Apple iPhone software unlocked and Engadget has the proof

Apple iPhone software unlocked and Engadget has the proof

Summary: Hackers have been trying to unlock the iPhone since day 1 and there have been a couple of ways people have come up with, including messing with the internals and creating a new SIM card, but these have required some skill and effort that your average user will most likely not even try. However, today marks the day that the hackers have done it with a software unlock tool that has been verified by Engadget to work on the iPhone with T-Mobile USA.

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Hackers have been trying to unlock the iPhone since day 1 and there have been a couple of ways people have come up with, including messing with the internals and creating a new SIM card, but these have required some skill and effort that your average user will most likely not even try. However, today marks the day that the hackers have done it with a software unlock tool that has been verified by Engadget to work on the iPhone with T-Mobile USA.

T-Mobile iPhoneThe process seems pretty straightforward and was created by the guys at iPhoneSimFree.com. The commercial launch of the service has not yet gone live, but I hope they do it soon before Apple or AT&T are able to shut them down. They apparently even were able to perform the unlock after a full restore so it should be firmware update-proof, until Apple figures out what they did and tries to shut down the functionality. As a T-Mobile customer who had to add AT&T to get the iPhone I plan to put my T-Mobile SIM in my iPhone so I can use it as my daily phone and maybe keep the AT&T service for the HSDPA functionality I get with my HTC TyTN, but I'll have to see if that is cost effective. If not, I may just pay the US$175 early termination fee and stick with T-Mobile.

Credit: Engadget.com

I personally think this could result in more sales of the iPhone for Apple since there are some people that are very happy with T-Mobile and would love to have an iPhone. This may also boost international sales of the iPhone.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Mobility, Software, AT&T

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24 comments
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  • Cry havoc and let loose the lawyers of litigation! (nt)

    .
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • Apple Will Fix This

      Just like Sony did with the PSP...just issue a firmware upgrade in order to keep the phone functioning on AT&T but will keep it from being usable on the other networks.
      itanalyst
      • Oh, I'm sure you are right, but....

        Surely the opportunity to use the iPhone with networks other than AT&T would increase sales of the iPhone, no?

        I wonder if the suits at AT&T were sharp enough to insure in their agreements with Apple that any "unlocks" would be dealt with as swiftly as possible...
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • I think Apple & ATT will be on it ASAP

          ATT suits will ensure that their investment in network upgrades for
          the iPhone are protected and Apple will have a duty under the
          agreement to be diligent in blocking unauthorized use. There will
          probably be new fixes out after every firmware update, but Apple is
          going to stick to their contract, regardless of the number of additional
          iPhones that could be sold.

          It's a pain, but it is how Apple was able to demand certain network
          enhancements (like visual voicemail) to work with the iPhone.
          Ken_z
          • Probably not likely.

            THe USofA is the oly market where phones are locked and unlocking phones is not protected under the DMC act. The unlocking is not illegal but what about the contract?

            The technology to lock phones is not owned by Apple. In fact it was invented --at Lucent, (I believe)-- by the US Cellular market. If the technology is hacked, it is not Apples fault. AT&T can only go to themselves.

            The truth is that Apple does not lose out here --if its contract to supply the phones is solid-- but AT&T can lose. It behooves AT&T to stop the hack but their hands may be tied. They have no legal grounds and may have no contractual grounds to have Apple find a fix.

            Anywho, I have AT&T cellular service and I have no plans to get an iPhone anytime soon.
            Logics
          • Then it really comes down to

            [i]They have no legal grounds and may have no contractual grounds to have Apple find a fix[/i]

            True, but then it probally does come down to the contract. I would imagine that AT&T probally [i]does[/i] have it in the contract that Apple will have to fix issues like this (as do all cellular carriers, nost likely with their vendors) as it would be risky to sign a contract, or place an order with, hardware vendors who wont back it up.

