How I put my old Cingular SIM in my iPhone and made it work...
Originally published July 18, 2007
Updated October 2, 2011 with initial 10 steps and new download links for nostalgia purposes.
First I must say all thanks go to the amazing people in the iPhone development team (they don't like
links to their site because of bandwidth issues). I especially want to thank "iZsh",
"nightwatch", "daeken" and "roxfan" and the rest of the hard working
programmers for providing to everyone, the code needed to use other SIMs in the iPhone. I also want
to thank a couple of my fellow chatters in the room "Dionisis" for sharing his walkthrough
with me when he figured out how to do this and "aPPlewEEd" for catching an obvious error of
mine that stumped me somewhere around 2 a.m. and kept me from getting this working.
This procedure does NOT unlock the iPhone after doing this, it still remains carrier dependent.
But you can now use most any AT&T (pre-Cingular renaming) or Cingular pre-paid account (mine is from
a contract that ran out) or any virtual operator's SIM card that uses the AT&T and Cingular network.
This also works for corporate accounts. It has been brought to my attention that if your ICCID
number begins with 893103801060, then you have an old style AT&T SIM and this procedure will not
This method is for those who live in the United States and can get access onto the AT&T network.
Please send all inquiries about service to AT&T. I don't work for AT&T, I can't answer your
account questions, nor do I know anything about rate plans or what would work best for you.
Ok, so grab your iPhone, shut it down and remove the AT&T SIM that it came with.
Now get the SIM that you want to use in the iPhone and write down the 19 or 20 digit number that is
on the card. This number will be referred to later as the ICCID. If your number is illegible, you
may be able to determine what this number is by using it in your old phone.
The only other method of determining the ICCID would be to download the
iPhone Tool here.
Unzip the download. There is a file called tool in it, put it on your desktop. Open the Terminal,
type: cd dekstop Then type: ./tool Then, with your iPhone connected to your computer and
iTunes closed, type: --activate Now go to the iPhone and press Settings > General > About
and scroll down to get your ICCID. Disconnect the cable for the iPhone and close the Terminal.
Restart the Terminal and type: cd desktop Then type: ./tool Then, with your iPhone
connected to your computer and iTunes closed, type: --deactivate When you get the number, put
the SIM into the iPhone.
Make sure your iPhone is docked and charged.
From iTunes, make sure you have a backup of your phone and all settings (if you
want to keep them). Simply connect the iPhone to your computer and iTunes will sync your iPhone.
Automatically backed-up information includes text messages, notes, call history, contact favorites,
sound settings, widget settings, certain network settings, and other preferences.
For Mac users, quit iTunes. Don't just minimize it, shut it down. If you have the
iTunes Helper open, you must quit that as well. To determine if they are running, open the Activity
Monitor program found in the Utilities folder inside of the Applications folder. If it is running,
highlight it in the list and click the "Quit Process" button.
Make sure the iPhone is on.
Download the software restore file from Apple. Click here.
Once the file is downloaded, most browsers may automatically decompress the file and leave a
folder called iPhone1,1_1 on your desktop. If your browser did not do this, and you have an .ipsw
file instead, then rename the extension to .zip and decompress it yourself.
Note: do not place newer firmware files in this folder!
Create a folder called phonedmg in your home folder.
Place the software restore files you downloaded from Apple (the iPhone1,1_1 folder) into the
phonedmg folder. Do not place the whole folder in here, just what's in the folder.
Step 8. Download the "jailbreak" program here.
Put this file into the phonedmg folder.
Step 9. Download the iPhoneInterface (v 0.3.3) program here.
Put this file into the phonedmg folder.
Update: You might want to consider using the iPhone Utility Client (iPHUC) instead. It adds more
commands to the iPhoneInterface program (which is no longer being maintained). Read about
Step 10. Download the original Services.plist file
Put this file into the phonedmg folder. You have now
completed all the initial preparatory steps needed to mod the iPhone. You will never have to repeat
these steps, provided you do not delete anything in the phonedmg folder.
Go to your Applications folder and then go into the Utilities folder and find the
program called Terminal. You should move this to your dock for easier access. Note that when typing
in the terminal, everything is case sensitive. So watch your capital letters and lower case
letters. Do not interchange them, they won't work.
Start Terminal and type: cd phonedmg Then press the enter key.
You'll see you are now in the phonedmg directory where all of your files that you downloaded
earlier should be.
