A tale of three iPhone 4s, two untimely ends, and differing box sizes across the world

Whilst tidying came across the boxes for my three iPhone 4s (yes, three, only one of which is still alive today, I am suitably mortified1…) and noticed a few differences resulting from their differing origins: one British, one French, and one American.

Let’s take a look:


The smallest box is the French, the only one not to have separate compartments for each included item seen above. The largest is from the UK, thanks to the size of their plugs, the box includes special holes to accommodate the prongs, this being the only box in which the plug faces downward, which, actually, makes it appear more compact than it is. Nevertheless, the neat, compact French box appeals to me far more on an aesthetic level.

Thank goodness for insurance, which has saved me each time2. The first, the 16GB black model was purchased on launch day in the UK3. The second, the black 32GB French model was a replacement in February 2011 after I managed to crack both front and back screens of the first. The third, and current model, was purchased in August in St. Louis, MO, after I drowned its predecessor in a distinctly unfortunate incident. So, back to a 16GB model again after having gone up to a 32GB it was.

I’d always opted by default for the higher capacity4 but whilst queueing for the iPhone 4 on launch day I was informed that the allocation of 32GB phones had run out. This was three hours in, and I wasn’t about to give up so I obstinately continued to queue for the next four hours, finally parting with a 16GB model. I didn’t initially have any trouble with the smaller capacity, having to be somewhat more judicious with my music collection was actually somewhat liberating. But I frequently found on trips without my computer that I hadn’t budgeted sufficient spare space for photos and videos I might take. So, when the phone finally became unusable5, I seized the chance to replace it with the 32GB model and wave goodbye to the days of deleting memories.

When iPhone#2 came to a uh watery end, and was declared dead despite a day inside the air conditioning vent in a frantic attempt to resuscitate, I went back to a 16GB6 model and for the first time since the iPhone 3G, a white phone. Interestingly, with the iPhone 3G I was incredibly uncomfortable having a white iPhone as at that point the iPhone didn’t have quite the same level proliferation, and a white model was seen as somewhat ostentatious, and indeed something of a step too far down the road. It stuck out like a sore thumb and attracted a rather ridiculous amount of attention, and I was distinctly ill at ease when using it in public.

Now, however, 3 years later, iPhones are everywhere in France, the UK, and the USA. So, I couldn’t be happier with my white, 16GB iPhone 4 which I intend to guard with my life7. Who knows, if I manage to keep this up I may even be able to give the iPhone 5 a miss8!

  1. I hasten to add that I’ve owned each generation of iPhone, and only one of each until the iPhone 4. I’m not sure whether this says something about the solidity of the iPhone 4 versus the previous models, or just my increasing clumsiness. []
  2. I sense I’m one of the few people who doesn’t see insurance as an unnecessary additional expense, or even scam, simply because, I, uh, end up having to use it more than most. Must reverse this trend! []
  3. the first (and last) time I’ll be queueing for a phone, I’ll never get those 7 hours back, although I did get more than my fair share of free Starbucks coffee and cinnamon rolls out of it… []
  4. What if I go on that round the world trip I’ve been threatening, and need to store photos? What if I need that song, right now? etc []
  5. glass in your ear can render telephone calls rather hazardous []
  6. At the moment, I’m making a concerted effort to reduce both physical and mental clutter. Materially, I’m incredibly lucky to have more possessions than I really strictly need, and am attempting to find more suitable homes for most, or indeed all, without which one can get along just as well (that’d be most things, then). Downsizing the phone seemed a logical step on this journey. []
  7. 6 weeks and counting and it’s still alive! []
  8. I realise this sounds a tad ridiculous, but as can be seen I’ve not managed to resist a generation of iPhone yet. I’ll admit that the 3GS was rather nearing the end of its life, though. The lock button, was, uh, temperamental. []

9 Replies

  • Hanni the site has light text color could you make it more solid for readability the poor cousin made way for twenty eleven child themes ultimately i loved the earlier simpler one but this is nice too
    thanks H

  • I never actually thought of that the boxes is that big of a difference. The American ones are huge.

    But aside from the magical trivia of the different box sizes, the real topic is how many iPhones you apperently brake 🙂 It makes my little Apple-heart hurt. hehe

  • I’m not an iPhone fan, never liked it. Blackberries work so much better for me, have you tried it? And their batteries last longer!
    I started a blog yesterday and wrote something in Portuguese & English. If you could, please, read the Eng one and tell me what you think of it, would really help me move forward with my blog.

  • When Sprint released the iPhone 4S, they had them SIM unlocked out of the box and then relocked the devices. Generally carrier policy allows you to unlock your phone after 90 days of service so even if Verizon kills this with an update we should be able to simply call up like last time and ask to get it unlocked for world travel. Given this world, and even expanded US, functionality I think the Verizon iPhone 5 may be the best of the models. The one thing you cannot do is make voice calls and use data at the same time, but since voice calls are rare for me this is not a factor.

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