Question for readers on iPhone stuff (jailbreak, unlock, dual sims, then what…?)

Do any of you iPhone users have experience of using a dual SIM in 3gs or 4?

Also, yesterday I did a jailbreak and unlock on my 3gs.  Very cool and a lot easier than I thought it would be.  And now I can do lots more things with it than I know what to do with.

Except… I can now use my British and Italian SIMS in it!

In any event, there was just one slightly tricky moment in process of jailbreaking the 3GS, a timing issue in pressing buttons in the right sequence.  But once I got it right… the adventure started!



Once it was over and my home screen came up, I put my British Vodaphone chip in.


Doink!  Nothing


Then I realized I had to install ultasnOw…

… network detection joy!



Note that Vodaphone in the USA connects to ATT.  It is the Vodaphone chip in this phone, not an ATT chip.  But it is on roaming here, so I’ll keep it on airplane mode.

If all goes well, I can get off the plane in London or Rome and use an iPhone instead of my old Motorola Razor… which I still miss in a way.


Now I have Cydia.  I don’t really know what to do with it, but… I will.

Today I have started to get into it:


So… anyone out there have tips or hints or cautions?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jkarpilo says:

    Change your root password – the default root password is the same on all iPhones and a quick way to give control of your phone to a person with malicious intentions. If you Google it, you will find plenty of articles on how to do change it.

    [Holy cow! Thanks for that.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. MJ says:

    Wowzers, check out the “574” unread emails. ;-) [Typical.]

    I used to work for AT&T…a couple years back. When you travel and switch the SIMS out, I would recommend watching your monthly bill carefully…make sure that switching the SIMS back and forth doesn’t cause any unexpected charges to appear on your bill. Of course you want to switch the SIMS *before* you reach the country (so put the UK chip in prior to arriving – and likewise, put the AT&T SIM back in after you leave the UK but before you reach the US). Otherwise, the SIMS may register with the towers and start roaming…which racks up the big $ fast.

    I think it’s still true that jailbreaking the phone voids the warranty. You may need to re-jailbreak your phone if you try to update the iOS software via iTunes (updating may re-lock the phone).

    I don’t personally have any experience with an unlocked iPhone, but this is what I’ve heard from folks. You can also get advice / read info here at AT&T’s “International” forum:

  3. RichardT says:

    Hmm. Isn’t “jailbreaking” a ‘phone a breach of contract?

    I know that the US government has said that it will not prosecute for breach of copyright (morally dubious. since it does prosecute for other breaches of copyright), but that does not release you from any contractual obligations that you took on when you bought the ‘phone. [No, I don’t believe it is.]

  4. MJ: Yes, I have been very wary in the past when traveling abroad. That’s why I have these other SIMS: keep expenses down.

  5. Okay… I have changed the root password using putty.

    I’m in!


    Done in a few seconds.

  6. It’s strange. I used to think this blog dealt mainly in English, som Latin and just the odd bit of Greek scattered about here and there. Now it seems that Greek is completely taking over!

  7. Catholicofthule: We are into all sorts of things around here!

  8. JoAnna says:

    I think it’s still true that jailbreaking the phone voids the warranty.

    Yes, it is true. So if your jailbreaked phone malfunctions, please don’t call the AppleCare support line and scream at the poor Senior Advisor who has to explain to you that you voided your warranty when you jailbreaked the phone. See, that Senior Advisor’s wife and those kind of calls really put him in a foul mood.


  9. JoAnna says:

    above, should be, “I’m that Senior Advisor’s wife…”

    [So… if I have a problem with present iPhone, the one I actually use, I’ll get in touch!]


  10. RichardT says:

    Clause 2(c) of Apple’s standard licence agreement says that “you may not … modify … the iPhone Software … any attempt to do so is a violation of the rights of Apple”.

    [You… spent time looking that up? So you could post that here? You have a little extra time on your hands!]

    As I understand it, “jailbreaking” involves removing the limitations that the software imposes on the iPhone, which seems to mean modifying that software.

    I’m not a tekky or an IP lawyer, but I’d want to be pretty certain about my contractual position before doing this.

    Otherwise I’m not sure what your moral defence would be. Even these days I don’t think you could really plead “necessity”.

    [In any event, I think it was July 2010 that the restrictions were lifted.]

