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About My Work
›iPad Repairs:
›iPhone Repairs:

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iPhone 3GS

The article below I wrote in 2010. It was valid then but it has nothing to do with reality now. There is no one in the United States that should be using a 3G model at this time, which is December of 2013. The last one I legitimately repaired was in 2012 and that was to prepare it as a gift for a client's relative in Mexico

I keep parts on hand to repair them still, but I will discourage anyone from using one and did this recently when my postal carrier shane showed up with his 16 year old son who is.... okay... remember when that whole goth look was happening about 10 years ago? It's given way to.... most of them... would now be involved in "Steam Punk" and Shane's boy is a steam punker who likes the looks of the 3 series phones. I wouldn't repair his phone even for money.

The 3G and 3GS models are now too worn out, they only work on a 3rd gen network and they lack the performance needed for modern communication.

The only repairs I'll do on a 3G/3GS model are for a highly sentimental circumstance.... "it was the last thing my wife handed me before she died in car accident" type of sentimentality.

The 3G/3GS series phones have become too un-reliable to use in 2014.

This was written in the first person several years ago

I use a White 16GB iPhone 3GS, running iOS 3.1.2 at baseband 05.11.07. It is a terrific phone. It is reasonably small and light with an appropriate battery life. I have no plans to upgrade the OS beyond it's present level. The iOS 4 operating system won't add one good thing to my life. I am also not someone that must have the latest version.

More important, repair of that phone is fairly inexpensive and un-complicated. I dislike repairing my own "life tools" so when I make a choice there's quite a bit that goes into it.

3GS.... has

1) good battery life

2) light and not too bulky

3) that great iPhone toolset including contacts, threaded text messages and safari

4) White color is available. I'm a good dancer and I go to 'overnight dance parties'. These are events where the club is dark and the DJ is rocking uptempo 130bpm EDM material. I use my iPhone and text message other friends of mine that are at the club with me. "Where are you?", "Did you catch that last Deadmau5 song?", "Can you bring me more water?"

If my phone were Black and it slipped from my hand... it would likely get kicked by someone and I would never see it again. Not that I've ever dropped my phone while clubbing.... but if I did... I want to find it immediately. white is easy to find.

Helene, a doctor friend (one of the people that got me to do 'gadget' repairs more professionally) used an iPhone 2G way longer than she should have. I counseled her to upgrade to a 3GS but she waited until November of 2010 and then took the iPhone 4 "upgrade".

At first she was thrilled to have the device, but began to be less happy with aspects of it within a couple of weeks. We conferred while she was on the way to the hospital one day and I pointed out some aspects that hadn't even come to her attention about the i4. A couple of days later she called and wanted to know what to do.

I told her she had a 30 day right of rescission and to "downtrade" it. I gave more specifics on the process... go to Apple store and explain the i4 wasn't the phone for her. They don't need specifics, they want to make sure you stay on their platform the iPhone and will give you back $200 and a new iPhone 3GS 8GB model instead of the i4.

Apple is reported to have three revenue streams from iPhones.

1) the sale of the phone to the carrier. The large capacity version of the current model typically sells to carriers for about $750. The user pays $200 to $400 and the "subsidy" is paid over the course of the contract at what seems to be about $19 a month.

2) Apple also makes money from your eyeballs.

Starting with iOS 4.0.1 that arrived with the iPhone 4, Apple baked into the operating system a method to minimize ads that Google placed in "freeware" games and insert their own Apple iAds, which they get money for when they are presented and clicked through. Think about Shazam, the music tagging and title discovery app. Near the top in the free version is an ad, if it were an iAd, and you clicked on it, the Shazam developer would get 70% of the click though fee and Apple would get 30%. Those ads have historically been Google Adsense ads with Google getting a revenue split.

3) Lastly, and I'm less certain this is still the case... but there is a lot of mystery about the contracts with carriers Apple uses. It was widely regarded as true that Apple got a revenue split from the voice contract. When the iPhone first hit in mid-2007, it was reported/theorized that AT&T to get the exclusive contract also had to yield 15% of the voice side of the contract. everyone expected to see this as a separate line o Apple's Balance sheet. That didn't come to pass, but it doesn't mean they haven't baked it into the iPhone profit center somewhere. So this remains a strong theory

Helene, my doctor friend took the deal to downtrade happily and like me is waiting to see what the i5 becomes. (She also thought the 8GB only version of the 3GS as a downtrade was a petty manipulation on Apple's part to keep people on the i4. I'm glad she got the 3GS, and it has been a source of great enjoyment.)

Call 707-544-4400


email me at with questions or to set up a repair.


Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday noon to 6pm.

I'm in Sonoma County... Northern California wine country,

    Frank Walburg
    Service Court
    Santa Rosa, Ca 95403-3139

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