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When the Apple iPhone was first released, it was only available in the US. I wouldn't be much of a gadgeteer if I didn't have one, I figured, and since I was in the US anyway, I bought an 8GB one, brought it back home with me, and spent hours of nerve-wracking nefarious hacking activity to install 1.1.1 and hack the blasted thing.

Then Apple launched version 1.1.2 of the iPhone's firmware. Now, I'm as happy to hack my equipment as the next man, but I'm not exactly Einstein, and I was actually quite enjoying having an iPhone, so I decided that having a working iPhone on old firmware would be better than a bricked one on new firmware, so I kept using 1.1.1. Then, 1.1.3 came out, and Steve Jobs confirmed that they would be doing a Software Development Kit (SDK).

The pseudo-GPS was the functionality that won me over, however. There's no other word for it: It's bloody sexy. So, of course, I had to have the new firmware. Around the same time as I decided that perhaps I had to hack my iPhone, Apple announced the 16GB iPhone, and my T-Mobile contract ran out. So I figured I may as well upgrade to the bigger and better iPhone, go legit, get ready for SDK, and actually, y'know, have a warrantee on my phone for once. So I ordered my phone, transferred my number, and all was fine and dandy.

... Until I started actually using my new iPhone on O2.

Thing is, on T-Mobile, I had perfect coverage everywhere I go in London, and I had full Edge coverage whenever I had network coverage - which was anywhere except on the London Underground. Edge, as you're probably aware, means reasonably fast e-mail downloads, Google Maps, and web browsing.

On O2, however, things are different. Quite a lot of the time, my connection drops down to GPRS (which is about a fifth of the speed of Edge, which, in turn, is about a tenth of the speed of 3G), and rather too often for my liking, the network vanishes altogether.

It's sort of depressing, actually, to be forced into an 18-month contract with a network which has worse coverage in the areas I spend most of my time in, when compared to the network I have been using for the past 6 years.

So much for going legit... Apple, if you're reading this, why not let us choose which network we want to use? It's not as if you'll be losing any money whether you sell your phones through T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone or any of the other big boys...

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