Posted by: The Saffa Mom | January 31, 2012

My iPhone makes me happy! Most of the time.

I have had my iPhone 4s for a month, and think that it is a good time to give you my thoughts on this beautiful piece of machinery. You see that’s it- I am a beautiful gadget want to be guru….. and the iPhone is a beautiful gadget. Mine is white and has a plain white cover. It is chic. Nothing over the top.

Initially I was a little worried about ordering a white one because I had read somewhere that the camera was having a problem with light. BUT the Apple Store had a sales technician who told me exactly how to handle it if that was the case.

Yes, that’s right- I had to order my phone and wait. The consultant at Vodacom could not actually give a date as to when they were arriving, which was soul destroying.

“Are we there yet mom?” “Not yet my sweetie, soon.” “Are we there yet mom?”

When I received a call from Vodacom that we could pick it up, I was like a child on the way to the ice cream store. I could not care less that it was only a 16 gig. I forgot that it would probably take 24 hours before the micro sim card that I had to swop to would be activated. I also had not taken into consideration that I would definitely need a data bundle, and that would probably also take 24 hours to be activated.

You see I was a Blackberry fan, I had a Torch and I never needed to worry about these silly little things. My torch could do everything for R59 a month. (That is less than $6.)

In it’s box it stayed. (Let me add that even the box makes you feel super special.)

THEN it all went horribly wrong and my normal sim card deactivated itself during that night, and I woke up to know that I would have to use my iPhone. Don’t get me wrong- I was super excited……but I could not really USE it USE it USE it until my data bundle was activated. Vodacom’s rates are exorbitant.

Too cut a long story short between: Autopage Cellular and Vodacom it took over 7 days to activate my data bundle, and I now have a huge bill (7 days of no data bundle adds up when they charge something ridiculous like R1 a meg)  that I am fighting and will continue to fight. National Consumer Protection Act here we come!

If I were in America/ Canada or the UK, I may have been able to connect to a number of wireless routers that were being used all around me- right? I would not have felt that data at all. However in South Africa, I use a 3G card. It provides an internet connection to my laptop, at home and at work. The few times that I have connected to a coffee shops wireless, I have been highly disappointed as it has been super super super slow.

So my first issue that anyone needs to keep in mind is data usage. This past month I can officially say that I have used over 2 and a half gigs. (Pardon me? How? 2.5 gigs- do you know how much data that is?) I DON’T KNOW HOW! Really. (I wander if I was using that much on my Blackberry- for R59 a month.) I just do everything that you do on a smart phone. I could do far more, if my fingers were not linked to my laptop or iPad, or my 5 year old Princess. My Knight who still has a Blackberry Torch (and essentially free unlimited data), and is not too cool to change yet, can’t understand it either. Those were not the words he used when he told me that though.

Just to add, I have gone the length of turning off every notification or push data setting that is realistically possible too.

Point: As beautiful as this gadget is, it is going to cost you to change. It eats data, which seems to cost far more than dog food in South Africa. (It also likes a treat of applications as often as possible, and these too can cost). Be prepared for that.

My second thorn was SIRI. Honestly when I watched the video on the Apple site introducing this personal assistant a few months ago, I decided I wanted an iPhone. She was the turning point. The point when I realised that I was really much cooler than Blackberry now. (Wink, wink). I gathered my whole office around that video and had them all in awe.

Needless to say SIRI doesn’t really understand me. There is an option to load English (Australian) into her functionality…..but clearly a South African sounds nothing like an Australian. I knew that, but half of the English community that I met when I lived in London in 1999 mistook me for Australian- so maybe SIRI would.

SIRI was smarter than that!

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone and they just keep asking you to repeat what you are saying? You tend to speak louder and s-l-o-w-e-r and probably sound much much worse. By the third time, you are screaming at them and telling them to “just forget the whole thing, I will do it myself.” Not a very good delegator to begin with.

That is how I feel when I try to communicate with SIRI.

POINT: SIRI is not quite the SIRI that is advertised. (But it is still in BETA phase, so I am sure that a South African will come along at some stage. Mind you- we still can’t purchase songs through Itunes……. So, maybe not?)

My third dilemma was the battery life. My Torch could squeeze itself into a work day and perhaps the start to an evening. I had gotten into the habit of having a battery charger at the office- just in case.

My iPhone literally depletes it’s battery life at 15%-20% an hour. (Even when I am not touching it.) Ummm….. I posted a question on facebook about this, and all the my friends who were iPhone users basically told me to “deal with it”. One of my friends even said- “carry your cable around it is worth it.” I can just laugh when I read that. Luckily I am a girl and carry a handbag. What about the boys? iPhone may just make the man bag popular again. Perhaps they should sell these at the stores? There is an idea.

Point: you will need to have alternative charge points “everywhere”, and you will need to plan around the little icon that shows your battery level.

