Iphone News: 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Apple cuts iPhone price

The consumer-electronic maker also slashed the price of its iPhone, barely two months after the much-hyped device first came on the market.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs announced the changes at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday.
"We've clearly got a breakthrough product, and we want to make it affordable for even more customers as we enter this holiday season," Jobs said in reference to the price cut on the iPhone.
The price of the 8GB version of iPhone will drop by $200 to $399. That's $100 cheaper than the current price of the 4GB version of the device, which Jobs said will continue to be sold "while supplies last."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Apple iPhone Outsells All Smartphones In U.S. In July

The Apple iPhone led smartphone sales in the United States in July, beating Research In Motion's BlackBerry, the Palm Treo, and other rivals, a market research firm said Tuesday.
In addition, iPhone sales equaled those of the most popular feature phone in the United States, LG's Chocolate, iSuppli said. The Apple gadget, a combination media player and
mobile phone, accounted for 1.8% of all handset sales in the United States.
ISuppli attributed the meteoric rise of the iPhone in large part to demand built up by months of hype leading up to the gadget's release on June 29. The real proof of whether Apple has a big winner will be determined in the coming months as demand patterns stabilize.
Nevertheless, the first full month of sales is impressive, given that the iPhone beat out well-entrenched competitors. "While iSuppli hasn't collected historical information on this topic, it's likely that the speed of the iPhone's rise to competitive dominance in its segment is unprecedented in the history of the mobile-handset market," the research firm said
in a statement.
ISuppli predicts Apple will ship 4.5 million iPhones this year. By 2011, the company is expected to ship 30 million units. Currently, the devices only are available through Apple and AT&T, the exclusive service provider.
The typical iPhone buyer in July was male, 35 years or younger, and held a four-year college degree or higher. The actual breakdown of iSuppli's survey of iPhone buyers was 57% were 35 years old or younger, 52% male, 48% female, and 62% college educated. In addition, one out of four iPhone buyers switched wireless carriers to AT&T.
Based on iSuppli's definition, the iPhone falls between a smartphone and a feature phone. The device isn't quite a smartphone because a user can't load third-party software. On the other hand, the iPhone is more feature rich than the typical feature phone, such as LG's Chocolate.
Nevertheless, Apple shipped more iPhones in July in the U.S. than RIM did BlackBerry devices and Palm did Treo handsets, iSuppli said. IPhone shipments also easily beat smartphone shipments from Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung.
Despite its initial popularity, not all iPhone customers are happy with their purchase. At least three
class-action lawsuits have been filed against Apple, claiming the company didn't do an adequate job of telling buyers that the device's battery cannot be replaced without incurring more than $100 in cost to replace the power supply and to maintain service during the process. Buyers cannot easily remove the battery, so the device has to be sent back to Apple.
Another class-action suit
filed in New York last month claims Apple misled consumers by not adequately explaining the roaming charges attached to using the iPhone outside coverage areas.
Meanwhile, Apple
is expected to launch on Wednesday a new line of iPods that observers say will have many of the same features as the iPhone, but without the voice communications. Apple, which plans to make the announcement in San Francisco, has not confirmed any of reports.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Program that Unlocks the iPhone?

According to reports, an anonymous group of software developers claims to have developed a program that unlocks Apple's iPhone, thus making it operational on any GSM network across the globe. As of now, the iPhone is available only in the US, and is operational only on the AT&T network, under an exclusive two-year agreement between Apple and AT&T.

The iPhone unlocking program was demonstrated by Los Angeles-based software consultant named Brett Schulte, who replaced AT&T with a T-Mobile SIM card, and within a few seconds, the iPhone became operational. Schulte said the procedure doesn't require opening or disassembling of the device, and unlocking can be done in just about two minutes. Apparently, the anonymous group includes six people from three different continents, who claim to have unlocked the device just as a hobby. The developers plan to put the software on sale, though no price has been finalized yet. They have also created a Web site called, which has some information on the program but does not give a way to purchase it yet. Meanwhile, an AT&T spokesman said that though they could not hypothesize on the authenticity of hacking the iPhone, they hurried to remind users that by buying the iPhone, they become contractually indebted to AT&T. A similar incident took place about a week back, where a teenager claimed to have found the way to unlock the iPhone, though by disassembling the device.

