September 12, 2007
Let the Worldwide Unlocking of iPhones Begin
By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor
The latest iPhone (News - Alert) “unlock” has hit the virtual store shelves of the Internet allowing fans to make calls on the device from any carrier.
The hack, which comes from a team at iPhoneSIMfree.com, allows users to drop their AT&T (News - Alert) service and use a SIM card from any provider. It is listed the hack for $99.
What the hack does allows users to swap the AT&T sim card that is standard with Apple’s (News - Alert) iPhone with a T-mobile card, for example. According to several published reports, the process takes less than two minutes.
Although iPhoneSIMfree.com is hoping to get its hack to the masses, it is limiting its sales to resellers only who can purchase licenses in 50 to 5000 license batches, according to its Web site.
In addition, the group says the hack doesn’t require any tools or opening of the iPhone to bridge the AT&T barrier.
Popular tech Web site Gizmodo has made available a video review of an iPhone unlocking with iPhoneSimFree.com.
Although the unlock has shown to be successful, iPhoneSimFree.com says for the visual voice mail feature does not work with its hack because it is an AT&T specific feature.
And while the project works now, Apple or AT&T might soon release a software update that will render this hack obsolete.
The hackers at iPhoneSimFree.com say their application will unlock phones with updated firmware, but that might not be the case in the near future.
“We CANNOT guarantee that this software will work after any future updates for the iPhone,” the group posted on their Web site. “It does currently work on all firmware versions, up to and including, 1.02. We will naturally try to provide our resellers an updated version of our software for each firmware update, it is in our interest, but we do NOT guarantee that we will be able to do so. All updates will be free.”
The iPhone’s locking system has been under assault ever since the phones hit the market earlier this year. Just last month a New Jersey teenager figured out how to "unlock" the iPhone, releasing it from its current restriction to a single carrier. While he was the first, his hack involved a high level of technical skill and plenty of time to carry out.
Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Tim Gray’s columnist page.