The fact is though that my friend was right- it is worth it. The iPhone just makes me feel so very special. It makes me happy. That makes me sound super materialistic, but I just can’t lie.

My iPhone makes me smile.

My knight commented in bed a few nights ago, while watching a documentary about Steve (and playing on his iPad at the same time) that he wanders how quickly Appple will carry on moving forward. Will it change at the same pace as with Steve? My reply “I couldn’t care less, I am happy with where it is now.”



  1. I can’t lie, I am not a fan of the iPhone and it really bugs me that they require “premium data plans”… I have always had unlimited data, so tell me what makes the iPhone data so special that it needs to charge even more? Data is data… I also hate the way Microsoft uses Xbox to nickel and dime me out of more and more money…. urgh!!

    • OKay- I dont have an Xbox, so cant comment on that. And your first point- we definitely dont get premium data plans in South Africa. Here- data is data. The charges come from the service providers…. and it depends on what your contract actually states. BUT data is very expensive in South Africa to begin with. We can buy a loaf of bread with the amount it costs for 10 megs out of contract. Quit shocking hey?

      • Sometimes I am ashamed of myself for just how much money I spend on our family cell phone plan… probably a week’s worth of groceries!

  2. A few interesting points you’ve touched on; When I was in the States I had some people who guessed me to be from Australia too. From what I’ve heard on the movie ‘Australia’ I didn’t think I sounded much like an Australian either. The rest who noticed asked me rather than taking a stab at it 🙂

    The data usage in SA – and yes, I have a 3G too – is indeed exorbitant. I first thought that the right word is rather exuberant (high-spirited, enthusiastic, lively, cheerful), which is not far off, as that must be what the service provider feels like when they take your money 😀 For this reason I opted to buy a different Kindle to the Fire – the data usage to enjoy all the fantastic features that sell the devise would have cost me more than what I paid for the device in no time. And if I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much, then I might as well have gotten a lesser one, right?

    I think the iPhone is beautiful – I would very possibly also have opted for white – my kindle is white. It is sexy and sophisticated in one – beautiful!

    I’ve had a touch screen now for 3 years… Would I get another one?… I might have to think about it a little… Never had a Blackberry, but the buttons feel a little small for my fingers, plus I’ve become so spoiled with the big screen of the touch screen… with beautiful graphics!

    Sounds like you can make some small adjustments to keep right on enjoying your phone, maybe just find a good data bundle deal… The access to internet is certainly one of the things that I miss about the US right now; So much of my life has become internet driven – music, movies, blogging, photo’s on Flickr, FB, Twitter, daily devotionals… the list goes on and on… That is one of the ways in which I noticed the 3rd world status for sure… Maybe you should consider an unlimited modem or ADSL package with a router that allows for wireless connection – perhaps for home or the office – or both – the two spaces in which you move and do the most… might be a lot more cost effective for you, plus you’ll be able to do the laptop, iPad, and whatever else you have that operates in the same way… Maybe you should consider. You can go wireless in more ways than 3G. Don’t limit yourself. (And maybe you can keep the 3G for exceptions out of those two spaces?) Cost wise I believe that you’ll still spend less than what you’d be spending on your current method but with a LOT more pleasure!

    • Thanks for that- def looking at all the options.
      BUT tell me, how did you manage to get a white kindle in South Africa. I ordered one initially, and tehy said “sorry these wont work in your country”. I was highly dissapointed. And now i hear they do? Mind you i did get it a year ago……and i am head over heels in love with it. Well, i was util my ipad came along. So now i read books on my kindle still, but teh time issue is becoming a factor because i am “playing” more on my ipad.
      Horrible world we live in with all this wonderful technology!!!!

      • I didn’t get the kindle in SA; I bought it in the US in December 😉 I can just imagine your disappointment 😦 Why should the cool stuff be exclusive, huh? 😀

  3. I’m not really one for playing the “You’ve won an award” thingy, now pass it on, but I did today…and have passed it on to you…lol Check out my blog

    • Oh yah!!! I won something and we are only into February.
      Will have a look later this evening, just running like a chicken without a head. I am sure everyone can see that in my bad typing this afternoon.
      (PS i check out your blog all the time, I am subscribed you know. I tend to subscribe to the really cool ones! Haha)

  4. I like Apple tech but I’m only with a 3G iPhone at the moment, without a data plan it’s just a touch-screen phone to me :S I do like downloading movies to it for long car trips to Grandma’s house in the country! The kids love that.

    • You have no idea what you are missing out on! Why can’t you just get a cheap data plan? I thought that America was pretty cheap when it came to broad band and only countries like ours were screwing their users. I must be honest- everything i am running on is 3G, and it is expensive. I don’t have wireless anywhere. I need to do something about that. x

  5. […] is today. The fact is that I (and probably you) could not possibly imagine life without my iPhone …. never mind my Mac, Kindle, iPad or electric toothbrush. (I know it once happened. In fact, I […]

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