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Exporting the iPhone

September 12, 2007

It’s been a tough few months for those of us on that other 95% of the planet that isn’t inside the borders of the United States. Escaping iPhone news has been next to impossible, with no relief to be found in the form of announced launch dates in any other country.

iPhone on Rogers

The good news is that the situation has been changing over the past few months, and having been subjected to continuous scrutiny since the late June launch, it’s mostly a solved problem. This afternoon saw a watershed moment when the first freely available open source iPhone unlock hit the scene.

What this means is that, with the minor exception of the visual voicemail feature, the iPhone’s entire feature set is usable on any compatible carrier, anywhere in the world. (Compatible in this sense meaning GSM and not CDMA networks. In Canada, that means Rogers/Fido. Outside of North America, GSM is fairly common.)

But the methods that enable this are ever-changing, and the general process isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re worried about owning a useless chunk of $400USD plastic, this isn’t for you. If you’re worried about legal formalities, you’d best avoid it. If you have any reservations at all, best stop reading now. That being said, here’s how you too can have your own iPhone, no matter where you are on this planet.

There are basically three steps to follow, each of increasing difficulty.

Buy an iPhone

This part’s easy. You can walk into an Apple Store next time you’re in the US and simply throw down cash and walk out with it, the same way you’d buy an iPod. You don’t need to sign up for service or enter a contract to get it. As far as Apple is concerned, establishing a relationship with AT&T is entirely up to you. (This is how I did it).

Obviously the geography is a factor however, so you may need to pursue the other option. Check craigslist or eBay. With the recent price drop, there are a lot of sellers looking to recoup their losses, so you’re not likely to find many good deals at the moment. Over time the prices will presumably even out a little. But if you can’t make it to the US any time soon, you’ll have to buy through someone else, which means paying at least some markup.

Activate It

Activation is an iPhone-specific concept. A brand new iPhone is pretty but useless — in order to even see the basic menus and included applications, you need to first connect it to AT&T and activate it by attaching it to a contract.

This one’s a bit harder to crack, but again there are some choices. If you have a mailing address in the US (via a sympathetic friend or family member), you can sign up for pay-as-you-go service through AT&T. This basically means a charge to your credit card, and credit toward a US phone number you can use while you’re in the country. Handy if you’re in the country a lot, and it also has the side effect of activating your iPhone. Though, make sure to read the terms of service to find out what you’re getting into.

That’s probably the easiest choice, but there are other methods which completely bypass AT&T. Even if you do it that way, you’re most likely going to need one of the other software methods as backup while unlocking the phone later. There are a bunch of applications and processes out there that will make short work of the activation process. Some are described here, others you might need to do a bit of googling to find. Which one you use depends on your platform and your comfort levels, but I’d recommend doing some research and familiarizing yourself with the latest methods, as things are still changing fairly quickly.

If you stop here, you’ve activated everything except the phone. iPod, Safari, calendar, mail — it all ought to work over wifi at this point. Which is cool enough, sure, but if you want the whole enchilada, you need to keep going.

Unlock It

The standard practice amongst North American wireless carriers is SIM locking consumer phones to their respective networks. In many (most?) other countries this is relatively unheard of, but since the iPhone originates on this continent, it’s relevant to the discussion. Historically, unlocking a SIM locked phone to work with any carrier is usually possible, though it’s not always easy, or even officially-sanctioned by the manufacturer.

Anyway, the iPhone has no official unlock method as of yet. In the past few weeks, some hacks have surfaced that allow unlocking. When I say hacks, I mean hope you like soldering. Then there was the slightly less intrusive TurboSim method which basically became unavailable after they (rapidly) sold out. But what most people have been waiting for is a less invasive software-only unlock method. A service launched early this week that was offering just that, for the low low price of a hundred bucks. But it’s moot now.

The various gadget sites were ablaze with iPhone news this afternoon. It first came out around 4pm my time (GMT -8) that a free software hack was about to be released. Then came the files, and then finally instructions and confirmation from multiple sources that yes indeed, this was the real deal.

Right now, the most current method of unlocking the iPhone involves some pretty serious command line hacking. If you don’t already know what ssh and chmod do, hold off. (If you do, even then you might want to hold off. It does work, but it’s a bit hairy around the minicom part. )

There’s work happening toward a much more automated unlock method that should make the process a snap. Given the speed at which things are happening at the moment, it’ll likely be available within hours of this post. Monitor Engadget or Gizmodo for the latest.

