Passing along old tech: the upgrade shuffle

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Apple, hardware, iphone, software, technology
Tags: , , , , ,

Part of staying current with new toys and tech is figuring out what to do with all the old stuff, some of which still works fine, just slow or is missing a few features compared with the shinny new version.    Sometimes its a simple case of the “upgrade shuffle” as I like to refer to it.  I get a new device, my old one goes to next in line, and theirs gets passed down, etc.  Other times there is no direct path and the device faces potential dust collecting.  My old iPhone 3G falls into this category.

After a bit of pondering and a phone call or two gathering info, it was decided if we could find an inexpensive phone/text plan without data for the old iPhone 3G, it would be a great device for my eldest daughter.  I Checked with both of the providers we have now for our other iPhones and neither offer a good simple (read “cheap”) plan, even if we share minutes with a current plan.  So it looks like Fido is the way to go.  The only trouble is, the phone is “locked” to another provider.

I like a challenge, but sometimes trying the easy way out is also fun.  With that in mind I tried the software “iPhoneUnlocking“.  It seems to be an easy way to unlock your iPhone from your carrier, but contrary to their info on their website, it does not work with an iPhone running iOS4.1.  Thats. Just. Great.

This is a portion of their webpage stating quite clearly “…up to the latest ios 4.1.

Nope.  Failed for me.

The main reason I was intrigued by their software was the last sentence in the screengrab of their site “your iPhone will remain unlocked when installing future firmware/ios versions.

Sounds too good to be true? I’m thinking it is, since it sure didn’t like my iPhone 3G running iOS4.1.  I did get a feeling of dread when the url they send you to download the program is invalid, that and the fact the info provided on the linked website (once I edited out the “to” in from of the “http://…” which was making the link invalid) made different claims than the original website.   Now I guess I will be testing another claim of theirs.  100% Money Back Guarantee.  I won’t hold my breath though since their 24/7 live support hasn’t been available for the past 3 days, and I have yet to get a response to any emails.


So I downloaded PWNAGETOOL again and ran it in simple mode (i’ve used it before as mentioned in this post) and Jailbroke the old iPhone sucessfully this time.  It was a bit tricky getting into DFU mode since one of the problems with an unsuccessful install of iPhoneUnlocking was the fact that the iPhone could not actually be powered off.  With a few attempts I managed to catch the cycle just right to make it work though.  This brought me back to an earlier version of the iPhone OS,  iOS4.01 since I was having such issues with 4.1.  The iPhone is jailbroken and now has a working version of Cydia on it, so there is all those customizations and fun to be had with that if daughter decides she wants to tweak things, but that wasn’t the main reason for the jailbreak.  It was to get the iPhone off the network it was locked to.  Fingers crossed, I checked in Settings/General/About and sure enough – no carrier and no network.  That should mean its unlocked from the provider it was purchased from.

Next Step, get a sim card and set up an account with the new provider, hopefully that goes smoother.  If not i’m sure i’ll be letting you know.



Well, as it turns out, the unlocking did not work.  The trouble being the old iphone 3g was already updated to the 4.1 OS which changed the  modem to the most current version, a change that as of yet cannot be changed back.  So again, it seems the claims from iPhone Unlocking are false, and not just because their software can’t do it – no one can.  The iPhone call be jailbroke easily enough, but not unlocked from the carrier.  At least not yet.

If you are in doubt, a little program named f0recast (that’s f then zero then recast) tells you very easily if the device can be jailbroken, the baseband installed, the serial number and also if it can be unlocked.  Great little tool if you are need info about your device before wasting a lot of time trying to downgrade or restore.


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