Dear apple, what the Dock?
Apple’s new iPhone4 has created quite a stir, even though consumers are paying slightly more for the same phone with a slightly better display, dual (improved) cameras, and flash. I’m sure by now you know about the antenna problems and the lame way that apple chose to fix it, but I wanted one of these wonderful gadgets, so I signed up on the reservation list and finally got my email notification to pick one up this morning.
The Apple store was helpful as always, but as soon as I got the phone in my hands I realized that it was going to be another iPhone upgrade with a different goddamn dock. I tried the easy way out and wasted $9 on a “universal dock adapter kit”, which didn’t work at all with my Apple iPhone 3GS dock. I assumed it was meant for the dock that I owned, but this adapter was meant for some device which clearly didn’t match anything that Apple has ever produced. Nine dollars wasted and no working dock.
The dock is an essential device to me. Without it, I’d forget to drop my phone into the dock at work and keep it charged. How to fix this? Apple wants $29 for a new iPhone 4 dock. This is completely unacceptable to me, considering that the iPhone 3GS dock is now selling at $7 on many sites. Why pay again for a similar connector and janky audio-out contraption? (Did you know the audio out is provided by a microphone in the base of the dock, which connects to an amplifier and then the audio out jack? It does.)
There was only one way to fix this — time to make this right with some hacking.
So, out comes the dremel tool:
Let the hacking begin. We start with the 3gs dock, and go from this…
…to this, a few moments later. I hacked it into the shape of the 4g:
But guess what? Hacking the dock to fit the iPhone4 doesn’t work, because Apple’s modified the dock to only recognize the 3GS. If you connect an iPhone 4 to that very same connector, the phone and iTunes will not recognize the phone.
Sure, my 3gs still works, so I haven’t damaged anything:
Connecting the cable directly to the 4g works, just not the dock to the 4g through the very same cable.
Apple’s position on this is worsening. The iPhone 1g’s came with working docks. Then, they stopped supplying them. on the 2g and 3g models, it was an extra $20 and $25. Now it’s $29.
This is awful. There’s a custom plug that you can’t easily purchase, and all iPhone models, even though they use the same plug, are incompatible with each other’s docks because of artificial incompatibilities created by a series of resistor codes hidden inside the cable or device.
Thanks, Apple. I love the iPhone, but the way you’re treating your customers is bullshit.