The sleek Apple iPhone comes with a bad connection

Three months ago, Apple launched the iPhone, the device that CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed would redefine the mobile phone industry in the same way that the iPod revolutionised the music business. US consumers have had a chance to get to grips with the device, so now seems a good time to compile an interim report.
Jobs's pitch for the phone was characteristically audacious: the device cost an arm and a leg - $499 for 4GB and $599 for 8GB - and that's just for starters. Apple had struck a deal with AT&T, which meant that in addition to shelling out for the handset, you had to sign up to an AT&T contract for 24 months. The phone was locked to the AT&T network - and you didn't even get 3G connectivity. In fact, most of the time you got the kind of connection speeds that made one think fondly about dial-up modems.
It's an odd way to start a revolution, to put it mildly. The iPhone is a lovely piece of kit - in effect, a sleek, powerful personal computer running an industrial-grade operating system. It has the capability to be a really disruptive device in an industry that badly needs disruption. But it comes shackled to an unpopular, low-tech mobile network. So acquiring one is like buying a Porsche engine and fitting it to your lawnmower. People figured out quickly that you could cancel AT&T's inernet service to get its browser to work only via wi-fi; but you couldn't use it on any other mobile phone/data network. (And still had to pay the 18-month AT&T subscription.) This was not a fundamental technical limitation of the device, but a technological shackle designed by Apple to drive business to AT&T.
We are now starting to see the commercial rationale for the bodge. It turns out that Apple gets $3 a month for every existing AT&T subscriber who has bought an iPhone and $11 a month for every new customer. That looks like about $150 per user for Apple, on top of the margin on the phone itself. So although Apple can make money selling iPhones to anyone, the company gets considerably more if it drives those users to AT&T. Which is what it is doing.
This makes good commercial sense, but technologically speaking it's idiotic. Given the technical capabilities of the iPhone, it ought to be untethered in the way that, say, the Nokia E61 is. Not surprisingly, this thought has occurred to a lot of geeks and several unlocking methods have appeared in recent weeks.
First of all, a New Jersey teenager, one George Hotz, took a soldering iron to his iPhone, wrote some software and announced that he had used the phone on T-Mobile. It had taken him, he claimed, about two hours. This is reassuring evidence of teenage ingenuity, but not everyone is a dab hand with a soldering iron, so the Hotz hack was trumped by news that a quick way of unlocking an iPhone using only software had been found. A company named UniquePhones launched, announcing a method that left virtually all the iPhone's features intact. A representative of the technology site Engadget reported that ''s software solution completely SIM unlocks the iPhone, is restore-resistant, and should make the iPhone fully functional for users outside of the US'.
The UniquePhones folks then announced plans to sell licences for their recipe, which seemed a nice way of living off their programmers' wits. But then a lawyergram arrived from AT&T making threatening noises about copyright infringement and illegal software dissemination. This seems like bluff to me, but I'm no lawyer. What matters is that UniquePhones took fright, announcing that it was putting the key-release on hold while legal advice was sought.
So iPhone users will have to wait a bit longer before they can escape from AT&T's walled garden. While they wait, here are some thoughts to ponder. First, if the law does indeed say that the iPhone can't be unlocked, then the law is an ass. As the Princeton security expert Ed Felten puts it: 'The law should hesitate to micromanage what people do with the devices they own. If you want to run different software on your phone, or want to use one cell provider rather than another, why should the government interfere?'
Second, note that it's AT&T's lawyers who are doing the dirty work, not Apple's - even though Apple stands to lose quite a lot initially from unbridled unlocking. Neat footwork by Steve Jobs, eh?
Third, there is the question of which mobile operator will get the exclusive iPhone deal in the UK. And - given that the availability of unlocking methods is now a racing certainty - whether it will be worth the paper it's written on by the time the deal is signed. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

CNN Confirms iPhone Crack And A New One Emerges

CNN confirmed the iPhone crack developed by a group called iPhoneSIMFree, which was reported last week. According to CNN, an independent software consultant has demonstrated the software that unlocks iPhone on Friday evening. The method developed by iPhoneSIMfree was initially reported by the tech site Engadget.