  11. I can live with the warranty being voided. This is an old phone that hasn’t had a working SIM in it for a long time.

  12. RichardT says:

    I’m a legal academic – these things interest me. And it took seconds to Google.

    I also make most of my living by writing, which gives me an interest in defending IP rights.

  13. RichardT: In that case, when I cross the pond again, I would be happy to buy you a pint! Perhaps you are in the London area… otherwise I may need a day trip.

  14. RichardT says:

    As I said, the US government’s change last July doesn’t affect the contractual position.

    It means you won’t get a criminal prosecution for breach of copyright, but it doesn’t stop it being a civil breach of contract. And since it doesn’t change the contractual position, it doesn’t change the moral position either.

    I don’t have the technical knowledge to be certain, but this looks like a breach of contract. Certainly CNN’s tech news thinks so (the 1st item under Google, before I’m accused of spending lots of time on this):

    And if it is a breach of contract, I’d have thought it’s also immoral unless you have a moral defence. And if it’s immoral, for a priest to post how to do it starts to look like scandal.

  15. RichardT says:

    Oh dear – my last comment was sent before I got your far more gracious 6:03 one. Now I feel embarrassed and shall keep quiet.

  16. MJ says:

    This doesn’t have anything to do with iPhones, but I thought I’d post a funny story back from my AT&T days…I worked in a retail store…

    We had a lady come in who said her phone battery died, and she wondered if she could leave it with us for 20 minutes or so while she ran errands so we could charge it up for her. We had the chargers handy, so I said sure and took the phone…it was SO hot I nearly dropped it! I asked her why it was so hot, and she said she had put it on the dash of her car…this was the middle of summer…I told her that wasn’t advisable, the electronic components could be ruined, etc…she said, “Oh well see that little square on the front [she pointed to the small outer display of her flip phone] – well I thought that was a solar charge thing…I thought it was a solar charge phone.”

    I had to turn around to keep from bustin’ up laughin’! I charged the phone for her…and told her not to try to use the sun to charge her phone anymore. ;-)

  17. benedetta says:

    I can envision several moral and legal defenses.

  18. Cephas218 says:

    My respects. Rooting my ‘droid is on the list of things to learn to do. I may get around to it before I get a new phone sometime next year.

  19. JSBSJ says:

    If you’re worried about voids of warranty with jailbreaking, might I suggest you pick up an iPhone in Canada where we have open access and can use any SIM card we want. I regularly use my phone with a variety of SIM cards and it’s not jailbroken. [I am not worried about void of warranty. This is an old phone. I’ve been using a 4 for a long time. It is now no longer a paperweight or just a fancy cooking timer. And, now, I can put any SIM into that it pleaseth me to put in. Give that it is my phone, and not someone else’s, given that I bought it, and not someone else, I would like to get more use out of it, even it that use is only occasional.]

  20. PrairieHawk says:

    RichardT – Picture the hapless Fr. Z at his Particular Judgment:
    God: Father, did you feed my lambs?
    FrZ: Yes, Lord.
    God: Did you care for my brothers when they were ill, in prison, and homeless?
    FrZ: Yes, Lord.
    God: Did you faithfully preach the Gospel in season and out of season?
    FrZ: Yes, Lord.
    God: Just one more question. Is it true you jailbroke your iPhone?
    FrZ: Well, Lord, it’s a little bit complicated … [It isn’t, really.]
    God: I sentence you to one hour of community service. Do something good for Mr. Jobs here so he gets to Heaven faster.
    FrZ: Certainly, Lord.

    Problem solved.

  21. benedetta says:

    RichardT, What sort of prosecutor (with judge & jury all rolled into one?) would be bought off for a mere pint? Are you offering a plea bargain now? :)

  22. RichardT says:

    benedetta, I’m hardly prosecutor, judge or jury; this is mere professional curiosity, so a pint is perfectly adequate.

    Although since I haven’t heard a convincing legal or moral defence of ‘jailbreaking’, I was thinking of asking the Acton Institute if any of their people had an opinion on it; I think Fr Z knows Fr Sirico.

  23. RichardT: “I haven’t heard a convincing legal or moral defence of ‘jailbreaking’”.

    How about this one: it’s my phone. I paid for it. It’s my property. I can do to it what it pleaseth me to do.

