back to article iPhone 3G finally unlocked

If an O2 contract’s all that’s standing in-between you and an iPhone 3G, then hardware hackers the iPhone Dev Team have a treat for you: an upcoming unlocking tool. According to the team’s blog, it has successfully cracked the iPhone 3G for use on any network with an unlock codenamed 'yellowsn0w'. Unfortunately, the unlock …


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  1. gautam

    How long will it last?

    So what happens when Jesus relases a firmware upgrade and relocks phon again ????

    Keep blssings the team!! Again & again, Cats n mouse, anyone?

  2. Mark Burton

    Good advice

    Don't eat yellow snow

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O2 - rubbish coverage

    Being a current o2 iPhone 3G user their 3G coverage is simply rubbish for me. The two places I spend the most time at (home and work) neither has good coverage. At home I don't even get Edge all of the time.

    I didnt want to be on O2 but I just wanted an iPhone.

    At least now I could in theory unlock a PAYG model and use it on a decent mobile network.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    These nerds need to get a life, really they do. And stop bastardising the English language with their made up mongspeak. "Pwn"??

    "Twat" more like.

  5. Jamie Hylton

    And about time...

    Its taken them long enough to do it... Seems like Zibri has given up, as his domain is up for auction.

    I suppose with the credit crunch, it makes it easier to sell it unlocked when you are running short on money to pay the mortgage...

  6. Andrew Katz

    Rubbish coverage

    Yep - anonymous coward. Dead right. Orange was miles better on 3G.

    I just had an amusing conversation with an O2 call centre operative, who freely admitted it that their 3G coverage was crap. And it seems pretty unlikely to me that, absent more pressure from Ofcom, O2 is likely to want to spend any money to do anything about it.

    I'm waiting for someone to produce an iphone app which monitors signal strength/type, records it alongside GPS data, and periodially calls back to base to update a coverage map, which can then be viewed as a google maps mashup. Crowdsourcing loads of iphone users in this way would give a great and realistic coverage map - which I suspect is a lot patchier than the maps that O2 uses to submit to Ofcom.

    Ofcom has already threatened to dock O2's licence if it fails to meet coverage thresholds. I suspect some real coverage data would put a lot more pressure on them.

    - Andrew

  7. James Robertson

    dont get unlocking

    I agree that O2 is not great with the 3G, but given that 3G eats your battery I don't bother with it. I have wifi at both home and work, and a satnav in the car so dont use the GPS either, I find that this gives me really good battery use, and all the functions I actually use day to day.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just O2

    Its not just O2 that stops me from getting an iPhone, no Java support (is that still true), oh and the very strange rules Apple applies to apps on the App store.

    never mind

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phone or Network?

    I live in the North West and get great coverage at work in Chester or at home, also good around Sheffield too when i'm staying up there.

    I have a N95 8gb, not saying its the iPhones fault (Almost definately its just bad coverage by o2) but you never know...Could be hardware.

    Does the iPhone for "3.5g" for data??

  10. Will
    Thumb Down

    o2 is simply shite

    Fed up with visual voicemail just not working, and crap signal.

    I've already started the process to cancel.

  11. Matthew Brown

    Fashion Accessory Unlocked

    Geeks fail to give a shit.

  12. Will

    If only O2 were the biggest problem

    It's not just O2 that are an issue (though their customer service is rubbish). The biggest issue I have with the whole malarky is that I have to have iTunes installed. Yesterday it installed an update, that bindled quicktime in and changed all my media file associations! Apple software is bordering on malware with its intrusive nature.

  13. Matt Martin

    @O2 - rubbish coverage - Anon

    I doubt that if you get a new PAYG it will be on/below the required firmware version to carry out this hack.

    Most new iPhones will already be on the latest firmware with the latest modem drivers - thus making this unlock, useless.

  14. Jamie Hylton
    Thumb Up

    Andrew Catz...

    ... great idea... although I'd wonder whether the SDK APIs give developers access to the signal strength?

  15. AJ
    Thumb Down

    Why Cant...

    ... Apple just get the fucking message that people do not want it dictated to them which mobile network they should be on to get a phone, and that by offering a SIM free version - or even an agreement with Orange & T-Mobile in the UK also, they could potentionally earn millions more?

    As long as they sort out the whole MMS issue, and networks offering the iphone give decent tariffs - the whole issue I have with O2 is that they offer a sim only deal with unlimited texts and great minutes yet the iphone tariffs are a bag of shite, and from their customer service team you can NOT put any other O2 simcard into the iPhone as it will not work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    good riddance

    My year on o2 has been painful - having moved from Orange to what's described as a better network my conclusion that o2 is more notwork than network. The sheer number of coverage gaps in places where you could reasonably expect good coverage is very surprising e.g.

    - large parts of many train stations and airports

    - much of the above ground sections of the district line

    - centre of richmond

    - many rural areas in the south west where even T-Mobile have good coverage

    Even when you do have a signal, it's mostly EDGE and not 3G. Then there are the delays to voicemail and SMS alerts of anything up to 24 hours, calls going straight to voicemail in the evening because the network capacity is piss poor, and cell breathing on 3G which means the coverage changes depending on the time of day. By way of balance, o2 customer service is better than Orange's, but for having a phone that works in most places then o2 is clearly not a very good choice.

    It's a shame that Apple have shot themselves in the foot by "partnering" with the network that has the worst 3G coverage at present, and no involvement in the future 3G / mast sharing arrangements put in place between Three & T-Mobile and Vodafone & Orange.

