Update (04/11/2009): Those who have 05.11.xx baseband but have not been able to use fuzzyband’s baseband downgrader due to various reasons including non-supporting bootloader version should have a look at a new unlock tool released for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS by Geohot. It’s known as blacksn0w, it will work for iPhones running the latest firmware 3.1.2 on baseband 05.11.07: http://www.gadgetlite.com/2009/11/04/blacksn0w-iphone-3g-3gs-os-3-1-2/
Update (28/09/2009): Those looking to downgrade the baseband version 05.11.07 from the new iPhone OS 3.1 update should read our guide: How to: Downgrade iPhone 3G baseband – 05.11.07 to 04.26.08
We reported about the possibility of downgrading the iPhone 3Gs’ baseband (which had been unexpectedly affected by the 2.2.1 firmware update) by using a tool from ModMyi called pHaseBanDowngrader a few weeks ago. Thanks to all those who tipped us about this news, it looks like there is now another method three methods altogether which has proven to be effective for downgrading your iPhone 3G’s baseband from 02.30.03 back to 02.28.00.
While we don’t know what will happen when Apple releases iPhone 3.0, most of you will know, going back to 02.28.00 at the moment is still the most crucial thing if you don’t want to use the default iPhone carrier / network in the country in which you live. It also makes your iPhone much more useful if you travel to different countries frequently.
This roundup article presumes that you accidentally updated to 2.2.1 firmware sometime ago (thus baseband is stuck in 02.30) and as a result you haven’t been able to use the unlocking tool called yellowsn0w by the iPhone Dev Team to unlock your iPhone 3G. Its important to stress however, those of you with iPhone 3Gs with bootloader version 5.09 can’t be downgraded because it seems the tools require bootloader version 5.08 which are found only in iPhone 3Gs produced before September 2008. If you’re unsure about which bootloader version you have, the below instructions should be able to quickly tell you which version you have:
- Check when your phone was manufactured by looking at the 11 digit serial number located on the lower back of the phone. The first two digits are the factory ID (where it came from) and the next three are date information. The rest of the numbers are irrelevant for our purposes of downgrading.
- An example would be xx832xxxxxx. The 8 represents the year 2008. This is the first good sign for your iPhone 3G, meaning that its got a higher chance of having a bootloader version 5.08. The next two numbers is the week it was created.
- If you have lower than week 36, you should be fine. Week 36 is the end of September. Thanks to those who have been in touch, it seems some of you who have iPhone 3Gs from week 35 also have bootloader 5.09 which renders it non-downgradable. We recommend checking it properly using the method below or with 3G Fuzzyband Downgrader (below).
- Optional: If you’re really unsure, you can use a tool to confirm your bootloader version. Download a tool called Minicom via Cydia (you need to have a jailbroken iPhone of course), then follow the simple instructions here for using Minicom.
So now that you’re certain you’ve got bootloader version 5.8 and not 5.9, use one of the methods below to downgrade your baseband back to 02.28.00, you should be able to successfully unlock using yellowsn0w afterwards.
- Downgrade tool pHaseBanDowngrader via ModMyi forums
As mentioned, we reported about using this earlier last month though results have been mixed due to the fact that instructions are not exactly clearcut, it doesn’t mean that this tool doesn’t work. There is plenty of support if you require it at the ModMyi forums, but its probably best to choose the pHaseBanDowngrader if you’re an advanced user. Take a look at the full details about it here.
- BigBoss 3G Baseband Downgrader (3GBBD)
3GBBD works in a similar manner to pHaseBanDowngrader but the good thing about it is that its directly downloadable on your iPhone via Cydia so you don’t need to mess about on your desktop.
We suggest you follow the instructions below by opening a new window of the first screenshot (first one on the left) so that you can follow along as you go.
- Launch Cydia by pressings its icon on your SpringBoard.
- Press to select the Sections tab at the bottom of the screen.
- Press to select iClarified from the list of Sections.
- Press to select DownBB from the list of Packages.
- Press the Install button at the top right of the screen.
- Press the Confirm button to begin installation.
- Once installation has completed successfully press the large Return to Cydia button.
- Press the Home button to return to your SpringBoard then press to launch Terminal
- (Screenshot 9 and 10) Enter su into the terminal window then enter alpine when prompted for a password.
- Enter DownBB into the terminal window to launch the baseband downgrade script.
- You will be asked to confirm you would like to continue. Please make sure you are on the 2.30 baseband and have the 5.8 bootloader before entering yes into the window.
- (Screenshot 13 and 14) DownBB will now execute the script which downgrades your baseband.
- (Screenshot 15 and 16) Once the script has completed it will automatically reboot your iPhone.
- Now check your iPhone details, you should now be on the 02.28 baseband.
[Thanks to iClarified]
We know its not the simpliest instructions of all, but its worth it. Once you’ve confirmed that your iPhone 3G is back on 02.28 baseband, you can headover to the iPhone Dev Team and download their latest yellowsn0w to unlock your iPhone 3G! For those on bootloader 5.09, unfortunately no tools that we know of can help you downgrade your iPhone 3G’s baseband at the moment but we’re sure someone clever will eventually come up with something that will be able to help you.
Update (14/05/2009): We’ve had a number of messages come in about an even newer and better way to downgrade your iPhone 3G’s baseband. Baseband downgrading has certainly come a long way, this newest method practically involves just one click. Again, your iPhone 3G must be in bootloader 5.08 in order for this to work. It’s called 3G Fuzzyband Downgrader developed by w1kedZ (coding) & DHowett (GUI) and does a few things including:
- Checks and verifies your iPhone 3G’s bootloader version for you before it attempts to downgrade the baseband
- Checks your baseband version and automatically applies the required patches it needs in order to successfully downgrade
Here are some screenshots, as you can see, you literally just tap one button and wait for 3G Fuzzyband Downgrader to do its trick:
So if you haven’t yet downgraded your iPhone 3G’s baseband and is looking for the safest bet, it looks like 3G Fuzzyband Downgrader would be your best choice. 3G Fuzzyband Downgrader is of course completely free and all you need to do to get access to it is look it up in Cydia which requires you have already have a jailbroken iPhone (by the way, iPhone 3Gs on firmware 2.2.1 with baseband 02.30 can be jailbroken in case you were wondering).