    The warranty depended on my leaving my property the way it was. But.. no… wait… the warranty was only for one year. The phone is way beyond one year. Furthermore, I have not had a working ATT SIM in the phone for a long time. The 3GS is a paper weight as far as ATT is concerned. The Apple warranty is long expired.

    I do have a functioning ATT SIM in my 4, which is still under warranty. The ATT contract is still current. It is as I bought. I did not jailbreak it or unlock it. I think the warranty will expire pretty soon.

    So, the 3GS is my phone. I’ll jailbreak it if it pleaseth me to jailbreak it. I’ll pry it open and pull its components out if I want to. I’ll drill a hole and hang it on my Christmas tree if I want. I’ll continue to use it as a timer in my kitchen if I want. If I can’t get support from Apple on the phone hereafter, I’ll accept that consequence with a smile.

    And, while the pint is still an offer on the table, I am inclined to make it half a pint now!


    PS: I have one of the original 2 series. Maybe I’ll jailbreak and unlock it too!

  24. benedetta says:

    Is it needful that you be convinced, RichardT?

    Interesting that Canada’s jurisprudence does not affirm what you regard as moral imperative. It seems the U.S. is signaling that it is following suit. I take it then that your interest in IP is at odds with consumer advocacy?

    At any rate because I am able to envision at least several moral and legal defenses in U.S. law (and from what you have told me unfortunately RichardT my meager experience indeed trumps your IP interest) it does not follow that I am at all interested in sharing them in detail at this particular moment, just for the demanding of it. As to bad example from a priest, if occasionally a priest in the course of his responsibilities must drive slightly to excess of the stated speed limit, I don’t think the world will come to an end. Now, if certain Catholic-haters were to be caught doing any number of things, would the world register shock and dismay and determine that their way was a very unworthy one for they and us so in terms of how to go about ordering our lives with one another?

  25. benedetta: Thanks for that. However, while driving over the speed limit is, in general, illegal, jailbreaking my old iPhone is not.

    On that note: I had a call one night asking for a priest for an old women in extremis. I did in fact drive over the speed limit. I also got pulled over. I explained to the cop what I was doing and asked for an escort. He let me go on my way. On my way home I spotted him, parked in the same speed trap. I stopped and thanked him and told him that I got there just a few minutes before her last breath.

    That was, by the way, one of several instances of the person dying at the very moment I said the words “Go forth, O Christian soul, from this world….”

    In any event, when my hardware warranties expire and I am no longer on contract with a phone company to use that hardware for their services, I’ll what ever I want to my phone.

    This evening, for example, I get to pull components out of a dead computer and then toss its useless husk into the dumpster. Like a carnivore cracking the bones of my prey, I take the marrow and cast the bones away. BWAHHAHHAAAHHAHHHAH!

    On a different note, is it possible that some people anthropomorphize their phones?

    That might explain the deep concern. But if that were the case, I should people would be delighted, for the phone, that it has finally been liberated from its chains.

    Lastly, I am glad I type fast, for this has been another minute of my life I will never get back.

  26. benedetta says:

    RichardT, kind of curious in and of itself that you would describe telling Fr. Z he is acting as a priest immorally and offering bad example as “mere professional curiosity”. If you are worried about things which cause shock and scandal, there are lots of ways to get involved to positively witness to hope and encourage Christian prayer and witness. How many years has jailbreaking an iphone been around for? And you are convinced that on this one occasion millions will now do it and imperil their souls as contracted upon with various corporate entities? But what about the Canadians among us, surely they can do it freely and not feel shamed as immoral? And then when it comes to the Canadians who also happen to be priests…?

    I am sorry that you did not enjoy my happy face, RichardT. It just celebrated an important milestone and anniversary, you know. You may have followed it online in the tech news.

  27. benedetta says:

    Fr. Z, Yes I have found police and fire first responders to be quite respectful of priests and their responsibilities. Many have a devotion to the Blessed Mother and regularly pray the rosary, people sometimes do not realize that their courage is thus fortified. Thanks for the informative post on this. Agree we spent a lot of time and I am happy now to turn my attention to the Mass with the Holy Father (taped earlier) on EWTN and then a look at your comments on the sermon.