Update: The first automated GUI version is out now. In order to use it you’ll need to accomplish a jailbreak, install BSD subsystem and SFTP (I did so using, and SFTP into the phone from a computer. Still not exactly plug and play, but if you’re determined and knowledgeable (or know someone who is) this ought to be a lot easier than the command line scripts I used last night.

Update #2: owing to my reluctance to do anything on the Edge network I hadn’t actually tried using wireless data until this morning. Turns out there’s an extra step to get that working, which should be easy if you’ve made it this far. You need to go into Settings > General > Network > EDGE and replace the Cingular/AT&T information with that of your local carrier. You’ll need to look up those settings, but in Canada you can find them here.

It’s been over two months in the coming, but as of tonight I now have an iPhone that works on Rogers Wireless, my local carrier. And theoretically when I travel, I’m also able to buy a prepaid SIM card and swap it out to cut down on roaming rates.

There are a few gotchas you ought to be aware of before attempting. The biggest concern is, what next? Will Apple attempt to re-lock the phone in the next software update? No one knows. If you’re the optimistic sort you could read into this recent statement by an Apple marketing person as leaning toward laissez-faire unlock management from the company (though it’s already been clarified…) They do make money no matter where the phones were bought after all, it’s only AT&T that’s missing out on most of the recurring revenue. Who knows how it will play out though. I’m going to wait-and-see as new versions of the firmware are released before upgrading so I don’t break anything. The good news is that the development community is super active, so I’m betting that no matter what screwballs get sent out from Cupertino, there will be a workaround sooner or later.

Update #3: More and more is becoming clear about how the unlocks and future firmware updates will interact. See the newer post iPhone + Icons for more detail.

There are also reports that some people have lost the YouTube app as a result of the unlock. That problem appears to be addressed already (see Update 2), but I didn’t experience it myself, so it’s sporadic anyway.

If you’re an American iPhone owner, you probably still remember what June 29th felt like. To a lesser degree, that was what today felt like for the rest of the world.

September 12, 02h

I was probably sitting in the slightly nervous camp up until last night at the FOWA Road Trip, where I met a fellow attendee who was in possession of an iPhone. Actually holding one and using it (albeit briefly) certainly restored the excitement I felt when it was originally announced, and - as I’m travelling to NYC in November - I’m certainly considering getting one.

Dave, I think this article is one of the most useful “what you need to do to unlock an iPhone” articles out there. I know it’s not a comprehensive technical how-to, but I think a lot of people are still confused about the actual methods one needs to take in order to unlock. Seeing your own success is also very reassuring!

September 12, 02h

Fantastic article. I’m in the UK and I am really looking forward to the release of the iPhone - as thousands of us are. The biggest question is whether it’s worth going through this whole process, or whether we may as well just wait until November when it’s likely the iPhone will be officially available over here. Dilemmas dilemmas…

Scott says:
September 12, 06h

One thing I just noticed was that the EDGE data settings are still set to use Cingular, at least according to the General -> Network -> EDGE settings and I haven’t yet found the correct info to use for the Rogers network.

I don’t plan on using EDGE much given Rogers’ fantastic data rates, but I’d obviously prefer to avoid any international charges which would only compound the problem.

September 12, 07h

My biggest question about this is whether or not you’ll be able to successfully activate your hacked iPhone on a Rogers plan once the iPhone is officially released in Canada.

I’m assuming you’re being pretty careful about your data usage Dave, but if hacking the iPhone jeopardizes your ability to activate on Rogers version of the iPlan (whenever they decide what that will be), you’d probably have to buy a whole new iPhone when they’re officially released in Canada if you want to take full advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities.

I’m really not sure how much of a risk this is though. I’m sure you can revert your iPhone to the default firmware, but will the software on Canada’s version of the iPhone be any different from the iPhone you bought in the States? Thoughts?

Dave S. says:
September 12, 08h

@Jonathan E - “I’m assuming you’re being pretty careful about your data usage Dave”

No kidding. That’s the single biggest outstanding problem. From comparing notes with other iPhone owners I get the feeling that if I play it carefully, I ought to be able to make my 25MB/mo go pretty far. But I’ll still have to be fairly stingy with it until I get a sense of how much I can do with about a meg a day.

