Moving Contacts from LG VX8300 to IPhone 3G with BlueTooth and BitPim

by Klaus Graefensteiner 4. January 2009 16:50


This post provides step by step instructions for connecting a LG VX8300 cell phone to a Windows XP PC via Bluetooth, reading the contacts from the cell phone using BitPim, exporting them from BitPim as VCard file, emailing it as attachment to an IPhone 3G and importing the attached VCard file into the IPhone contacts database.

Move-Contacts -From LGVX8300 -To IPhone3G

Bluetooth discovery and handshake

Before you start make sure that your desktop or laptop has a Bluetooth device. If not, Bluetooth USB dongles can be bought almost at any online computer accessory store.

Windows XP PC

After enabling your Bluetooth device on the PC, go to the Control Panel and open the Bluetooth devices application.

Open Bluetooth devices

Figure 1: Open Bluetooth devices

Push the Add button to add a new Bluetooth device.

Add Bluetooth device Wizard

Figure 2: Add Bluetooth device Wizard

Check the My device is set up and ready to be found checkbox and get your cell phone's Bluetooth ready before you push the Next button.

LG cell phone

First you need to enable the Bluetooth on the LG cell phone and turn on the discovery signal that the PC is going to look out for.

0003 - Settings

Figure 3: Go to Settings and Tools

Go to Menu, Settings and Bluetooth.

0005 - BluetoothSettings

Figure 4: Select Bluetooth settings

If the Bluetooth feature is not yet turned on, answer Yes to turn it on.

0004 - TurnBluetoothOn

Figure 5: Turn the Bluetooth feature on

Then select the Add New Device menu option.

Add new device

Figure 6: Add new device

Enable the Discovery Mode on the phone. This setting will turn on a signal that the PC can use to discover the phone.

Turn on Discovery Mode

Figure 7: Turn on Discovery Mode

Check the On option on the Discovery mode screen.

Verify Discovery Mode is on

Figure 8: Verify Discovery Mode is on

Once the Discovery mode is activated you need to act quickly, because the signal that the PC uses to discover the phone is only sent for one minute.

In Discovery Mode for one minute

Figure 9: In Discovery Mode for one minute

The two white arrows in the red title bar of the phone screen indicate that the phone is sending the discovery signal.

Icon showing phone in Discovery Mode

Figure 10: Icon showing phone in Discovery Mode

Now lets switch quickly back to the PC.

Passcode exchange

The Bluetooth wizard should be still in the state shown in Figure 2. Push the Next button and the Bluetooth wizard should now search for the discover signal that the cell phone is sending out.

Searching for device

Figure 11: Searching for Device

After a few seconds and a little bit of luck the search will succeed and display the cell phone as a newly discovered device.

Discovered LG cell phone

Figure 12: PC discovered LG cell phone

Push the Next button to create a password secured connection between the PC and the cell phone. The Wizard will ask you to select a method for exchanging the passkeys. We take the easy route and let the computer choose a passkey for us. Select the Choose a passkey for me option and click Next again.

Select Choose a passkey for me

Figure 13: Select Choose a passkey for me

The Bluetooth wizard generated a passkey automatically and asks you to enter the same number in the appropriate field of your cell phone.

Use automatically generated passkey

Figure 14: Use automatically generated passkey

We are now back looking at our cell phone screen. Here we see that the PC discovered the cell phone and replied with a pairing request. If the name of the computer displayed in this screen is actually the name of your computer, then accept this request by highlighting Yes and pushing the OK button.

Cell phone receives pairing request

Figure 15: Cell phone receives pairing request

Now the phone is asking for a passkey. Enter the number that the PC Bluetooth wizard automatically and randomly generated. Note: Your number will very likely different from the number on these pictures. Just make sure that they match.

Enter passkey that PC provided

Figure 16: Enter passkey that PC provided

After entering the number, push the OK button on your cell phone.

Passkey has been entered

Figure 17: Passkey has been entered

If the passkeys that you entered into the cell phone and the passkey that your computer generated match the setup procedure on the cell phone proceeds to the next screen and asks whether the connection should cache the password and just automatically connect or whether the cell phone should request passkey for each session again. I opted for the Always Connect setting.

Grant permission to PC to always connect

Figure 18: Grant permission to PC to always connect

At this point the connection between the cell phone and the PC is successfully setup and the name of your computer should be in the list of configured Bluetooth devices on your phone.

PC has been added successfully

Figure 19: PC has been added successfully

On the PC you should also the success dialog of the Bluetooth wizard.

Completing Add Bluetooth device wizard

Figure 20: Completing Add Bluetooth device wizard

After clicking the Finish button you should see the cell phone in the list of devices.

