The First Batch Of One-Year iPhone Warranties Are About To Expire, Or Why You Shouldn't Be An Early Adopter

Hey, Apple fanboys! Yeah, you, the ones who stood on line foaming at the mouth so you could be the first to buy those precious little pocket diamonds that didn’t sell out. Your limited one-year warranty expires tomorrow, so break your phone while you can. As for the rest of us, let’s look back at a year of the iPhone and remember the perils of being an early adopter…

iPhones were a rotten deal for early adopters.

Not only did they needlessly wait in line, but they had to compete with the mayors of Washington and Philadelphia.

Early adopters were Apple’s guinea pigs, discovering all sorts of annoying bugs, like hundred-page bills that chronicled every single photo viewed. Those who went abroad learned that international data roaming charges are really expensive.

How did Apple reward this zealous passion? By slashing the iPhone’s price by $200 less than three months after the phone’s release. Several angry early adopters didn’t appreciate the dunce early-adopter tax, and sued for price discrimination.

And now, a year later, their warranties are set to expire, which will lead to the inevitable first-generation kaboom of doom. For those who haven’t already, now is the time to extend your warranty by spending another $69 for AppleCare.

But really, who are we kidding? These are the same folks planning to line up for the newer, more expensive iPhone 3G. You kill us, early adopters!

Original iPhone warranties about to expire [The Unofficial Apple Weblog]

(Photo: numberstumper)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Alex Chasick says:


  2. I’m quite happy with my unlocked, hacked 2.5G iPhone and have no plans to upgrade. kthx for the advice bye

    Sent from my iPhone.

  3. WraithSama says:

    Not only did they needlessly wait in line, but they had to compete with the mayors of Washington and Philadelphia.

    That had nothing to do with Apple or making the iPhone a “rotten deal”.

    Early adopters were Apple’s guinea pigs, discovering all sorts of annoying bugs, like hundred-page bills that chronicled every single photo viewed. Those who went abroad learned that international data roaming charges are really expensive.

    Only, replace “Apple” with “AT&T”. You’re attributing crap to Apple here that has nothing to do with Apple. I’m not an Apple fanboy, I stopped buying Apple products years ago, but it seems to me that most of the woes that came along with the iPhone (and still do) are because of AT&T.

  4. WraithSama says:

    I really wish we had an edit button for posts. I also wish I used more pronouns in that last post.

  5. snoop-blog says:

    @Alex Chasick: Are you going to do any work today or what. Man talk about lazy… just letting Carey do all the work. lol.

  6. XianZhuXuande says:

    What a rotten mean-spirited article. People who waited for the first iPhone were happy to pay for it, and according to consumer satisfaction ratings, were definitely thrilled to have done so. As for product reliability, it exceeded most other phones I’ve seen from other companies (e.g. Motorola) which have already been established.

    This seems like more an attempt to grab traffic than any legitimate interest in providing worthwhile information to readers.

  7. dssstrkl says:

    Just an FYI: all Apple products come with a 1 year hardware warranty. Its not like the iPhone would or should be any different. Considering that Apple will usually just replace a dead or defective iPhone (or iPod) with a new one under Applecare, I would assume that you should be happy that Apple extends the program at all.

  8. donkeyjote says:

    @dssstrkl: Hell, what phone doesn’t come with just a one year warranty?

  9. Yeah, you, the ones who stood on line foaming at the mouth so you could be the first to buy those precious little pocket diamonds that didn’t sell out.

    You stand IN line for crying out loud!

    Not only did they needlessly wait in line, but they had to compete with the mayors of Washington and Philadelphia.

    That’s better.

    Apple didn’t make the contracts, charge customers outrageous data fees, or send out bills. AT&T did.

    If you were going for a “let’s bash the Apple fanbois” post, you could have done so much better. I won’t hate too much cause it’s the weekend and we do try to have a sense of humor here on the weekends.

  10. I don’t plan on upgrading, hotshot. Enjoy your plastic phone! Thanks for playing.

  11. dssstrkl says:

    @donkeyjote: Exactly! And while we’re at it, who’s crying for all those suckers who bought Blackberry curves, now that the Bold is coming out? Companies always come out with new products, because otherwise they get left behind. (I’m looking at you, Palm)

  12. ianmac47 says:

    I think my first gen iphone increases in value, since my service is so much cheaper.

