Following up to my own post. My friend's iPhone developed an intermittent problem with the headphone jack and made an appointment with a Genius. After only a few minutes of inquiry and examination, the Genius gave him a "new" refurb. I asked about the apps and our syncing dilemma to which the Genius replied that there should be no problem since the phone had been backed up before our visit. George examined the "new" phone and noted that no apps were there after the in-store backup and we went home to restore from his backup. Again, no apps transferred over so he proceeded to download each from the App Store. As he was using his existing account, each was recovered without question. Lo and behold, the app data had been saved by his at in-home backup and he can sync his apps without fear of data lose. A happy ending for our problem.A friend of mine got his 3G while he still had an XP laptop. Subsequently, he's moved to a MBP and has been maintaining the phone successfuly for several months but never "officially" synced his apps since iTunes said something about erasing the data. Consequently, he's never been able to see or re-arrange his apps on the MBP. Is it safe for him to let the MBP/iTunes access his apps on the phone without risk of loss? My thought was that the App Store would still have records of his purchases but I'm guessing he'd lose any app data currently on the phone.