6 Things You Can Do with an iPhone that Has Bad ESN or Blacklisted IMEI

The sweet deal you recently got when purchasing your iPhone turned out to be a nightmare. Don’t worry, one of these 6 tips may be able to help you get out from this mess.

The first thing you found out when you got your iPhone is that it’s not getting any signal from your carrier, or that probably happened a few days after your purchase. You’re pretty sure that there’s no hardware issue but after spending hours online looking for a solution or explanation, you finally found out that it’s been blacklisted by your network provider.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about ‘What Ever Happens to IMEI Blacklisted iPhones or Other Popular Smartphones?‘ This will help you understand more on why your iPhone got blacklisted in the first place.

It may feel that it’s the end of the world. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Someone out there had gone through what you’re feeling right now. Let’s get things straight and check out these helpful tips.

1. Ask for a refund from your seller

This may be a long shot, but if you bought it used on eBay, you can ask for a refund from the seller by following the refund procedures set by eBay. You will have to arrange to have it shipped back to the seller, once he or she confirms that the iPhone is in order, eBay will release the funds back to your account.

The case may be different if you got your blacklisted iPhone over on Craigslist or on the street. It may be difficult to get your money back because these types of sellers probably won’t entertain your calls at all. They may use a temporary email address and will no longer respond to your email.

2. Use it as a glorified iPod or games console

Since you can’t make calls with your iPhone, just use it as an iPod or install as many games as you can to keep you entertained for hours. You can also download movies and TV series on it which you can watch while on the subway or hanging out in the park. Aside from that, there’s really nothing much you can do with the iPhone, really.

3. Get the ESN or IMEI Cleaned

There’s a bit of a good news if you have a blacklisted iPhone that’s locked to Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile (UK), Orange (UK) and EE (UK). It’s possible to remove them from blacklist. Unfortunately, many other network are still not supported. The services we provided are highly reliable and have helped many people to use their iPhone again. You might also want to know that these services are not limited for iPhone only, any device such as iPad or Android smartphone can only also be removed from network blacklist. Click on the link below to learn more:

4. Swap the Logic Board

Since IMEI blacklist is usually localized to a country’s particular service provider, that means your iPhone’s IMEI is not blacklisted in other countries. For instance, if you have a factory unlocked AT&T iPhone that’s blacklisted in the USA, if you travel to Australia it will work perfectly on any network there.

There isn’t a way to change the IMEI of an iPhone except by physically replacing the baseband and CPU chips; and this is only possible on iPhone 4 and earlier models. Attempting to change the chips on iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 will only cause damage to your iPhone. This is the reason why swapping the logic board is quite a practical solution. We do provide this a service or if you can find someone who’s willing to swap with you, we can help facilitate this process. Click one of the links below to learn more:

5. Get it officially unlocked and sell it

There’s still a market for your blacklisted iPhone. If you live in the USA, you know that there are millions of foreigners coming to your country especially students. When they finish their studies, mostly would return to their home countries. This is where your iPhone becomes valuable.

If you have an AT&T iPhone that’s already officially unlocked but blacklisted, you can sell it off to them. They always want to find good deals while they’re there and even though it’s blacklisted in the USA, it can still be used in other countries.

Please be sure to tell them the whole truth about the history of the phone to avoid any complication later. Remember that honesty is the best policy. So do explain to your potential buyer that the iPhone is blacklisted in your current location but will work fine in his or her country. Don’t forget to checkout other network that we can officially unlock.

6. Sell it as spare parts

If all fails, your last resort would be taking it apart and cannibalize it for parts. The screen, logic board, back casing, dock connector can all be sold separately. It may help someone with a broken iPhone and one of the parts may help revive his or her iPhone again. It’s not the most ideal but you might doing other people a big favor while getting back some of your hard earned cash.

Consider yourself lucky if you bumped into this post while trying to find a used iPhone. The blog post I wrote about 5 Tips on Buying Used iPhone Online on eBay or Craigslist to Avoid Scam will help you prevent all these from happening.

Any other tips to add?

How to Fix iPhone iTunes Restore Error (-1) which is Related to Baseband Chip Issue

Doing a full restore on your iPhone is not a fun thing to do especially if you bump into issues like this. Try these different solutions which may save your iPhone.

In many occasions, you have to do a full iTunes restore on your iPhone to fix software related issues or if you need to sell it off. I don’t always like to do a full restore on iPhones because sometimes the process and result can be unpredictable and they are a challenge to fix. There are various error messages you can see on iTunes so for an average user, you will need a lot of time to figure out a fix if you encounter one or some of the errors.

