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My non-jailbroken iPhone 4S needs to go for a warranty repair, and I want to restore its data to an older non-jailbroken 3G or to another even older jailbroken 2G, but of course itunes refuses to comply :). Is there a way to do this "innocent" operation? Thanks a lot

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What iOS was running when the 4S was backed up? What device and OS is the 3G running? This might be a simple fact that you can't put iOS 6 data on iOS 5 - but it's not clear you are in that situation. –  bmike Nov 21 '12 at 14:03
    
Jailbreak has nothing to do with this question, as @bmike said you can't put iOS 6 data on a iOS 5 device. Note that the device is not important, only iOS version is. –  Teejay Jan 23 '13 at 8:33
    
Io your 4S need a warranty repair, then go to an Apple Store if you can, and you'll get a regenerated device immediately. If you can't visit an Apple Store, call Apple and wait for the courier, once retired, you'll get an iPhone in about 3-days. –  Teejay Jan 23 '13 at 8:37
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Since the iPhone 3G and iPhone 2G run an iOS version that doesn't match what's on the 4S, iTunes would not allow this. You would either have to get an iPhone 4S on loan to restore your current data or just have iTunes retain the backup of the device being sent for repair until you get it back.

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of course the ios versions are different... I was hoping there was a kind of "converter" for the backup of an iPhone to run on a previous model. Whereas I see possible reasons for updating the backup format from version to version, I see no reason on earth to prevent a downgrading of a backup, even if at the cost of some data loss. Apple you are getting lower and lower on my scoreboard, I knew that dominant positions can cause this, fortunately citizens are those deciding of your fate eventually... –  Fabrizio Nov 26 '12 at 22:11
    
A backup downgrade could potentially lead to unexpectable results. Apple has always been very strict about "unexpectable results". –  Teejay Jan 23 '13 at 8:41
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