According to Rzeczpospolita via WBJ, Orange have won what was presumably quite a race to be the distributor of the iPhone on the Polish market.
This must be dreadful news for the army of expert hackers who have been beavering away for months now making iPhones imported from the USA or elsewhere compatible with any SIM card so they can be used illegally in Poland. If I recall correctly, the going rate for the hack, in Warsaw, was 100 PLN, possibly more. So, assuming that most of the phones already here are in Warsaw or other big cities and taking the more realistic upper estimation of the number of iPhones that have crossed the border, we have a nice little black-market business worth 2.5 million PLN about to go bust. Still, if you had a monopoly on the hack-market you made a very tidy sum in a very short space of time, all of it cash and presumably tax-free. I wonder how many cars or apartments are about to be purchased by geeks carrying suitcases full of 100 zloty notes?
Polish entrepreneurial spirit in full flow!
You see, it definitely does pay to be good with computers, stay ahead of trends on the technology market and to know a lot of fashion conscious folk in the big cities who are going to desperate to own and use the latest gadget irrespective of the legalities of it all.
I confess, although I did have the opportunity, I did not succumb to the iPhone fever because in my opinion the current model:
- Is too big & heavy for just a phone
- Has too small a memory to replace my iPod
- Was uncertain to be able to handle the push-mail and calendar synchronisation I get from my Blackberry
- (almost forgot) Is illegal to use on any Polish mobile network
I therefore didn’t bother but I know a lot of people who did. Surprisingly, only one of them has had any problems with the phone or the hack and of course, being illegal, he/she/it has been unable to get it sorted either in Poland or in the US.
Despite not owning one, I am a small expert on the things as everyone who does have one has been so excited that they needed to give me a comprehensive demonstration of its capabilities. It is fun but I’m afraid the fun stuff doesn’t overcome the issues above, for me at any rate. So, I await the official Orange Polska version and an update of the gadget itself. My wife has a bigger problem, does she stay with Era network or does she want an iPhone. Exactly the sort of problem Orange want her to have.