  13. ianmac47 says:

    @The Walking Eye:
    Actually, it varies by where in the country you are as to whether you stand “in line” or “on line.” Of course, since the nation’s educated live in the northeast where one says “in line,” this is absolutely the correct form.

  14. howiedi2 says:

    “Puny”???? How many other phones or other electronic devices have more than a one year warranty? I bought AppleCare so, I’m covered for another year. If I sell my current iPhone, the buyer has a one year warranty.

  15. Alright, I’ll take the bait.

    * iPhones were a rotten deal for early adopters.

    I disagree. Let’s say you bought a brand-new 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid last year. You know what? They made some awesome improvements in the 2008 version. You was robbed!

    * Early adopters were Apple’s guinea pigs, discovering all sorts of annoying bugs, like hundred-page bills that chronicled every single photo viewed.

    I thought the bills were hilarious.

    Apple is releasing regular software updates for at least another year and the core of the iPhone 3G is unchanged. So what’s the issue? If I had waited a year, that’d be another year I’d been limping along with my T68i..

    And unlike the iPhone, my T68i had the same features on its death bad as it did when it was brand new. Qix, sokoban, T9, and the 1-bit, postage-stamp-sized sketchpad provided me with minutes and minutes of entertainment!

    The iPhone is the first mainstream phone that doesn’t have an OS that feels like it’s a prototype an engineering mocked up overnight.

    * Those who went abroad learned that international data roaming charges are really expensive.

    Turn off your phone (or at least data roaming) when you go abroad or get ready for violent ass-rape.

    * Several angry early adopters didn’t appreciate the early-adopter tax, and sued for price discrimination.

    Several early adopters are morons. Every time an Apple product gets a scratch, a lawyer gets some work. Reasonable customers knew what was coming. It’s a gadget, not a futures contract.

  16. Quatre707 says:

    Being locked in a $74.99 a month plan (minimum) right when North American 3G networks are finally becoming good and stable (a.k.a. less costly upkeep to providers) which translates into lower cost competition… doesn’t sound very appealing to me…

    I’m no Apple fan boy, in fact I think OS X is a gimped operating system, and Apple Mac products are overpriced and unoriginal, but the iPhone really is an amazing piece of technology for all the reasons you already know, but most importantly the intuitive design (unlike their PCs).
    Now after a year cell phone makers have learned their lesson and we’re seeing a flood of good products designed to compete with the iPhone hitting the market, and ones available at less cost, both upfront, and monthly.

    This 3G iPhone is nothing more than a conduit for an aging hippie child to increase his net worth another billion dollars, and At&t is glad to assist him in doing so, for a price.

  17. thisisnotkathy says:

    @dssstrkl: Yes, but did the curve get near the hype of the iphone? The Bold may look like hot shit but for a lot of people’s use (mine at least) it isn’t that much different. I am primarily interested in the calendar and endless reminder functions :-p Wi-fi would be awesome but I have att so they would surely find some way to make me pay for that anyway.

  18. After reading this site for almost two years, I’m starting to see the hubris creeping in. There’s a lot in Carey’s post that bothers me – and I”m not an Apple fanboy or even an iPhone owner, so maybe I’ve got a little better perspective.

    -The 2.5G iPhone is due for a major operating system upgrade soon that adds many features users asked for over the past year – Exchange integration being one of the biggies. Free of charge. Is that not exemplary corporate behavior? Adding features over the course of ownership and giving them away for free?

    – My RAZR had a one-year warranty. Far more of thos have been sold to style-concious consumers than iPhones. What’s your point in citing the warranty expiration, other than to pick a fight that drives ad revenue for your site?

    – The iPhone is a premium product with a premium price. Why keep pointing out the high price of the device when consumers obviously thought it was worth the price? Given that 2.5G iPhones on eBay are selling at or above their original resale price, I don’t think Consumerist gets to make the call whether they’re worth the money or not -the market seems to have decided that already.