“This iPhone could not be restored due to an unknown error (-1)” is probably one of the toughest one to fix because usually it is caused by hardware issues with your iPhone. The solutions below are possible fixes you can do at home without disassembling or taking apart your iPhone. As this issue is probably related to baseband chip corruption, the fixes below may not resolve it but it’s worth trying them yourself before attempting to send your iPhone to a repair center near you. This error occurs towards the end of the restore process which is also the same time when iTunes writes or updates your iPhone’s baseband.

Before you begin, there’s a quick way to identify if the problem is caused by hardware. On older iPhones such as iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, you can restore it using custom firmware built using sn0wbreeze or redsn0w. The restore will usually go through without any problem. Once you can get to the Home screen, go to Settings, General, About and look for the IMEI. On an iPhone 4S or 5, there’s no method to restore it using custom firmware. However, in case you managed to restore it, on the Activation screen, tap on the (i) or information and it will show your the IMEI number.

If the IMEI is present that means there’s no baseband or hardware issue with your iPhone. If it’s showing blank that means it’s certainly a hardware issue so the solutions below will definitely not work.

Solution 1: Make sure that your iTunes is up-to-date

In order to check if you have the latest version of iTunes, launch iTunes and check for updates.

Windows: Choose Help > Check for Updates
Mac: Choose iTunes > Check for Updates

Simply donwload and install any available iTunes updates. Just be sure that you have an active internet connection.

Solution 2: Check that your computer’s operating system is fully patched and up-to-date

On a Mac, click Software Update from the Apple menu and install all available updates. On a Windows PC, go to the Microsoft Windows Update page.

Solution 3: Disconnect other USB devices that are currently connected on your computer

USB devices can sometimes mess up data communication between iTunes and your iPhone. Do the following:

  • Disconnect any devices connected to your computer such as printers, scanners, dangling cords, card readers, cameras, and so on.
  • Connect only your keyboard and mouse. Connect your iPhone directly with its cable.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Launch iTunes again and try to do a full restore.

Please pay attention if you have a virtualization software or operating system installed, as it may create a virtualized USB port which may also cause issue.

Solution 4: Temporarily deactivate or uninstall antivirus software or firewall on your computer

Third party security software such as antivirus or firewall is designed to block certain data that may harm your computer. To prevent this from happening they must be kept up to date and properly configured to effectively protect your computer while still allowing an update or restore to proceed. If your computer uses a router on your local network, additional security policy applied on the router which may block some data that’s required to restore your iPhone.

Solution 5: Restart your computer

Sometimes a lot of issues can be fixed simply by doing a computer restart. If you have tried the above make sure you try this as well.

Solution 6: Possible hardware fixes (not for novice)

The solutions below are not meant for novice so proceed only at your own risks!

  • Replace the dock connector
  • Heat up the baseband CPU chip

I hope that one of the suggested solutions above may help bring life back to your iPhone again. Otherwise, your only choice is to get it fixed or replacement from Apple if it’s still under warranty.

iOS 6.1.4 Released for iPhone 5 to Fix Bugs with No Change to Baseband 3.04.25

Apple silently released an update especially for iPhone 5 yesterday to fix a minor bug. The baseband version stayed the same at 3.04.25.

The latest iOS update which is meant for iPhone 5 only is designed to fix and update the audio profile for speakerphone. If you’re not a frequent user of your iPhone’s speakerphone, the update may not be entirely useful for you.

A user who updated her iPhone 5 to iOS 6.1.4 said:

It makes the speaker sound much more clearer then before tried a call and used the speaker and i find it made a big improvement fro before! much clearer sound!

However, many people may not notice the difference. Probably it’s just purely psychological.

There was no change in the modem firmware (baseband) version 3.04.25, which means it’s still exploitable to be unlocked using R-SIM or any other similar SIM interposer. However, if you have already jailbroken your iPhone 5 using evasi0n you should avoid updating it because you will lose your jailbreak.

Since there’s no bootrom level exploit publicly available yet, you can’t downgrade your iPhone 5 to previous iOS version once you’re on iOS 6.1.4. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until the next jailbreak is released. If you’re new to using iPhone, this will become a painful lesson especially if you rely a lot on your jailbreak apps.

High battery drain which is a widely reported issue among iPhone users is probably not yet resolved in iOS 6.1.4. A user on Apple support forum reported that the problem got worse after updating his iOS. It’s difficult to pinpoint whether this an just an isolated incident or will it affect all iPhone 5′s. Apple is currently doing a total overhaul of the iOS so maybe the battery issue will be resolved in iOS 7.

