Jailbreaking iPhone 3G

My mind can’t help but dream of the future of the iPhone 3G. I know that it will get jailbroke and unlocked, but how? With AT&T requiring you to activate in the store or Apple store how will pwnage or winpwn work? It restores your iPhone using custom hacked firmware through iTunes which then iTunes activated the iPhone. If this activation process is no longer done in iTunes, how will jailbreaking occur? I know previous methods such as jailbreakme.com used Safari exploits to gain write access and add Installer.app without needing to restore and reactivate.

The problem then is what if you install an app from Installer.app and it crashes your iPhone? Restoring wouldn’t be as easy because to activate you would have to go back to the store. This all seems like a good way to slows the jailbreaking down. If you have to go to the store to activate you may not jailbreak or even buy an iPhone 3G. I know that if I have to go to the store to activate I will be there about once a month due to all the testing I do, especially when testing jailbreak methods. Can you imagine? If I think back, there are times I restored more than 5 times in one day testing things. I know this is out of the norm but most non-jailbroke iPhones won’t need to restore much if ever.

I know a lot of you are already asking these types of questions and I’m not sure there is an answer yet. We will keep you informed on the latest info regarding jailbreaking, unlocking, activation, service plans, etc. Let us know your perspective in the comments.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  1. I don’t think I will get the 3G if that’s the case. I hate subsidized phones. I want to own my phone so I can do what ever.

    I don’t even like AT&T to begin with. I will never do business with them. I even changed from Bellsouth once they bought it over.

    My 2G might be slow…I guess I just have to live with it.

    • I totally agree. If you pay for the phone, you own it and can do whatever you want to do with it !

      The contract idea is really stupid !

  2. Cramster says

    this is a diligent insight. im sure somehow hackers will find a way to maintain being able to use the itunes method to activate the phone.. theres gotta be a way to grab it from the old version and implement it into the new.. something along the lines of that, or maybe even a whole new program in general to jailbreak and unlock. i sure hope so. i myself do a quite a few jailbreaks in any given day when im doing my friends or testing out my own as well.

  3. Candy Cola says

    What if Apple releases a new firmware 2.1, then if we upgrade to it
    then we have to activate it again in Apple Store ?

    • Great question! I’ve wondered how this will work too.

    • yeah I def agrew with you. I do believe they will continue in terms of updating the iPhone via iTunes.

    • Yourtime says

      i dont think so , because million people goes again to apple store only for activation?! -.-

    • I don’t think that’ll happen. The nearest Apple Store to me is about 2 hours away. AT&T stores, on the other hand, are all over the place.

    • I gues they do it like every other phone – they unlock your simcard, so it COULD BE that if once unlocked the iphone sends a request to “ask” if this simcard is registered and that’s it

      But as all of you, i don’t know

  4. but how about the ipod touch it wont be jailbreak beacuse the the iphone cmn!

  5. I think that what alot of the developers for Installer should add their apps to the Appstore. That would make the most percent and probably 80% of the applications are legitimate to get into the AppStore. The problem with that would be apps like Customize, SMBPrefs, gps4iPhone, and such would no longer make use. That would include Installer. Possibly the apps will be saved in a folder on your computer if it can be imported through iTunes (For instance music is saved in on a mac, /User/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music). There are similar paths for videos and music videos, etc. Possibly apps can just be added into the folder if iTunes has a path for that. Although, it would not be jailbroken, but the apps could be added (including Installer?). Now, it could be alot harder to unlock the iPhone. I have no idea about that, but I can imagine a few ways to get homemade apps on your iPhone and am guessing that will be doable and possibly that will include a new app to unlock it (if there isn’t one out, I stay on AT&T.)

    • the prolem is that a good number of the apps in the installer don’t and probably would not be able to be done within limitations apple has put on appstore distributed apps.

    • what i was saying is that is gonna happen but there may be other ways to put them into the itunes folder on your computer. for instance, you can buy music on your computer from itunes and it goes straight in. but you could put the music on your computer from another source and then import it to itunes by placing it into the folder itunes uses.

  6. I think the in-store activation is first time only. When you buy it from them, you have to activate it there. I am pretty sure they will let you do it from itunes also.

    • i agree with you, but check out why underneath…

    • i agree with this one…. i believe is only at the beggining to prevent people from unlocking the phones to other carriers!

    • oliver kelly says

      we can just use the hack activation to do it again, not need to take into store, speaking to a o2 member of staff today, they just want u to sign the contract instore, and they activate it for u, but u can still do it from itunes!

    • i don’t understand why any of you would wanna unlock this thing for use in the US!! AT&t is the only carrier that has 3g. What are you gonna do use it with that T-mobile service? they don’t even have 3g planned till 2009. Listen AT&T isnt bad and their service is going to get alot better with their purchase of block c of the 700 band auction. Oh yea for the guy at the top that said he switched from bell south when AT&T bought them out, dude your a fool AT&T was major owner of BEll south so you were with AT&T and you didnt even know it…

  7. it states that if you are gifting the phone.. it can be activated through itunes.. so the restores and activation are still there.. they are just requiring it to BE activated at the store initially.. they are trying to sign as many CONTRACTS as they can.. that way they still get their money for two years regardless of what you do with your phone afterwards. by then something new will be out. and they still get paid.

    give people time to figure it out.. i wont be surprized to see hacked versions of itunes before long either….