CNN has spoken with two members of the group behind iPhoneSIMfree and they said “would start selling the software, which they haven't yet priced, as soon as their online payment and customer service systems are ready”. Still, for the moment it’s not clear if the unlocking of the iPhone is legal or not.
Contacted by CNN, Apple declined to comment, but a AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said he couldn't speculate on the legality of unlocking the phone, but he added, "When you sign up, you're signing a two-year contract. You're obligated to pay the bill."
Last week the New Jersey teen George Hotz in collaboration with three online colleagues reported another method to unlock the iPhone through an array of procedures detailed on his blog. The operation is fairly long, it involves some technical knowledge and it’s not reachable for a beginner. The highest risk is to definitely damage it during the “process”.
But for Hotz it was a good deal as the teenager traded his second unlocked iPhone creation, the first is for his own use, to Terry Daidone, founder of CertiCell, in exchange for a Nissan 350Z sports car and three new 8 Gb iPhones for his team.
Also Belfast-based UniquePhones claimed it had cracked the code which locked iPhone into AT&T's network. In fact so far the company, which said it intends to publish its unlocking solution, was the only one contacted by AT&T’s lawyers. They said that unveiling the unlocking method constitute copyright infringement and illegal software dissemination.
In an interview with AP, John McLaughlin of, said they had planned to release the software via and the price of unlocking would be $25 per iPhone.
Also last week Baltic News Service reported that a Lithuanian website is offering to unlock the iPhone for use with local mobile service providers. The website, called, claims to have unlocked two iPhones in Lithuania and it features a video clip without sound showing the iPhones operating on Lithuanian mobile networks, including Omnitel, Bite Lietuva and TELE2.
The site's authors are also offering to unlock iPhones for 260 euros (355 dollars) by early September.
There are three methods of making the iPhone operational in Lithuania, the site claims: by subscriber identity module (SIM) card cloning, phone modification, or by installing a SIM card add-on.
"The third method of unlocking is more promising. Any SIM card will go for that. An original card is inserted together with a special SIM card add-on," the website says.
For the moment, Apple has launched its phone only in US, but according to media reports, the Cupertino company has already selected its partners in Europe: O2 in the UK, Orange in France and T-Mobile in Germany.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Skype, enterprise email on iPhone now enabled thx to WebEx PCNow

WebEx PCNow, a tool that enables remote access to PCs from mobile devices, is now iPhone-compliant.

Prior to the official release of this service today, I spoke with Jack Chawla, senior director of product management at Cisco-owned WebEx. He explained a win-win situation for iPhone users that should be obvious.
“We’ve been noticing that consumers are buying iPhones on their personal account. “If you look at what is happening with Web 2.0 technologies, consumers are using them in their professional life.”
As to the WebEx PCNow service, it costs $11.95 a month for two PCs. And not only can you get your enterprise email via your iPhone, but you can use Skype, too. SkypeOut on iPhone can be used to call contacts even on mobile devices that are not supported by the Skype mobile client.
Other capabilities include:
Mobile File Access— Access and view files, photos, and documents stored on your remote computer from iPhone.
Mobile Desktop Search—Via iPhone, use popular desktop search tools such as Google, and Windows to quickly find documents, emails, images and contacts stored on the desktop PC. Easily forward files from search results to colleagues and friends.
Mobile Outlook Integration – Read, reply, forward or delete emails and have your changes automatically updated on the Outlook on your computer. You can even create emails or appointments, and access contacts.
WebEx is doing this via a partnership with mobile technology provider SoonR. Content is optimized for the Safari web browser included in the iPhone.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nokia takes on the iPhone

