iPhone Diary Day 8: A hacker's handbook (updated)

Besides gadget freaks, the other big group clamoring for the iPhone has been hackers. Since the Apple TV was hacked so easily it has given hackers an extra incentive to take a shot at opening iPhone's closed fortress.

Besides gadget freaks, the other big group clamoring for the iPhone has been hackers. Since the Apple TV was hacked so easily it has given hackers an extra incentive to take a shot at opening iPhone's closed fortress.

Here's a quick rundown of the hacks currently underway for iPhone:

iPhone firmware posted If you're really interested in hacking the iPhone the best place to start is to download the iPhone restore image. The ipsw file is actually a zip file, just rename it .zip and unarchive. You will get two disk images, a system software dmg and a user dmg. The system software dmg is password protected

Pay as you go plan Crafty activators have already discovered how you can forgo the two year AT&T contract and simply pay month-to-month instead. All you have to do is sign up using 999-99-9999 as your social security number. After failing the credit check, select a GoPhone plan. It's a little more expensive, but for some people it may be worth the price.

iPod only mode Famed hacker Jon Lech Johansen (a.k.a. DVD Jon) made some serious progress on the activation front. He's managed to turn iPhone into a 6th generation WiFi/Bluetooth iPod without giving any personal information to AT&T the NSA. Jon's solution involves installing Phone Activation Server v1.0 (on Windows), some hex editing in iTunes 7.3, and installing the MS .NET Framework 2.0.

Or you can simply insert an inactive SIM and your iPhone works pretty much like a contract-free WiFi-enabled 6th generation iPod. The WiFi connection allows you to use Mail and Safari when you're connected to an access point. Further SIM card gymnastics have also been attempted.

More hacking progress TUAW reports that iPhone hackers on the IRC channels #iphone-talk and #iphone-mac (on irc.osx86.hu) have developed iPhoneInterface, a new Windows and Mac tool that allows you to manipulate the iPhone's state, launch services, and interact with the iPhone filesystem. With it, you'll be able to scan the iPhone file structure, create and remove folders, start iPhone services, and more.

Under the iPhone kimono If you want to take a look under the hood of an iPhone, look no further than the recently unearthed FCC photos and the plethora of iPhone takeapart/teardown guides (iFixIt, Think Secret, AnandTech, ZDNet). For the sadists among us there's the iPhone scratch and drop test video and video of some guys taking a hammer to iPhone.

Update:

iPhone components If you want to know exactly who makes what inside the iPhone Andrew Rassweiler, principal analyst for iSuppli determined that the 8Gbyte version of the iPhone has a total hardware Bill-of-Materials (BoM) and manufacturing cost of $265.83, generating a margin in excess of 55 percent on each 8Gbyte iPhone sold at the $599.00 retail price.

EE Times commissioned Semiconductor Insights to tear down the iPhone and dissect its innards. Infineon appears to be the chip of choice, there are many shared iPod parts and Apple brands a bunch of components to hide the names according to ZDNet's BTL.

Let the hacking commence!