Cell phone is now listed as Bluetooth device

Figure 21: Cell phone is now listed as Bluetooth device

Setup of virtual Serial (COM) port

The first part of the setup is to make sure that the two devices can "hear" and "talk" to each other. But what does it help if the PC talks "English" and the cell phone talks "Gorgonish"? Not a lot, and therefore we need to setup COM port that ensures that the software on the cell phone and the software on the PC speak the same language. In order to do this we need to go, still in the Bluetooth Wizard, to the COM Ports tab.

Assign serial COM port to cell phone Bluetooth device

Figure 22: Assign serial COM port to cell phone Bluetooth device

Push the Add button to add a new COM port. Select Outgoing (computer initiates the connection) and pick your cell phone form the drop down list that has all configured Bluetooth devices and is labeled Device that will use the COM port.

Select phone and Outgoing option

Figure 23: Select phone and Outgoing option

Click OK and the wizard will take you back to the COM Ports tab. In this example we see that my cell phone Bluetooth connection is mapped to COM4. In your case it could be any other port number depending on what ports are available on your computer.

COM4 port assigned to cell phone Bluetooth connection

Figure 24: COM4 port assigned to cell phone Bluetooth connection

BitBim in Action

Now everything is ready to download, install and start BitPim. BitPim is a program that allows you to view and manipulate data on many CDMA phones from LG, Samsung, Sanyo and other manufacturers. This includes the PhoneBook, Calendar, WallPapers, RingTones (functionality varies by phone) and the Filesystem for most Qualcomm CDMA chipset based phones. To see when phones will be supported, which ones are already supported and which features are supported, see online help.

Reading LG contacts

Now its time to read the contact database from your cell phone with BitPim.

Start BitPim

Figure 25: Start BitPim

Go to the settings dialog. Check Block writing anything to the phone. We don't want to accidentally erase or destroy our contact database in the cell phone. Pick your Phone Type from the drop down list. I picked my cell phone, the LG-VX8300. Enter the same COM port that you configured on your PC in the Bluetooth device wizard on the COM port tab. In my case it's COM4, yours might be different. Use yours. For the rest of the settings leave the default values. Then click the OK button.

Adjust phone settings

Figure 26: Adjust phone settings

Now select the Get Data menu in BitPim. This will open a dialog that lets you select the kind of information that you would like to retrieve from the cell phone database. We check only the contact records.

Select what data to get from the phone

Figure 27: Select what data to get from the phone

After you hit OK BitPim starts to communicate with your cell phone. Your cell phone will make all kinds of weird  sounds and you should see some numbers appearing on your cell phone screen. Also the progress bar in BitBim should give you some feedback about what is being accessed at the moment.

Uploading cell phone contacts to PC

Figure 28: Uploading cell phone contacts to PC

After a few seconds a new dialog pops up and asks you what to do with the data that BitPim read from the cell phone. Confirm the import of the cell phone's contact records into BitPim's Phonebook by clicking the OK button.

Upload of cell phone contacts complete

Figure 29: Upload of cell phone contacts complete

Exporting contacts as VCard file

You should see all your contacts that were in your cell phone now in BitPim's Phonebook. From here you need to export the Phonebook as Full vCard v3.0 file. Go to the File\Export menu and specify the correct file format. Click OK and your contacts will be saved as a file with the vcf extension. I named mine LGVX8300.vcf.

Export contacts as vCard file

Figure 30: Export contacts as vCard file

Importing contacts into the IPhone 3G

We are almost there. The next steps are very simple and demonstrate how advanced the IPhone 3G is. The only requirement here is that you have already setup a mail account in your IPhone 3G and are able to receive emails.

Send email with attachment

Attache the LGVX8300.vcf file to an email and sent it to a email account that your IPhone 3G can receive emails from. Once you received this email on your IPhone open it and you should see the attachment.

Receiving email wiith VCard attachement

Figure 31: Receiving email with VCard attachment

Open and import vcd file

Open the attachment and the IPhone will automatically recognize the format of the file and initiate an contact import. At this point you just need to click Add All Contacts and you have finally transferred your contacts from your LG phone to your IPhone. Congratulations.

Open attachment and import contacts

Figure 32: Open attachment and import contacts


This procedure seems a lot of work, and I am sure that there is even an easier way, which I haven't found yet. Tried to directly have the LG phone talk to the IPhone 3G via Bluetooth, but without success. The advantage about this approach is that I didn't need to buy a specialized cable for my old LG phone and could use the Bluetooth instead and I didn't need to buy any software for reading and exporting the contacts. BitPim works great and is free. What a bargain.

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About Klaus Graefensteiner

I like the programming of machines.

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