This FAQ addresses the frequently asked questions regarding the Apple
iPhone. If you have any suggestions or corrections for the iPhone FAQ,
please send them to iraDOTjDOTschechtman@gmail.com
(replace DOT with a
This FAQ will be re-posted periodically to alt.cellular.attws,
alt.cellular.t-mobile, alt.cellular.verizon, alt.cellular.sprintpcs,
comp.sys.mac.advocacy, and other relevant groups.
Q. How do I change the battery on my iPhone?
A. Unfortunately, you must send the phone back to Apple's service
depot for battery replacement. The cost is $86.95. See "http://
tinyurl.com"/iphonebatteryreplacement. If you donít mind voiding your
warranty (or your iPhone is already out of warranty), and you are good
working with small electronics, a number of companies sell replacement
batteries for both the 2G and 3G iPhones at far lower prices. In
Google shopping search for ďiPhone 3G Battery Replacement.ď The iPhone
is easy to open, i.e. the 3G model has two Phillips 00 screws on the
bottom that hold the phone together. Note that on the original iPhone
the battery is soldered in, so youíll need to unsolder the original
battery and solder in the new one. Itís not all that hard to do, but
if youíve never soldered before you might want to practice on some
wires first. Be careful about using after-market batteries of unknown
orgin as lithium based batteries can be dangerous.
Q. How do I enable voice dialing on my iPhone?
A. Unfortunately, the current iPhone model does not support voice
dialing. There are some after-market voice dialing applications for
the iPhone available in the Apps store, but because the iPhone lacks a
button to press for voice dialing, you still have to use the screen to
start the application which makes the feature somewhat lame. You can
also purchase a Bluetooth device such as the Parrot Minikit Slim
Portable Bluetooth Car Kit for iPhone 3G, iPhone, which will transfer
the phonebook from the iPhone to itself and do voice dialing
externally.The next generation iPhone will likely support voice
Q. Why can't I stream music from my iPhone to a Bluetooth stereo
A. Unfortunately, Apple did not include the necessary Bluetooth
profile, called Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) in the
original OS. This profile has been added in OS 3.0. Update your iPhone
and A2DP will work.
Q. How do I connect my notebook computer to the iPhone to use my
carrier's 3G network over Bluetooth or USB or WiFi?
A. Unfortunately, tethering is not yet supported on the iPhone. You
will need to sign up for separate 3G data service from your carrier.
Note that when Apple and the carrier do support tethering it is a
virtual certainty that the carrier will charge extra for it. The good
news is that tethering support is built into OS 3.0 and developers
have already had it working, see "http://tinyurl.com"/iphonetethering.
Itís just a matter of time before tethering will work.
Q. When I insert a prepaid SIM card when travelling in foreign
countries it doesn't work. What am I doing wrong?
A. Unfortunately, iPhones are subsidy-locked to the carrier. Unless
you have your iPhone unlocked (jail broken) you cannot use a prepaid
SIM card. While AT&T will unlock their other quad band phones, they
will not unlock the iPhone. Be very careful when travelling
internationally because the iPhone can "phone home" running up
enormous roaming chargers. Your best bet is to carry along an unlocked
GSM phone and use a prepaid SIM card in that phone, and use your
iPhone only on Wi-Fi networks (and of course as a music and video
Q. I canít find a memory card slot on the iPhone. How can I transfer
photos from my digital camera to my iPhone?
A. Unfortunately, the iPhone lacks the Micro-SD or Mini-SD card slot
present on most smart phones. You must use iPhoto (on a Mac) or iTunes
to transfer photos.
Q. I want to use a Bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone but it doesnít
seem to connect. What am I doing wrong?
A. Unfortunately, the iPhone does not support the proper Bluetooth
profile. You can use a Bluetooth keyboard only on jailbroken iPhones.
Q. The camera on my iPhone doesnít have sufficient wide-angle range.
Is there any after-market device to fix this?
A. Yes. See "http://usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?
Q. The camera on my iPhone doesnít have sufficient telephoto range. Is
there any after-market device to fix this?
A. Yes. See "http://mobile.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?
Q. I frequently take long international airline flights and the iPhone
battery goes flat during the flight. How can I work around this?
A. Since the iPhone battery is not user-replaceable, a number of
companies have produced work-around products. In Google shopping
search for ďiPhone battery external.Ē
Also, look into whether or not your airline (and the plane used on
your particular flight) has any sort of power jacks at the seat. Some
airlines have power jacks even in coach. Be sure to bring the proper
adapters for the type of system used by your airline (i.e. 120VAC to
5VDC USB adapter, 12VDC to 5VDC USB adapter, or EmPower to 5VDC USB
Q. I want to use my iPhone for work related stuff, but my IT
department doesnít support it. How can I convince them to add support
to the iPhone for enterprise applications?
