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What does my iPhone need to work with any operator?

As you probably know, all phones sold by Apple are tied to a specific operator. In the USA it is AT&T, in France Orange, in Germany T-Mobile and finally O2 in the UK. This is related to Apple's business model. Under the contract, the operator is required to deduct a certain percentage of the income from an Apple subscriber. It is not known for certain how much exactly, but rumor has it that up to 20%.

In this regard, you can use the phone only with a SIM card of the above operators. And no other way. The scheme for the “legal” iPhone user is as follows:

  • A phone is bought in the operator’s company store or in the Apple Store
  • The subscriber comes home and concludes a contract with the operator via the Internet
  • After the conclusion of the contract, after a while the phone is activated and it can be used

Therefore, in order for the device to work in the network of any other operator, you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Activate phone
  2. Bypass SIM card check

The first step, as you would expect, is called activation . Its essence is to gain access to the basic functions of the device.

The second step, called unlocking, is unlock in the world.

What is unlock?

Unlock is a modification of the GSM module software, which allows you to use an iPhone like a phone with a SIM card of any operator.

There are several methods:

  1. Software (soft unock) - when, without interfering with the phone’s hardware, the radio modem is modified, removing the check for SIM card belonging to the operator. Usually, AnySim (iUnlock) or iPhoneSimFree programs are used for this. How this process happens, in details, can be read in the paragraph: "Bootloader, secpack, OTB and all-all-all."
  2. Hardware (hard unlock) - when the phone is opened and using the Test Point lock, access to the modification of the software part of the radio modem is obtained.
  3. Sim Clone (MultiSIM) - in fact, is not an "unlock". This method uses some features of checking whether the SIM card belongs to the operator, with the help of which the phone is "tricked" - iPhone considers that the SIM card belongs to the AT&T operator. When using this method, the information necessary for authorization in the GSM operator’s network (IMSI, ICCID and Ki secret key) is scanned from the subscriber’s SIM card and recorded on a special smart card that will emulate the operation of the SIM. The main problem of this method is that the Ki secret key can be read only from the first generation of SIM cards (SIMv1). It requires special equipment, it takes a lot of time.
  4. Sim Proxy (TurboSIM, StealthSIM, NextSIM, X-SIM and others) is a logical continuation of the SimClone method. Only using the hardware "strip" (proxy) between the phone and the SIM card. When the phone asks for information in order to verify its belonging to the operator, Sim Proxy gives the AT&T card metric, in other cases it redirects requests to the subscriber's SIM card. Very easy to use - you just cut your SIM card and put an adapter on it, and then insert this design into the phone. Will not require special equipment.

How does the iPhone work?

The phone that you hold (or will hold) in your hands does not represent anything exclusive in terms of your device. Its only difference from classmates is the lack of a keyboard and a display recognizing two touch points at the same time.

I will not give a specific list of hardware located on the phone, but in a simplified form I will tell you how all this works so that the forum does not cause any confusion of concepts and all kinds of crazy stories.


At the iron level, it is important to know that the phone actually has two processors:

  • ARM processor that controls the operating system
  • Infenion SGOLD2 which is responsible for working with a GSM network (they call it a radio modem, baseband, gsm modem, bb).

The first processor (let's call it CPU) is actually the heart of the phone: it is responsible for the operation of the operating system (by the way, almost real MacOS X actually works on your phone), it is responsible for the work of absolutely all your applications.

The second processor (we will call it baseband, abbreviated BB), is responsible for the communication capabilities of the phone: GSM, EDGE / GPRS, WiFi and Bluetooth. Like the CPU, it also has some kind of operating system, which consists of several components: boot loader (bootloader), flash (firmware) and eeprom (data). All this stuff is stored on a special memory module (Intel Wireless Flash Memory, a separate chip on the board), it is also called NOR flash.


Now let's talk about things that are closer to us - software. If you look at the previous section, it becomes clear that the phone has two types of programs: for the CPU and for BB.

On the phone, all this gets through a software package, usually called firmware. Here usually the first confusion arises, so this point will be examined in more detail.

When enough patches are collected, Apple releases an update - an IPSW file of about 150 megabytes in size, containing the image of the phone’s operating system and sometimes an update for the GSM part. Therefore, in one update there can be two "firmware": for the software part of the phone (application update) and for the GSM part.

This package has its own version (1.0.0, 1.1.1, 1.1.2, etc.), but the GSM part has its own numbering (03.01_13G, 04.02_13G, etc.). It turned out that the programs installed in the phone itself are characterized by a version of the update package, for example, the latter has version 1.1.3. This is commonly called the "phone firmware version."

