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Unlock your iPhone 3GS using purplesn0w (better than ultrasn0w)!

14 July 2009 16 Comments

UPDATE : The following guide holds good only for iPhone 3GS 3.0 firmware. For 3.0.1 use redsn0w guide instead!

Geohot has done it again! He gave us the first jailbreak for iPhone 3GS and now, we have a much more efficient iPhone 3GS unlock – purplesn0w. Seriously, all the sn0w versions are confusing but well, that is their game!

For now, the iPhone 3GS should be activated using an official carrier before purplesn0w is installed on your iPhone 3GS. (Hacktivation for other carriers to follow soon)

Why is this unlock (purplesn0w) more reliable (WiFi, Push,..) and efficient than ultrasn0w (Dev Team’s unlock)? Straight from Geohot :

I wrote a payload and delivery system in a day. And it’s an awesome payload. Ideally we’d like to patch the lock out of flash, but with the apparently proper sig checks, that isn’t going to happen. So purplesn0w is the next best thing. I copy the page I want to patch to an unused region of memory. In memory I patch it. Then, using the MMU, I map the flash page out and remap the patched memory page in it’s place.
No new iPhones are really unlocked, activation creates a ticket allowing the baseband to be used with that sim. The lockstate of the phone really lies on apples servers. Unlocked is auth all sims. Locked is auth AT&T sims only. Fortunately this ticket system provides an easy way to deliver the payload and reexecute the patched code all in one. And since the ticket is already delivered on baseband resets, theres no need to write another daemon to hog battery. I use the daemon already designed for this, lockdownd. A patch to commcenter gets it to run the payload on ticket delivery. And a patch to your activation record contains the payload. So using existing apple machinery, I unlock when needed.

The repo for purplesn0w on Cydia : apt.geohot.com

Make sure you Jailbreak your iPhone 3GS using PurpleRa1n before proceeding further.

Follow the quick guide as shown :









  • john said:

    Kiran, iphone dev team released another ultrasn0w (v0.9), which according to their lengthy blog post, has taken some of the improvements from purplesn0w and incorporated them into ultrasn0w. So perhaps purplesn0w isn't better than ultrasn0w, just an alternative.

  • yuri said:

    Right! with Ideas pretty much taken from George.

  • kkiran said:

    Great to see Geohot and Dev Team in competition : which means faster/quality updates!

  • yuri said:

    I have to agree. The dev team have being pro active lately with their updates.

  • Aaron said:

    PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!
    please contact me on aaro360@techgeek.co.in
    i have a huge problem with my iphone 2g its stuck in recovery mode i tried everything nothing worked
    i am using windows vista. please help me.

  • kkiran said:

    Don't panic. Just let me know the symptoms. What do you see (on your pc and iPhone) when you launch iTunes?

  • fonzy_magoo said:

    hi there i was hoping you could help me out with my iPhone problem, please

  • fonzy_magoo said:

    remember i asked you on another post, i found the phone on the underground and was told more or less not to hand it in.i know its puck blocked i tried to phone the number that comes up and its dead, but otherwise the apps work fine i just cant use it as a phone. im unsure if its 3g or 2g but my computer runs on windows vista ,that i can tell you if you want to email me its gapamu66@googlemail.com thank you

  • kkiran said:

    Ok. To proceed, I need to know if it has a black back (body) or steel?

  • fonzy_magoo said:


  • kkiran said:

    So you have an iPhone 3G. You will have to use redsn0w for iPhone 3G. Search in this blog. It is a simple straightforward 3 step program. Let me know if it works.

  • fonzy_magoo said:

    thank you very much , i'll keep in touch

  • fonzy_magoo said:

    yeah i got it unlocked but i cant use it as a phone, is there a way to unblock it to use

  • electromozzo said:

    Как сказал один мудрый еврей – и это пройдёт…
    Всё верно – у нас это не только развлечение, но и работа, следовательно – на моря!!! 🙂

  • Jailbreak and Unlock iPhone 3GS using PurpleRa1n by Geohot – Simplest Jailbreak tool ever for Windows and Mac! | iLikeMyiPhone said:

    […] to Unlock your iPhone 3GS. Geohot and Dev Team. You should now see Cydia on your iPhone 3GS! Follow Geohot’s Unlock if you have an activated iPhone 3GS. Follow this quick screenshot tour of Ultrasn0w to unlock your […]

  • fonzy_magoo said:

    my phone recognises my network but when i phone out it goes back to the dialler and when i phone in i get "unable to connect to this phne" recoreded message, but everything else works as normal

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