  8. also .. they have already stated that countries that DONT allow restricted carriers will be selling the phones with no contracts.. so i guess people wil be buying them and importing them.. e-bay and other venues will prolly become quite popular.. anyhoo.. just my 2 cents.

  9. to agree with sahil, i believe that when you first purchase the iphone 3g from apple or at&t, they require you to activate it right then and there. the reasoning is due to when the first generation iphone was released everyone bought one then later jailbroke and unlocked them. with this method, they will know when someone came in and bought an iphone, they left a legit at&t customer with a valid at&t data and voice. i’m pretty sure after you take the phone home and something were to happen to it that required a restore, you would be able to restore it via itunes. it is all a legality and business ploy.

  10. it doesn’t make sense whatsoever – i have no doubt you will always be able to restore through itunes. The only problem is that they force you to sign the contract. This I find rather stupid since they dont get any more money from at&t. They should just let at&t cell subsidized phones on their own, while they stick to normal unlocked product sells. This is how it works with any other phone company – and apple won’t lose anything by doing that – what do they care if they sell it to individuals directly or to big companies???

    • see apple doesnt care they already made the money… att is the one that cares… did you ever when the att to try to exchange your iphone, and they asked did you try to unlock it… dude i felt so bad even though my phone has a legit att account… they probably though everyone was unlocking phones!! lol

  11. every (human written) software is hackable… Apple is,Microsoft SURE is! I believe there will be a challenge in the underground hacking scene between various groups for which group/individual will successfully hack iPhone 3G. The first person to hack this,will be famous. (look at Zibri) Experts will soon be working 24/7 to find out how to unlock the iPhone 3G. It’s just a matter of weeks,not months.

    • Wait, you think Zibri was the first? Hello!!? He just stole other people’s unlocks and packaged them in to a pretty box. Why would anyone support him? I don’t know…

    • Why would you credit Zibri who just stole other people’s work and made it his own, pushing for donations, and goes onto TV telling everyone: “hey, look at me, im a h0x3r.”

    • I’m not saying Zibri is “great”, but more of the jailbreaks before that were a tad more difficult for the average person especially if you had to downgrade your firmware. Where as just clicking a “Do-it-all” button makes things alot simpler.

    • Phil, Washington, DC says

      I agree, most of us are not Dev’s. I really don’t care who puts it out there, but the guy who puts it in a easy to do package for beginners like me, then more power to him. If the other Dev’s were thinking then they would have done the same. The user is the most important, not the ego of a dev who hacked it in the first place.

  12. cartoon156 says

    I’m just wondering how you get it out of the store w/o signing the contract. My friend is gonna have troubles w/ that. On the other hand, I’m worried about jailbreaking. The App Store is nice, but I like to customize it better w/ Installer apps. I guess it will be like the old days of jailbreaking and unlocking: long-step processes or crack open the phone itself.

  13. doesn’t at&t have a 3 day trial period in which you can cancel your contract with no fee? So couldn’t one just buy it, activate it in-store, call at&t and cancel it, then unlock it?

    • No because they will require you to return to iphone back to where u purchased it for cancellation ….

  14. there is always a back door. just wait until the teenage genious minds start to pop out

  15. What about apple online store.. I’m sure they are not going to close apple store just to humor AT&T.. Its way more profitable to operate an online store than a real store..

  16. dev was to hack the iPhone not zibri crap. second if you go to the dev teams blog. you will see pumkin and the rest of the real dev team is already making pwange 1.2 for 2.0 3G and is already well in production

    go real dev team go. and screw zibri

    • a man by the name of george was the first to hack the iphone…..get the facts straight..thank you =]

  17. TheDiggin says

    ahhhhhh why steve why!

  18. u people are pathetic. Lets see what POSSIBLE programs could activate a phone??????? Hmmmmm lets thinl, ziphone, idemocracy and iliberty plus. Also ive heard from multiple sources that itunes activation still exists it will just be modified.

    Also how do u think they activate in stores????????????? Itunes. Its modified somehow. A faked activation will be harder but it will be done. Also i hear apple stores DO NOT activate in store which use the modofied itune acti. Itll all be done within the first month.

    Itll be harder for Zibri, because he has to recode from scratch. But for the dev team they only have to change a few things to jb 2.0 and then fake the activation

  19. David Patrick says

    I hope someone comes up with jailbreakme.com that would be the best so I can use 1.14 apps and the app store too maybe:) and not effect at all the ATT Activation, till that day I will wait to get a 3G I guess:(

  20. The more I read, the more I’m happy about having bought and still own my 1.1.4 iPhone. It’s a keepers for me!

  21. I can tell you how it works. The activation process is still over itunes. it is just the process of buying an iphone 3g. you won’t get one without an contract. just simple…

    here in germany it is already this way. activation is over itunes, they check your apple-account and the phone number as well as the imei. so at this point, no one can buy an iphone without an contract, because who would sell his iphone on ebay, but sitting on the costs of the contract ;)

  22. steve anderson says

    o2 are going to sell the 3g phone on pay as you go aswell in the uk so no worries here for a change

  23. Wasn’t the beta of 2.0 hacked a while ago?

    • The last few beta cannot be used with pwnage. I don’t know if it’s because devteam is waiting out for the final version, or security got tightened

  24. 7thguest says

    I think that overall the price would be the same if you had bought it without contract. Buying an iPhone 3G with 2 yr contract $199. Getting out of the contract $175. Owning an iPhone 3G, PRICELESS.