  17. Si

    Re: O2 - rubbish coverage

    I agree, O2's 3G coverage is crap. Even when you can find a good signal it's still barely faster than Edge for web browsing as far as I can tell. I'm certain they throttle 3G right down to Edge level speeds, with only YouTube and a few other apps given full access to the bandwidth.

    Worse still, is the unreliability of O2's network. I was trying to use the web and YouTube over Edge last night and it just would not download anything. I'm certain they have outages and don't tell anyone.

  18. Gareth

    @Matthew Brown

    To be fair, there aren't many fashion accessories that allow me to easily ssh into my servers.

    I'm not saying there aren't a plethora of mobile devices that can do this, but still, hardly just a fashion accessory.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's not just Apple who are limiting phone choice to network. I'm in the market and possible change to another network, and the 'best' 4 touchscreen phones are on different networks:

    * iphone 3G - O2

    * Blackberry Storm - Voodofone

    * HTC HD - Orange

    * G1 Google phone - T-Mobile

    So don;t just jump on apple here, makes decisions so much harder when you like a phone, and don't like the network, or like me have been with one operator with a very discounted tarriff.. I've decided to wait till next year when hopefully they'll release a better google phone, as the OS looks good and promising, just don't like the G1! The HTC HD + Android, would be my choice right now, and whilst it is 'possible' maybe to run android on it, u're tied in for 18 months, and I dont want issues. Hopefully HTC will bring out another Android phone early to mid next year.

    Currently using 2 iPhones, one on orange and one t-mobile!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who says orange is good

    at least when i'm having a conversation on my o2 phone, i don't get cut off every 45 seconds like i have been when talking on my works orange phone...

    orange = pants!

  21. Ross Fleming

    @Andrew Katz

    Good idea, but you'd need to jailbreak first in order to run the app in the background! :)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    'To be fair, there aren't many fashion accessories that allow me to easily ssh into my servers.'

    Do gay estate agents really need to SSH into servers though or do other people have the jeebus phone as well?

    Paris, essential stylishness in a world gone jeebus.

  23. Daniel Palmer

    O2 3g coverage

    I used to use my n95 on o2 with some ppp script as my main internet connection. I got over 100k/sec on downloads most of the time and I never got told off for using a few gigs a month when the policy says the max is 200mb.

    Maybe the antenna design/radio hardware in the iphone is crap? Apple's stuff does look pretty but the build quality is generally only skin deep.

  24. A J Stiles
    Paris Hilton

    Java on iPhone

    Will OpenJDK (which is released under the GPL) not build on an unlocked iPhone (which is owned outright, not licenced)?

  25. Edward Miles

    Never had a problem with O2 signal...

    Title says it all. I don't use 3G for much (I don't have a Jesus phone, and am on a cheap contract so it's quite expensive) but I have used it all over the country for checking football scores [not the most data intensive use I know] and I rarely run out of signal. As for their voice signal, it's unsurpassed in my experience. I even manage to get signal on the underground (Only enough to receive a text message, and it didn't last long) but I was none the less impressed :D

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Why Cant...

    "As long as they sort out the whole MMS issue, and networks offering the iphone give decent tariffs - the whole issue I have with O2 is that they offer a sim only deal with unlimited texts and great minutes yet the iphone tariffs are a bag of shite, and from their customer service team you can NOT put any other O2 simcard into the iPhone as it will not work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    My iPhone works great with my Works SIM card inserted!

  27. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Re: who says orange is good

    Not so long ago I used to have my own T-mobile 'phone rather than the copmpany Orange offering. When asked why I pointed out that, being on call at the time, it'd be helpful if the thing could get a sodding signal in my house (or even outside it without walking to the end of the garden and holding the handset above my head).

    Our chaps said they'd look into it. The response they got from Orange was an enquiry as to which remote part of the UK I lived in so they could do something about it. When told exactly which bit of west London it was, their incredibly helpful response was to point out that they had 100% coverage in that area.

    Can't criticise though. It must be terribly difficult to see a problem when your head's that far up your own arse.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Yes, Orange suck the fat one

    I have also had massive problems with Orange. Lived in many different parts of a major city and had appalling reception in all of them. Orange were disgustingly unhelpful and just gave me the run around until I got sick of telling them how shit their service was. Got an iPhone on O2 now... not perfect but a hell of a lot better than Orange.

  29. theotherone


    this is actually a mini-hoax ... all new iphone 3gs come with baseband 2.28, which is NOT unlockable, and will not be for the foreseeable future, iphone dev's upcoming release unlocks basebands 2.11 and earlier .... (although an iphone having either will also have firmware 2.2 which can be jailbroken) .... confused? so was i, which is why i got rid of my iphone 24 hours after i got it .... complete bollox, especially for anyone used to the functionality of windows mobile...

  30. Andrew Katz

    @Ross Fleming and Jamie Hylton

    It did occur to me that that signal strength/connection mode info might not be available in the API, but in practice I'd be stunned if there's any way Apple would allow such an app into the app store anyway. So Ross, you're right about having to jailbreak it. I must admit I didn't know enough about the configuration of the OS to realise that you also have to jailbreak to run the app in the background (which to be any use it would clearly have to do), although what you have said makes sense: my favourite app is, and it really bugs me that it won't run in the background like the ipod app. It also needs 3G (or wifi) to work properly - hence my irritation with the crappy 3G coverage.

  31. Gulfie

    @Will - Quicktime

    Quicktime is and always has been part of iTunes because its the software that plays video. As long as you've had iTunes installed, you've also had Quicktime.

    Can't comment on the file association stuff, usually even(!) iTunes / Quicktime will prompt before it changes associations.

  32. Gulfie
    Thumb Up

    @A J Stiles - Java on iPhone

    There is already a version of JSE for the unlocked iPhone:


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