No doubt there will be numerous threads on this subject, so I thought I would pre-empt them and create a sticky.
Can I buy a phone in the US and use it over here?
Yes, but it must be the GSM/AT&T model, purchased SIM-free directly from Apple. Handsets purchased from Verizon will not work with the GSM carriers here as they do not take a SIM card. Handsets purchased from AT&T usually come with a minimum-term contract and are locked to the AT&T network.
Can I use my Vodafone/Meteor/Three/Other SIM in an iPhone purchased from a mobile carrier?
No. Not until you Jailbreak it and Unlock it, or have your carrier Unlock it.
It is important to note that some Irish carriers are now unlocking iPhones officially - please consult your carrier for more info.
I purchased my iPhone directly from Apple. Is it unlocked?
Yes. iPhones purchased from Apple.ie or from Apple stores are factory unlocked.
Jailbreak? Unlock? Sounds scary.
They are not really. iClarified have a jailbreak wizard to show you step-by-step how to jailbreak any device here.
What's the difference between Jailbreaking an iPhone and unlocking it?
Jailbreaking allows you to install non-App Store programs. Unlocking it allows you to use the iPhone on any GSM network.
Can't I just buy an unlocked phone?
You can, but only directly from Apple or authorised Apple retailers (or on adverts.ie / eBay). It is simply a matter of walking into a phone shop and purchasing one, bringing it home, and popping in your SIM card. You cannot purchased unlocked iPhones in the USA, as they are locked to AT&T.
How do I jailbreak / unlock my iPhone?
If your carrier will not unlock your phone officially, then you will need to jailbreak & unlock.
See the unlocking wizard on iClarified here.
At the time of this writing, all iOS devices & every iOS can be jailbroken. However, newer devices and iOS's require a "tethered" jailbreak.
Tethered - If your device is ever powered off, you will need to connect it to a computer and run redsn0w to turn it back on.
iOS 3.1.2 - 4.0.1
Every device on iOS versions 3.1.2 - 4.0.1 can be jailbroken by visiting http://www.jailbreakme.com in safari on their iDevice.
iOS 4.0.2 - 4.1
Every device on iOS versions 4.0.2 - 4.1 can be jailbroken with redsn0w.
iOS 4.2 (4.2.1)
Some tethered, some untethered.
Every device on iOS 4.2 (4.2.1) can be jailbroken with redsn0w.
However, the following devices require a tethered jailbreak on this iOS:
iPhone 3GS New Bootrom
iPod touch 2nd Gen New Bootrom
iPod touch 3rd & 4th Gen
All others have an untethered jailbreak.
redsn0w - Windows
redsn0w - OSX
Currently, the following basebands can be unlocked:
01.59.00 (iPhone 4)
04.26.08 (iPhone 3G/3GS)
05.11.07 (iPhone 3G/3GS)
05.12.01 (iPhone 3G/3GS)
05.13.04 (iPhone 3G/3GS)
06.15.00 (iPhone 3G/3GS)
If you are on a qualifying baseband, simply run cydia on your jailbroken iPhone and install "ultrasn0w".
I know 3G iPhone on 2.2.1 can be jailbroken, but can it be unlocked?
If it has been upgraded to 2.2.1 normally (via iTunes) then no you can't:
You may be able to work around the 2.2.1 sim lock by using a turbosim type device. These are wideley available on ebay. You put one into the sim holder with your SIM card and insert it into the phone, tricking it into thinking it has an O2 (or whatever network its locked to) SIM. Some people report success with these things, some report failure.
Anyone have a link to a turbo sim that people have had success on 2.2.1?
Just wondering can O2 unlock the iphone if you have spent a certain amount on your phone - they do that for other phones once you have spent a good few hundred euro.
Anyone know if I call would they unlock the iphone for me - want to move to Meteor?
Guys, can we keep discussion and questions for threads in the forum. This thread is for info only.
There is good news for the eager beaVERS WHO DIDNT WAIT FOR THE IPHONE DEV TEAM TO GIVE THEM AN ALL CLEAR FOR 2.2.1 _ Big Boss( on cydia) has released a baseband downgrader ! Now you can use yellowsn0w to unlock your iphone 3G . For more info on how to jailbreak an iphone 3G go onto blog.iphone-dev.org/
Does this mean now that whatever iPhone i get i.e. an 02 locked one or one with the newest frimware on it i am now able to unlock it.
Thanks just want to clear it up.
Yes this will work aslong as you jailbreak the phone and install the downgrader and then the yellowsn0w patch which is all avaliable on cydia .The iphone dev page and iclarrified are good pages to visit if you have never tried something like jailbreaking before
The iphone modem 02.30.02 can be downgraded to 02.28.02 (the unlockable one) if your bootloader is 5.8 using an app called fuzzyband.
If your iphone is running 2.2.1 you can still jailbreak using pwnage tool 2.2.5 or quickpawn.
Once your iphone is jailbroken search for fuzzyband in cydia and install.
Open the app and it automatically checks your modem and what bootloader your using. If its 5.8 your in business. Downgrade and install yellowsn0w.
Your iphone is now unlocked.
How do you tell what version your Iphone is ? The box in which mine came just says iPhone 3G on it It was bought in December 08
You need to go to setting>General>about it'll tell you what version your running and what modem firmware your on. You'll be able to jailbreak your iphone whatever baseband or modem your on but you won't know what bootloader your using till you jailbreak and run fuzzyband.
I just downgraded my 3G on 2.2.1 with 02.30.03 successfully using Fuzzyband. It was dead easy. I already had it jailbroken so i just installed fuzzyband with Cydia, ran it, saw that I had the correct bootloader version and then ran the downgrade. Installed yellowsn0w afterwards and successfully unlocked - although I did have to reboot the phone before it would take a Vodafone SIM for the first time