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Original iPhone for free


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Yesterday I got an original iPhone for free, which is pretty neat. A friend just handed it to me saying he had found it in a drawer and had no use for it. It's in pretty rough shape but who can argue with free? So far, I've got a list of issues that need to be fixed to at least restore some functionality since it's not working.

 

The battery is either shot or missing, as it only powers on when plugged in and shuts off if power is removed. Also, the case is pretty dinged up and was a mess when I got it. There was dirt everywhere and wood chips in the charger port. Wood chips! I cleaned it up but still no dice on booting. Silver Apple logo then powers off. I've tried restoring the OS using iTunes, but it fails with a variety of 16xx errors (1600, 1603, 1604, 1611). iTunes also doesn't detect a serial or the capacity of the phone (8GB). I've heard iReb bypasses these errors but it won't work on my mac, stating "bad processor", which is probably because it's PPC.

 

Obviously it's not a prime specimen of the iPhone but it's still pretty neat, at least to my eyes. I'm sorta stuck on what to do regarding the OS though, since I haven't got a modern Intel mac and iTunes for PC is pretty terrible; I don't have it installed. Anyone have any ideas of what I should do with this 10 year old phone? I would like to get it working if possible.

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I have one too! I got it for close to free (relative to what people charge for working specimens), and it does the same thing: boots to Apple logo and dies.

 

I strongly suspect it's due to a bad battery.

 

Assuming nothing else is wrong, replacing the battery should allow it to boot fully.

 

c

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I've actually got a Sim in it, some 3G att thing, so that isn't an issue. Almost certainly dead but it's there so that's all it needs.

 

So I should find some sort of battery for it, and see how it goes from there. I'll still give iReb a shot once I get to a friend's house, they have an Apple laptop that's Intel. Guess that's one limitation of my G5 iMac...

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I expect it'll boot after you replace the battery and it has a chance to charge a while. I've observed the same symptoms with both a couple original iPhones and a few iPhone 3G units. Battery replacement resolved the issue in each case.

 

I think power on begins, displays the logo, and checks the battery's state of charge before allowing boot. If the battery is below a predetermined voltage or not present, you get a red low battery symbol and/or the phone powers off without beginning the boot, depending on how bad the battery is. If that's all that's going on, you should be able to sync with your iMac G5 once the phone is powering on successfully. The errors you're seeing in iTunes sound like what I ran into, too.

 

Even fully updated to iPhone OS 3.1.3, the minimum requirements are USB 2.0, Mac OS X 10.4.10, and iTunes 8.2.

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Alright, guess I'll be on the lookout for a battery then. Ebay seems like an iffy source, but no other sites turned up with anything compatible. Or, maybe, duckduckgo is missing some search results. Can anyone help me out with locating a compatible battery at a non-scalping price? Haven't got tons of money to throw at this thing, sadly, but I still want to get it running

Edited by spaceinvader12
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Even fully updated to iPhone OS 3.1.3, the minimum requirements are USB 2.0, Mac OS X 10.4.10, and iTunes 8.2.

Requirements which are easily fulfilled by a Power Mac running Tiger or later :)

 

What this means is that your G5 should be more than enough to sync with this phone.

 

Be advised, though, that since AT&T has begun dismantling their 2G network, your only option is T-Mobile, if you want to actually use this phone as, you know, a phone.

 

c

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Well, if I need the iPhone as a phone, I already have TMobile service on my main one so it'd just be a matter of sticking the SIM in an adapter, which I also have.

 

As far as the computer goes, yeah, I meet those requirements. It's an iMac G5 iSight running 10.5. Still a nice computer, and it's been in my family since new. So it shouldn't have any problem syncing.

 

For now I'm gonna look at getting a battery but that may be on hold since my SD->PCMCIA adapter is arriving today and I'm going to see if it's any use with my 5300.

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Yup. AT&T shut down their GSM, GPRS, and EDGE networks (which were operating on 850 and 1900MHz) on December 31, 2016.

 

T-Mobile is the only remaining US national carrier operating a 2G GSM network. GSM, GPRS, and EDGE are available on 1900MHz. If the iPhone is unlocked, it should function as designed. It looks like T-Mobile is maintaining their 2G network to keep up roaming agreements, serve travelers from overseas, and retain month to month clients.

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I guess with AT&T I can expect UMTS or HSPA or better now no matter where you go.... I have T-mobile, and where I frequently travel (it's a rural place), EDGE is the only option from T-Mobile... It works, but is darn slow. Where I only have EDGE service, I have to relegate myself to SMS/MMS, and just standard phone calls. E-mail will work, but it takes a long time to load.

 

Despite that, TMo has done some upgrading. Where there used to be huge swaths of EDGE only service, there is now some 3G/4G in there, mostly in the slightly more populated areas, and along the highway.

 

At home I get good LTE service from them.

Edited by Themk
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That sounds like our situation here. Okay EDGE service in most nearby places, but not too much LTE except in town (it's super fast there, and I wish it were more available out where I'm at).

 

In the city, of course, it's rare to NOT have at least 3 bars of LTE.

 

If they had better LTE service here, I would consider switching, as they're cheaper for what you get (and it looks like, based on my limited research just now, they might be bringing back unlimited tethering. Yay!)

 

c

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That sounds like our situation here. Okay EDGE service in most nearby places, but not too much LTE except in town (it's super fast there, and I wish it were more available out where I'm at).

 

In the city, of course, it's rare to NOT have at least 3 bars of LTE.

 

If they had better LTE service here, I would consider switching, as they're cheaper for what you get (and it looks like, based on my limited research just now, they might be bringing back unlimited tethering. Yay!)

 

c

but not all cities.  I live in the biggest city in the state of Maine,  and I only have two bars at my house and my new workplace...   have to use wi-fi calling at home,   cell calls drop with regularity. 

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Well, yeah, I meant San Francisco. I don't know about elsewhere.

 

And I did try it briefly in the spring of 2014 (via a prepaid plan), and it worked OK, and didn't drop too much.

 

I subsequently settled on AT&T, but then moved over to Verizon in November 2015 because I was getting dropped calls almost constantly (with 5 bars of LTE!).

 

c

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I'm actually pretty happy with T-Mobile, there's a cabin I occasionally visit in the middle of nowhere and it just recently went from no signal to a bar or two of edge, which is nice.

 

On another good note, I ended up taking the phone to my friend and explaining why it likely wouldn't boot and he said he'd buy the battery if I install it, so there's still hope for this iPhone, I'm nowhere near to giving up. I don't really need it for a phone as such, but I appreciate the landmark technology and design; it still looks good after 10 years, at least to my eyes.

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