“you’d probably have to buy a whole new iPhone when they’re officially released in Canada if you want to take full advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities.”

Yeah, that’s definitely a possibility. Given the nature of SIM unlocking I ought to be able to keep using what I have indefinitely, but if by some miracle Apple causes an unlimited data plan to happen up here, it’s up in the air whether Rogers will allow existing iPhone owners to take advantage of that.

I’ve weighed the tradeoffs though, and given the total lack of information about when that may happen and how it will happen, I’m willing to risk it for the sake of having one over the next 6 months or so that it won’t be in Canada, since I think it will keep working just fine after the official launch.

Also, we’re talking about a $400 phone here that will no doubt be revised at least once before it actually launches in Canada. There’s a good chance I’ll want to upgrade in a year or so anyway, and the price point is low enough that it shouldn’t be too painful.

September 12, 08h

“… if by some miracle Apple causes an unlimited data plan to happen up here …”

I’m really curious about what your opinion on this is Dave, do you think this has a chance of happening?

“I’ve weighed the tradeoffs though, and given the total lack of information about when that may happen and how it will happen, I’m willing to risk it for the sake of having one over the next 6 months or so that it won’t be in Canada.”

That’s the price you pay to be on the bleeding edge I suppose.

“Also, we’re talking about a $400 phone here that will no doubt be revised at least once before it actually launches in Canada. There’s a good chance I’ll want to upgrade in a year or so anyway, and the price point is low enough that it shouldn’t be too painful.”

And, it’s a business write-off for you :)

Dave S. says:
September 12, 08h

@Jonathan E - “I’m really curious about what your opinion on this is Dave, do you think this has a chance of happening?”

I really don’t know. On the one hand, the utter lack of competition between carriers here means I have little faith that any drastic progress is possible, no matter how desirable the product. On the other hand, the growth opportunities have probably stalled out given the ubiquity of mobile phones in the country at this point, which I think we’re seeing play out with the intense focus on marketing value-added features like video and music downloads.

Can a compelling product like the iPhone shake things up to the point where one of the carriers will actually be willing to compete? We may see it eventually, but probably not all at once. I expect the introductory plan to have a generous helping of bandwidth, but I’m highly doubtful it will be unlimited right off the bat.

“And, it’s a business write-off for you :)”’

Exactly! Like I said to Derek yesterday, anything with a web browser in it is a business expense, which is getting awfully convenient these days…

beto says:
September 12, 08h

First reaction when I read the free software unlock news yesterday was “This is it, I want an iPhone now”

However, after reading some more on the ins and outs of daring to have an iPhone working overseas, I’m just more than a little concerned about the required signup with AT&T to activate it. Not just because of their ball-and-chaining contract terms, but also of how much you’d have to keep shelling out (not to mention having your int’l CC compromised) just for the sake of activating the damn phone. So it seems like paying a big extra for minutes you’re not likely to use if you change carriers. What do you do if you don’t travel to the US often? Or am I missing something?

Until I get to find out more info, I’ll probably, regrettably wait until a workaround (or a decision on Apple’s part) that can spare you from going through AT&T for activation comes out.

Either way, it’s a pity Apple had to bow to the retarded locking practices of American telcos to release and sell the iPhone - specially when, judging by the worldwide reactions, it would sell like hotcakes everywhere. Then again, the U.S is also one of the three countries or so in the world that still cling to their own weird measuring system instead of the metric standard that everyone else uses. That may explain something.

Dave S. says:
September 12, 09h

“I’m just more than a little concerned about the required signup with AT&T to activate it.”

But that’s just the thing, you don’t. AT&T doesn’t have to be any part of this process, they’re completely cut out of the loop.

I wrote about the pay-as-you-go activation method as one option, but maybe it wasn’t clear enough that there are plenty of other choices. I updated the wording a bit, hopefully it’s more clear now.

Neil says:
September 12, 09h

Be very, very careful with how you use data over Roger’s EDGE network - what they don’t tell you is that theIr “mobile internet” data plans cover only WAP data, and only to a very small list of allowable domains.

Here’s the list of allowable domains:

I believe their MyMail service allows HTML browsing as part of the data usage but I can’t find the information on their POS web site. There’s mention of this, however, in this PDF I found:

For the mobile Internet data plan all HTML usage is charged at 5 cents PER KILOBYTE. Sigh.