LONDON: In the same converted 19th-century fish market where Apple three years ago announced the European introduction of its iTunes music store, Nokia said Wednesday that it would soon introduce its own digital music service, along with an easier-to-use, Apple-style mobile interface and an Apple-style touch screen handset.
The Nokia Music Store, scheduled to open later this year, would let users download songs from the Internet to their computers or directly to mobile phones, over wireless networks, which is a feat that Apple's recently released iPhone cannot do.
Analysts said the move heightened the rivalry between Nokia and Apple at the high end of the mobile phone business. "It was obviously going straight at Apple," said Seamus McAteer, senior analyst at M:Metrics, a research firm.
While Nokia executives chose suits and ties rather than the black mock turtlenecks and blue jeans favored by Steve Jobs, the Apple chief executive, they acknowledged that Nokia was not above imitating its new competitor.
"I don't know what is copying and what is original but if there is something good in the world, we copy it with pride," said Anssi Vanjoki, head of the Nokia multimedia division, which makes the company's high-end handsets, when asked about similarities between the iPhone, iTunes and the new devices and services announced by Nokia.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Teen who unlocked iPhone gets car, job

A Louisville company that repairs cell phones will give a consulting job and a $40,000 car to a teenage computer hacker who spent his summer "unlocking" an iPhone.
Working with a team of other techies around the world, 17-year-old George Hotz of Glen Rock, N.J., spent an estimated 500 hours reconfiguring the iPhone so it can be used with wireless providers other than AT&T.
The device so far is available only in the United States through an exclusive two-year service agreement with AT&T. Officials with both AT&T and Apple, which makes the iPhone, have not commented about Hotz's unlocking project.
He made international news when he unveiled the results of the project on his blog Thursday, and it wasn't long before officials with Louisville-based CertiCell were in touch.
Hotz announced on his blog that he would trade an unlocked version of the phone to CertiCell in exchange for a "sweet" new silver Nissan 350Z, a consulting job and three unmodified iPhones.

Monday, August 27, 2007

IPhone Unlocking: One Real Method, Two Vaporware

The iPhone unlocking game heated up considerable over the weekend with no less than three people/groups claiming to have unlocked the coveted Apple device. The first and most impressive iphone unlock comes from a New Jersey teenager and involves soldering, but most definitely works.
Shortly after that came word from Engadget that the somewhat questionable outfit iPhone Sim Free had succseed with one software only SIM Unlock
(Engadget claims to have an iPhone that was successfully unlocked).
Engadget has also reported that has a Software SIM unlock situation
, though personally I think this one is a scam. For one thing consists of a thrown together Wordpress blog that looks like it took about thirty seconds to set up. But most tellingly the group has failed to release their software when they said they would.
The group claims: “The sale of unlocking codes is on hold after the company received a telephone call from a Menlo Park, California, law firm at approximately 2:54 a.m. this morning (GMT).”
The idea that a lawyer would be so concerned about the software as to call at three A.M. is doubtful. Couple this with the fact that there is very little legal ground for suing over unlocking software and there's some good reasons to doubt iphoneunlocking.
The DMCA doesn’t cover unlocking phones, in fact it explicitly okays the practice which means AT&T would have little legal ground to stand on and the company is probably aware of that.
Among the exemptions added to the DMCA last year is one that covers: “Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network.”
What about the iPhone Sim Free hack? Engadget is pretty adamant that it works, the iPhone Sim Free folks unlocked one of their iPhones, which led Engadget to throw some bold tags around this statement: “Again: we can confirm with 100% certainty that’s software solution completely SIM unlocks the iPhone, is restore-resistant, and should make the iPhone fully functional for users outside of the US.”
If it does indeed survive software updates and even a full restore, this would appear to be the ticket for those looking to drop the AT&T shackles, but for the time being, iPhone Sim Free doesn’t have anything publicly available for testing — in other news, we hear the new Duke Nukem Forever is going to kick ass.
If you’re looking to unlock your iPhone today, you’ll have to grab a soldering iron and give George Holt’s SIM cracking method a try.

A team of computer security consultants say they have found a flaw in Apple’s wildly popular iPhone that allows them to take control of the device.