  25. anybody thought about getting the iPhone 3G and downgrade it to 1.1.4? would that work?

  26. With the first generation of the iphone, every time you downloaded new firmware, you were completely getting rid of the old firmware and putting the new firmware on. so in other words, you weren’t adding features to the current firmware, you getting a new one. So the point i’m trying to make is that with the new iphone 3g, apple will probably change the way they update the iphone by adding individual features and bug fixes each time, instead of downloading a whole new firmware. This will eliminate any need to re-activate the 3g phone so it could still be updated through itunes.

  27. I found this article interesting at http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN0926011020080610

    Heres a quote from the article

    There would be penalties for users who do not activate the iPhone in the first 30 days, AT&T said, in a move aimed at reducing the number of customers who buy an iPhone and tweak it so that they can use it on another network

  28. SeijinZero says

    I think apple doesn’t hate jailbreaking as much as they let on. You know how many people wanted an iPhone only after I showed them what it could REALLY do. Unless hacked-to-be-free versions of official apps become a problem, I don’t think they’re gonna break a sweat over summerboard and nintendo emulators. Unlocking is another issue, they want their money. So you’re going to have to cancel and pay the early termination fee. At&t DOES say that activation WILL be possible at home in their press release/ memo thing. So I think re-activating won’t require a trip to the store.

  29. theviolator says

    You can buy an iphone, activate it at the store then come back few days later and buy another one. Simply say “it got stolen with my purse” ;)

  30. ramielenoriega says

    it comes with sim ejector right? so this mean we can use another sim? sorry for the ignorance iam newbie when it comes to iphone

  31. Hi there, i read your blog every day to see all the new stuff for our best gadget.
    Well about the activation, i think that the only way to have the 3G will be jailbrake a apple or at&t emplye or to thief one recently activated becouse it will be really hard to find one iphone free in any part of the world.
    Here in argentina we are sure that we have to paid up to 600 or 800 or more for the new iphone 3G so…. it´s nice to be in the states no?
    José Rey

    Sorry for my english


    If one person gets the phone activated, then he can extract the firmware activations files on the PC and then get the whole firmware from Apple’s site, open it and replace the activation files ! Thats all !!! :)

  33. I have a feeling they will charge you full price for the phone and then give you the difference back as a rebate when you pay your first bill. That way you are locked in to the contract, the penalty being you don’t get the rebate if they don’t get their money.
    This way you can still give it as a gift. You can leave the store without activating and there is still a massive insentive to not unlock it.
    The chances of them making people return to the store every time to activate are very slim indeed. I mean think about it. It doesn’t sound very ‘apple’ to me. I think the unlocking process will stay almost the same for both hacked and normal users, just be prepared to pay a lot more than £99 (200 bucks) if you wanna hack it.

  34. man this is depressing! i just want the freakin phone, screw at&t services!!!
    i dont remember if the first iphone was for sale at the online store but what if you could purchase the 3g one online? they couldnt make you activate it right way then i suppose?!?

  35. alright i just checked ebay and people are already going crazy on the new 3g! i wonder how that works….

  36. robogobo says

    I wonder why Apple didn’t retail complete control by opening its own mobile subsidiary, like the discount stores that resell bigger cell companies’ service, Aldi, Migros, etc. Then they wouldn’t have had to deal with all this contract.

    This old model carrier subsidized crap is so unlike Apple. I’m not impressed.

  37. HoneyHunter says

    I’m not worried at all. Just go to another country to buy the phone and bring it back. Not all the countries have AT&T. Plus, oversea phones are usually unlock when you get it. If not, go to a 3rd world country and buy it from them without activation BS. I’m sure they will allow it because all they care about is selling as much as possible and don’t care about copyright/obeying any kind of law. If not get it in Japan, those guys are smart they’ll figure something out. Big mistake selling in Japan. hahahaha…you’ll see what I’m talking about when it comes out on July 11!!!

  38. Are you guys really thinking that the minds that hacked and unlocked all the other phones out there on the market can’t hack the 3g iphone, your truly mistaken, I say we will have to wait a week TOPS

    • blackjack88 says

      paul i agree with what you say, although the problem is not jailbreaking it, the tricky part (for me at least) is getting around the activation and the contract with at&t since they make you sign right at the apple store. maybe ebay will help out with that though….?!?

  39. I read that instead of active your iPhone 3G in a store, you could ask to do it at home by yourself through iTunes, but in this case you must sign a document where you are compromised to do it.