Still, the news that unlocking is now possible means I’ll probably buy an iPhone sooner rather than later…

David Robarts says:
September 12, 10h

I don’t see any reason why a carrier wouldn’t want to let you activate a phone with a new contract. They might have technical difficulties (no official iPhone SIM sans phone to give you). The unlocked phone could just as easily be a used phone from the US - shouldn’t they be able to activate that as well? The biggest problem with unlocked phones is that Apple’s leverage with the telcos may be seriously limited by this.

Dave S. says:
September 12, 10h

@Neil - “what they don’t tell you is that theIr “mobile internet” data plans cover only WAP data, and only to a very small list of allowable domains.”

Not true. I just called and verified with two different departments. The 25MB/mo I pay for covers WAP and EDGE, no restrictions.

I’ve been using my Treo to browse normal sites all along; Bloglines, Twitter, this site etc. I don’t pay per K, it’s all included.

It may depend on the plan you have. I’m in the “business data” class or whatever they call it, the ones that actually advertise the amount of transfer included instead of bury it as a footnote.

Neil says:
September 12, 11h

@Dave - You’re right - I was referring to the mobile Internet plans that include either 5mbs or 10mbs of data… but the business data class does include HTML.

Once I get my iPhone I’m going to look into if it’s possible to create an iPhone app that can automatically disable EDGE browsing once usage reaches a certain amount. I think with such meagre data transfer allowances such a beast would be really useful…

Bruce G says:
September 12, 15h

“[Apple] do make money no matter where the phones were bought after all, it’s only AT&T that’s missing out on most of the recurring revenue.”

Key word being “most”. Apple does get some of the recurring revenue ($11/month?) from AT&T. So they’re not going to be ecstatic about people using the iPhone with other services (for “free”).

September 12, 15h

You’re absolutely right Dave. Today does feel like June 29th to me.

I’ve yet to add Roges’ EDGE settings to my iPhone though. I’m to afraid of the resulting data charges.

John says:
September 12, 15h

@Neil: I’m on the mobile internet plan and it’s definitely not restricted to WAP data only…I’ve used it on my Treo for ages (using various browsers) and have tethered it with my laptop to surf as well (albeit very limited due to the cost). It’s working just fine on my iPhone as well but as everyone has said, it’s off much more than on. I’d love that app your talking about making! Although it’s pretty easy to just disable EDGE via the settings by adding some extra characters to the APN address. The usage meter on the iPhone tells you what your in/out data usage is (even though Roger’s doesn’t on their site).

@Dave S.: Do you have YouTube working (wifi)? I activated my iPhone on the Pick Your Plan (AT&T) and did the software unlock method yesterday and lost YouTube…I did backup my lockdown files so it should just be a matter of putting them back to reactivate it. That or use one of the enabling scripts.

September 12, 15h

I called Rogers today and was transfered to someone in their Data department.

Rogers currently has a promotional data plan that allows you to use unlimited data for 3 months for $60 per month. You don’t have to sign up on a contract, and you can keep the plan for 1 to 3 months.

Now after those 3 months, $60 will only buy you a pathetic 25mb of data, so I likely will be canceling.

mare says:
September 12, 16h

I was standing in the Apple Store in Syracuse on June 30th. iPhone in hand, and almost bought one. The staff said they already served many Canadians, optimistic folk because there were no hacks of any kind yet.

Now I could buy one and actually use it in Canada. But since I don’t use the voice part of my current cellphone very often I still am hesitant to get one. I use a pay-as-you-go plan now, because normal plans are just way too expensive with all the hidden charges (the ridiculous “System access fee” and voice mail, call display, data, everything costs extra). Plus there will probably be a newer model available when the iPhone gets introduced in Europe.

I still remember when Fido had an unlimited data plan for $50 a month. But that was before Rogers bought them. Let’s see if Apple can negotiate a deal with them. And if not, we probably will never see a legal iPhone in Canada.

Rene says:
September 12, 17h

I currently have an unlocked Treo on Rogers and I shut the internet completely off, since I’m both petrified and incensed over Rogers’ scandalous data rates. I would very much love an iPhone, but there is absolutely no way I would activate one on Rogers at this point. With all the stories of American’s getting $3K roaming charges due to persistent data pings, I can only imagine what Rogers would ending up billing.