It just so happened that you can install any of the existing updates on your phone, while the firmware version of the GSM part will not change. You can have the GSM part firmware for version 04.03_13G and the phone firmware 1.0.2.

Now read the previous 2 paragraphs a few more times. Of these, we made two main terms: phone firmware and GSM part firmware. A lot depends on their versions.

But in the light of recent events, another term appears on the scene: the bootloader version. This issue deserves a separate discussion.

Bootloader, secpack, OTB, unlock and all-all-all

With the release of update number 1.1.2, one very unpleasant fact was revealed. All phones that went on sale with this firmware (as they say 1.1.2 out of the box - 1.1.2 out the box, OTB) have a different bootloader from the previous one. The new bootloader version is 4.6, while the previous one had version 3.9.

In this version, Apple fixed many vulnerabilities and changed the secpack verification algorithm.

Secpack - the area contained in the update package in which digital signatures are located for a specific firmware version of the GSM part of the phone. Required to modify the GSM modem software.

If in the bootloader version 3.9 it was possible to perform operations with the GSM part having secpack from the current or next firmware version (> =), then in bootloader 4.6 such operations are possible only with secpack from the next firmware version (>). Plus everything else, writing to the area in which the bootloader is located, after its initialization became impossible, which makes its "rollback" impossible.

This small nuance ruined the life of everyone. Why? Now let's see what software unlock is.

How does unlock work?

In the GSM part firmware, there is a check for the SIM card belonging to a specific operator. To be precise, a unique IMSI card code is checked. This code consists of MCC (Mobile Country Code, Country Code), MNC (Mobile Network Code, Operator Code) and MSIN. In the GSM modem, the MCCMNC number is checked, if it is in the allowed table (this list is called the lockstate table), then the phone is registered in the operator’s network, if not, the GSM part is blocked.

Accordingly, in order to use the phone with any operator, this check must be circumvented. The only method is to find a place in the GSM part firmware and modify it in such a way that no matter what MCCMNC code is contained in the ICCID, the check always passes successfully.

To do this, a full copy of the GSM part firmware (dump) is made, which is unloaded and it contains the area that needs to be modified, this area is modified. After that, the existing firmware is deleted, and the modified one is written back.

Voila, and the phone is unlocked.

It would seem, where does the bootloader?

The key points in the unlock process are erasing the old version and recording the new one. If earlier, this could be done using secpack from the available one, now it is necessary to have secpack from the next version. Those. unlock will always be one step later.

By the way, one more obvious blow: updating the modem firmware makes it impossible to unlock it. Those. if you had working 1.1.2, and suddenly upgraded to 1.1.3, to call you will have to wait until the next update comes out, containing the GSM-modem update.

Yes, by the way, the "good" news: Georg Hotz, a pioneer of the unlock movement, has issued detailed instructions on how to downgrade the bootloader version by hardware. Very risky operation, I tell you. On the notorious forum, a huge number of stories about an unsuccessful attempt. According to the results of the last vote, every third was unsuccessful.

Well, well, the educational program in basic terms can be considered completed. It remains to cover a few more points.

The Shawshank Redemption

Applications You probably noticed that in the previous paragraphs we talked only about “native” phone applications. As you most likely know, the matter was not limited to native applications. Of course, Steve Jobs made it possible to write applications for the phone, but only within the Safari browser. But that was not enough.

Quite quickly, the iPhone hacker community found the opportunity to write their own applications for the phone. Only a few months passed and the number of applications began to be measured in hundreds, increasing every day. Today, you probably cannot imagine your life at least without a Russian keyboard (Hello, Slavik!). But this is a third-party application.

And the life of third-party applications is impossible without a jailbreak

Jailbreak (literally "jailbreak") - the process of gaining full access to the file system of the phone. The concept of jail came to us from the bowels of the * nix community and means “locking” a user in a certain directory when he cannot gain access to everything located “above” in the file system tree.

Initially, the user has write access only to the / var / root / directory (where all user settings and media content are stored) on the phone. Everything would be fine, but just past everything else, it’s forbidden to run applications in this directory.

Jailbreak allows you to get full access to all folders and files on the phone (read, write and execute). Now, with the release of each update, all users (including "legal" ones) follow the news and wait for the jailbreak to become possible.

By the way, the installer application has become the de facto standard, the name of which speaks for itself - it is an installer of third-party applications. Undoubtedly the most popular and sought-after application for the iPhone, ever created outside of Apple.

