Feb 07

So here we go again about the iPhone you may say, as blogs, news and forums are all full, way way full of stories about the iPhone. That being sad, I also have my own story re the iPhone. It started back in August 2007, when I ordered my first iPhone from Ebay. At that time, people were scared to buy iPhones from ebay, as due to the great demand, there were many hoaxes posted. Since I was more anxious of having it than scared of losing the $500 I invested, I ordered my 4GB model. I have a great deal of history with Ebay, and I have been a member since 2002 or so, back when I lived in the US. Even since, I bought and sold kind of a lot on ebay, so my confidence is somewhat greater than other Hungarians, which is why I got my hands on one of the first iPhones in the Hungarian market.

My iPhone arrived on the 10th of September to Hungary, where I had to claim it from the customs. In Hungary we have a rule that if an item is over 25USD in value, we need to pay import tax on it. Now being a smart, well kind of street-smart Hungarian, I asked the seller in the US to mark my item with a value of 20USD, and note on the box that it contains a toy camera. Yeah, you might say I am quite cocky, and I could have been burnt too, but hey, it worked. And it has always worked so far, so I figured if my item is stolen once, i am still better off with the savings on all the other items’ taxes. This might be not ethical, but the Hungarian government is taking 48% of my Gross salary, which isn’t quite ethical either. I have a great theory on this anyways, but that should not belong here.

So I walked out of the 8th district Post Office’s Customs building with an iPhone in my hand. I was so excited, I nearly dropped on the tram while waiting to get back to my office and finally open the sucker up. At that time, there was still no software solution for the iPhone, and only a handful of people around the world have successfully hardware unlocked the iPhone. I was debating between cracking the phone up and doing the hardware unlock, or waiting for the Software solution.

Since I had an upcoming business trip to Prague, I decided to postpone the action after I am back, but just in case, I took my phone along. Sure enough, on my quick stop at our Slovak office on the way, I got an email with a status update, that a Beta version of the software unlock was out. This was on the 13th of September already, I think. I immediately downloaded it, crossed my fingers, mourned a quick prayer, and got to it. In a matter of 30 minutes, there I was with a working iPhone, on Orange Slovak network with my Pannon Hungary SIM roaming. Wow, I thought I am the luckiest guy ever. It was just so great having the iPhone working, I cannot tell you. And it has been almost half a year ago, but still every day, I am amazed when I answer a call by sliding the virtual slider away with my finger. Its the greatest invention since the Mobile industry kicked off.

The first iPhone I had was a faulty unit on the other hand. It had some weird pixel malfunctioning, and every time I moved my finger around the screen, it started producing black spots across the screen.

I recorded it with my camera, and posted the video on Youtube, take a look at yourself. It wasnt too bad, but since I wanted it to be perfect, it had to go :(

It wasn’t a screen defect, but rather some mainboard issue. I was still in Prague, having my iPhone just over a week, but I couldn’t stand the defect. It was 5PM in Prague, when I headed towards the highway to make my way back to Budapest. Just before my departure, I quickly posted an AD in a Hungarian online bazar, and I stated the phone had a pixel damage, but otherwise brand new, and listen now carefuly, UNLOCKED. Boy, at 7PM I got the first phonecall, and by 11Pm when I arrived to Budapest, I had 2 potential buyers already. I sold it at 11:30PM for 170% of my initial purchase price, as it was the first software unlocked phone, or amount the very first ones, if someone beat me with a few minutes as the unlocked was just announced. I went back home, at 12 midnight, I already had my new 8GB version ordered from Ebay yet again, and in just a mere 2 weeks, I had it in my hands yet again unlocked. That is the phone I still have, and love so much. Since, it has been to Slovakia, Czech Republic, Japan, Hong Kong, and China. Japan was the only place I was unable to Roam, as they have the weird system, otherwise I was successfully iphone-ing my way across China on trains, etc etc.

Here are a few more pics, if you are also an iPhone owner, I guess you understand what I am writing about. If you are one without a piece, have a look yourself, you wont regret it.

6 Responses to “iPhone – one of first in Hungary, definite first software unlocked one – Sep13th 2007”

  1. roncarlo Says:

    hey, i just moved here to budapest from the US and still have my cell phone from over there. I was hesitant on buying the iPhone b/c there were no actual providers here in Hungary that I was aware of and i’m not technically savvy enough to crack it myself and unlock the phone. let me know how easy it is to do all of this. also, do you plan on getting the new 3G when it comes out in july? thanks.

  2. bence8810 Says:

    Thanks for stopping by. I guess the headcount in Hungary remains then, as I just moved away from there :) I was relocated to Dubai 3 weeks ago.
    As far as the iPhone goes, it works like a charm on all 3 Hungarian networks, you only need to unlock it. If you stay there for a while, I would suggest going down the aisle with unlocking. Are you a Mac or Windows user? Actually either way, just visit Mark’s site at http://www.hackthatphone.com and see the tutorials on unlocking. As for the 3G version, I will get it if its crackable, otherwise no use for me. Cheers

  3. anibuni Says:

    Hi bence 8810-

    I see you don’t live in Hungary anymore, but I’ll ask in any case. I have Pannon and I am considering to get the iPhone. You say that the iPhone works like a charm on all 3 Hungarian networks. Meaning, that if I start a contract with T-Mobile and unlock it, it would work with my Pannon SIM? Thanks

  4. bence8810 Says:

    Hi Anibuni,

    Yes, that is correct. If you have it unlocked, it will work on all 3 carriers.

    Have fun, its a beautiful world you’re about the enter,


  5. Syble Says:

    Do you have a google plus account? I’d follow you if you do.

  6. YJ Says:

    Hi! I hope you’re still checking these rather late replies to your posting. I had my iphone 4s from US stolen here in Europe and want to ship my replacement iphone 4s to Hungary (where I reside now). I saw that you noted for your iphone shipment that it was worth only $20 – does this normally work? I’m wondering whether the customers won’t simply open my package and see my new iphone 4s instead of just scanning the note that it’s worth $20 only. Thanks and a great post!