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What to look for when buying an iPhone 4 that needs to be Jailbroken and unlocked.

So you're a cheap bugger like me and balk at the thought of paying $100 per month for your cellphone bill. That $2400 for the entire 2 year contract. However you also want to have your cake and kind of eat it. Well you can, kind of …….. If you buy an iPhone 4 you can jailbreak and unlock the phone and run it on a piss cheap Tmobile plan for $30 per month (1400 mins & 1 min is 1 text). The kind of comment actually is someone of a deal breaker for some - you won't be able to get data on your phone, no 3G no mobile data BUT if you mainly use the phone as just a phone and sit at a desk all day that's blanketed in WIFI then who cares, you're saving $1800 or so. Note: my piss cheap Tmobile plan actually does have a data plan thrown in but it's Edge data and only 200mb but fine for checking emails once in a while and limited Google map usage)

So let's get to it. You will need an iPhone 2G, 3G, 3GS or 4. The 4S is currently not able to be jailbroken but I believe the Jailbreaking gods are working on a jailbreak for the 4S. The term Jailbreak means to remove the limitations imposed by Apple on devices running the iOS operating system through use of custom kernels and to unlock a phone means that it'll be able to run on any GSM phone network other than ATT.

Ok, here is the meat and potatoes of how to buy an iPhone. (You could buy one already jailbroken but you'll pay more so work with me will ya!) Note that iOS version, version and firmware are all the same.

  • Get on CL (Craigslist) and find the appropriate phone. It must be an ATT phone NOT Verizon if you want an iPhone 4. The iPhone 3G is a little slow on iOS 4 (version 4 of the firmware) so I suggest a 3GS or iPhone 4.
  • Call the bloke or Lass up who has the phone and you will need to ask then TWO very important questions. Get them to go into the "About" section of their phone. They can do this by clicking on the Settings > General > About. Get them to read off the "Version" first (also know as firmware). It'll be at the bottom of the first page. It will be something like 3.1.3(7E18). Three numbers then 4 numbers and letters in brackets. Then get then to scroll down to the bottom of the next page and you will see "Modem Firmware" on the left and the version (a number) on the right - ask then what it is. (see this link to see how to do this - http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=2543
  • Next go over to this page - http://www.iclarified.com/unlock/ - the iClarified unlock wizard and select your phone, then baseband and then iOS version and it should tell you wether you can jailbreak and unlock your phone.

Simple! Be aware that the iPhone 4 is a bit of a picky bugger as far as jailbreaking goes so you'll need a relatively old baseband to jailbreak it - 1.59 and lower. Once you have looked up your prospective phone's specs in iClarified's nifty little database you can follow a link on the iClarified site to see how to actually jailbreak the phone. Happy Xmas and happy Jailbreaking !