    This post is in poor taste. Along with frequent typos, items like these seem to be designed to goad people into running up the comment count. And who can blame them? It seems to have worked – but I’m taking Consumerist off of my dailies.

  19. Archetypal says:

    Endorsing extended warranties? Shame on you. The rest of the post is ignorant click baiting at best, but recommending extended warranties seems to be against everything this blog stands for. Put the money you’d pay for an extended warranty into a savings account and use that if your purchase breaks, but never buy the extended warranties.

  20. ByeBye says:

    @thisisnotkathy: Your wifi bit is funny. Wifi, well, unsecured FREE WIFI, is free, as it’s a built in function in the phone. Most devices (excluding iPhone) aren’t detectable when they’re on a Wifi connection, and it is a non-billable service. Now stuff like Starbucks, you’re getting it from them and ATT in no way is billing you for it.

    Misses Information Strikes Again!

  21. Mr_Human says:

    Wow, this is the first time I’ve seen the OP playing the troll!

  22. aront says:

    Say what you will, I have three iPhones on eBay right now and all of them have confirmed bids over $200, including the 4gb model with bids over $250.

    Despite this not-very-well-thought out article’s viewpoint I think I’ll come out ahead.

    Ps, 3G is more expensive regardless of the phone – thanks for playing.

  23. MercuryPDX says:

    Is it wrong that when I see this: “Sent from my iPhone.”

    I think of this:

  24. TheDude06 says:

    To be fair, they did give out $100 gift cards to all the pre-price drop early adopters. What would really be interesting, is to see the failure rate. considering thats the only relevant thing to an expiring warranty

  25. @MercuryPDX:

    When I see “Sent from my (iPhone/Blackberry/etc),” I read that as “I most likely wrote this email while sitting on the toilet.”

  26. @MercuryPDX: Rejected is an awesome film. I was just thinking about how big my spoon is.

  27. icruise says:

    I was one of the people standing in line on the first day, and I love my iPhone more now than I did then. Not a darn thing mentioned in this needlessly snarky article made the iPhone a “rotten deal for early adopters.”

  28. @MercuryPDX: Oh and the amount of time it took me to type <i></i> when I typed that above was totally not worth it. See? The iPhone isn’t perfect!

  29. krispykrink says:

    I didn’t stand in line. I waited until March of this year, when AT&T had their iPhone refurb blowout sale for $250 and bought it “on-line”. Apple refurbs come with the same exact 1 yr warranty all of their products come with and I slapped Applecare on it, so I’m covered until March 2010 with no plans to upgrade to the iPhone 3G because 3G coverage here sucks ballz.

  30. aront says:

    @Employees Must Wash Hands: Speaking form experience – generally, you’re correct!

  31. MercuryPDX says:

    @Michael Belisle: Sure. And you conveniently left it out of this long post.

  32. All those NON early adopters sure are obsessed with the iPhone, aren’t they? It’s like when Jimmy Swaggart used to preach about the horror of pornography or when Tim Haggard used to talk about the evils of homosexuality. Is there something you’re really trying to tell us?

    Just come out of the closet with your secret lust and face it.

    You want an iPhone and you know it. Even with it’s imperfections you know it’s the best thing out there and you covet one. Admit it.

    You’re just too damn cheap to pony up the bucks and get one for yourself.

    Go ahead and continue to enjoy your sour grape whine while I enjoy my Bordeaux.

  33. RST1123 says:

    Now I remember why I come back to this site, to be insulted.

  34. balthisar says:

    None of this has anything to do why one shouldn’t be an early adopter. In fact, the article sounds a lot more like jealousy than anything else (no, I don’t have an iPhone nor work in the cellular industry). Most people that buy iPhones either (a) can afford them and the plans and hence can afford new iPhones, extra costs, etc., or (b) have done their research and know what they’re getting into. I did say “most”; you always have the dummies that don’t turn off their phones for a month while visiting Paraguay. It’s only these outliers that even make the news (or blogs) in the first place; the vast majority of the stories (the ones we don’t have to hear) are from satisfied customers that have no regrets.

