What’s the difference between Jailbreaking and unlocking an iPhone?

I think unlocking means I can use any SIM in my iPhone – is that right? But what does Jailbreaking mean? Is that different?

Add a comment

mmbeak  Feb. 27, 2011 at 14:08

Q1 - yes. Q2 - Jailbeaking basically gives you read/write access to the locked-out OS files on the phone. You cannot unlock an iPhone without some form of Jailbreak being performed on it.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2011 at 14:11

Jailbreaking takes away Apple's bars around the iPhone's inner sanctum - its file system, deeper settings etc. You can personalise a jailbreaked iPhone with widgets, themes etc. You can install non-Appstore apps, use (limited) flash apps etc etc You can also use 3rd party iPhone PC suites to back up files, apps, settings without itunes.
However, since jailbreaking does take away root-protection from the device, things can also go wrong, so you want to know what you are doing. And you are right: jailbreaking does not unlock the device.

sssshitttt  Feb. 27, 2011 at 15:47

Unlocking is a service provided by network where they remove the bar so that any network sim can be used.

Jailbreaking is an unauthorised alteration to operating system so that non-Apple recommended applications can be installed.

Unlcoking is completely legal while Jailbreaking is illegal and voids any warranty from Apple, but good news is, any jailbroken iPhone can again be reset to original configuration by connecting to iTunes.

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 27, 2011 at 16:04

"illegal" is a term used vaguely in this context. Apple may possibly decide to go after the hackers who modify their intellectual property, but you are safe to jailbreak your iPhone without being extradited to Sweden...ahem, Appleland
Not many raids on phoneshops that offer jailbreak services, yet

And US courts reckon it IS legal http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/07/feds-ok-iphone-jailbreaking/

normal  Feb. 27, 2011 at 19:49

Jailbreaking is legal in the sense that the item belongs to you and your are free to do what you like. It wouldn't be legal if you then used it to copy code from it for some other commercial purpose etc.
The advantage of jailbreaking, is that you can do things that either Apple doesn't authorise, or hasn't thought of. eg. I was bored yesterday, so I jailbroke my phone (google Greenpois0n), and then added a notification screen on my lockscreen so that I can see if I've missed calls, email, sms etc without having to unlock (do the finger swish thing) to have a look every few minutes. I also added a nice pseudo 3D effect to my homescreen. You can also alter the look of icons and other stuff. Fiddle with notifications and other weird stuff.

Unlocking the phone does not need a Jailbreak. Some of the networks will do this for you. O2/Tesco, 3, and T-mobile/Vodafone if you ask nicely. You'll need to be an existing customer on that network.

mmbeak  Feb. 28, 2011 at 12:13

There come be a few stipulations by networks with regard to unlocking your iPhone though. For example, Vodafone would not offer me the option to unlock my phone until I had fulfilled my contract term (18 months), which I was not prepared to wait for.
I therefore needed to Jailbreak the phone myself so that I could have it unlocked.

mmbeak  Feb. 28, 2011 at 12:14

come = can (sorry)


You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.