Original iPhone: Why this guy is still using a 5-year-old smartphone

The true story of a Bulgarian network support engineer

Tihomir Yosifov, a network support engineer for a tech firm in Bulgaria, owns an original iPhone and says it still works great, five years after Apple introduced the iconic smartphone.

5 YEARS LATER: Do Apple's original iPhone ads ring a bell? 

APPLE iPHONEYS: The iPhone 5 edition 

Yosifov wasn't one of those Apple fanboys standing in line on June 29, 2007, when the original iPhone became available for $US499 and $US599 in the United States. He actually didn't acquire his iPhone until February 2009, off eBay, for $US300 without a service contract. It replaced his Siemens M55 phone.

The IT worker says he first saw and touched an iPhone while in the United States in 2007, and decided he wanted one. But they were selling for $US1000-plus in Bulgaria, and no carriers were offering them early on.

(Those original iPhones are now discontinued, as the iPhone has evolved to the 4 and 4S models, with a possible iPhone 5 on the way later this year. The original iPhone came with 4G, 8G or 16GB of storage vs. 16G, 32G, 64GB for the 4S, and a 620 MHz ARM processor vs. the 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor.)

"In the beginning I was very excited with it," Yosifov writes. "I installed many apps, games, listened to music and accessed the Internet. It was so great, it still is."

Take the iPhone quiz

First-day buyer of original 2007 iPhone found love and connectivity

Yosifov clarifies that he uses his original 2G iPhone for personal use only now, though always has it with him.

"Today's mobile phones are much faster and it seems like my old iPhone is not so exciting anymore," he says. "I currently use it mainly as a phone and from time to time use the slow 2G Internet when I need to check something on my way or to read my email."

(A MacRumors forum about the subject of original iPhone use shows some users have relegated their original iPhones to use as iPods or iPod touches.)

Yosifov says he'd be happy if he could update his iPhone to support 3G and his favorite apps, "but if so, I would never upgrade to a newer model, which is against Apple's interests."

Yosifov, who doesn't own any other Apple products, says he would consider upgrading to a newer iPhone for faster Internet connectivity and multitasking, but is not going to be standing in any iPhone 5 lines anytime soon. Though neither has he been won over by Android, having tried out friends' phones running the Google mobile OS.

Bob Brown tracks network research in his Alpha Doggs blog and Facebook page, as well on Twitter and Google +.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

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