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Thread: Purchasing Used iPhones for Jailbreaking + Unlocking Purposes

  1. #1
    Default Purchasing Used iPhones for Jailbreaking + Unlocking Purposes
    Hey people!

    I'm sure this isn't the first time someone has asked this but with the iPhone 4 being released it's now much easier to find a decent iPhone 3G/3Gs through eg ebay.

    I live in Finland (Europe) and wanted to make sure what I should look out for when purchasing a 3G/3Gs. I'll obviously have to be able to jailbreak and unlock it so if you could please tell me what I can do to make sure this'll be possible. Like avoid any particular firmware, 3G vs 3Gs, make sure some update hasn't been installed rendering the phone un-unlockable etc. I'm not sure what all to look out for!

    Also, my SIM card here in Finland has the 4-digit access code which I think pretty much every card over here has. Will that make things harder/impossible?

    I don't want to be writing one of those "So I just bought an iPhone and apparently I can't use it" topics in a couple of weeks

    Any wise words are much appreciated!

  2. #2
    I believe your sim card will be able to activate any phone locked on your carrier, but don't hold me to that. Are you buying the phones from Finland or somewhere else?

    For a 3GS, look for a phone on firmware lower than 4.0.1, preferably an old bootrom phone (do the basic check from the serial number).

    Not 100% on 3G, but I think you'll be fine on all except for firmware 4.1 (a very few on 4.1 would be able to be unlocked).

    Good luck!

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to eyeRobot For This Useful Post:

    tenfold (2010-09-15)

  4. #3
    Thanks for your quick reply!

    The phone would be from the U.S. ... is that bad? :/

    I have a couple of friends over there looking to get rid of their old phones.

    Ok so, firmware lower than 4.0.1 for a 3Gs and under 4.1 for the 3G.

    Do I need to give me any more info before I send 'em cash.. like the phone serial.. or about the bootrom thing? Sorry about the noob questions.

    //EDIT: I wonder if I'm just setting myself up for failure. tethered jail break doesn't sound very fun.. the phone would really have to work as a phone and not just be a toy for this to be worth it for me.
    Last edited by tenfold; 2010-09-15 at 01:36 PM.

  5. #4
    For 3GS:

    OK, if you're buying them from the US then they will be locked to AT&T. You will need an AT&T sim card to activate the phones. One card can do them all, and it doesn't have to be an active sim card. You can get them on ebay if it doesn't come with the phone.

    A (not foolproof) way to check the bootrom is to ask them for the first 5 numbers of the serial number. The 3rd number has to be 9 (for 2009) and the 4th and 5th Numbers should be lower than 40 for it to be old bootrom. As I say, this is not foolproof, but will give a good indication if they are new/old bootrom. Like I said above, old bootrom is better because you can pwn the phone rather than use JBME, but you can jailbreak the new bootroms too.

    Next check the firmware. If it's 4.0.1 or below then you can jailbreak them as is, if it's 4.0.2 then there's a chance you would be able to downgrade the phone to a point where you can jailbreak them (as you need SHSH hashes to downgrade). The seller should be able to tell you if the SHSH files are on store or not. If it's jailbroken already, then they can just go to CYDIA and it will tell them at the top which SHSH are on file.

    Get them to advise the "Modem Firmware" too, this is in the settings>general>about screen and advises which baseband the phone has. It's possible they have upgraded to 4.1 and then downgraded back to 4.0.1 but the baseband will stick to point where the phone can only be jailbroken and not unlocked.

    It's complicated as there are a lot of permutations, but if you want to keep it simple to start off with then just make sure the firmware is 4.0.1 or lower and the baseband is no higher than 05.13.04.

    If you get specific details of their phone we can advise you the best way to jailbreak it before you buy it.

    Ask for:

    "Version" i.e. the Firwmare - definately need this
    "Modem Firmware" i.e. the Baseband - well worth checking so they don't rip you off
    "Serial number" for checking new/old bootrom - not essential but nice to know
    and if they can tell you if there are any SHSH hashes on store with cydia (primarily will only know from owners who had previously jailbroken their phones).

    Someone else will be able to give you a better answer for the 3G and sorry for the rambling message!

    Quote Originally Posted by tenfold View Post
    //EDIT: I wonder if I'm just setting myself up for failure. tethered jail break doesn't sound very fun.. the phone would really have to work as a phone and not just be a toy for this to be worth it for me.
    It's worth a try if the price difference between US/Finland makes sense. I can't think of a scenario where you end up with a tethered jailbreak. Just maybe a scenario where you can't get it onto iOS4.0. Buy right and you'll be fine.
    Last edited by eyeRobot; 2010-09-15 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to eyeRobot For This Useful Post:

    tenfold (2010-09-15)

  7. #5
    Awesome post! Thanks bro!

    okay, I'll ask the candidates about this. The first guy said his 3G auto updated to 4.1 already, so that sucks because I'm starting to think most people will have just installed the update that apparently came not too long ago.

    got the info on another one:

    - Black 8G iPhone 3G
    - Black InCase Case
    - Decent condition, no scratches or cracks on the screen
    - Tiny hairline fracture near the dock connector port
    - Version: 3.1.3 (7E18)
    - Modem Firmware: 05.12.01
    - Serial Number: 84920

    So, looks like it's both old bootrom and not yet destroyed by the update. So I'm good to go with this one, right?
    Last edited by tenfold; 2010-09-16 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  8. #6
    Looks fine for jailbreaking it where it is, but I'm not sure whether you will be able to get it on ios4.0 and stay jailbroken (I think 4.0 runs poorly on the 3G anyway, but it might affect resale??). Hopefully someone with more experience of 3G can guide you.

    Bootrom is not an issue with the 3G, just with the 3GS.

    Get it for a good price if there are cracks in it!!!

    Is he giving you the old sim card too?
    Last edited by eyeRobot; 2010-09-16 at 03:44 PM.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to eyeRobot For This Useful Post:

    tenfold (2010-09-16)

  10. #7
    oh **** didn't think about the SIM card, I thought that was only for activating a new phone. So I'll need an AT&T card anyways, huh?

    hmm, I was thinking of sticking to ios3 because of the problems with ios4 on the 3G. How will that restrict me? I bet some apps are made for ios4 only..

    I was thinking of offering 120 bucks, can't say if that's too much. It seems kind of steep but ones on ebay are going for more.

    Also, one friend has a Canadian phone. Still locked, but maybe CAN phones are easier? just a thought :P
    Last edited by tenfold; 2010-09-16 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  11. #8
    You need to activate US and CAN phones with a sim card from the original carrier after you've done a restore, so if you plan on selling on current firmware you should be ok.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to eyeRobot For This Useful Post:

    tenfold (2010-09-17)

  13. #9
    oh wow, after each restore eh? I gotcha, makes sense that it's kind of necessary to have, in case something goes wrong during jail break / unlock and I have to restore. I had planned on keeping it on ios3, but the option of an upgrade would definitely be nice to have.

    I really haven't thought of reselling it. I figure it's old enough already and will probably die in my use. Great suggestion to buy a SIM off ebay though!

    You've really been extremely helpful, westonben. Appreciate it!!

  14. #10
    just have them set up as new, then jailbreak and unlock for you.

    Something Hidden in iPhone 4---Steve Jobs twitter

  15. #11
    I guess I could ask, but I think they'd rather avoid the trouble since none of them have ever even jailbroken theirs yet.

    // And they'd probably expect to be payed more
    Last edited by tenfold; 2010-09-17 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  16. #12

  17. #13

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