About the dark past, virgins and bricks

Many remember the times of the first phones when unlock took 40 minutes, during which we watched the lines running in the terminal. Then it was cleaner and the grass was greener.

As a gift from these times, we got the term virginization. All this arose from where: the old versions of AnySim (iUnlock) mistakenly deleted a small area from the firmware of the GSM part - seczone. In this area, a table was stored with a list of "allowed" MCCMNC codes and a key unique to each.

As it turned out, when upgrading from 1.0.2 to 1.1.1, the phone even stopped accepting the native AT&T SIM card, turning into a beautiful brick. The explanation is simple: when updating the firmware, the area in which seczone is stored is not updated. Therefore, the firmware tries to check for the presence of MCCMNC in the table, which is not there.

Then the concept of virginization appeared. Speaking in Russian: bringing the phone to a virgin state when the original version of the firmware is returned (without unlock) and the lockstate in the zone is restored.

Therefore, virginization is needed if and only if the phone has been unlocked with old versions of AnySim (up to 1.1) and iUlock.

About officially unlocked phones

As you know, European legislation does not look very well at the idea of ​​linking the phone to a specific operator. As a result, even in the whole of France there is such a beast as a telephone officially untied from the operator (in Germany, T-Mobile won a trial and stopped selling such phones).

But there is a small catch - these phones can only be used in the country in which the operator is located. Those. If you bought an officially unlocked phone in France, you can choose any French operator, no more. With SIM cards of operators from another country, such phones will not work!

Freezing during recovery: this problem can often be solved by following the instructions in the article “iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting Security Software Issues”. This error may occur as a result of an incorrectly set default packet size. A third-party security system software can be installed on the computer, changing the standard package size in Windows using the registry key TcpWindowSize. Get help from a software developer who resizes the default package size.

Cannot perform recovery. The device is not supported for the requested assembly: if this error appears, it is probably not the latest version of iTunes. Check out the latest available version of iTunes at http: // If the latest version of iTunes is installed, then this problem may occur when trying to restore using the IPSW file of the previous version. Installing earlier versions is not supported.

Recovery cycle (request for re-recovery after successful completion of recovery): this error usually appears due to outdated or incorrectly configured security software. If you find that the problem is not related to USB, follow the steps in iTunes for Windows: Troubleshoot Security Software Issues.

Error 2: this error is often resolved by disabling and removing third-party security software or a firewall.

Error -4: This error may occur under the following conditions:

  • access to ports 80 and / or 443 is blocked;
  • a firewall, third-party security software or other Internet access settings block access to and / or;
  • iTunes Store server is overloaded.

Error 6: all the steps described in this article can be used to resolve this error. Often, you can fix this error by following the instructions in iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting Security Software Issues. A third-party security system software can be installed on the computer, changing the standard package size in Windows using the registry key TcpWindowSize. An incorrectly specified packet size can cause this error. Contact your software developer for help, which changes the default package size.

Error 9: this error appears when the device unexpectedly disconnects from the USB bus, as a result of which the data exchange stops. This can happen if the user manually disconnects the device during the recovery process. This problem can be resolved by locating the faulty USB port, by using a different USB cable to the dock, by using a different USB port, by restoring on another computer, or by eliminating conflicts with third-party security software.

Error 13 and 14: these errors can usually be fixed by doing one or more of the following:
Troubleshoot a USB connection, connect the device directly to a different USB port on your computer.
Connect your computer and device using a USB 2.0 hub.
Try using a different 30-pin USB cable to the dock connector.
Resolve conflicts with third-party security software.
A third-party security system software can be installed on the computer, which changes the standard package size in Windows using one or more TcpWindowSize registry keys. An incorrectly specified packet size can cause this error. Contact your software developer for help, which changes the default package size.
Connect your computer to the Internet directly without using routers, hubs, or switches. You may need to restart your computer and modem to access the Internet.
Try using a known-good computer and network connection for recovery.
If the ASR 1000 error is in the iPhone, iPad or iPod Updater log file, an error occurred while unpacking and transferring the IPSW file downloaded during recovery. This error often occurs due to the use of third-party security software, an unstable Internet connection, which leads to errors during loading, or due to USB bus conflicts.

Error 18 (or -18): this error occurs when the library is damaged on the device and it cannot be changed or updated. To resolve this issue, try updating iTunes to the latest version and performing recovery again.

