Unlocking the iPhone 3G - or maybe not

An application with the seasonal but rather unappetizing name of Yellowsn0w has some folks tinkering away, though not always happily.

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Jon Skillings is an editorial director at CNET, where he's worked since 2000. A born browser of dictionaries, he honed his language skills as a US Army linguist (Polish and German) before diving into editing for tech publications -- including at PC Week and the IDG News Service -- back when the web was just getting under way, and even a little before. For CNET, he's written on topics from GPS, AI and 5G to James Bond, aircraft, astronauts, brass instruments and music streaming services.
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Jon Skillings
2 min read

Gadget blogs on New Year's Day were aflutter with word that an application called Yellowsn0w was available for those who want to unlock the iPhone 3G.

Apple iPhone
The iPhone - who wants in? James Martin/CNET Networks

CrunchGear, for one, posted a graphically enhanced, QuickPwn-focused spin on jailbreaking the iPhone and making use of the Yellowsn0w instructions from the Dev-Team Blog. Way at the bottom, though, it points out that "this is all in beta and there is no guarantee of success." It follows with this note:

UPDATE - I haven't been able to get it to work on two iPhone 3Gs, both with fresh 2.2 firmware and baseband. I've heard plenty of people HAVE had luck, however, so it seems to be an either/or thing. I suspect some cells aren't accepting the iPhones as valid equipment.

Gizmodo, meanwhile, reports that while Yellowsn0w is "very easy to install," alas "it doesn't work right," and takes the Dev-Team folks to task:

Even while this is labeled as a beta, it saddens me that the iPhone Dev Team has embraced the damn beta culture just to make the release on a cute date. It looks like the old days of solid versions are long gone by.

The Gizmodo account also cites a poll of 67 people who'd tried out Yellowsn0w, with "it doesn't work" outdoing "it worked" by a ratio of about 2 to 1.

Over at The Boy Genius Report, things seem to have worked out more favorably. Says Boy Genius, "It's not without a few hiccups but it definitely works and it works well."