Pwnage Tool logoApple released the new OS X update 10.5.7 on Tuesday evening (US PST). When it was released most users with unlocked iPhone 3G were worry that the latest OS X update will further hamper their Mac's ability to place the iPhone into DFU mode. Now the iPhone Dev Team has tweeted yesterday that OS 10.5.7 is even more compatible to the jailbreak process than OS 10.5.6, which disabled the DFU mode.

The new 10.5.7 Leopard update is safe. In fact it's more jailbreak-friendly than 10.5.6, since the DFU-mode bug is gone.

So I now recommend everyone to upgrade your Mac OS 10.5 as soon as possible, as there are many security fixes in OS 10.5.7, including a Safari 4 Beta security update that you only see after upgrading to OS 10.5.7.

Posted
AuthorVinko
Categoriesiphone

You may have read in forums and elsewhere about the "iPhone Carrier Update" dialog presented by iTunes each time the iPhone is connected to iTunes 7.7 or later. In the past I had suggested that if your iPhone is "carrier unlocked"; not connected to one of the Apple carrier partners in your country, you should not apply this update when Apple's dialog comes up. The reason is because the "iPhone Carrier Update" will update settings relating to the "carrier partner(s)" within your iPhone, and if your iPhone was unlocked and your SIM card is not from one of the "carrier partner(s)" the APN settings (data settings) of your iPhone will be overridden, causing you to have to update these settings each time.

You can read other tips to know when owning an iPhone in Hong Kong by checking out my article, What to Know When Buying an iPhone 3G in Hong Kong or the more layman article 10 Things a Layman Should Know About Hong Kong iPhone 3G.

Pwnage Tool logoApple released a new firmware for the iPhone (v2.2.1). Again for anyone who had or plan to jailbreak or unlock your iPhone (2G or 3G) please be patience and DO NOT upgrade to the latest iPhone firmware.

This is especially important for all those who are currently using unlocked iPhones (2G).

The iPhone Dev Team had already posted a note saying that they will investigate the new firmware. Most likely update versions of the Pwnage Tool and QuickPwn applications for both Macintosh and Windows OS will be coming to address changes in this latest iPhone firmware from Apple.

Along with the update announcement within iTunes, Apple included notes to say there are Safari improvements. Hopefully this will finally eliminate all those Safari crashes on the iPhone.

Posted
AuthorVinko
Categoriesiphone

Pwnage Tool logoOver the past year and a half I had assisted many people with the unlocking of their iPhones. Many more people ask me about unlocking. So instead of answering each of these people over and over again, I thought I post an article in my blog, which I can refer them to for more details.

  1. What Does iPhone Unlock mean? Many carriers around the world will "carrier lock" a cell phone that they had subsidized for their customers. To ensure the purchaser of the cell phone stays as a customer of the carrier after the purchase, the carrier will normally do two things:

    • Make the purchaser commit to a contract that bounds them to the carrier for a number of years (2 years is common). Of course the purchaser can break the contract, but there is usually a penalty to compensate the carrier for the subsidizing the cell phone.
    • Carrier Lock the cell phone to the carrier's network, meaning the cell phone cannot be used on any other cellular network in the world.

  2. Is "Carrier Unlocking" the iPhone Illegal? In most countries with consumer protection regulations it is not illegal, but I am not a lawyer so I will not attempt to advise you with this matter. If you are concern I suggest you seek legal advise in your local area.
  3. Is It Illegal to Use a "Carrier Unlocked" iPhone on My Carrier? In almost all countries there are some regulations that prevent the use of unauthorized equipments on a mobile carrier network. In Hong Kong the individual carrier is responsible for managing the OFTA license, and has the rights to disallow the use of any unauthorized cell phone on their network including the canceling of an individual's cell phone service for using an unauthorized cell phone.
  4. What is the Difference Between Jailbreaking and Unlocking the iPhone? Jailbreaking is to process of hacking the iPhone so that "unauthorized" 3rd party applications can be installed on the iPhone. Ever since the launch of the Apple "iPhone AppStore" it is less important to jailbreak, unless there are applications that one really need. For me one such application is BiteSMS. Unlocking includes jailbreaking and it is the process of hacking the iPhone so that it is not carrier restricted (carrier locked) to a particular carrier partner. As of this writing you can find a list of Apple worldwide carrier partners for the iPhone at Apple.com.
  5. How Do I Jailbreak/Unlock My iPhone? Since June 2007 there had been many methods to jailbreak or unlock the iPhone. First there were the 23 steps method, including the use of SSH client and various other manipulations of proprietary files on the iPhone. Fortunately, since then we now have simple programs like the Pwnage Tool from the iPhoneDev Team, who has been the major hacking group coming out with methods and software to "carrier" unlock the iPhone. If you have a 1st generation iPhone you can follow the guide at ModMyi.com for the 1G iPhone. If you have the iPhone 3G, you should follow ModMyi.com's guide for the iPhone 3G. The same site you will find Windows equivalent instructions for both versions of the iPhone.
  6. Can I Unlock my iPhone 3G? As of the writing of this post there are no software unlock method for the iPhone 3G. The only way to "carrier" unlock an iPhone 3G is to use a hardware unlock; tools like TurboSIM. I do not recommend this hardware unlock, since in many case it will damage the iPhone. The iPhoneDev Team claims to be making available a tool on New Year's Eve 2008 that will unlock the iPhone 3G, similar to the ease of use of the current Pwnage Tool. To prove that their method is successful and simple, they have released a video of this tool; code name "Yellowsn0w".
  7. What is the Best Carrier Plan for the iPhone in Hong Kong? Although, carrier plans changes almost monthly, like anything in Hong Kong, mobile carrier price plans (tariff plans) have been very competitive. Over this past year and a half I had examined most of them. You can read my findings of these mobile carrier plans analyzed from an iPhone user in Hong Kong's perspectives.

