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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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Dec 31, 2008 | 11:33:31
My iPhone is dead, long live - no wait, it's just dead
By marcwan

In a reasonably recent article, I chronicled the purchase and subsequent untimely loss (via theft) of my first generation iPhone. While expensive and unfortunate, this had the nice side effect of giving me the chance to buy a second generation – 3G – iPhone to play around with some more.

Having had it for over two months now, I’ve been quite pleased with it, although the battery life leaves something to be desired. The 16G of storage and the better internationalisation support are huge enough sells on their own for me.

Given that the iPhone dev-team hasn’t cracked the 3G baseband yet and that I have been using such a non-cracked phone here in China for many weeks now, I was under the assumption that I was using an unlocked Hong Kong 3G iPhone, and could upgrade it as I wished to use it around the world.

It turns out I was wrong. Spectacularly so. Last night, after upgrading the phone to the 2.2 firmware (and therefore the 2.28.00 baseband), I now have an iPod Touch, with a permanent “No Signal” in the upper left corner. What happened? I do not, it seems, have an unlocked phone, but instead there’s a little shim SIM card inside the phone which does the unlocking for you, but only for specific basebands. While I can’t quite see which one I have, it clearly doesn’t like the 2.2 release’s new baseband, and stopped working entirely.

So, I have two choices:

  1. Given that new 2.2-enabled shim SIM cards are coming out, I can go to the same place I purchased the phone sometime later this week hopefully and get a new shim card to re-enable my China Mobile SIM card.
  2. I can otherwise wait for the dev-team to crack the 2.2 firmware’s 2.28.00 baseband, which will likely take a while, as they’ve only recently cracked the 2.11.07, and haven’t actually released that yet.

I could have avoided all of this by only updating the firmware and not the baseband, but that would have required understanding exactly what I had in my phone. Whoops.

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