updated 11:25 am EDT, Tue August 14, 2007
iPhone Complete Unlock
The iPhone's previous restriction to AT&T phone service may have been fully broken, according to claims made by forum members testing out utilities. A combination of a blank TurboSIM card ($80), utilities such as AppleSaft from Bladox, and SSH access let users remotely enter the phone over Wi-Fi and tell it to write the SIM with valid information from another carrier, effectively placing the phone on any GSM cellular network with full incoming and outgoing calls. Basic GPRS data (but not EDGE) also works, claim some users.
While the hacking process requires that the phone be activated through either official means or unofficial tools, the method does not demand separate SIM card reading hardware and reportedly works with all three generations of SIM cards, from V1 through to V3. The technique should allow T-Mobile subscribers in the US to circumvent AT&T's exclusivity agreement with the iPhone and will also users in other areas to use most functions either ahead of an official Apple launch or in areas where the company has no intent to offer the handset.
No indications have been made that Apple is actively attempting to close the code paths that allow the hacks. The recent iPhone 1.0.1 update did not break earlier cracking attempts and is said to have required only that the phone use its original firmware when a hack is applied. Recent discoveries have shown that Apple may already have developed a second, international iPhone explicitly tailored for upcoming global launches that would not require safeguards to keep the device from running on competing networks.