Yesterday the iPhone Dev Team released QuickPwn (the Torrent link) for Macintosh. This is the Macintosh OS X version of the same tool they released for Windows users several weeks ago. The different between this tool and the Pwnage Tool the iPhone Dev Team has also released for the Macintosh is that the QuickPwn will not require a restore using iTunes, therefore a bit friendlier to layman iPhone users (junior hackers) who need to unlock and jailbreak their iPhone (1st generation) or jailbreak their iPhone 3G. iPhone Dev Team says the Pwnage Tool will still be enhanced and supported as it will be the tool for iPhone users who like to customize their .IPSW package for the iPhone.

I personally have not yet use this tool as my iPhone has already been upgraded to iPhone firmware 2.0.2 using the Pwnage Tool for Macintosh.

Please feel free to share your experiences; either good or bad, here via comments.

After Apple released the iPhone firmware 2.0.2 over a week ago and the rumored fixes it contains, which suppose to resolve many of the issues introduced by the iPhone firmware 2.0. I was eager to be able to upgrade my iPhone (1st generation). Unfortunately, my iPhone was jailbroken and unlocked, so I had to wait for the hacking community; mainly iPhone Dev Team, to release a tool that will allow me to upgrade my pwned iPhone. The iPhone Dev Team did introduce such a tool (Pwnage Tool 2.0.3) several days ago, but quickly pulled it off its server after several hours. Dispointed but happy that iPhone Dev Team reacted quickly on a bug that they found to be serious.

Yesterday, they finally released a new version of the Pwnage Tool 2.0.3.1 that resolved all know issues. I quickly downloaded it and after giving it 24 hours began to upgrade my iPhone.

I was happy to report that my iPhone upgraded successfully and all the issues I've had in the past with my iPhone running pre-2.0.2 firmware had all disappeared. Particularly the slowness when typing a message.

I should add "YET!". Apple made available firmware 2.0.1 for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

iPhone Firmware 2.0.1 Availability

If you have an iPhone 3G (non-jailbroken), original iPhone (non-jailbroken and locked) or a pristine iPod Touch, then you should definitely upgrade to this latest firmware. So far all reports show that applications runs faster, quicker synchronization with iTunes and spiffier overall functions of the iPhone or iPod Touch.

WARNING: if you are not in the above group of Apple device owners, meaning you have jailbroken and/or unlocked your iPhone or iPod Touch you should NOT upgrade. You will need to wait for the hacking community to update their hacking methods (currently Pwnage Tool) before doing any firmware update.

The only exception will be the iPod Touch owners who had jailbroken their device and do not mind returning their iPod to Apple factory condition (ie. no more unauthorized 3rd party applications).

BTW: As I have reported on Twitter and other Social Networks, I am experimenting with a method to resolve much of the frequent crashes on the iPhone with firmware 2.0. I will be reporting here on my blog as soon as I have definite results. Please stay tune.

Three HK logoThere was a report last night that the iPhone 3G sold by the carrier, Three, in Hong Kong is unlocked; meaning it is not tied to a specific carrier. This news was a bit hard to believe as news from other countries like US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, the iPhone 3G sold there are all locked to the respective mobile carriers.

Therefor, if you do not want to stick with Three's service you now have a choice, but the cheapest choice is:

HKD4680.00 + HKD188 x 24 months + MTR Fee (HKD12 x 24) = HKD9480.00 - HKD1742 = HKD7738 (including the rebate you will receive over 2 years)

Three HK Tariff in HKD

Now I have first hand confirmation from a friend who purchased one of these iPhone 3G at Three HK. He was able to put in a PCCW SIM card while having full access to all functionalities of the phone including EDGE and GPRS functions.

Is this really worth it. I say not, especially if you already have an iPhone (1st generation). Wait for the other carriers in Hong Kong; namely PCCW and/or Smartone-Vodafone receive the rights to sell the iPhone 3G.