I wouldn't waste money on unlocking an iPhone ... yet

I wouldn't waste money on unlocking an iPhone ... yet

Summary: So, the iPhone unlocking software from iPhoneSIMFree is available, for the lavish price of $99. Personally, I wouldn't waste my money.

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So, the iPhone unlocking software from iPhoneSIMFree is available, for the lavish price of $99.  Personally, I wouldn't waste my money.

iphoneunlock1.jpgEarly reports seem to suggest that this software works and doesn't have any noticeable side-effects, but that's not the point.  The issue is that this unlock is a temporary fix at best.  This from Wireless Import's FAQ:

2. Is it resistant to updates? While we have taken all possible measures to ensure that the phone will remain unlocked, we can only guarantee the current released versions of updates (up to and including 1.0.2). With any of these versions, even if the phone is fully restored, the phone will remain unlocked.

Here's the rub.  In fact, there are two.  First off, the iPhone firmware isn't without bugs, and to top that off, probably contains more than one nasty security issue, and this means that patches will be coming down the pipes soon and any one of these could restore the iPhone back to the AT&T locked state.  Also, Apple's not going to stand on the sidelines and watch companies make $99 bucks out of unlocking iPhones en masse.  My guess is that Apple's already got hold of a copy of the unlocking software and has figured out how it works and is probably working on a patch as I'm typing this.

The bottom line is that if you buy and iPhone with the idea of unlocking it you're pretty soon going to end up with a dilemma - pay another $99 for another unlock or run your phone on the current firmware update and live with the bugs and any security issues that come to light.  Neither of these options sounds all that desirable to me.  Seems like the sensible options would be to wait for the firmware to mature for a while.

Me, I'm buying an iPod touch.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Security, Smartphones, AT&T

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16 comments
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  • Waiting is a good idea

    If ATT isn't an acceptable carrier for you then waiting is a good
    idea. Apple changed the game a bit when they announced the
    iPhone in January and the competition will have been working like
    mad to beat it. While the recent $200 price cut will bring tears to
    their eyes they will (probably) still announce their "iPhone Killer" as
    soon as they can - and you'll be able to get it on the carrier you
    want. Fortunately ATT has been my best option, but I'm still
    waiting to see if they announce a 16 Gb version in January. :)
    Ken_z
  • Why do you hate Apple so much?

    [i]Also, Apple?s not going to stand on the sidelines and watch companies make $99 bucks out of unlocking iPhones en masse. My guess is that Apple?s already got hold of a copy of the unlocking software and has figured out how it works and is probably working on a patch as I?m typing this.[/i]

    Apple has always fought for customer freedoms even if it negatively affects Apple's bottom line. Oh sure, they use DRM to [b]artificially[/b] and [b]onerously[/b] lock OSX to the Mac and they recently booted NBC from iTunes because NBC wanted to give discounts on TV shows and they also gouged early adopters of the iPhone and then insulted them with $100 store credit which is impossible to spend but other than those 3 tiny little discrepancies, Apple really cares for its customers!

    So I have to ask Adrian, why do you hate Apple so much?
    NonZealot
    • Message has been deleted.

      dkendig@...
    • So

      NZ: Just curious, how is Apple's restriction to using OSX only on Macs worse than
      the MS OEM licenses that restrict their os to only be used on one computer ever?
      Don't both "artificially" and "Onerously" lock the user? As for the NBC comment,
      are you working for NBC or something because that has to be how their newsletter
      is telling the story, but other articles on zdnet had a bit more balanced description
      of what happened.

      Regarding the article, if someone unlocks their iPhone are they able to use it on
      any other carrier in the US? Or do they just use it the same as the iPod Touch?
      meelder
      • Furthermore

        Apple sells a system that is both hardware and software. If MS sold the OS and the hardware it runs on, they would have every right to make sure the software ran only on their computer.

