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 Uniquephones.com, said they had planned to release the software via iphoneunlocking.com 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 iphone.projectas.in, 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.