The researchers, working for Independent Security Evaluators, a company that tests its clients’ computer security by hacking it, said that they could take control of iPhones through a WiFi connection or by tricking users into going to a Web site that contains malicious code. The hack, the first reported, allowed them to tap the wealth of personal information the phones contain.
Although Apple built considerable security measures into its device, said Charles A. Miller, the principal security analyst for the firm, “Once you did manage to find a hole, you were in complete control.” The firm, based in Baltimore, alerted Apple about the vulnerability this week and recommended a software patch that could solve the problem.
A spokeswoman for Apple, Lynn Fox, said, “Apple takes security very seriously and has a great track record of addressing potential vulnerabilities before they can affect users.”
“We’re looking into the report submitted by I.S.E. and always welcome feedback on how to improve our security,” she said.
There is no evidence that this flaw had been exploited or that users had been affected.
Dr. Miller, a former employee of the
National Security Agency who has a doctorate in computer science, demonstrated the hack to a reporter by using his iPhone’s Web browser to visit a Web site of his own design.
Once he was there, the site injected a bit of code into the iPhone that then took over the phone. The phone promptly followed instructions to transmit a set of files to the attacking computer that included recent text messages — including one that had been sent to the reporter’s cellphone moments before — as well as telephone contacts and e-mail addresses.
“We can get any file we want,” he said. Potentially, he added, the attack could be used to program the phone to make calls, running up large bills or even turning it into a portable bugging device.
Steven M. Bellovin, a professor of computer science at
Columbia University, said, “This looks like a very genuine hack.” Mr. Bellovin, who was for many years a computer security expert at AT&T Labs Research, said the vulnerability of the iPhone was an inevitable result of the long-anticipated convergence of computing and telephony.
“We’ve been hearing for a few years now that viruses and worms were going to be a problem on cellphones as they became a little more powerful, and we’re there,” he said. The iPhone is a full-fledged computer, he noted, “and sure enough, it’s got computer-grade problems.”
He said he suspected that phones based on the Windows mobile operating system would be similarly “attackable,” though he had not yet heard of any attacks.
“It’s not the end of the world; it’s not the end of the iPhone,” he said, any more than the regular revelations of vulnerabilities in computer browser software have killed off computing. “It is a sign that you cannot let down your guard. It is a sign that we need to build software and systems better.”
Details on the vulnerability, but not a step-by-step guide to hacking the phone, can be found at, which the researchers said would be unveiled today.
Hackers around the world have been trying to unveil the secrets of the iPhone since its release last month; most have focused their efforts on unlocking the phone from its sole wireless provider, AT&T, and getting unauthorized programs to run on it. The iPhone is a closed system that cannot accept outside programs and can be used only with the AT&T wireless network.
Some of those hackers have posted bulletins of their progress on the Web. A posting went up on Friday that a hacker going by the name of “Nightwatch” had created and started an independent program on the phone.
The Independent Security Evaluators researchers were able to crack the phone’s software in a week, said Aviel D. Rubin, the firm’s founder and the technical director of the Information Security Institute at
Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Rubin, who bought an iPhone the day after the cellphone was released, said in an interview that he had approached three colleagues, Dr. Miller, Joshua Mason and Jake Honoroff, and offered them an enticing prize if they would try to crack the iPhone. “I told the guys I would buy them iPhones.”
Dr. Miller had already been exploring weaknesses in the computer versions of Safari, Apple’s Web browser, and was planning to reveal that vulnerability, a relatively common kind of flaw known as a buffer overflow, at the Black Hat computer security conference next month. Dr. Miller instantly thought to see whether the phone, which uses a version of Safari, would be as vulnerable.
Mr. Rubin said the research was not intended to show that the iPhone was necessarily more vulnerable to hacking than other phones, or that Apple products were less secure than those from other companies. “Anything as complex as a computer — which is what this phone is — is going to have vulnerabilities,” he said.
There are far more viruses, worms and other malicious software affecting Windows systems than Apple systems. But Mr. Rubin said that Apple products have drawn fewer attacks because the computers have fewer users, and hackers reach for the greatest impact.
“Windows gets hacked all the time not because it is more insecure than Apple, but because 95 percent of computer users are on Windows,” he said. “The other 5 percent have enjoyed a honeymoon that will eventually come to an end.”
The iPhone is becoming a victim of its own success, he said. “The irony is that the more popular something is, the more insecure it becomes, because popularity paints a large target on its back.”
Mr. Rubin said his goal was to discover vulnerabilities and warn of them so that companies would strengthen their products and consumers would not be lulled into thinking that the technology they use was completely secure.
Mr. Rubin said, “I will think twice before getting on a random public WiFi network now,” but his overall opinion of the phone has not changed.
“You’d have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands to get it away from me,” he said.

Iphone Unlocked