(I still can’t understand how Rogers et al. are allowed to get away with this disgraceful, noncompetitive practice:

seyDoggy says:
September 12, 18h

Rogers is the company I love to hate (especially with my continually growing monthly bills, bandwidth shaping, and there need to continually make me chase ports for VNC). Rogers will have to want the iPhone REALLY bad to bend to Apples will. Rogers is in need of heavy reforms and perhaps Apple is the company to bring about such change… but I doubt it.

In all honesty though, is it worth having an unlocked iPhone on Rogers at this point? I mean if you really have to watch your data usage that closely? If there was a way to really stick it to them I would be all game for that! ;)

Leo Eddy says:
September 12, 18h

I have been pining for the iPhone for 9 months but I do not want to take the chance of getting it and having Apple wipe it out with an upgrade or deal with Rogers punitive data rates. So I have pre-ordered the iPod Touch. It has WiFi and a browser and all the other features of the iPhone except the phone of coarse and email. But Gmail will stand in its place until there is an easy hack to port over the email client. If I thought the iPhone was coming to Canada within 3 months I would probably wait. But I think we will be lucky if it comes out in 6 months and my hunch is it might be a year before the iPhone arrives. In my opinion the iPod Touch is a great substitute for Canadians wanting the iPhone experience. And living in Vancouver I will be able to find hundreds of free WiFi throughout the city….I just wish I drank coffee…Too bad most Pubs do not have WiFi.

Luke says:
September 12, 19h

It’s nice to finally have a fellow Canadian discuss this.

Fortunately for me, I broke my iPhone the day before these free unlocking solutions were released. Now my iPhone is on its way to a friend’s place in NYC so he can walk it down to the Apple Store and get it fixed for me.

I’ve never seen an iPhone this broken before:

nulens says:
September 12, 20h

If one could get a totally unlocked iPhone I would jump across the line this weekend and pick-one up. But as it is this “hack” is a little to complicated for my likes. I think for the next year or so I’ll have to stay with my old pay-as-you go phone AND an iPod Touch! With the iPod Touch I can have web-mail. Cheap phone and Free email. For me this will be a good combo. Because if there is one thing I dislike it’s having to pay out money to Telco Operators. Both TELUS and Rogers stink. I will never sign a long term contract with any of them. period. I am planning on going with a Rogers (GSM) SIM enabled phone (unlocked) and dropping TELUS now that we can carry our mobile numbers with us. As the fellow at ING says: Save your Money!

September 12, 22h

I have to chime in on watching out for the data prices. I’ve been dinged $60 by Fido/Rogers for a paltry 1Mb of use, though I understand you can get 25Mb for the same amount monthly.

Though the phone is indeed unlocked, the economics of mobile communications are still broken badly in Canada. Apple is hopefully wooing Rogers into the 21st century with a plan on par with what iPhone subscribers are getting from AT&T.

Hien Tran says:
September 13, 00h

Thanks for the post.

Glad to see more Canadian info regarding the iPhone. I’m getting a friend to pick one up this weekend. I’ve been on the fence for so long now, waiting for the unlock to happen. But i’m excited again about the iPhone, and how i can donate the $450 unlocked Nokia e61 (purchased last christmas) to charity.

ROGERS DATA PLANS are a complete ripoff. It’s cheaper for Cingular/At&T customers with the international data plan to use the rogers network than rogers own wireless customers.

$25US for 25mb is not great but, sure beats $10 for 10mb, scary after 10mb.

My e61 does have wifi, but vancouver doesn’t have enough public wifi outlets, so i’m pretty careful on data usage. IMAP email header only retrieval helps alot.

“My biggest question about this is whether or not you’ll be able to successfully activate your hacked iPhone on a Rogers plan once the iPhone is officially released in Canada”

My unlocked e61 works fine fido or rogers, and fido/rogers still carries the handset.

bruce says:
September 13, 01h

I’m baffled. What is it about this lump of metal that makes sane adults go all Beatlemaniac? It’s just a telephone, people!

Disclaimer: I’m notoriously luddite. I drive a crap old car, use a crap old pay as you go phone, use a beige no-name Windows PC and have never fantasised about sex with Steve Jobs.

September 13, 06h

My buddy was over here the other day activating his iPhone he got while in Detroit. He has a Telus phone though which apparently doesn’t have a sim card. He’s going to see about a Fido card though and then hacking the phone to work in Canada. Almost makes me want to ditch my Samsung D807 and splurge on the iPhone now.

