Yesterday I consulted a home user who asked me to sync her 3G iPhone to her 2-year-old MacBook Pro running Tiger (OS X 10.4.11). She had tried to do this herself, but ran into a barrier when she found out that her installed version of QuickTime was too old and wouldn’t support her iPhone under iTunes 8.0.2. I figured this was an easy fix once I installed QuickTime 7.6 for Tiger. To my surprise and dismay, plugging in the iPhone to either of her laptop’s USB ports did not trigger an auto-launch of iTunes. Moreover, while her iPhone appeared as a connected USB peripheral in Apple System Profiler, it refused to appear in the list of recognized devices in iTunes.
Under further review, I plugged her iPhone into my Leopard-powered laptop and found that it automatically started up both iTunes and iPhoto. I then connected my iPhone to her laptop and replicated her phone’s inability to be recognized under iTunes. I knew then that the issue was software-related and not a defect with her phone.
To address the situation, I recommended that she purchase a copy of Leopard that I would be happy to install at a follow-up appointment. Returning to my office, I researched the Apple Discussion Boards and Knowledge Bases in depth and located what appears to be a solution to my client’s problem that doesn’t require an OS upgrade from Tiger to Leopard:
iPhone and iPod touch
How to remove and reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Service on Mac OS X
I later located an online wizard designed to help with the iPhone troubleshooting process: