iPhone terminology



I welcome any ideas for additions or ammendements to this list.


Activation - Is the process where an iPhone is linked to a service contract with AT&T. Until you activate the iPhone you can not use any of its features. The only thing that you can do is make an emergency call to 911.






ARM Core - This is the processor used to run the Operating System (the OS), which is a scaled down version of Mac OS X. The job of the OS is as a general manager of the iPhone's resources (RAM, flash, baseband, etc.), as well as supervise the concurrent running of the iPhone's applications. Source.



Baseband - This is the processor that manages all the functions which require access to an antenna. The GSM phone, as well as the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are all under the control of the baseband processor. This processor has its own RAM and flash resources, separate from the ARM core resources. The baseband processor is a resource to the operating system. Source.

This is quoted from the iPhone Dev Team: "The ‘baseband’ is the generic nickname given to the internal components of the iPhone that handle the phone calls and Internet access. This ‘baseband’ is a tiny and unique independent computer system that runs inside your iPhone, it is separate to the main system that handles the applications (such as email and google maps) and it talks to the main part of the phone over an internal communications network. Think of it like a cable modem or other peripheral that is attached to your home PC that needs occasional updates. When a software update is released and presented to you within iTunes the baseband is sometimes updated (to fix bugs or add new features)."



Bootloader - This is a very small program in non-volatile memory (can be flash, often not eraseable) that 'bootstraps' a processor startup, and calls the main (usually much larger) program. The bootloader also provides a protocol for obtaining and storing an updated version of the main program. Normally, the bootloader is not updated. It is the main program that gets upgraded, not the boot loader. Also, if something happens during the update of the main program, the bootloader will always be there to save you and restore the main program with the preferred one. However, when you update the bootloader, if anything undesireable happens, the bootloader will be corrupted. This means that the processor will not restart at all. The phone is dead for all intents and purposes at this point. Source.



Boot Neuter - The application found on Cydia that is used for unlocking the first generation, or 2G iPhone. This program is normally run as part of the process of the PwnageTool program.



Bricked - This is the least understood term of all time when it comes to cell phone modding (and not just with the iPhone). Bricked denotes a phone that is dead, or completely unusable. It would only be good for parts. No one fixes a bricked phone! Ever!   People who don't know any better use this term to describe any abnormality that renders a phone unsuable for a short period of time.



Bypass activation - This is a process whereby an iPhone is not linked to a service contract with AT&T. Using programs like iNdependence, wiNstaller, and PACAY allows for bypassing the procedure that has you sign up for this contract. You can then use any feature except for the phone.



EDGE - Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) or Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS), is a digital mobile phone technology that allows it to increase data transmission rate and improve data transmission reliability. Although technically a 3G network technology it is generally classified as the unofficial standard 2.75G, due to its slower network speed. EDGE has been introduced into GSM networks around the world since 2003, initially in North America. (Quoted from Wikipedia.)




GSM - Global System for Mobile communications is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. Its promoter, the GSM Association, estimates that 82% of the global mobile market uses the standard. GSM is used by over 2 billion people across more than 212 countries and territories. Its ubiquity makes international roaming very common between mobile phone operators, enabling subscribers to use their phones in many parts of the world. (Quoted from Wikipedia). Obivously the iPhone uses GSM technology. AT&T and T-Mobile are the larget providers for GSM cell phone service. Other popular carriers like AllTell, Sprint and Verizon use a competing and uncompatible technology called CDMA.



Hardware unlock - This method was devised by GeoHot. It requires opening the iPhone to gain access to a circuit board. With the help of command line programs, an electrial jumper connection is made and the iPhone is able to be unlocked. This method did not survive the 1.1.1 firmware update.



Jailbreak - This is a process that allows you to run unsigned code on the iPhone. The iPhone programming runs in a sandbox. Unless you can break out of this sandbox, you can only run the programs Apple has already installed on the iPhone. You are required to jailbreak your iPhone to run any 3rd party applications from distribution systems like Cydia (which is similar to Apple's App Store).



Locked - A locked iPhone is one that can only use a properly contracted AT&T SIM to make phone calls with. This is the SIM the iPhone comes with out of the box.



PwnageTool - A program created by the iPhone Dev Team designed for creating custom firmware files.



redsn0w - A program created by the iPhone Dev Team. Similar to PwnageTool. The main difference is you must already be on the firmware (with matching modem firmware) you want to jailbreak.



Secpack - Short for security package I presume. A secpack is like a password for the bootloader. When handed off to the bootloader, it allows write access to the baseband.



SIM - A Subscriber Identity Module is a removable smart card for mobile cellular telephony devices such as mobile computers and mobile phones. SIM cards securely store the service-subscriber key (IMSI) used to identify a GSM subscriber. The SIM card allows users to change phones by simply removing the SIM card from one mobile phone and inserting it into another mobile phone or broadband telephony device.



ultrasn0w - is a software unlock daemon created by the iPhone Dev Team. It unlocks the 3G, and the 3G S iPhone only, and only if its installed baseband (modem firmware) is 05.13.04 or lower.



Unlocked - An unlocked iPhone can use any SIM from any carrier in the world. Note: the iPhone is based on GSM technology, therefore it is incompatible with CDMA networks like Sprint, Verizon and the iDen network.



Wi-Fi - Unofficially known as Wireless Fidelity, is a wireless technology brand owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance intended to improve the interoperability of wireless local area network products based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. Common applications for Wi-Fi include Internet and VoIP phone access, gaming, and network connectivity for consumer electronics such as televisions, DVD players, and digital cameras. (Quoted from Wikipedia.)



3G - 3G is the third generation of mobile phone standards and technology, after 2G. 3G technologies enable network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services while achieving greater network capacity through improved spectral efficiency. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. The iPhone currently does not use 3G.

Unlike IEEE 802.11 networks, 3G networks are wide area cellular telephone networks which evolved to incorporate high-speed internet access and video telephony. IEEE 802.11 networks are short range, high-bandwidth networks primarily developed for data.

In December 2005, 100 3G networks were operating in 40 countries, according to the Global mobile Suppliers Association. In Asia, Europe, Canada and the USA, telecommunication companies use W-CDMA technology with the support of around 100 terminal designs to operate 3G mobile networks. (Quoted from Wikipedia.)







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