Broken iPhones and why Apple rocks

I had a wonderful evening on Friday. Went to Wade’s house, then a group of us had dinner and drinks at Cosmo’s in Uptown Charlotte for Jim’s birthday, then bowling at midnight and attempt to dance at Blackfinn (way too crowded to actually dance!). All night, my iPhone came in handy. Twittering my horrible bowling score, texting Chris when I got a strike, taking pictures at the bowling ally, etc. Then we headed back to Wade’s and jumped in the hot tub (for the record, the phone was in Wade’s guest room, on the 2nd story. His hot tub is outside on the basement level. Far, far away from my phone.) I finished up the evening drunk texting Elwood around 3 a.m. about how it sucks we have to watch Private Practice to get ready for this week’s Grey’s Anatomy, and I fell asleep. All was well.

Then I had the worst nightmare that my phone was possessed or something. The screen had turned completely white, and there were horizontal lines all over it. Except, it wasn’t a dream. My phone actually looked like this:

It does look possessed or something ...
It does look possessed or something …

I was half asleep but I tried turning it off and back on. No luck. Then I tried resetting it. No luck. I fell back asleep. Woke up a little later, “What a horrible dream!” Checked my phone. No dream.

The phone itself didn’t appear to be broken – I could hear phone calls, texts, emails coming in – I just couldn’t answer them.

Rushed to the Apple store as soon as conveniently possible (after breakfast at Denny’s with Jeff and Wade and Meghan), and held up my phone to the first employee, Kerry,  that gave me any attention. “Look!” I showed her. “I have an emergency!”

Kerry was sympathetic, but they clearly have a protocol. And their protocol is I needed to have an appointment with one of the Apple Geniuses (what they call tech support) to get my phone looked at. Oops.

Kerry was helpful, though, and pointed me to the web site in which I could set up an appointment, that I could have used from home. Jeff, who has a whole lot more knowledge in these matters, filled out the ticket for me – and properly. He documented the problem exactly as he saw it, with details and times, and he made sure to mention that Kerry had been able to verify the problem.

As she was showing me the web site, she placed my iPhone down on the counter. And viola! It flickered back to life. Slowly – not right away, but it came back. “Oh my gosh you fixed it!” I said.

But of course she hadn’t really. The screen was still messed up on the sides – it clearly wasn’t “right.” But it was usable – for about 10 minutes. Then it went back to broken.

I took it home and synced it, with no problem, even with the screen still messed up. A few hours later, however, it flickered back to life again! And this time it stayed that way. I pondered leaving it at home that evening – not wanting to make it worse – but decided it best I take it out and test it. I’d rather have a broken phone or a fixed phone, but not one in between that decides to flake on me at inopportune moments.

Alas, the phone worked all evening, sans a flicker or two of white screen, all through dinner at Pewter Rose with Amanda and Jason and Jeff, all through hanging out at Jeff’s work after as I waited for him to fix a hard drive failure (not nearly as important as an iPhone failure, wouldn’t you agree?)

Sunday morning I took it running. I just knew it was going to fail me then, right in the middle of my GPS tracking and iPod playing. But I had to test it. And it passed! But I was nervous. My appointment with the Apple Geniuses was coming up and I was going to be bringing them a phone that looked absolutely fine.

So, the appointment time came. The store, as usual, was a madhouse. Customers everywhere, employees everywhere, but only some of them can help with what I need and those are the busiest ones. I’m not complaining (really) but the store could use a little bit of order. And perhaps another 500 square feet or so.

So, 20 minutes after my appointment time, I was finally able to speak to a Genius. I told him it appeared to be working right then but that it had been very sporatic. He looked at my ticket, which Jeff had properly filled out the day before, and said “I have notes here that Kerry has been able to reproduce the problem.”  Then he said “What we’re going to go ahead and do is swap it out for a new phone.”

Oh, relief. I was so scared he was going to tell me that the phone wasn’t broken. I don’t know if it was Jeff’s properly filled out ticket or if this is how anyone would be treated, but it was perfect. Within a few minutes, I had a new, activated iPhone. Of course, it wouldn’t be my phone until I got it home and synced it and hopefully got all my data back (I spent Saturday afternoon emailing myself photos and notes, just in case).

So, the true test: I took it home, plugged it into my laptop, had it do a recovery from my old iPhone data that had been last synced the night before, and I waited.

It’s perfect! I’m so amazed that it saved everything: my notes, my photos, my texts and voicemails, contacts, etc. … Everything is there. Even my wallpaper and the Safari Web sites I’d had up during my last synce were there. I am amazed. The only difference is my icons are not in the same order – an easy, easy fix.

So, this is why Apple rocks. And my nightmare turned into a shiny new phone for me!