“The iPhone is getting used and abused today with a second software-only unlocking solution making itself known. Uniquephones has now surprised with word that it will be offering a downloadable software unlock service between 12 and 2 PM EST tomorrow at iphoneunlocking.com. Pricing will be somewhere between $25 and $50 with a 25 to 50 percent discount for people who have already signed up for the service — apparently as many as 450,000 already have.” [via ENDGADGET]
FOX NEWS: Best documented was a hack by George Hotz, 17, of Glen Rock, N.J. With a little soldering, a lot of command-line computing and about two hours of time, Hotz was able to switch an iPhone over to T-Mobile, which he documented in detail in a YouTube video. He has posted detailed instructions on how to do it on his blog, and hopes other hackers can streamline and improve his method so that less-tech-savvy iPhone owners can unlock theirs as well. “This will be the last iPhone I unlock,” he told Smith.
EXPLAINER: Carriers like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint seek to keep their customers in two ways. They force them to sign multiyear contracts, which are expensive to break. And the carriers put complex technological locks on phones to ensure that they run only on a given carrier’s wireless network. Without the locks, the phones could be used on rival networks that use the same underlying technology.
People who work on unlocking cellphones say those technical locks unfairly restrict customer choice. They want to give cellphone users the flexibility to take their phones with them overseas without incurring heavy roaming fees, or to transfer the devices to other networks once a user’s service contract has expired. [via NEW YORK TIMES]