than 3G due to the 1Ghz Processor, the retina display is gorgeous, noise cancellation feature even on noisy airports is awesome – worth every cent of the upgrade. After upgrading to iPhone4, apart from loading the regular apps I use – Twitter, Facebook, LIFCO Tamil Dictionary, Dictionary.com, Wikipedia, Kindle. I was able to load VLC Media Player (free) which only runs on iPhone 4 & iPad. This meant I can select any of my WMV (Windows Media) videos and add them to iTunes, then synced to my iPhone4 and play them with VLC Player.