The Sharp End – iPhone cracks, T-Mobile clawbacks, Samsung’s Omnia stunner


iPhone cracks appear

Have you been one of the few who have managed to get an iPhone 3G? If so, you may want to check the condition of the plastic as there are many reports of the 3G iPhone housing developing cracks with very little use – not good for the ‘Jesus Phone’.

If you have one then take it along to an Apple store which, apparently, will readily replace it with another one.

Clawback protection?

Word has it that T-Mobile is trialling a new scheme that will see dealers protected against clawback so long as they follow the correct procedure for obtaining the identification proofs and comply fully with T-Mobile guidelines.

If it happens, it will be truly fantastic news. About time too. T-Mobile has been pretty unfair in its clawback policy.

Back in December last year, I connected a customer to T-Mobile Flext35 with a web ‘n’ walk option for an 18-month contract. The customer was happy and so was I with the profit on the deal.

In February the same customer returned and purchased a web ‘n’ walk modem on a two-year contract. A few weeks later I received a clawback from T-Mobile of the first connection in full and a repayment for customer – but this time without the web ‘n’ walk option, just a Flext35.

After querying the clawback of £65 it turns out that, unknown to me, the customer had contacted T-Mobile directly before purchasing the second data modem and T-Mobile agreed they would waive the extra £7.50 per month he was paying on his original connection.

T-Mobile’s response to my clawback query was simply that the customer was threatening to leave T-Mobile so they agreed to cancel his original web ‘n’ walk and the clawback stands.

How wrong is that? I get clawed back £65 when T-Mobile cancels a customer’s service. I have asked for proof the customer was ranting and raving and threatening to leave. But T-Mobile sticks to its guns and my clawback stands.

The customer simply says he contacted T-Mobile as he had decided he wanted the new data modem. Hardly threatening to leave, then.

He said he asked T-Mobile to reduce the web ‘n’ walk fee on the original connection for taking a modem.

Hugh Symons is trying to get this sorted with T-Mobile, but T-Mobile is just digging its heels in.

I have experienced several other unfair incidents like this, and it’s mostly T-Mobile.

So if T-Mobile is to introduce clawback protection then it’s greatly overdue and very very welcome. Now we just need the other networks to review their clawback terms and conditions too and stop this unfair and unjust practice.

Samsung Omnia i900

Thanks to my local Samsung Training rep, I recently managed to get a chance to review/play with the soon-to-be-released Samsung Omnia i900 touch screen phone (pictured).

It is a Windows Mobile 6.1 device with Samsung doing a very good job of keeping the complexities of the Windows environment away from the user under most operations.

Samsung, like HTC with its Diamond Windows Mobile phone, has its own flashy interface that runs on top and allows the user to operate the unit easily by the touch of finger alone, rather than relying on a stylus for most functions.

The i900 has a five megapixel camera, HSDPA, built-in GPS, WiFi, Optical Mouse and a choice of 8GB or 16GB memory – both of which can be expanded even further by MicroSD cards.

Push & Fetch email, MSN Messenger and Pocket Internet Explorer too. But by default the i900’s browser is the very accomplished Opera browser. An Orientation sensor is also built-in.

The Samsung user interface is very similar to that of the Samsung F480 Tocco, and also supports ‘widgets’ – application icons that can be dragged off the widget sidebar onto the main screen and provide intuitive links to most of the main features of the phone.

It supports Activesync too, meaning I had everything synchronised in minutes.

The camera on the i900 is fantastic. Landscape mode is amazing and the camera also supports Geotagging using the built-in GPS antenna.

All in all, the i900 is packed full of top-end features and presented to the user in a very good package.

I was trying very hard not to refer to the Apple iPhone in writing this but the i900 is obviously aimed at that market.

And, to be honest, although the usability still doesn’t compare, its specification is superior. My money would certainly go onto the i900 rather than the 3G iPhone.