The size of the patch is approximately 12MB which should take you a few minutes to download and apply the update.

Have you installed iOS 6.1.4 yet?

… And oh, the image you see at the top is a logic board of factory unlocked AT&T iPhone 5, in the process of being tested for our logic board swap program.

Why Can’t You Google for ‘Downgrade iPhone Baseband 4.12.05 Solution’?

You’ve just updated to iOS 6.1.3 and spent countless hours online to find a solution to downgrade your iPhone baseband but to no avail. Stop wasting time – it’s not possible.

If you found this blog by accident it’s very likely that you’ve been trying to find a solution on how to downgrade your iPhone 4′s modem firmware which has been updated to 4.12.05. Your ultimate aim is, of course, to unlock your iPhone 4 which is already on version 4.12.05. It’s a frustrating experience because you tried various online tutorials and read contradicting reports or blogs on how to downgrade your iPhone 4 baseband but none of them had helped you address this problem.

As I’ve mentioned earlier in this article, downgrading iPhone 4 baseband 4.12.05 to a lower version is not possible, and probably will never be. Apple, Inc., well known for their “superb ecosystem” of devices, patched the exploits since the iPhone 4 was first introduced. The main purpose of this is for “security”, but I believe it’s more for supporting their partner carriers so that people who are on one carrier can’t easily switch carriers. Each time there’s a software update, Apple will do anything they can do patch any potential exploit that will allow unlocking or downgrading of iPhone’s baseband.

The first unlock available for iPhone 4 was a few months after it was first released in June 2010. I still remember back then when iOS 4 was launched together with this product, hackers were busy trying to find exploits for jailbreaking the iOS 4. The first modem firmware that comes with iOS 4 was baseband 1.59.00. When the untethered jailbreak was made available, hackers were able to hack that baseband and it was unlocked with ultrasn0w. Sadly, that was the only baseband that was exploitable and can be unlocked. Hackers have been putting high hopes to iPhone 4 users saying that the newer baseband can be unlocked or downgraded. That didn’t happen.

Three years later, iPhones baseband still can’t be unlocked using software method. Now, notice that I mentioned software method here. This is because it was still possible to unlock the iPhone 4 using a small third party device called Gevey SIM. If you bought a used iPhone from someone else, you may notice in the SIM tray that there’s a SIM card like device with a small microchip on it. This was an interesting piece of device that was able to unlock baseband 2.10.04, 3.10.01 and 4.10.01.

However, there was one tiny exception. Early least year a glitch with Apple’s activation servers around the world allowed any iPhone to be unlocked using a jailbreak app called SAM Preferences. This exploit was found by a young Chinese hacker here in Beijing. Apple was quick to address this issue by patching all their activation servers around the world.

Today, there’s still no method available to downgrade your iPhone 4 baseband 4.12.05 to a lower version. You can save your time from searching more on Google because you can’t find a solution or worst, you might be scammed by this company who claims that they can downgrade your baseband. Maybe you should consider getting your iPhone officially unlocked instead, which is by far the most superior (and only) solution available to unlock iPhone 4 baseband 4.12.05.

Turn New Yahoo Weather App as iOS Default with YahooWeatherisBetter Jailbreak Tweak

If you love the new Yahoo Weather App you should make it your iPhone’s default weather app. Here’s how to do it.

As part of Yahoo’s effort to re-establish themselves as game players, they recently launched their new Yahoo weather app for iOS. It is probably one of the best looking, or if not, the best weather app out there. The interface is clean, crisp, dashboard-like information including fancy animation for the wind speed. It also uses real images of the weather location from Flickr as background.

If you compare it with the default iOS weather app, it’s simply light years ahead. Probably Apple will revamp its original weather app in iOS 7, which should be released anytime before end of the year. In the meantime you should download and install Yahoo’s free weather app. Once you’ve done that, you can turn it as your iOS’ default weather app by installing a jailbreak tweak called YahooWeatherisBetter.

YahooWeatherisBetter is a simple jailbreak tweak that changes your default iOS weather app to Yahoo Weather App. Installing it is easy and free, launch Cydia and search for it under the BigBoss repo. Then you have a few toggle buttons available to tweak it as shown below.

The menu above will be presented to you under Settings. Just tap on Enable Tweak will make Yahoo Weather App as the default iOS weather app instantly. You can also replace the icon (or reroute as the developer calls it). It might be important for you to know that it doesn’t reroute Siri’s weather result. So if you regularly use Siri to provide you weather reports, you may have contradicting results although this isn’t such a big deal.

Well, that’s a free and simple jailbreak tweak you should consider pairing with your beautiful Yahoo Weather app.