Error -19: full text: "iTunes could not sync on iPhone" [iPhone name] "due to an unknown error (-19)." This error occurs when upgrading iPhone 3G to a later version of the software when iTunes tries to back up the iPhone during synchronization. To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
Uncheck the box next to “Sync automatically if iPhone is connected” on the “Browse” tab in iTunes.
Remove iPhone.
Reconnect iPhone.
Select Update.

Error 20, 21, 34, 37: These errors usually occur when security software interferes with the recovery or update process. If your computer is running Windows, follow the steps in this article.

Error 23, 28, 29, 1002, 1011, 1012, 1013, 1014, 1611: these errors may be related to the hardware of the device. Follow the instructions in this article and try the recovery process using a known-good 30-pin USB cable to the dock, computer and network to determine the source of this problem. If the MAC address is missing or IMEI assumes the default value (00 499901 064000 0), then the problem is hardware related.

Error 48: To resolve this error, follow the steps in this article. Also see the instructions in the “Recovering Using a New User Account” section above regarding the location of IPSW files.

Error 1015: The error occurs due to attempts to install an earlier version of the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch device software. This can happen when you try to restore using an earlier version of the IPSW file. Installing earlier versions is not supported. In this case, try restoring the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using the latest version provided by Apple.

Error 1479: This error appears when you contact Apple during the upgrade or recovery process. Exit the program, disconnect the device from USB, reboot the device with iOS, reconnect the device to the computer, then launch iTunes and try updating or restoring.

Error 1602: Try to solve this problem by following these steps.
Follow the USB connection troubleshooting steps and try connecting using a known-good cable.
Follow the steps listed in error description 1604.
Try disabling, deactivating, or removing anti-virus, firewall, or other third-party security software, this may solve the problem. For additional security software troubleshooting tips, see this article.

Error 1603: if this error appears and the iOS device does not automatically enter recovery mode, this must be done manually. For instructions on forcing iPhone to enter recovery mode, see the article “iPhone and iPod touch: Cannot upgrade or restore.” Also try deleting the IPSW file and then perform the restore again. If you need to save the IPSW file in the folder of the current user, try to restore to a new user account with administrator rights.

Error 1604: Often this error is related to USB bus synchronization. Try using other USB ports, disconnect and re-enable USB ports, and take steps to troubleshoot USB connections (troubleshoot USB connections, the device is not recognized correctly, the computer does not recognize the FireWire or USB device). If you use a docking station, then exclude it from the connection diagram and connect the device directly using a 30-pin USB cable to the docking connector. If the problem could not be resolved on a known-good computer, the device may need to be serviced.
If you could not solve the problem by troubleshooting USB connection, and there is no possibility to connect the device to another computer, then try the following steps to solve this problem.
Connect your device to iTunes and make sure the device is in recovery mode. If not, put the device into recovery mode.
Start the recovery process and wait until error 1604 appears.
In the window that appears, click “OK”.
Close and restart iTunes without disconnecting your iPhone.
The iPhone device must be recognized by the program as being in recovery mode.
Try to restore again.
If the problem cannot be solved using the above steps, try using a known-good USB cable, computer, and network connection for recovery.

Error 2000-2009: (2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, etc.) if these errors occur on a Mac, disconnect all third-party devices, hubs, additional cables, displays, reset the System Management Controller (SMC), and try system recovery. Learn more about resetting the System Management Controller (SMC). If you are using a computer running Windows, disconnect all USB devices and additional cables, leaving only the keyboard, mouse, and device connected, then restart the computer and try to restore again. If this does not solve the problem, see the USB troubleshooting methods described above and the articles that provide information on resolving error 1604. If you still cannot solve the problem, the security software may be the cause.

Errors 3000-3999: (3002, 3004, 3013, 3014, 3164, 3194, etc.) errors whose codes are in this range usually indicate that iTunes cannot connect to the server through port 80 or 443. The problem may be caused by outdated or incorrectly configured security software, a firewall, or proxy server settings for accessing the Internet. If connecting through a proxy server, try updating or restoring without a proxy server or use a known good network connection. If you cannot solve the problem using the above steps, then follow the instructions described in the article “iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting Security Software Issues”. Error 3014 may indicate that before you try to restore again, you need to free up space on your computer’s hard drive.

Error 3002: if this error occurs when updating iPod touch (2nd generation) or iPhone 3G, update or restore using iTunes using the standard method (click Update or Restore).