Type: ./jailbreak Then press the enter key. You should see the text "Looking
for iPhone..." If you don't, then you did something wrong.
It will next say:
Press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button for a full 25 seconds.
The iPhone will restart in recovery mode. At this point the iTunes program may
open, so close
Note: If you have iTunes 7.3.1 it won't launch automatically when you go into recovery mode.
Continue to Step 15.
Note: If you have iTunes 7.3.054 go back to the Terminal window running jailbreak and press and hold
the CTRL key while pressing the C key. You have to do this because jailbreak tells you to go into
recovery mode, and doesn't give you a prompt to kill the shell process.
At the new prompt type ./jailbreak Then press the enter key. A few additional lines of
text will appear as the iPhone is modified. This process may take up to one minute and it won't
look like anything is happening, but trust me, jailbreak is busy. What until you get a screen
similar to the one below.
Open a Finder window and navigate to ~/Library/Lockdown There should be a .plist
file there. It will have a long alphanumeric name. You'll need to grab that name (except for the
.plist part) later. That alphanumeric string is the iPhone's device ID. The number here is a dummy
string but will match the examples provided in these instructions.
Download the iAsign program here.
Unzip the file and copy the file iPhoneActivation.pem, which is in the bin folder, to your phonedmg
Go back to the Terminal and type: ./iPhoneInterface Then press the enter key.
Now type: cd /System/Library/Lockdown Then press the enter key.
Then type: putfile iPhoneActivation.pem Then press the enter key.
Open another Terminal. Do NOT close the Terminal you had open in Step 17.
We are opening a second Terminal because I think the less you have to cd around (changing
directories) the less chance there is for error.
Type: cd desktop Then press the enter key.
Type: cd iASign Then press the enter key.
Type: cd bin Then press the enter key.
You now need to enter a very long command into the Terminal. Here it is without any data yet:
./iASign.mac <private key file
> <device ID
Here's an example of what this command will look like with the data entered.
./iASign.mac iPhoneActivation_private.pem 899f76df3vgbvnmp2693333330f3wq49258d636y3 33245888222222999 8888839339393213333322 whateveryouwant.plist
It's not as hard as it looks. Hey do you wanna do this or not? ;) Most of it is cut and paste.
So now we need to get the information for everything that goes within the brackets. Let's use the
same colors we used above to help us here. The first item is the private key file. The value for
this is iPhoneActivation_private.pem
which you should
recognize from the iASign/bin folder.
Next is the device ID
which you found earlier in Step 15.
Now you need the iPhone's IMEI
which you can get off the back of the
Next you need the ICCID
from the SIM card you want to put into the
iPhone. You should have written this number down before Step 1.
because the SIM is now in
The final thing is the output_filename
which is what the iASign
program will create when you enter the very long command in the Terminal. Call it
You might want to type all this information into a text editor to get it just so. Then just copy
and paste the whole thing into the Terminal. Double check everything you type before you enter it!
Here's what it all looks like when you enter the command and press enter/return.
The program should generate your plist file instantly and place it with the other iASign files in
the bin folder.
Now you need to get the program called iPhone Tool
which you can get here.
Unzip the download. There is a file called "tool" in it. Copy that into your iASign/bin folder
where the whateveryouwant.plist file is.
Open a new Terminal window. Type: cd desktop Then press the enter key.
Then type: cd iASign Then press the enter key.
And type: cd bin Then press the enter key.
If you need to deactivate your iPhone because you bypassed activation with it
earlier to use it as an iPod with Wi-Fi, then type: ./tool --deactivate If you are unable
to deactivate, try unplugging the iPhone and plugging it back in again, also try rebooting the
computer and the phone. As a last resort the restore option in iTunes may be necessary.
For everyone else out there type: ./tool --activate whateveryouwant.plist
You should still have another Terminal open that is still running iPhoneInterface (remember we opened
this during Step 12.
to jailbreak with?) Go to it and confirm that you are still at
/System/Library/Lockdown If not, cd there.
Now type: putfile Services.plist
Then type: exit
Power down the iPhone, disconnect the cable, and turn it back on. Your phone should now recognize
your SIM and confirm that the iPhone is activated now.
If your phone is still not activated, then you either did something wrong
in these instructions or your SIM is not compatible. You could try going to your provider or
calling them to have them replace your SIM with a modern one. Of course you should not tell them
that you want this new SIM specifically for using in the iPhone.