For the past few months, I have been running the iPhone OS 3.0 betas on my iPhone without too many issues. Thus I assumed that when the final version of OS 3 was released, it would be easy to upgrade to it. This has not been the case. The current beta on my iPhone was beta 5, and then yesterday when the final version was announced, I assumed after a simple plug in to iTunes, I would be upgraded to the released version. Nope, iTunes kept telling me that I have the latest version of iPhone OS 3. It seems as though it is not checking the build number, only the OS level. The next thing I tried was doing a restore, this didn’t work either because it gave me an error saying it could not connect to the site to download the file.
Finally, after some Googling around, I found that others with the same problem circumvented it by putting their iPhone in recovery mode and then upgrading from there.
If you are currently running beta 5, you were supposed to upgrade to the GM version posted last week. I skipped it thinking their would be another release in the next few days with the final version. I have now learned that the GM version is the same as the final version. Unfortunately, now it is too late to download the GM from the developer website, as Apple has taken it down, and according to their documentation, you should obtain the final version through iTunes. Thus if you are in the same boat as me, on beta 5, you will have to install the latest version via recovery mode.