Error 3004: if the problem was not solved by following the steps described for errors 3000-3999, try to close iTunes and run the following command at the command prompt: dscacheutil-flushcache

Error 9807: if this error occurs, make sure that the date and time are correctly set on the computer.
If this does not solve the problem, open access to the following VeriSign servers:;

Access to these servers may be blocked by security software, content filtering programs, and anti-spyware programs. If you are using iTunes for Windows, follow the instructions in the article “iTunes for Windows: Troubleshoot Security Software Issues”

Error 9808: to resolve this error, follow the instructions described in the article "iTunes Store: message about an unknown error while connecting." If you failed to solve the problem using the above steps, and after rebooting all settings are reset, then follow the instructions described in the article “iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting Security Software Issues”.

Error 9844: Usually this error is caused by incorrect firewall settings. For a list of ports and servers that must be resolved, see the beginning of this article.

Error 40265xxxx: errors with numbers 40265xxxx usually occur during the recovery phase from a backup after installing iOS on the device. The problem is solved by restoring and configuring the device as new. Before setting up as a new device, save a backup copy of the device created by iTunes earlier, for example, copy it to your desktop. For information on where backup files are stored on your operating system, as well as additional notes on setting up as a new device, see the article “iPhone and iPod touch: backup information”. Backups created by iTunes store SMS messages, various bookmarks, and other program data.

As you all see a large number of "if" or "either", and each error needs its own approach and solution! Having rummaged, I found several solutions to the problems with errors, and I need your help with closing the Black Holes in this list:

2: The firmware is recognized, but cannot be used due to the fact that it was assembled and packed incorrectly (usually an error appears when working with custom firmware)

four: ?

5: The firmware cannot be installed either due to damage to the boot logos or because the device was entered in the wrong service mode (for example, the firmware is designed for DFU Mode, and you are trying to recover via Recovery Mode)

6: The firmware can not be installed either due to damage to the boot logos, or because the device was entered in the wrong service mode (for example, the firmware is designed for DFU Mode, and you are trying to recover via Recovery Mode)

9: Helps introducing the phone into DFU and rebooting the computer.

10: The low-level LLB bootloader is damaged or missing due to crookedly assembled custom firmware - Download another custom firmware or rebuild it yourself.

13: Disabling computer protection (firewall, antivirus) helps .- either A USB cable or 30-pin connector problem or an attempt to install iOS beta from Windows.

14: You downloaded a broken firmware file, establish a normal Internet connection and try again.

eighteen: ?

19: ?

20: Go to DFU.


23: iTunes cannot read the IMEI or MAC address of the device hardware (the error often has a hardware character)

28: Hardware 30-pin malfunction, go to service.

29: device hardware error, related to flash memory. Rather update iTunes to version 10.


50: Update iTunes to the latest version, exit your account and log in again, turn off your firewall and antivirus.

1004: - Itunes error when the "hosts" file was modified. Suppose there are registered addresses of Saurik. If all the lines are replaced with the # sign, then there will be no error, but the SHSH files will be taken directly from the Apple servers, and accordingly only for the latest firmware.


1011: occurs on 2G, and 23 on subsequent models, means a BB error, that is, in these cases, most likely you do not have it: IMEI, bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Modem Unknown.

1013: The firmware version is too low (you tried to roll back the modem, which is almost impossible). Ask for a later firmware version.

1014: installing on the phone firmware that does not change the modem, i.e. the firmware rises normally, but the modem does not match this firmware. You must use the Kick Device Out of Recovery function in the TinyUmbrella utility.

1015: installing firmware on the phone that does not change the modem, i.e. the firmware rises normally, but the modem does not match this firmware. You must use the Kick Device Out of Recovery function in the TinyUmbrella utility.

1600: An error occurs when trying to flash custom firmware on a phone that is not correctly entered into DFU mode. The iReb program helps to fix the problem. Using it, enter the device in DFU mode and then select the desired custom firmware in iTunes.

1601: Change the USB port, or try on another computer.


1603: A non-jailbroken device is restored to custom firmware.

1604: Trying to flash custom on a non-jailbroken phone, jailbreak.


1609: iTunes is too old to work with the device.

1611: Change the USB port, or try on another computer.






3014: Server problems, download Hotspot Shield and there will be no error.


3194: Unable to request a suitable SHSH hash from the firmware signing server. It arises if you redirected iTunes to the Cydia server through the hosts file or the TinyUmbrella utility, but the server has no saved hashes for this firmware. The solution is if you do not have SHSH then you need to flash on the latest off. firmware.

9807: iTunes cannot contact the digital signature verification server. Disable the firewall and antivirus.

9808: Disable certificate verification in the Internet settings.