I've learnt that DFU bypassed the bootloader and allows to downgrade the firmware. However, in the normal DFU restores I'm used to seeing, we just let iTunes proceed with the restore and don't intervene in any way to choose any older firmware.

We usually use DFU for iPhones stuck in the Apple logo.

What's the difference then in this case? Both DFU and Recovery Mode restores are reinstalling the iOS and Firmware on the iPhone aren't they?

This is a Recovery Mode restore as I saw it in iTunes.
Both finish the restore with a firmware update as you can see:

  • 3’ 40” Extracting software / recovery mode screen
  • 16” Preparing iPhone for restore / iTunes is restoring the software / Apple logo
  • 14” Waiting for iPhone and iTunes is restoring / Apple logo
  • 10” Verifying iPhone restore and iTunes is restoring / Apple logo
  • 2’ 20” restoring iPhone software and iTunes is restoring / Apple logo
  • 2’ 50” restoring iPhone firmware and iTunes is restoring / Apple logo
  • 2” Verifying iPhone restore / changes from Apple logo to black screen and disappears from iTunes

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