September 13, 09h

Here’s a question, not just for Canadian iPhone owners mind you: is it possible to disable data transfer (aside from calls) over EDGE. I’m strongly considering getting a phone and I’m on Rogers, so I don’t want to get hit with any huge overage charges for data transfer.

I did some poking around on Apple’s support site, but wasn’t able to come up with an answer to my question.

Hien Tran says:
September 13, 10h


You can ask Rogers to disable it.

Dave S. says:
September 13, 10h

@Jeff Smith - “is it possible to disable data transfer (aside from calls) over EDGE”

Yeah, easy. In the post I noted I had a problem with EDGE on Rogers initially and I had to change the server settings. If you just remove them completely, you likely won’t use any data.

The EDGE server setting is in Settings > General > Network > EDGE

September 13, 10h

@Dave S. - Perfect, thanks. I think that pretty much seals the deal for me. Time to get my hands on one so I can stop using this horrible Razr.

Matthew says:
September 13, 15h

Bought, activated,and unlocked on Tuesday. Love this thing. EDGE data rates on wireless are high, but if you’re in the downtown coremost WIFI hotspots are wide open. The iPhone defaults to WIFI anyway, so most EDGE charges can be avoided if you’re smart about it.

Through unlocking, EDGE is actually disabled, as it does not change a specific line of code required for EDGE. Enabling it requires a bit of noodling with some .plists…

Victor Chan says:
September 13, 16h

Today was the second coming for me. The first was the wait from June 29th to when my US-sent iPhone arrived. I have to agree with most everyone’s concerns. As a Canuck with an iPhone, I’m not only an early adopter but one with more risk than any American user.

I’m taking the situation as it comes, though. I don’t expect that we’ll get affordable, practical dataplans but I’m hopeful. Hey, I was cautiously optimistic about an unlock for two months and here I am, making my iPhone my primary pda/phone/media device.

I hope that Rogers will realize the mistake many companies make: pricing at a premium generates less profit; they can make a profit off people en masse that will gladly pay an affordable fee for data usage rather than the begrudging amount a much smaller group of consumers have fork over now. Data wants to be free! Or at the very least, cheap to come by.

One more thing: kudos to the iPhone dev team who made this all possible. Hopefully this will remain a win-win-win situation.

Zenmonnkey says:
September 13, 20h

I’m planning on picking one up in NYC at the end of the month. I’m not afraid of a little scripting. And now knowing how easily EDGE is “disabled” there’s no worry of “accidental” network usage. The only real concern is having to be more careful of updates. And that’ll only suck if cool new features get added, and even then its just a waiting game for our friendly hackers to work around. This kind of cat and mouse has been going on in the Console world for years.

I’ve just been trying to find clarificartion on an issue. the iPhoneSIMFree soluton required a live internet connection to unlock, but does the iUnlock method require it is well? I’d hate to get my shiny new toy then wait week before I can activate it because of some silly hotel internet connection (yeah I’m impatient I know)

Victor Chan says:
September 14, 06h


Sort of. Right now, part of the process requires a wifi connection so that you can log into your phone remotely and also transfer files to it. (i.e. Your computer needs to see your iPhone on the local network with an IP and therefore be able to connect to it.) The wifi connection does not have to connect to the Internet per se.

The iPhone wiki in addition to various other sites has all the steps outlined.

nulens says:
September 14, 20h

Hi - having lived through Rogers’ _NEGATIVE BILLNG _ period here in Vancouver when they offered Cable service. Rogers will NEVER get another cent from me. Ever. My question is: Can I get an unlocked iPhone and be able to use the SIM card with another provider other than Rogers?
@Victor: “making my iPhone my primary pda/phone/media device” How well is this working out for you? is the pda function robust?


Rich Mason says:
September 15, 04h

iphonesimfree transfer to iphone:

I had to use a program called ifuntastic ver 3.03 (for itunes 7.4) to successfully move the iphonessimfree software to my iphone via usb/dock cable instead of ssh over the wi-fi connection. As for activation, I used a program called iNdependence to jailbreak the phone and activate it. I put it in jail again, “freed” it forever with ifuntastic, transfered the simfree file and installed. Took forever because i am in iraq and had to download the 1.0.2 firmware multiple times. Now I can use iraqna for call, wi-fi for data, and the ipod for the gym. perfect. now if only i can update to 16gb of flash memory in the near future…

Hien Tran says:
September 15, 07h

Well after sitting on the fence until now, I’m glad have picked up and unlocked my iphone. Using the guide. GUI Installer worked great.

