Friday, August 24, 2007

Sucks to be AT&T

According to an Engadget exclusive - a group of twenty-somethings has successfully unlocked the iPhone, allowing people to use non-AT&T SIM cards in them.

I bet Apple is miffed and I bet AT&T is totally pissed off.

Apparently these guys made it their personal mission to unlock the phone, and have been working non-stop since the release in late June to make it happen. At first, they had a hardware hack that allowed people to unlock the phone, but then today released (only to Engadget) the SOFTWARE version that does the same thing.

Of course the "visual voicemail" feature doesn't work on the unlocked phones as it's still an AT&T exclusive feature - but I think more carriers will add this type of feature (if they haven't already started working on it). Apparently, rather than visual voicemail, users of the unlocked phone will get the dial tone into their voicemail (like the rest of us) so they can still check it, just not visually.

People have been bitching at Apple for giving the exclusive contract to AT&T for the iPhone since before the iPhone was even out. If Apple's deal with AT&T is anything like the ones they are signing with European companies - Apple gets 10% of all the revenue derived from iPhone activity on the AT&T network.

Now that the phone is hacked and people can use any old SIM from any carrier - they lose that revenue - as does AT&T (which must go up their ass a mile!).

The authors claim that the software is immune from being disabled by performing a restore or update of the Apple software (for now, anyway).

What's Apple to do? How about AT&T? I'm betting that a fleet of lawyers is right now working on a way to call/write/FedEx those guys as I'm typing.

If I were Apple or AT&T I would just throw some money at these guys and hire em!

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