Your iPhone is a pain in the ass. I’m not going to tell you how to do it, you’ll have to figure out most of it on your own. But this little note will save you hours of frustration.
You have to be aware that there is a constant arms race between Apple and the iPhone hackers. Apple keeps making changes to the software when it finds problems that allow the phones to be jailbroken and unlocked. The hackers keep trying to get out in front of Apple. It’s a constant effort on both sides.
My adventure with the iPhone began as a gift from my brother in law. He gave me his old 3gs since he had upgraded to the 4. This is the best place to get your older model iPhone, from someone you know who has recently upgraded. If all possible, don’t get one that other people have messed with, you’ll only be handed a rats nest of someone else’s errors.
The first thing you will want to do is nothing. If you plug the phone into iTunes and it wants to upgrade to a more recent version of the operating system, don’t!
The next thing you want to do is check the phone’s software version and baseband version. The version is the operating system software. You’ll often see it referred to as iOS. Baseband is the phrase you’ll see all over the internet, on your phone it’s called the modem firmware.
Search around the internet. You may have a combination of version and baseband that can be jailbroken and unlocked easily. This will be the case if you get a phone from someone that never bothered to upgrade the software on the phone.
Keep in mind that the internet is not curated very well. Pay attention to the dates of the articles and posts you are reading. Some of them might be quite old. Maybe your google fu is better than mine and you can search by published dates.
You need to understand when your phone was made. This can be determined through the serial number. Generally, the older the phone, the more successful your efforts. You will have success if you have one with the “older more desirable bootroom.” Whatever the hell that means.
Find the recipes. Download the software. Follow the instructions. They will work. Don’t get too frustrated. The programs you download will not be industrial strength. The will fail, they will lock up, they will crash. Just keep going, it will eventually work.
It took about 6 hours once I figured it all out. I should have just bought an iPhone 4.