    If you’re pissed you can’t afford an iPhone, or can only feel good about someone else for spending an extra $200 that they were obviously able to afford, then, good for you. But the Consumerist’s role isn’t being well used when all it can perpretrate is petty fingerpointing and Nelson Muntz like “ha ha.”

  35. HawkWolf says:

    I don’t understand why the warranty has anything to do with anything. It’s not about the warranty, it’s about looking back at the first year of the iPhone.

  36. @ianmac47: I’m a born and raised Hoosier and it’s always been in line. I first saw and heard the on line from NYC area blogs and people I’ve met at random. Roughly 6 years ago is when I think I heard it first. Saying on line just sounds extremely silly to me. *shrugs*

  37. fleshtone says:

    let’s sit back and wait for the early adopters to work out the kinks, then buy the improved second gen stuff, and then make fun of them for buying early. kind of like biting the hand that feeds us, no?

  38. justinleon says:

    I’m so glad I bought a 2G iphone when I got the chance a few weeks ago.

  39. shocker says:

    Good grief!

    Are the inmates running the asylum? Who decided it would be a good idea to let the trolls post the articles?

    Bad form, Consumerist. Bad form.

  40. @MercuryPDX: Well sure: the long post was written on a desktop computer (a Windows one, no less).

    Only a fool would try to write War and Peace on an iPhone.

  41. Paladin_11 says:

    What’s the big deal? You can buy AppleCare up to one year after the purchase date. If your warrantee is about to run out invest a few bucks and extend it for another two/three years.

  42. dondiego87 says:

    Wow, as @XianZhuXuande remarked above, this article was really mean-spirited. An as @shocker said, this really does sound like a troll made his way into the Consumerist editorial team. Along with your post on AT&T’s ad campaign, Carey, you’re really not doing good work.

    Not only is it unnecessarily antagonistic, but it’s stating the obvious. Of course the early adopters’ warranties will run out first. But early adopters and mainstream users both get the same amount of time under warranty, so no harm done.

  43. jacksbrokenego says:

    Really disappointed in The Consumerist as of late – a number of posts over the last few weeks that are honestly just plain dumb. I read a number of Gawker sites every day, because I like the off-the-somewhat-beaten-path-witty-writing style. I get to read about stuff that I find interesting that’s presented in a down to earth manner. What I don’t like though, is when I continue to read news stories that either have sensationalist headlines that drag you into a who-cares post, or sensationalist headlines that are biased to say the least, and are really just meant to spark a field day in the comments section.(Rite Aid convinces girl’s mom she got married, anyone?) Are comments a metric for you guys? If I really wanted this kind of crap on a regular basis, I’d turn on Fox news more often. Seriously consumerist, I used to read your site several times throughout the day, not so much lately, get back to real consumer-centric, helpful and newsworthy posts. A golden turd ain’t a banana. EECB FTW.

  44. MonkeySwitch says:

    What an awesome Edith Piaf stencil

  45. deadhero says:

    If it wasn’t for early adopters there would be no progress. Someone out there has to get excited and stand in line all night so the rest of us can get cheaper, better stuff the next year. Sorry, if you don’t see it, you never will.
    My iPhone is awesome and I will not cry when my warranty expires and it breaks, I’ll just buy a new one.
    Yeah, like a bunch of other people said, this article is stupid, and not just because I’m an Apple fanboy. It really does state some obvious things that iPhone owners (and Mac users), already know.

    Let’s get back to articles on cheap Costco gas and maggots in the Goobers.

  46. rjgnyc says:

    What a dumb post.

  47. dssstrkl says:

    @thisisnotkathy: I don’t give a shit about the hype, I just want great technology. The only reason why I’m considering an upgrade is because of the price drop. I was expecting it to have a $30 data plan and still be a $400 phone. 3G and GPS is not compelling enough for me to upgrade from the original, especially considering that its going to get the same software updates as the new one. I got mine fairly early (I didn’t stand in line, though, nor will I this time), but I have never even once felt like I’ve been ripped off.
    Again: Apple has the same warranty for all its products, so if it sucks for the iphone, it sucks for ipods and macs, too. (As someone who’s made extensive use of Applecare in the past, I can tell you that it most definitely DOESN’T suck. Don’t believe me? Do a search on this very site.) All computers and all cellphones get replaced regularly. When apple did the price drop, we were all reminded that high end cellphones can lose their value pretty quickly, so no one should have been surprised. But now, apparently Apple did it because Steve Jobs hates his customers.
    How easy is it to upgrade old smartphones to a new OS, especially when there’s new hardware to buy? We can leave Palm out of that one, since Garnet’s a decade old now.