        Let's take a better example, NonZ, is it onerous that Zune's firmware and OS only work on the Zune? Since they sell the complete system, there is ZERO expectation that Zune's firmware will run on an iPod.

        There is zero expectation to be allowed to run OS-X on anything except Apple. It says right there on the box, and when you purchase the computer, you are buying a system.

        I wish I knew what caused your ravenous dislike for Apple.

        TripleII
        TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
        • Re: Furthermore

          You're comparing firmware to operating system. How is that a better example?
          drjt87
    • If He Hates Apple As Much As You Claim . . .

      . . . then why does he end the article with saying he's getting an iTouch, which is -- last I heard, anyway -- also an Apple product?

      *sniff, sniff* Arguments with absolutely no basis nor merit, "facts" completely flawed . . . Yep, smells like another troll to me.
      Whyaylooh
    • Apple could care less about it's customers

      Apple is all about the bottom line. If they cared about their customers then why are they not sending a $200 check to all those poor Apple faithful that got screwed with the current price cuts? A $100 store credit is not any way to compensate these customers for their loss.

      Apple's use of DRM in OSX is proof that they care less about customers freedoms. Tell all those people Apple sued for hacking OSX to run on any pc that Apple cares about their freedoms. If Apple cares about our freedoms so much they would refuse to sell anything with DRM at all.

      I figured I would put what you said in a less sarcastic manner so those who read your post will not miss what you were actually saying. :P
      soonerproud
  • RE: I wouldn't waste money on unlocking an iPhone ... yet

    Good point...however, hard core techies don't mind redoing things over and over again.

    M

    http://iphone.corank.com
    http://gphone.corank.com
    Mapper99
  • Apple/ATT should have their own unlock!

    Apple and AT&T (and the others in Europe) could offer their own "unlock" that would let somebody unlock it temporarily, somehow, in order to use it during travel. I know many service members buy pre-paid SIMs for use in Europe and the Middle East - even in Iraq. They could basically deflate the outsiders and have an additional revenue stream. I'm sure they design it sufficient complex to make it work for their corporate needs.
    007baf
  • I think....

    That is a good idea wait to see how Apple in going to react about the crack. I'm very disappointed on the US "reseller" of the IPSF software, thay are really and opportunists. They want to change the double the Autralian guys are charging, and they want to charge every single time you need to unlock the phone, even though the IPSF guys said the software updates are free. If you want a license to unlock the phone, buy it from the Australian reseller. There, it will cost you only USD$ 50 bucks and they said the upgrades are free.
    hal9000mx
  • T-Mobile@Home and unlocked

    It's a shame that people are so hooked on iPhones. I have researched T-mobile@home and will be converting once my current contract is over. Not only do you get full WiFi at hotpots, but also your own wireless router, where you are encouraged to use free VoIP as much as you want, surf the web, etc (yes, the number is the same whether VoIP or GSM, incoming and outgoing).

    I have helped 2 folks now save a ton of money eliminating 2K plus minute plans because they can now make free calls from home using their wireless phone.

    Even saving them money (a lot, one case, close to $175/month), BOTH still expressed iPhone envy, even with what I thought were very cool phones from T-Mobile. I better stay abreast of this issue, when a T-Mobile SIM works in an iPhone, AT&T might get very worried.

    TripleII

    No, I don't work for T-Mobile.
    TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
    • Aren't AT&Ts and T-Mobile's systems...

      incompatible? They work at different frequencies, meaning an unlocked iPhone
      wouldn't work on T-Mobile's network.
      msalzberg
      • Nope, the share towers

        They have roaming agreements whereby AT&T can use T-Mobile's towers and vice versa with roaming agreements.

        http://www.unstrung.com/document.asp?doc_id=31793

        TripleII
        TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
        • limitations?

          So do you get a data network and visual voice mail with an unlocked phone with t-mobile service?
          rynning
  • not a waste of money any more... free openSource software now out...

    what's your excuse now?
    doctorSpoc