So for the past 2 years, I have managed to get myself cheap iPhones since my buddy Todd can never wait more than 2 minutes after Apple has released a new product to purchase it quickly and kindly offloading his old news phones to me. It first started with an iPhone 2G in 2008, a 3G in 2009, and of course a 3GS in 2010. Now since Todd lives in the USA, it usually means I have to unlock the phones before I can use them, something that in the past did require a bit of time (usually one evening wasted in front of the computer) but this time, is giving me all sorts of grief. Now when I received the new phone, it had just been freshly upgraded to iOS4.0. It was in working iPod touch like function which is nice if you are looking for an iPod but not really what I had looking to use it for. I had been told that iTunes 9.2 (which is designed to work with iOS4.0) can no longer be used to downgrade an iPhone to say 3.1.3 which is the last version of iOS which is safely unlockable. Fortunately I was told that I could use XCode Organizer to force whatever versions of iOS on it, something which seemed to make sense since you would think it would be a logical use of a development tool in order to test software built with XCode on multiple OS versions without having to own 300 devices. After locating a website where I could download old versions of iOS, I proceded to use XCode to push 3.1.3 to the device. Something which failed about 1 minute in with restore error 3004 and left the device in an unusable state. I then tried to push 3.1.2 to the device with the same result. After that, I decided that I guess I would have to wait until iOS4.0 could be made unlockable so I decided to restore the device back to iOS4.0 with iTunes. After waiting about 30 minutes for that process (it had to download the iOS4.0 IPSW from Apple), it brought the device back up except it was requesting me to activate the device with iTunes; however since the device didn’t have the right SIM in it, it won’t let me activate it. Great. I decided to move back to my PC (all of this had been on my Mac) and see if my old iTunes there would work or perhaps old Redsn0w could do the trick and both failed miserably. I then went back to my Mac and downloaded the latest Pwnagetool and tried that. It created a shiny new custom IPSW file for me which I then tried to use with iTunes. After screwing up and not having the file in the right folder, I tried again but eventually iTunes choked with error 1624 (or something like that). I then tried with XCode but the device wasn’t really in the mood so I had to restore vanilla iOS4.0 with iTunes again and then try again with XCode but that also proved to be no luck. So where does that leave me? Well I have a nice shiny brick. I will either have to wait for Todd to come back to Canada (fortunately he does that often) so I can at least get the phone back in iPod Touch mode or for a full unlock to become available. It also leaves me in the “perhaps it is time I actually by a legit phone” mode. Darn smart Apple engineers.
Now proud owner of an iBrick while trying to unlock my iPhone 3GS with iOS4.0