  48. FHJay says:

    I debated posting about this article myself, since it’s clearly just here to provoke, not be informative; but this is so blatantly misinformed and opinionated that I won’t be held responsible for not complaining should another similar article arise in the future.

    The article does come off as petty, jealous, nitpicking. This is an article written by the same sort who complains about Apple fanboys mindlessly loving whatever Apple does, then mindlessly hates those same products. I agree with what others have said, this is really mean-spirited and extremely disappointing. Real bad form, Carey. Was it necessary to mock those whose opinions differ from yours? I won’t be taking this site off my dailys, but I’ll be checking it far less frequently on the weekends, if at all. I can wait until an editor comes back on who doesn’t intersperse poorly written, incomplete editorials between relevant articles.

    I also own no iPhone, felt the original was too expensive, uses a Gateway, and didn’t own an iPod or use iTunes until a month or so ago. But bad writing is bad writing.

  49. chilled says:

    This article is indeed click baiting…but wait,every article anywhere on the web that has the word Apple in it is sure to draw a storm of clicks and comments.

    My comment..aapl below $100 before year end.products are too expensive in a worldwide slowdown and other phone makers are catching up!

  50. Chaosium says:

    There are plenty of reasons not to be an early adopter, but this is just stretching it.

  51. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    Wow, I’m used to people being made fun of in the comments, but in the article?

  52. Televiper says:

    Interesting how the concern trolls are coming out on this one. You have to admit that iPhone owners got the shaft when Apple dropped the price. Weather or not you enjoyed it is up to you.

  53. RST1123 says:

    Yes, whether or not you are needlessly an asshole is up to you.

  54. @Televiper: I bought the iPhone in December. I didn’t wait in line, and I didn’t pay the original price. I still think this is article stupid and insulting.

  55. ellastar says:

    @Manator Will Show You the Promised Land!: Actually Starbucks recently dropped T-Mobile as their wifi source, and went with At&t. At&t was supposedly going to have cheaper rates for wifi usage (hourly rates, and 2 hours free if you have a Starbucks card), but who knows.


  56. JennQPublic says:

    It’s funny, none of the early adopters seem to have any regrets. Also, I have yet to see a comment where an actual iPhone owner complains about their iPhone. Other people have all kinds of trash to talk to the “Apple fanboys,” but iPhone owners (myself included) seem quite content with the product.

    I don’t own any other Apple products, and probably never will, but I have no regrets about buying my iPhone two months ago, even with the 3G coming out. I won’t be upgrading it for a few years, and unless some other phone manufacturer makes huge strides in design, I will just replace it with another iPhone.

    /Even my friends who talk trash about my iPhone lust after it.

  57. BlazerUnit says:

  58. Televiper says:

    @MonkeySeeMonkeyDo: A little sensitive aren’t we?

  59. @BlazerUnit: I’m not sure if my iPhone makes calls either. It’s mostly an internet browser, email reader, MP3 player, scientific calculator, map, calendar, and recently a VOIP phone. And I already have a money clip.

  60. @Televiper: Not really. Seems like you are a bit thick, though. Thanks for your interest!

  61. XianZhuXuande says:

    @Televiper: A person decides on the worth of a product when it is released. It doesn’t matter if the price drops a little, or if technology is upgraded, you got exactly what you wanted when you purchased the product. I got a $600 iPhone when it came out and I never once regretted it. When Apple dropped the price later I wasn’t concerned — not only had my iPhone already paid for the price difference on its own, I wasn’t so petty or jealous so as to feel I had been cheated. I made a buying decision which I decided upon carefully when it first came out and I wound up with one of the finest consumer electronics I have ever owned.

