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I have an iPhone 3GS which is locked on the AT&T network. It was jailbroken before and after I clicked "Erase all settings", it won't boot up. Now I'm thinking to upgrade to latest iOS 5.1 and I have some questions:

  • is iOS 5.1 slow on the 3GS? I just don't want to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading so if an older iOS version would fit better, I'll just take an older firmware.
  • can I easily unlock and jailbreak with 5.1?


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Although the two questions apply to your immediate solution, could you either ask each separately or edit out either the first or the second (as well as skipping the thanks - we like all question and no commentary in the questions.) High signal, low noise. – bmike Apr 27 '12 at 22:33

Tapping "Reset all settings" on a jailbroken device always causes problems - next time make sure to install ResetAllKiller to disable those buttons.

There are a lot of conflicting opinions about whether iOS 5 is slower or faster than iOS 4 on iPhone 3GS; I don't think there's any consensus on this.

If you do a normal iTunes restore to iOS 5.1, you will only be able to have a tethered jailbreak (see the Dev Team Blog post about the latest version of redsn0w), and the only way to unofficially unlock it would be to install the iPad baseband, which has various downsides and isn't even compatible with newer iPhone 3GSes - see this unlocking guide.

The best path would be to check to see which SHSH blobs are on file with Cydia's servers for your device, and then use the appropriate SHSH blobs to restore to an iOS version with an untethered jailbreak available. You can use TinyUmbrella to check your SHSH blobs and then use redsn0w to stitch them into custom firmware which you can use to restore your device - see here for a more detailed guide to restoring with SHSH blobs.

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I have no experience with jailbreaking but if your 3GS is out of contract, ATT will unlock it for you if you meet the requirements (basically don't owe them money). I just had it done yesterday by calling them. The lady in the storefront was unfamiliar with this new policy.

Before the unlocking the 3GS was running 5.1. It runs fine as I use for reading news, watching trailers, calendar, email, etc. Some games were slow.

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Regarding the ease of jailbreaking and unlocking on iOS 5.1, there isn't any official release of any unlocking or jailbreak tools for iOS 5.1 as of yet.

There are rumors of the jailbreak tool being found, but it may be withheld till iOS 6 to preserve exploits for future jailbreaks. Possible source :

I got wind that Gevey Sim doesn't work on iOS 5.1 even though it has been released, do take note =) . Source:

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There is a tethered jailbreak available for iOS 5.1 on iPhone 3GS - see the Dev Team Blog. (And on an old-bootrom iPhone 3GS, the iOS 5.1 jailbreak is untethered.) This tethered jailbreak doesn't work on iPad 2, iPhone 4S, or iPad 3rd generation. Also, there is no Gevey SIM compatible with iPhone 3GS - the one you linked to is about a Gevey SIM for iPhone 4. – britta Apr 29 '12 at 20:19

From personal experience on two phones, one jailbroken and one not, I can confirm that both the phones were slow on ios 5. In fact the jailbroken was so slow that I regretted upgrading it. It reminded me of the first time I used an android phone.

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My unscientific opinion - based on my own experience, and not measured, is that my iPhone 3GS was slightly faster with iOS 5 than iOS 4.

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