Skip to content

Do-it-yourself 3G iPhone

Published by Martin Kleppmann on 30 Mar 2008.

I’ve just worked out how you could make a 3G iPhone yourself, even adding GPS support, and still get away with a lower cost than buying a regular iPhone. The solution:

  • Get an iPod Touch (from £199).
  • Get a Symbian smartphone, such as the N95, with an internet plan (on 3 you’d pay about £34 per month over 18 months for a N95 and a tariff roughly equivalent to O2’s iPhone tariff).
  • Download JoikuSpot and install it on the N95. Use it to create an ad-hoc wireless network, and connect the iPod Touch to that network.
  • Voilà. Total cost is about £811 over 18 months (compared to the iPhone total cost of £899), you get 3G or even HSDPA, and you get a whole additional handset with Nokia’s awesome features.

JoikuSpot is still a bit limited – rather than just routing packets, it proxies HTTP traffic and doesn’t support anything else, so e.g. IMAP isn’t going to work for the time being. I hope that will get fixed soon. I tested JoikuSpot briefly for plain web traffic on my E65 and it seems to be working.

I’m not going to rush out and buy all those things now, I just find this situation curious.