            Why risk the money upgrading your network and stocking you stores with merchendise if an issue like this remains unresolved, and people purchase a phone (little, if any real proffit from that), yet don't sign up with a wireless plan
            John Zern
          • And don't forget that

            Apple receives monthly revenue from customers signed up to AT&T. I think it was reported at $3 for an existing AT&T customer and $8 for new customers. There is no way Apple is going to allow a drop in that revenue.
            A Grain of Salt
          • I would never sign a contract where...

            ...I must install [b]your[/b] firmware in my hardware and then support [b]your[/b] firmware when it is broken?

            I don't think so. Phone locking is not a product of Apple. It is a product of the US cellular market. Why would Apple sing a contract where they have to support someone else's bad technology?

            Surely Apple intended to eventually sell the iPhone through other carriers especially in the EU. That meant an unlocked iPhone. Could Apple's deal with AT&T be so sweet that Apple was going to restrict there product to 7% of the world cellular market?

            ...Nevermind! I just opened up a can of worms.

            Nevertheless, it will still be up to AT&T to fix the locking [problem that they introduced to the cellular market. Eventually, the Exclusive contract would have expired and the iPhone would go next to the EU market and then to other US carriers (As unlocking it for the EU market would be easier than locking it for other US carriers).

            Trust me. There is a time limit to the exclusive deal.
            Logics
      • I doubt Apple can "fix this"

        While I have problems with people switching the iPhone to another carrier like this without paying the early termination fee - essentially breaching the contract with both Apple and AT&T - I seriously doubt that Apple can prevent this from happening. If they could have prevented it they would have done so in the initial release.
        gads2000
        • early term fee

          People who, "switch", are not relieving themselves of an AT&T contract. They are taking on, or utilizing the services of, another carrier. The AT&T contract is still there, and be assured AT&T will keep sending that bill weather you use their service or not.
          sonoffar@...
          • ETF will apply if you cancel

            I think this unlocking service can be valuable for people like me who still have a T-Mobile family plan and obligated contracts (would cost me $800 to cancel) since I could now pay AT&T the $175 ETF and go back to just using my T-Mobile service (that I am quite happy with). Granted, this bumps up my iPhone cost, but is still cheaper than paying at least $73/month for 2 years.
            palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • Proof positive

    That the iPhone is a revolutionary device. Before it came along, nobody except a tiny minority cared whether or not you could unlock a phone because all phones were pretty much the same.

    Unlocking the iPhone makes the front page because the iPhone has successfully shown everyone just how crappy all their phones to date have really been. And for the first time everyone wants THAT phone. That one. right there.
    frgough
    • It made the front page because

      the most overhyped product on the planet has been hacked, not once, not twice, but three times, and AT&T is now up that famous creek if Apple doesn't remedy the situation toot sweet.
      Hallowed are the Ori
    • If you do not fit the description of "troll"

      I do not know who would.

      Actually the reason it makes front page news is becuase some one did something Apple (and you) claimed could [i]never[/i] be be done to anything Apple makes: they hacked it.

      You lose.
      GuidingLight
      • Huh? Who said that?

        Who claimed it could never be done? Don't think even Apple made such a claim about the iPhone.
        dave95.
    • Cell phone hacks have been around a long time.

      If you think this is the first cell phone thats been hacked your really need to wake up.
      No_Ax_to_Grind
      • Read againis post!

        "That the iPhone is a revolutionary device. Before it came along, nobody except a [b]tiny minority[/b] cared whether or not you could unlock a phone because all phones were pretty much the same."
        dave95.
        • What is a "small minority?" How about:

          [i]The iPhone has been hacked, and a small minority will take advantage of it.[/i]That may have left that out of the original post.

          So you believe the "vast majority" will now get the phone and try to hack it, or a "small minority", which puts it in the same catagory as all other cell phones, as that's all it is.
          GuidingLight
    • I agree with your point

      So far all the expected reasons for disagreement of your point are weak. The iPhone is
      revolutionary any anyone who's actually used one for more that a few minutes and
      cannot say the same will fit into a small group of blind individuals.
      People
  • unlock not worth the trouble

    I'll just use the N95 tethered to an N800 when listening to Rhapsody.
    The iPhone isn't all what it's hyped up to be.
    D T Schmitz