A. The main problem with the iPhone in terms of enterprise support is
the inablility to push applications to the iPhone. Enterprises donít
want to have to use iTunes, with the phone wired to a desktop, to push
applications. The other problem with the iPhone is that enterprises
donít want to be locked to AT&T as a carrier, though for personally
owned iPhones this should not be an issue. On the plus side,
enterprises like the low cost of the iPhone.
Once the exclusivity arrangement with AT&T is over, if there is a
version of the iPhone for Verizon, then IT departments will offer more
support for the iPhone. In the meantime, youíll have to go with
Blackberry or Windows Mobile if you want full IT support on a smart
Q. The internal memory on the iPhone is insufficient for storing the
amount of music and videos I would like. I donít want to carry around
a laptop, but an external hard drive would be okay. Is there any after-
market USB add-on drive to expand the storage to something like the
120GB on the iPod Classic?
A. Unfortunately, there is no way to connect a USB drive to the USB
port of the iPhone. Your best bet is to carry around a netbook, and
transfer music and videos back and forth between the netbook and the
iPhone. It is not clear if the SIMA Hitch will work with the iPhone
(it works with FAT32 formatted iPods). Itís likely that as Apple
expands the iPhone line there will be different models available and
at least one model will have disk based storage (like the iPod
Q. I often have no signal on my iPhone, why is this?
A. Unfortunately, while the iPhone is a very advanced device, itís
only as good as the network that it operates on. Unfortunately, in the
U.S., the smaller AT&T Wireless network significantly lags the larger
Verizon Wireless network in terms of coverage, especially outside of
urban areas. Since Verizon operates a CDMA network, the GSM iPhone
cannot roam onto Verizon.
Interestingly, Apple first approached Verizon with the iPhone and
Verizon turned them down because of Appleís proposal for monthly
You have several options regarding phone calls outside of the GSM
network coverage area. If you have a laptop, you can sign up with a
VOIP provider such as Skype, and make calls over the Internet (i.e. at
hotels with free wireless). You can carry along a prepaid CDMA phone
that works on Verizon. You can use pay phones. Of course if you never
venture out of GSM coverage areas, this is unnecessary, but most
iPhone users in the U.S. often find themselves in areas without any
Q. Is their a way to listen to the radio on the iPhone?
A. Unfortunately, the Apple iPod Radio Remote is incompatible with the
iPhone. However there is an after-market FM radio available. See
Q. Will my iPhone work in Japan?
A. No. Unfortunately, Japan uses a different 3G and voice system than
is present in the iPhone. You cannot use your iPhone in Korea either.
There is a Japanese model of the iPhone available, but because the
iPhone lacks many of the advanced features that Japanese consumers
expect in their phones, sales have been abysmal. In fact the Japanese
carrier for the iPhone has had to rush out add-on accessories to
address the iPhoneís shortcomings, for example the lack of an
integrated TV tuner. See "http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/
Q. Where are the best places to buy iPhone accessories?
A. "http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?keyword=iphone" and
Q. Why does Apple make highly desirable, and seemingly easy to
implement features, so difficult?
A. In some cases the software or drivers necessary to implement these
features has simply not yet been written. The iPhone is a relatively
new platform, and it will take Apple a while to catch up with phones
using other operating systems (Windows Mobile, Palm, RIM, Symbian,
In some cases Apple wants to protect its revenue stream and does not
want to offer any features that would cause users to purchase fewer
applications or content (i.e. thatís why there is no FM radio built
In some cases itís not entirely Apple, itís also the carrier. For
example, AT&T would rather get a cut of roaming revenue from foreign
carriers than to have an iPhone user stick in a prepaid SIM card.
In some cases, the hardware was not designed to support the feature.
I.e. thereís no button to press for voice dialing because there are no
hard buttons on the phone at all.
The iPhone was designed and marketed as phone/web browser/media
player. Now itís transitioning into a Smart Phone, and that transition
isnít going to be without some problems. Be patient. Future iPhones
will likely solve most of the issues, and iPhone users will someday
have many of the same features already enjoyed by Blackberry Storm and
Windows Mobile users. For the next year or so, if you can't live
without some features, you'll have to choose a different smart phone.
© 2009 Ira J. Schechtman
Ira J. Schechtman is a technology expert specializing in smart phones.
Contact him at iraDOTjDOTschechtman@gmail.com
(replace DOT with a