Has anyone had issues with the voicemail button after popping in a Rogers sim card? I get the red dot over the voicemail icon and phone icon, but voicemail button doesn’t call the rogers VM number.

Tried the VM fix
But can’t seem to SSH into my phone.

Strange. But everything else works great.

harry says:
September 15, 16h

I put the Rogers EDGE info in and I surfed for a second or so to test it - works fine.
I then went back to General>Network>EDGE and erased the Rogers settings.

Hit the Safari button and it was still working on Rogers! Aaaaargh!
I put some gobbledegook in the settings and tried again - now it was off. Phew.

Be careful to put something in the settings, so that the last input isnt held in memory and you unwittingly go straight to Rogers special ‘drain your bank account’ system.

The iPhone is great - I live in Langley area, commute to Vancouver, ipod music as I drive - much more of a relaxed commute, and if I get a call, music fades, take the call, music fades back in. Love it.

No more missed calls in the car. Headset seems very good quality to me (I have an Etymotic $200 set with my ipod - Apple seems the equal of that.)

I find lots of wifi places in Vancouver if I need to get/send an email or check a website. LOVE this phone - anyone want a new RAZR?

Victor Chan says:
September 20, 11h

@nulens: After about a week of constant, usage, yes the iPhone holds up reasonably well as a PDA but it is still lacking. This is where I hope the possibility of officially adding 3rd party apps will be a reality in the future.

It would be a good strategy. As John Gruber speculated in one of his posts that holding back something can be a good strategy for Apple. I imagine adding new features to an existing product (with a mere firmware update) would generate renewed interest when product sales start to slow?

In any case, there are a few things that I miss on my PDA that were on my Treo. Having Notes (or in Treo’s case, Memos) syncing to my computer. I like the convenience of accessing or creating bits of important information in either location and syncing. The second issue is cut & paste. *sigh* I often copy/move information around between Notes, Contacts, Appointmens, E-mails, etc… that major convenience is lost on the iPhone. (Think of receiving a Fedex tracking number and having to manually enter it into MobileSafari without a pen or paper.) Lastly, as I alluded above, 3rd party apps. I use To-Do’s/Shopping Lists and a Winelist app a lot on my Treo.

I would like to see the iPhone developer community as prolific as the Palm one. It has the potential: the major (only?) barrier is that Apple hasn’t opened up the platform. A Safari-based API is not a solution. People are not in constant network/wi-fi proximity. I wish Apple would see it a bit from the PDA point of view that an offline scenario is maybe more common than they might surmise, and also very debilitating to their ‘application’ platform.

Hien Tran says:
September 21, 08h

Here’s a fix for the Rogers Voicemail, found it posted at

Key in: *5005*86*+16044183471# and dialed. Now it works!

To dial the “+” just tap and hold “0”

VM Retrieval Numbers

+1 (604) 418-3471

Alberta, Saskatchewan & Manitoba:
+1 (403) 561-3172

+1 (416) 274-2817
+1 (416) 357-3229 (my favourite….not that it matters)
+1 (416) 357-1041
+1 (416) 358-1549

Quebec & Maritimes:
+1 (514) 827-1251

nulens says:
September 24, 16h

beware! heads up!
“Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed.”

September 29, 08h

Hmm… Somehow I fail to see how *software* modification would cause *irreparable* damage –any chance that this is just FUD?!

nulens says:
October 03, 16h

guess again… there are iBricks to be had a-plenty after updating.

some problems have even arisen in non-hacked iPhones. i would to hear from those of you with hacked iphones. are you bricked? have you found a work-around?

Arif says:
October 16, 04h


Just a quick question. I’m from vancouver but studying in Sydney, Australia. I’m very keen to get an iphone from the US when I get back to Vancouver for christmas. Whats the closest place to get an iphone minus the At&t contract across the peace arch?

If i bought one, what is the best method to unlock it, and once doing so, could I use it in Vancouver initially (cause i’ll be dying to try it out) then use it when I get back to Sydney?

If someone could help me out that would be great.


Yong Hwee says:
November 01, 18h

The unlocking process has gone from relatively complicated to no-brainer over the months. I think the iPhone Dev Team are working really hard.