Hackers Finally Unlock iPhone

Dennis Faas's picture

2009 has got off to a great start for a team of iPhone enthusiasts with little regard for Apple's licensing requirements. They've finally figured out a way to get the phone to work with any cell phone carrier (and not just AT&T).

The iPhone Dev Team are best known for their work on 'jailbreaking': the technique of altering an iPhone so that you can run any applications on it, not just those approved by Apple. Given the company's questionable vetting policy for entry to the official App store, it's not surprising many users approve of jailbreaking.

There's an ongoing battle with each new edition of the iPhone software disabling this trick, but the iPhone Dev crew has a history of finding a new solution within a couple of days.

One of the team has even figured out a way to get the iPhone running on the Linux Operating System, though at the moment there are no drivers, which limits the device's interaction with the operating system.

Of course, the big prize for these developers (or 'hackers,' as Apple would call them) is unlocking the phone.

Unlocking is possible through an application titled 'yellowsn0w,' which is available from the iPhone Dev Team's site. Bear in mind that this program is entirely unofficial and unsanctioned, and there's no guarantee it will work now or in the future, or leave your phone unharmed for that matter.

Unlocking the phone gives users the ability to switch to a different network (perhaps one which offers a more reliable coverage) or even use pre-paid SIM cards when traveling overseas. Currently, AT&T has exclusive rights to provide service to the iPhone in the United States. (Source: dvice.com)

While Apple is able to live with jailbreaking because it has little effect on its own App Store sales, the firm is likely to be much less tolerant of unlocking. That's because it undermines the servicing deal with AT&T -- and without that, the company would likely have to charge much more for the original sale of the devices. (Source: boygeniusreport.com)

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