Monday, August 27, 2007

Some tricky methods to unlock iphone

Apple iPhone is probably the most hyped gadgets ever created, however it is currently available only in the US and is locked into AT&Ts network by a two-year contract. By unlocking the iPhone it makes it possible to not only change carriers to get out of the two-year contract but will also allow people outside US to own the highly prized gadget.

iPhone hackers have been quick to seize on this opportunity and have not one but four options for unlocking the iPhone giving everyone the chance to own the highly prized gadget.

The four options available to unlock the iPhone that have surfaced so far have been mentioned below:

Forged SIM method:

The hackers in Europe first claimed to have unlocked the iPhone to work with any carrier with forged SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, however there were issues reported that if you had an old SIM (V1) then it was possible to use the published method and program (forge) the new SIM card to make it work with the iPhone and on your network. However, if you are using one of the modern version of the SIMs i.e. V2 or V3 SIM then it wouldn't work. (see, Hackers from Europe unlock iPhone to work with any carrier with forged SIM)

Turbo SIM method:

Hackers then claimed to have come up with a method which doesn't use card readers and more importantly doesn't depend on which version of the SIM you are using, they have claimed that it will work fine with V1, V2 or V3. This has been confirmed by folks @ Gizmodo who have been using the unlocked iPhone for the last one week now using Vodafone network. (see, iPhone completely unlocked (hacked) using Turbo SIM card)

Hardware soldering method:

The iPhone dev team did not want to stay out of all the action in the iPhone hacking space and have recently claimed to have unlocked the iPhone completely using a complicated hardware method. This method involves opening the iPhone and soldering some parts. The hack is supposed to work with any SIM card and carrier. Check the YouTube video below to check their claims. (see Gizmodo, iPhone Unlocked (Again) with Obscure Hardware Solution)

Software method:

If these three options are not enough; we have claiming to have developed a software solution to unlock the iPhone to work with any SIM and will be posting the software as early as tomorrow (25th August 2007). Apparently there were about eight locks that Uniquephones engineers had to break in the iPhone software to come up with the code that will unlock the phones. However, unlike the iPhone Dev team plans to sell the unlocking software for a reasonable fee of $25 to $50 (with a discount of 25% if you are already a signed up). (see Gizmodo, iPhone Unlocked with Paid Software Fix)

Though the approach of all these methods to unlock the iPhone are quite different; there is interestingly some common things about them as well as can be seen below:
We are still to fully understand the impact of unlocking the iPhone on its various features. So far we know that Visual Voicemail feature will only work on AT&T’s network because of the way the feature is designed. So it is safe to assume that it will not work on any of the four options.
All these options will cost you money ranging from $25 to $96 (shipping extra) and are not free like quite most of the iPhone hacks.
By using any of these unlocking methods there is a high probability of voiding the warranty of your iPhone as you could be violating Apple iPhone's T&C.

If you are looking to unlock the iPhone free of cost then you will need to wait for iPhone Dev team to publish their work. It will also be a good idea to read this article by Engadget before you decide to unlock your iPhone: Know Your Rights: Is it illegal to unlock my iPhone?

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