Thursday, 1 January 2009

Unlocking your 3g iPhone for people who's iPhone is a tool rather than their life

There is a sector of our global community who's lives revolve around their devices and gadgets, however for most of us, an iPhone is a phone. A camera is a camera, not a DSLR with a 12 Mega pixel CMOS sensor, ultrawide 10-20 zoom and motions stabilizers.

So when the iPhone Dev Team launched it's 3G software unlock app, I imagine to most people it was interesting but not really worthy of anything more than cocktail chatter. What they don't realise is that this little app has just put a whole bunch of people out of business. Folk who will charge you to make your iPhone do what it really should have done in the first place. I am happy to help that economic genocide.

So this post it for the normal folk who have a phone that they want to use when they travel overseas but who have better thing to do than to spend the last 2 days surfing the internet for news on the release of this revolutionary freebie. As such I will attempt to make the instruction to unlocking your iPhone as simple as possible. Sorry if geek speek comes through every now and then.

Phase 1: Upgrade your iPhone Firmware
Step 1: Plug your iPhone into your computer
Step 2: Open iTunes
Step 3: In the iTunes main screen for your iPhone if the software version does not say 2.2 then click Check for updates and follow the download instructions to update.

Now for those who care, when you do this you are not only updating your operating system but you are updating what is called your baseband which is the internal program that the iPhone runs to make the radios works etc etc. It is this program that the Yellow Sn0w app that the iPhone Dev Team has developed that change the programming that will allow you to use your iPhone with any GSM SIM card. For those who don't care, move on to Phase 2: Jailbreaking your iPhone... BTW Jailbreaking is not unlocking. It is a process where the operating system is hacked to allow you to install non-Apple approved software onto your device. Obviously Yellow Sn0w is not approved by Apple.

Phase 2: Jailbreaking your iPhone.
Step 1: Download QuickPWN or Pwnage Tool and install it on your computer. (I used QuickPWN cos I am a PC user. There are links for it here but you can just as easily find it by googling for it)
Step 2: Run it and follow the prompts and instructions (to the letter). Your iPhone will restart after resetting it by holding the home and off button for 20 seconds or so. Make sure that when you are prompted to install Cydia or Installer you choose at least one of them. They download and install the Yellow Snow Program.
Step 3: Check that your iPhone still works and that the Cydia and Installer icons are there in your home screen (or Springboard for the geeks)

Phase 3: Unlock your iPhone
Step 1: Open Cydia (or installer but I prefer Cydia cos it's Prydia... get it Prettier? Oh Nevermind)
Step 2: Select Manage (4th icon on the bottom of the screen)
Step 3: Select Sources (touch the icon that has a globe in it)
Step 4. Select Edit on the top right corner
Step 5: Select Add on the top left corner
Step 6: When the pop up box comes up enter (Make sure that the second 0 in the word yellowsn0w is actually a zero and not the alphabetical "o". Also if you have chosen to use Installer then the link is
Step 7: Select the icon for Changes on the bottom after the source has been added.
Step 8: Somewhere on that list is yellowsn0w. Select that app
Step 9: After selecting the app, the next screen provides info on yellowsn0w. Select the Install button on the top right corner of that screen
Step 10: Select Confirm on the top right corner of the next screen

And that's as far as I can take you. My iPhone isn't locked so I don't need to unlock it. I actually shelled $$ to get an unlocked one so for those of you who will get the same functionality as me for USD200 or less. Y'all suck!

Having said that, even though I will not directly benefit from this, a big thanks to MuscleNerd and the whole iPhone Dev Team for doing what you're doing and then giving it away. The world needs more people like you.

PS: Dad, I'll sort out your iPhone when I see you next.


Tip from John Solomon via Dan Washburn.

"I got them from reading the comments on the dev team blog, basically you will need to jail break the phone using pwnage tool, install the mobile terminal app from cydia, install mobile app terminal, follow instructions to download app from installer app (i hear this is better then cydia) and then enter a few terminal commands to get china mobile to pop up. i just can't seem to get data working but everything else works"