Disclaimer: Everything on this page should be your very last resort for what to do with an old iPhone or iPod Touch. We do not recommend doing any of these experiments because they can damage or break your i-device, and they will void your warranty.
Open It Up
Ever wonder what’s inside that iPhone and what makes it tick? We have many times, but opening up an iPhone or iPod Touch looks difficult, but it is not impossible. If you have the engineering spirit and want to see the insides of an iPhone up close and personal and don’t care about possibly breaking it, then why not? Open it up and see what’s inside! There are certainly enough online guides to explore.
Put Android on It
Ever want to tryout Google’s Android phone operating system? While only currently at 4% market share, Android is also the fastest growing mobile platform and is right behind Apple in downloadable apps at over 50,000 available for download and purchase. It’s also completely open, compared to Apple’s App Store, which has some limitations.
Now, with an iPhone 2G or 3G, you can try out Android. It’s far from perfect because the OS was not made with the iPhone hardware in mind, but it does work. It will be slow and buggy and may even crash, but it’s also 100% free and available for anyone willing to try their luck. For iPhone 3GS or iPod Touch owners, versions specifically for your devices will be available soon. You can read about how to put Android on your iPhone 2G or 3G here.
Jailbreaking, or unlocking your phone’s software capabilities and opening it up to third-party developers, originally started before there was an app store available on the original iPhone. It has allowed users to run multiple apps simultaneously, synchronize through iTunes over the air, tether to any computer for free, and do many more things that you can’t find at the iPhone App Store.
Today, jailbreaking is easier than ever. Just download the Spirit tool and follow the simple instructions, and you’re good to go. Remember, while jailbreaking your iPhone shouldn’t cause any harm to your device, some applications in the various stores may cause crashes, bugs, or even break it entirely. Reports of such incidents are rare, but it is always a risk.
A jailbroken iPhone or iPod Touch has significantly more access to applications than the current App Store has, but if you’re going to jailbreak your iPhone, you’ll have to take that trip on your own. We don’t recommend jailbreaking your iPhone, and while there are clearly some benefits to it, there are other, better uses for your older hardware.
But don’t worry if you get lost. A quick Google search for good apps or help with what to do will get you wherever you need to go in this underground realm of iPhone software. Some of it is fine, some of it is illegal, and all of it will kill your warranty. That doesn’t mean you won’t have fun on the way, though.