A 16 GB iPhone just made its way to my home today all the way from an US store. Even though I had “experienced” iPhone by reading about it and by seeing tons of videos on YouTube, using it live was a totally different experience.
iPhone is an amazing, astounding, remarkable, wonderful, incredible, marvelous product from Apple!
The sad fact is that I can use this phone only for the next 20 days after which my brother would take ownership! (He is the actual owner of this phone)
Using iPhone in India
We all know that iPhone is available only in a few select countries and its also bound/locked to a particular carrier in that country. And if you are not lucky to be in that country, the only way to use an iPhone is by “hacking” it.
I spent almost 3-4 hours by going through the various forums to find the safest way of hacking the iPhone.
As you read more and more into these forums, rather than being informed, you end up in a confused state. You really can’t decide as to what method to use to hack your 500$ iPhone.
I am in no way an iPhone hacking expert but this is what I understood by going through tons of articles and forum posts. (Disclaimer: The information might not be 100% accurate)
First thing is to understand some of the terminologies associated with hacking the iPhone.
Jailbreak - It is the method used to set the iPhone OS file system in read/write mode. You can install third party applications only on a “jailbroken” iPhone.
Activate – Before you can use any of iPhone features, you must activate iPhone by signing up for a service plan with the iPhone service carrier in your area and registering iPhone with the network.
Unlock – A procedure used to make the iPhone work with any GSM Carrier and involves hacking the baseband on iPhone.
If you are planning to use iPhone in India you need to do all of the above. For some legal users of iPhone hacking might only involve “Jailbreak” which allows them to install third party applications.
Tools to hack iPhone
After going through the various forums, I narrowed down onto two tools to hack the iPhone (on Windows)
There is one set of users who have had success with ZiPhone and there is one set which believes that iPlus is the safest way of hacking iPhone.
The way ZiPhone breaks iPhone is different from the way iPlus does; ZiPhone permanently downgrades the bootloader from version 4.6 to 3.9 whereas iPlus downgrades it to a fake blank 3.9 bootloader. With iPlus you have an option to go back to 4.6 bootloader which is probably required to shield against future firmware updates from Apple.
Many believe that iPlus2.0b is the safest way to hack iPhone; however note that there is one issue found with using Fake Blank Bootloader. More details on this post. The issue is more of a warning and might occur only if you try to downgrade to 1.0.0 or 1.1.1 firmware.
ZiPhone has a very nice user interface and it almost tempted me to use it rather than iPlus. (Note: ZiPhone is probably an ideal tool to break iPod Touch)
However the inability to restore back 4.6 bootloader prompted me to use iPlus2.0b with the international payload. Though iPlus2.0b is command line driven, it did its work of breaking, activating and unlocking the iPhone with zero trouble.
The iPhone is currently activated on Airtel network and it should also work with the following service providers:
For using iPlus2.0, I followed the instructions given on this post:
Also note that I skipped the loading of 1.1.4 firmware; You can skip this after confirming that you have 1.1.4 version of the firmware on your iPhone. To confirm the firmware version, you need to type in this code: *3001#12345#*
Also if you are not comfortable with this command line interface, the same developers of iPlus have come up with iLiberty+.
This UI wrapper for iPlus was released a week back and I thought it might be risky to try out a new untested tool. However I do like the concept of iLiberty+ where they have tried to design it as an extensible tool; users can download and place the payloads of their choice and select the same from the “Advanced” tab.
Here are some useful links and read these before trying to hack your iPhone.
- How to activate, jailbreak and unlock 1.1.4 firmware with iPlus (3.9 / 4.6 bootloader)
- How to Jailbreak/Activate/Unlock the iPhone using iLiberty+ (Windows)
- How to Jailbreak/Activate/Unlock the iPhone using iLiberty+ (Mac)
- Cautions Against Using ZiPhone
- iNDependence Jail-Break/Unlock for Mac
- Upgrading from 3.9FB Bootloader back to 4.6 Original
Disclaimer: This post is just my experience of breaking iPhone using iPlus2.0, if you bricked your iPhone using iPlus2.0 or ZiPhone I am not liable