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Marc Wandschneider is a professional software developer with well over fifteen years of industry experience (yes, he really is that old). He travels the globe working on interesting projects and gives talks at conferences and trade shows whenever possible.

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Jan 02, 2009 | 22:15:10
Bringing my iPhone back from the dead
By marcwan

Well, the not-all-that-long saga with my iPhone 3G came to a very happy ending last night with the release of yellowsn0w 0.9.4. Stumbling home from a local bar and still a little wobbly from too much beer, I did a quick refresh of the iPhone Dev-Team blog and saw the latest version of their crack and tried it out, to very quickly be rewarded with the sweet, sweet words “China Mobile” appearing at the top of my handset. After a little under a week of using a very lousy Sony phone, I’ve got all cell phone and EDGE data functionality back on the Apple, much to my great joy.

With the iPhone dev team advertising heavily that you should absolutely not upgrade to the 2.28.00 baseband (the modem firmware installed by the 2.2 iPhone update), I was expecting to have to go get another hardware fix for my iPhone. Since they were going to have to install the new hardware hack, I was just going to let them remove the old one as well.

But the story took an interesting turn this week when the dev-team suddenly announced that they wouldn’t be hacking the 2.11.07 baseband, and instead would only help you get around the 2.28.00. So, now I needed to get rid of the parasite hardware thing, and quickly. Not wanting to wait for a trip down to 女人街, the local hacked phone market, at 11pm on New Years day I did a little bit of research, took a deep breath, got out the little screwdriver set and started pulling it apart myself.

↑ The only real trick is prying off the screen after removing the two screws from the bottom. You just don’t force anything and it comes open reasonably easily.

↑ Here you see the inside with the screen up top and the circuitry underneath. The orange thing in the SIM card slot up top is the hardware hack I have to get rid of. You can also see how dusty life here in China normally is. This was after I’d blown as much of the dust out of the inside as I could.

↑ The main circuit board removed. There are about 6 screws and a few connecters to get it out.

↑ This is everything.

↑ And this the hardware SIM hack strip I removed. I love how it looks like some sort of malicious worm or something. It came off quite easily.

Comments (6) Add Comment | Tags: iphone lives yellowsn0w dev-team hardware teardown internals disassembly
Unlock iPhone 3g
Posted By: Charles Jan 25, 2009 18:44:23
Hi Marc, your post is really interesting, besides you said you’re a professional software developer with well over fifteen years of industry experience, so I have some questions for you.
I’m also living in Beijing, I have my iPhone 3G from at&t US, I used Pwnage 2.2.1 so my iPhone has Firmware 2.2 but with baseband 02.11.07 (2.1 baseband) , my SIM card is China Mobile and I’m still using the GEVEY card, as long as I know China Mobile have 3 SIM cards Go Tone, M-zone and Easy-own. I use Easy-own, and you?
I’m planning to do the upgrade to baseband 02.28.00 with iTunes then jailbreak it with QuickPwn 2.2, then install Yellowsn0w 0.9.6 to see if it works, do you thing is going to work with China Mobile Easy-own card? Because I have read this post here: and many people said that it actually works for China Mobile, M-zone and Go Tone
Thanks, waiting for reply Charles
China Mobile
Posted By: marcwan Jan 25, 2009 19:26:56
Good sir.

I believe I have the M-Zone prepaid SIM card. It was yellow when I bought it in 2006 and was trying to look extra cool and stuff with the packaging.

0.9.1 didn't work at all, and 0.9.4 wasn't perfect, but worked reasonably well (if you turned your phone off, sometimes it would take 10-15 minutes of airplane mode on/off before the signal came back).

0.9.6, however, is fantastic.

I just used QuickPwn 2.2 and it was fine. Only sort of trick was to get the little hardware shim thing out of the phone first :-).

Good luck!
Posted By: Charles Jan 25, 2009 21:43:45
Thanks a lot Marc, for your reply…!!!
Some questions: What is that “hardware SIM hack strip you removed”? Does every iPhone 3G have that? Do I must do that also, in order to get my iPhone 3G to work with Yellowsn0w? If is not that, then why did you remove it?
Hardare thingie
Posted By: marcwan Jan 26, 2009 06:49:21
Since my iPhone 3G wasn't an unlocked phone, in order to get it working before, the people who sold it to me had installed a little hardware thingie that would fake out the phone to work with China Mobile. I have no idea how your phone works, so it's hard to tell what you'd have to do to get it working with yellowsn0w.

good luck!
Posted By: marcwan Nov 12, 2009 02:08:03
If you just bought a 3GS (i.e. in the last couple of weeks), you might be out of luck — I've been reading that they're hard to unlock.

If it's a bit older than that, then the ultrasn0w or blackra1n might work for you to unlock it. Check out or for good tutorials on how to try.

You shouldn't have to open the phone up.
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