iPhone iTunes Activation Code: The beauty of Astrill’s VPN

专用虚拟网 [zhuānyòng xūnǐ wǎng] VPN My Wife has an iPhone 3G 2nd Generation phone and it has been starting to act a little slow lately.

That’s why I thought I’d backup and restore it. As you probably know, the restore will also update the phone to the latest software version these days.

I had forgotten that the phone was possibly a jailbroken version so when I tried to have it restored again in iTunes, it put the phone in Emergency Only mode and gave a cryptic message that went something like this:

“unable to get activation ticket” and “please try again later”

and then had some code at the bottom of the iTunes page.

alendpoint tegus:1010

So, I googled these terms and found nothing that seemed to help. I tried all sorts of jailbreaking software (blackrain, redsnow, yellowsnow, tinyumbrella, pwnd this and pwnd that on both Windows and Mac machines).

I then took it to the store and they did the same thing that I had tried and as I saw them mucking about with it, I knew that I hadn’t done something wrong but that this needed a different approach.

Then I thought that the phone is probably (illegally) imported from Hong Kong while I’m in China. So, perhaps next time I’m in Hong Kong then I can stick a local card in and have it activated. Then I thought again and connected the phone to the Mac, reconfigured the beautiful Astrill VPN to Hong Kong, plugged in the phone and bada-bing bada-boom, there it was activated and ready to be restored from the backup. I also got the latest iOS on it.

As I had spent so much time on this issue and found no help anywhere, I thought I’d put up this little posting to help out comrades in need of help. A little thanks or thumbs up if this helped you :-)


PS. So annoying of Apple to do this. I bought their phone, I bought software from them so then why not let me use it wherever I am in the world? DS.

9 comments to iPhone iTunes Activation Code: The beauty of Astrill’s VPN

  • I have to say that Redsnow is GREAT. I’ve just jailbroken my iphone in only 3 minutes and with just a few clicks. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  • Steve

    Just had a similar issue, I have a UK bought iPhone in China & had to do a remote wipe as I lost it, but luckily enough it was returned. I could not activate & got the same error messages but found with a VPN & popping a UK sim card in solved the issue. Would not have thought of this without your help. Many Thanks

  • fwerre

    Great hint! Thanks a lot!

    I did not switch to any VPN but just put a non-chinese sim card into the 3G (in this case an australian prepaid). This was enough to get through activation properly.

    Cheers, Felix

    • David Petersson

      Hi Felix,

      That’s interesting… Your experience suggests that there are two ways to solve this problem. Either with a foreign SIM-card or, as I experiences, using a VPN.

      Doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white…


  • With Chinese simcard inside, VPN trick is not working
    I liked other-country-simcard solution better :)

    Btw, thank you very much David, this post was the only result on google..

  • Josh

    Thank you! I did not have to use a VPN, but I used my Singapore SIM card and it worked. Whew! Yay for China.

  • Philip

    Dave, thanks for this tip! I was trying to upgrade my old 3GS to iOS 5 today and had the same error. I live in China and my 3GS was bought in HK, so after reading your article I popped in my HK SIM and it now works. Thanks! You saved me a hectic trip to the Apple Store.

  • Hans

    Hi David and Felix,

    Thanks a lot. Saved me hours of frustration that my phone is not working anymore.

    I use my Dutch I-phone in China and with the IOS-5 update I recevied the same message. I just inserted my Dutch sim-card and the installation continued.

    Thanks again,


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