    Also, we’re talking about $100 here. That’s nothing by way of comparison. When you buy a new computer and find out that it is totally ‘obsolete’ three months later the financial disparity is considerable, but you don’t hear people whining much about that. It has a bit to do with understanding of the market and, well, maturity. Oh, let’s not forget responsibility.

    I’m wasting my time responding to you, though.

  62. Televiper says:

    @XianZhuXuande: As I said. It’s your decision to feel that way. I think you would also feel justified to feel otherwise. I’m not suggesting that people should be outraged, start a riot, or civil suit. More of an “oh no you didn’t” kind of shafted.

    Your comparison to PCs is really corny. My PC is almost 3 years old, was never top of the line, and does 99% of what PCs can possibly do.

  63. meehawl says:

    The iPhone is the first mainstream phone that doesn’t have an OS that feels like it’s a prototype an engineering mocked up overnight.

    How’s that cut and paste functionality coming along?

    My 1-year-old Sprint Mogul (HTC Titan) recently got a firmware update that added full GPS, 2 Mbps speeds, and support for 32 GB SDHC cards. And with the new CorePlayer I can hit basically every video site on the web. I’m looking forward to booting up Android on it Real Soon Now.

  64. @Televiper: As I said. It’s your decision to feel that way. I think you would also feel justified to feel otherwise.

    Wait, you’re making the “your feelings suck, mine are better and you should adopt them” argument? Your feelings may make sense to you and that’s great. But they just wouldn’t work in my brain.

    Clearly you’re not the type that waits in line for an iPhone and can never understand people who do. You have a computer that was never top of the line; I have one that was.

    Do you want to fight about it?

  65. Televiper says:

    @Michael Belisle: Wait, you’re making the “your feelings suck, mine are better and you should adopt them” argument? Your feelings may make sense to you and that’s great. But they just wouldn’t work in my brain.

    No, I’m making the “It’s not stupid feel a way you happen to not feel, or is it for someone to feel different” argument. Seems kind of ironic now.

  66. Televiper says:

    Doh! To clarify “It’s not stupid to feel a way you happen to not feel, nor is it for someone to feel different”

  67. 00447447 says:

    Where exactly is the a-fore-mentioned rotten deal? I’ve had my iPhone for nearly a year and have no complaints. Seems like a case of unwarranted brand hatred…just for the sake of hating. Is that what this site is all about?

  68. uricmu says:

    First of all, paying 69$ for another few years of warranty on a phone that is outdated as of next month and whose new version sells for 200$ doesn’t make sense whatsoever.

    Second, even though the iPhone was extremely expensive (I was one of the ones that got screwed with the early purchase) it does things that no other phone do: Full web (except for flash) without any adaptation. My workplace uses a crappy webmail system, and I haven’t seen the phone that can handle that except for the iPhone. Being able ot have full internet rather than “mobile sites’ rocks.

    Third, kudos to apple for replacing my phone and the headset right away (admittedly, with a refurb) when I finally came to the store a few days ago with a few problems on my phone.

  69. RokMartian says:

    If it wasn’t for early adopters, we wouldn’t be getting the cheaper iPhones later. (Isn’t this part of consumerism 101?)

    Consumerist seems to be falling into the camp that the bigger or more popular a company becomes, the more evil is is.

  70. eiresean says:

    Perhaps a bit off topic but talking about 3G the areas are quite limited, from what I have seen on ATT’s map, to major population areas with many left out currently.

    Has ATT thought to give a schedule on when other areas will be coming online with 3G. Since this is suppose to be a major feature of the new phones it will be of no use until ATT gets areas updated for most users.

    If you compare ATT 3G to Verizon High Speed you will see how ATT is way behind.

  71. onlooker says:

    I believe i was one of the first out of warranty failed iphones at my apple store.

    I died literally on the last day of the warranty (it had been a replacement phone, not the original).

    Luckily they were nice enough to still replace it. However if it happens again after 90 days.. . i am SOL. (and this was my 4th replacement)

  72. Mudpuddle says:


  73. Mudpuddle says:

    I’d give a eye for that phone.