There has been lots of talk about unlocking iPhone 3GS in recent days using tools like ultrasn0w which is developed by the iPhone Dev Team which has been releasing tools to jailbreak and unlock the latest iPhone firmware and models. But then, George Hotz aka geohot has claimed that his latest software – purplesn0w is a better and easier unlocking tool than ultrasn0w for iPhone 3GS.


Unlocking vs Jailbreaking

There have been many instances where I was asked about how to unlock an iPhone, but in reality, they just wanted to jailbreak it. So what is the big difference between unlocking and jailbreaking? RWW explains like this –

Jailbreaking is simply a type of hack that lets you install unapproved third-party applications on your iPhone or iPod Touch from searchable repositories provided by apps like Cydia and Icy. Unlocking, on the other hand, is a hack that lets you use your iPhone on another cellular network.

So, unlocking essentially lets you put the SIM card of any mobile service provider in your iPhone.

How to unlock iPhone 3GS in 4 simple steps?

Since you will be using purplesn0w to unlock the iPhone, and since it is an unauthorized app, you would first need to jailbreak your iPhone 3GS. i assume you have already done that or else you can read this online tutorial from RWW on how to jailbreak your iPhone OS to 3.0. Use purplera1n software to perform the jailbreak before using purplesn0w.

Important Note: Back up your current iPhone settings before you start off. Just in case something goes wrong horribly, you must be able to restore the device to factory settings.

1. Disable 3G: Go to “Settings” –> “General” –> “Network” and then tap the slider that reads “Enable 3G” to set it to the OFF position. Exit back to the main screen when finished.

2. Add the Geohot Repository to Cydia: Since you have already jailbroken your iPhone, you should have the Cydia app on your iPhone’s screen. Launch the app and select “Manage” from the set of buttons at the bottom of the screen. Tap “Sources” –> “Edit” –> “Add.” Type in and hit “Add Source” when done. Tap the “done” button and exit out of the “Manage” section.

3. Install purplesn0w: Look for “Purplesn0w” using Cydia’s search utility. You’re looking for the package com.geohot.purplesn0w. Once you’ve found that, tap it to see the details. Next, tap the “Install” button and then the “Confirm” button just as if you were installing any other Cydia app. Wait while it installs and watch for the success message output in Cydia. Tap “Return to Cydia” when it’s finished installing and then exit from the Cydia app entirely.

4. Reboot your iPhone: Press the power button until you see the message “slide to power off” appear. Use the slider to power off your device then turn it back on. Once rebooted, your iPhone 3GS will be unlocked!!

That’s quite simple, isn’t it?!

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Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp