Monday, June 29, 2009

Free SMS for your iPhone

If you want to send free SMS from your iPhone, simply download this iPhone application and you are all set.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The internet is not just USA

The internet once got invented in USA so it started there a lot. But it didn't take too long to spread the world. Today, the internet is the place where international businesses meet and do business together. Globalisation is common. However there are some industries which have completely forgot that.

In my case I was looking for an easy way to process credit cards. I knew the "local guys" who do that do it in a very secure and highly professional way. But they are also very expensive and timeconsuming to get there. So I looked around and found a few who offered a small iPhone App as a credit card terminal. Sounded good for the rare small amount charges I had in mind. The iPhone App was sold or given world wide in the AppStore. But then you need some account with a processor. If you try to sign up there, you get stuck. You cant enter your country (missing field), you must enter a US state. The phone number field didnt accept numbers starting with a +. So I tried entering it "us-centric" in the way an american would dial my number.

Here's what I got:

What can I say, that processor didn't get my busines.
I'm still not amused how many american companies are running around in the internet thinking they could only do valuable business with americans. But they will loose at the end.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Officially Unlocked iPhone 3GS in Switzerland

Here is the ultimate "how to" to get an unlocked iPhone in Switzerland

Step 1:

Go and buy a new iPhone 3GS in any Apple shop or at any Orange retailer. It is important that Orange is delivering the phone. Phones from Swisscom Mobile will not work. I got mines from Ingenodata in Basel for 999.- CHF (32GB iPhone 3GS model). This is the "full price" model which comes without any contract. (Orange told me full price was 1299.- but who cares. Your price might vary).

Step 2:

Take your purchase invoice and scan it in and e-mail it to with the comment that you would like your full price iPhone to be unlocked. You should include the IMEI number and Serial number of your phone. You can find it at the back of the box. In my case I never got an answer from Orange that way (even I was promised Instant answer) but they need some proof you paid full price at some point.

Step 3:

Call 0800 700 700, the hotline of Orange and go through the too many menus to mobile phones and customer care. Ask them to unlock your iPhone which you purchased at full price. They might ask you to do what you did in Step 2. Be aware that depending on which person you end up talking to, the answer can be "send in the papers", "give me your IMEI and I activate it", "I'll pass it to the backoffice, they call you back" or "I have no clue, let me ask my collegue". But they all know that it is possible. And if they know how to do it, they can doit very quick.

Step 4:

If you end up on a friendly guy answering with "give me your IMEI and I'll enter it" then be sure your iPhone is connected via USB. Give him your IMEI, let him type it into the computer and once he has done that, launch iTunes. iTunes will ask the Apple activation server and should get the unlock code immediately. You get a message saying something like "Congratulation your phone is now unlocked". Don't believe the employees if they say it takes 2-3 days to be activated. It takes 2-3 days to get someone from Orange to enter the IMEI into the system but once its at Apple's server, its instant.

I've done that with 3 iPhone 3GS I bought this friday morning and even though it took me various calls (mainly because I was in a hurry as I was planning on traveling outside of country the next morning), it was an easy going process.

Note: even though I am a Swisscom Mobile customer since 1994 and I paid my previous iPhone 3G at full price, Swisscom does not want to unlock. This also means that if you buy iPhones from Swisscom, they wont unlock and you're stuck to be Swisscom customer and you can not put a foreign SIM card into the phone if you travel abroad (#1 reason for me to only buy unlocked iPhones). In my eyes this is illegal but I leave it to someone else to go to court for it.

I can only say, Thank you Orange for having this fair option, even though I'm not your subscription customer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This happened while I tried to buy a train ticket from SBB. Translated it means that there are some delays on the pricing information. Well things can happen. Not a problem by itself.
But then it says that doesn't affect the ability for you to buy a ticket.

In cleartext: You can buy a ticket and they charge your credit-card for the exact amount, but if you don't buy a ticket, they can't tell you what the price would be.

Does that make sense to anyone?