    Point about anthropomorphizing well taken, I really liked that photo above of your data disguised as a pineapple jogging whilst transfer…If my gadget is an animal then I choose a hippo…

  28. APX says:

    Those going on about how interchangeable SIM cards are for iPhones purchased in Canada, I assure you they are not. I can only use Rogers SIM cards in my Rogers iPhone. When Sasktel upgraded to the 3G+ network last year, but didn’t have a deal with Apple to sell iPhones, no one could use their Sasktel SIM cards in their old Rogers iPhones and get onto the Sasktel network without jailbreaking their phones. Furthermore, you can’t use an iPhone purchased in Canada in the US. It will not work. That is how I acquired my iPhone. It was given to me to someone moving to the US and had to replace her phone.

  29. RichardT says:

    “it’s my phone. I paid for it. It’s my property. I can do to it what it pleaseth me to do”

    At risk of losing the remaining half pint – no you can’t. Because you didn’t buy it absolutely, you bought it subject to an agreement that restricts what you can do with it.

    Specifically (and all of this assumes that you bought it under the standard US Apple agreement that I linked to above, or something similar) you bought it subject to a contractual obligation not to modify its software. Yes, you can drill a hole in it and hang it on the Christmas tree – there’s nothing I can see in the agreement that stops you doing that. But when you bought it, you agreed not to fiddle with the software.

    This is nothing to do with the warranty, and nothing to do with whether the US government will prosecute you. It’s simply about your contractual obligation not to fiddle with the software.

    Anyway, I accept that this is an incredibly minor issue, and it hasn’t in any way lessened my great respect for the incredible work that Fr Z does.

    But if we support a system of private property based on contracts (and I have an old-fashioned approach to the law, believing that people shouldn’t break contracts – even if they are with Apple), then this raises moral issues that interest me, so I’ve posted comments on it – isn’t that what blogs are about? Anyone else is free to ignore me.

  30. RichardT says:

    But lovely story about the speed cop – good to hear that they can still react like that.

  31. RichardT says:

    To use an analogy, over here it’s quite common to see agricultural land for sale where some previous owner has retained the shooting or fishing rights.

    If I bought it, then for most purposes it would be my land, but I can’t shoot pheasants on it.

  32. APX says:

    “it’s my phone. I paid for it. It’s my property. I can do to it what it pleaseth me to do”

    At risk of losing the remaining half pint – no you can’t. Because you didn’t buy it absolutely, you bought it subject to an agreement that restricts what you can do with it.

    Agreement is just a “feel-good” word salespeople use for contract. Anyway, having worked in the sales industry selling something similar, with the same “we’ll give you x at no cost to you/at a significantly discounted rate. All you have to pay for is the monthly connecti0n fee, but it’s only about a $1 a day. It’s the equipment costs that people can’t afford, so this is a great opportunity for you to own one of these. [yadda yadda yadda, $200 activation fee nonsense that’s basically just my commission] Sign here and we own you for 40 months” nonsense.

    When the company launched the super awesome iPhone of home automation panels (FYI they’re uber cool. You can control everything in your house from your iPhone or the internet regardless of where you are in the world. I wish I was a home owner so I could get one.), and everyone wanted to upgrade their equipment, despite being in a contract, they owned the old equipment and were free to do whatever they wanted with it, and the contract was renewed with the new equipment that was still owned by the company until the end of the contract, or a new equipment upgrade contract. I compared the contract to my cell phone contract, and with the exception of what’s unique to the nature of what I was selling, it’s the same contract. Then again, I was selling a tamper-proof wall-mounted cell phone that controlled your house.

  33. Jailbreaking is perfectly legal as of last year-

    Besides people should realize that legality does not necessarily equal morality.
    Morality is eternal where as legality is temporal.

    For instance I have been told that it is perfectly legal to make backup copies of something you own (so long as you do not hack copyright infringement protections) . However if you sell/ give your copy you can not transfer the backup with the original but must destroy it even though the new owner can make their own backup copy or even send it out to have one made. Never would have thought that in a million years. Makes no sense logically but I don’t want to go to court about it. Now would anyone say it is immoral to give the new owner a backup copy with the original? I would say its silly to think so but supposedly at least according to the manufacturers and Hollywood it is. Then again they are the same people that once said it was illegal to make a backup copy and you had to buy a new one when the original was damaged. Goes to show laws change and to make a moral judgements/ evaluations based upon them soley is very unwise.

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