How to find OS firmware version of an unactivated 3GS?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by pretzelz, Dec 27, 2015.

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  1. pretzelz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've fished out my old 3GS iphone (without sim) that I'd like to unlock and give to my dad to replace his Nokia 3310 :)

    I've reset the phone to factory defaults, via the phone itself. However, in order to unlock it, how do I know which iOS version it's running? I believe when I last used the phone, it was updated to iOS6 probably, but I'm unsure if the factory reset will have set it back to the original OS or not. Will it now be iOS3? Is there anything else I'll need to know about my phone in order to unlock it?

    If useful, the phone is Model: A1303

    Many thanks - merry christmas!
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    It remains on the OS it was on when you reset it
     
  3. pretzelz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #3
    Thanks Gav for your reply. However, since I no longer have the sim for this phone, I'm unable to get into the phone to find out what OS version it's running. Is there some other way I can find out?
     
  4. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #4
    I believe you can plug it into iTunes and it'll tell what version it is running.
     
  5. pretzelz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #5
    Hmm, unfortunately when I plug into iTunes, it just says:

    There is no SIM card installed in the iPhone you are attempting to activate.
    Please disconnect and insert a SIM card in the iPhone.

    I don't see an option to display further summary details about the phone.
     
  6. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #6
    I see... Do you have any microSIM card to insert into your iPhone and see if that lets you do anything (even if it's an incompatible carrier)?
     
  7. pretzelz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #7
    Hi Garirry, I've put in the microSIM card that I intend my dad to use (not the one the phone is locked to) and iTune now says:

    The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported.
    The SIM card that you currently have installed in this iPhone is from a carrier that is not supported under the activation policy that is currently assigned by the activation server. This is not a hardware issue with the iPhone. Please insert another SIM card from a supported carrier or request that this iPhone be unlocked by your carrier. Please contact Apple for more information.

    It looks like I still can't get info from iTunes about what firmware is installed so that I can unlock the phone...

    I googled, and some people recommended a phone number to type into the emergency call dialpad, that apparently reveals the firmware version. But the number didn't register on my phone.

    I have a vague memory that when I updated the 3GS to the latest firmware (maybe a year and a half ago?) it was the latest that would be allowed on the 3GS as a final update.
     
  8. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #8
    Weird, I don't really know what to do else, sorry.
    The final update for the 3GS was released in February of 2014. If you did the update after this date, then it would be 6.1.6, otherwise it would be 6.1.3 (assuming you did a restore using iTunes).
     
  9. pretzelz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    #9
    Thanks for that information, I'll keep looking into it... have a good start to the week!
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #10
    The iPhone 3GS was released at a time that AT&T was the only carrier that had the iPhone.

    Unless you unlocked it later (which does not seem to be the case) then to move forward you will need to borrow an AT&T SIM or get one.

    You are going to need to do this anyway because you need the IMEI in order to give it to AT&T for an unlock. Otherwise the SIM you plan to use it it will not work. In order to get the IMEI you need access to the phone and to get access to the phone you need an AT&T SIM because it's still locked to AT&T.

    Also, if the SIM you are going to use is from a CDMA carrier it's not going to work. You didn't mention that, but the 3GS is a GSM phone capable of 3G only. So, it's not going to work on Verizon or Sprint or any of their MVNOs.

    PS. The last available firmware update for the iPhone 3GS is 6.1.6. So, if it's only been a short while since you upgraded/restore than 6.1.6 would be the version it's running.
     

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