updated 10:15 am EDT, Wed July 18, 2007
iPhone 'partial' unlock
Coders at the iPhone Dev Wiki (not linked for bandwidth concerns) claim to have circumvented some of the locks placed on the device by Apple and AT&T. Buying the product normally requires a two-year, iPhone-specific contract, a move which has drawn critcism mainly for the $175 cancellation fee. But by using a program called iASign, users can liberate the phone for use with existing SIM cards registered under AT&T or Cingular, and possibly MVNOs on the same network. This could be especially useful for those on corporate AT&T plans, who can use a company SIM card and enjoy significant discounts.
Because iASign generates an activation PLIST based on the iPhone's Device ID, CCID and IMEI information, users may have to engage in some research before they can properly unlock their service. Contributors to the Dev Wiki continue to work on a means of unlocking the phone for any carrier, but report that the phone is extremely well-protected, having a maximum number of unlock attempts and a unique Network Control Key for each unit. Even for-profit companies such as Uniquephones have not succeeded in creating a foolproof unlocking technique.