How to Unlock the Apple iPhone 3G

By Techwalla Contributor

Up until recently, those of us with an iPhone 3G had to use it on the AT&T network. Not anymore! After months of development and research, the guys over at the Dev Team have released the worlds first 3G unlock method. Unlocking will allow use of the iPhone on any network, and also the ability to install 3rd party applications not available via the App Store. This article will walk you through the steps in order to finally free your iPhone.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone 3G
  • iTunes
  • QuickPwn (free download)

Step 1

First, you will need to download the QuickPwn software. It is available in both Windows and Mac formats, and both download links are provided in the resources area of the article below.

Step 2

Make sure you are running the most current iTunes and iPhone versions. You must have iTunes 8.0.2. You can check what versions your iPhone is running by going to Settings->General->About on your phone and then looking for Version and Modem Firmware listings. The most current version is 2.2 (5G77) and the firmware is 02.28.00. If you do not have these running on your iPhone, the unlock will not work.

Step 3

Create a backup of your iPhone using iTunes.

Step 4

Launch the QuickPwn program, making sure you have your iPhone on and plugged in via USB. Press the big blue arrow button to continue.

Step 5

Next, QuickPwn will search for the firmware file on your computer. It should be able to find it on its own, so just press the blue button to continue.

Step 6

Next, QuickPwn will ask you if you want to install Cydia, Installer or to replace boot logos. In order to unlock, you MUST install both Cydia and Installer. Once done, press the blue button.

Step 7

This is the tricky step. And not because its hard - its just so time-sensitive! In order for QuickPwn to begin its magic, the iPhone has to be in "Recovery Mode". To achieve this, you are going to have to press some buttons! Don't worry though, QuickPwn will highlight each step, and even count the seconds for you! First, you will hold down the HOME button for 5 seconds (the home button is the circular one on the face of the phone). Once that 5 seconds has passed, you will continue to hold the HOME button down, as well as the POWER button for 10 seconds. The power button is the one on the top of the phone, that you (duh) use to power the phone on and off with. After those 10 seconds go by, keep holding the HOME button down, but release the POWER button. Keep holding the HOME button down until QuickPwn tells you that the process has begun.

Step 8

Now, sit back, and try not to have a heart attack. QuickPwn will write the modified files to your iPhone, and for the most part, will keep you informed of what it's doing. You might see some random lines of code on the screen of your iPhone, but it is nothing to be scared of.

Step 9

Once complete, your iPhone will reboot and then be recognized by iTunes. When asked if you want to set this up as a new phone, or restore from a backup, select the backup option. This will allow you to choose the restore point we just made before starting this whole process. The restore process can take a while, so don't sweat it. This is especially true if you had a ton of music and applications on your iPhone. It took about an hour or so for it to complete mine.

Step 10

Once complete, look for the Cydia icon on your phone. Open it, and go to the "Sources" section. Click the + at the top of the screen, then type this web address to add the following source:

Step 11

Install the Yellowsn0w program and reboot your iPhone, making sure your with SIM card is inserted. Wait about 90 seconds for carrier lock; if you are still unable to connect, pull the SIM card out and try again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your iPhone must have baseband firmware 02.28.00 and firmware update 2.2 currently installed and running.
  • If your SIM card has a PIN code setting available, then this must be DISABLED before starting the jailbreak.
  • Tampering with the iPhone 3G software could void its warranty.
  • The 3G unlock is still in Beta, so unexpected errors could occur.
  • Proceed at your own risk - the writer of this article cannot be held responsible for any damages caused to your iPhone.