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New Jersey teen unlocks iPhone

Associated Press

Hack frees most hyped cellphone ever for use on other networks, including overseas carriers ...Read the full article

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  1. C M from Toronto, Canada writes: What a gimmick - making a phone that only works on one network. Pretty dumb of Mac in my view. Don't you think they'd sell more units if you could use it on any network? Or did AT&T pay for part of the development cost?
  2. Michel Frechette from Kapuskasing, writes: Keep up the good work.
  3. Thumb Sucker from Toronto, Canada writes: This guy who did it is pretty smart, I read his blog and he seems pretty genuine in the sense that he doesn't want people to make money off this.
  4. K Ordos from Canada writes: This whole exercise highlights everything that is wrong with the Mobile Phone industry in North America. In Europe, you are free to buy whichever phone you wish, unlocked, and then you may choose your mobile provider. You're not locked into service contracts, and you can also just use pay-as-you-go on any phone.

    But, in North America, AT&T, Rogers, et al have decided that the consumer has no choice. You're stuck with whatever phones they decide to stock, and the phones are locked to their network. So as a consumer, when you decide that the service from your provider is substandard, and you want to switch, YOU CAN'T! Your phone won't work on anyone else's network and you're forced to pay a penalty to cancel your contract.

    That's like buying a car that has 6 cylinders, but only runs on 4, and you can only use Esso gasoline in it.

    Consumers should be asking why this is so. I would love to have an iPhone, but I would also like to be able to use it on any network I choose, especially when I travel overseas. For a phone that costs almost $800 I think the owner of the phone should not have their hardware restricted in any way.
  5. Paul Ozarowski from The windy city ..., United States writes: CM from Toronto ... the company is Apple, Inc., the product is iPhone. It's not a Mac. Macintosh is the name of the computer line that Apple produces. Though it began as a computer hardware & software business 30 some odd years ago, Apple has been diversifying it's product line into entertainment and now communication for several years, witness the iPod, iTunes, Apple TV and now the iPhone.

    As far as locking into AT&T, some of the feature set requires carrier-side technology and I'm sure as soon as Apple can find the appropriate telecom partners in various markets it will become much more widely available. I'm also certain that unlocked units will be available from "legitimate" sources before too long as well. Steve Jobs has openly stated that Apple was after it's share of the cell phone market and given his business acumen and the company's unique creative vision it's just a matter of time.

    In the meantime, the early adopters and the hackers do the grunt work of debugging and pushing the limits of the technology. It's all good!
  6. N. Reader from Canada writes: in which case why make the information public at all, maybe the kid isn't so smart after all - no doubt Apple won't be too happy about this as they are probably in negotiations with carriers prior to launching this product worldwide
  7. Jake Richardson from Kingston, Canada writes: The reason it happened this way is that several specific and expensive upgrades were required to make AT&Ts phone network support new features of the iPhone. I feel that it's more than fair for AT&T to try to make a profit of their infrastructure upgrades. It's also important to note that even with this unlock, the only network that will provide all the features of the iPhone is AT&T. The hacked phone on the T-Mobile network cannot be full featured because the required infrastructure is not in place.
  8. Adebisi TheGamer from Canada writes: Heh its no gimmick to make a phone that only works on one network. Every cell phone I have ever owned has been only usable on Bell networks, unless I hack it and unlock it some how.

    Bottom line, people who want an iPhone don't care how long they are locked in to a contract, who they are locked into a contract with, and what it costs up front and over the long haul. They just want their little piece of soon to be obsolete, by trendy technology NOW! NOW NOW NOW!!!!

    It was inevitable someone would unlock this phone, but why? When you buy one you contractually agree NOT to revere engineer or hack the phone in any way. They don't sell you the phone if you don't sign. So the brainiac who hacked this and posted it is now ripe for a law suit. And we all know Apple and AT&T are perfectly willing to sue people.
  9. Don Adams from Canada writes: A number of the reasons given here are why I refuse to use a cell phone. Oh, I have one, a pay as u go, put $ 10 on it whenever we go on a driving trip. Simply insurance. I hate to have people be able to access me at their convenience. My phone is for MY convenience, so, just call me and leave me a message...you can't do that, it wasn't important in the first place. Who REALLY needs a cell phone?
  10. J Patrick from Toronto, Canada writes: old news. there is now a software hack that require no cracking the case, cutting or soldering. see: http://www.engadget.com/2007/08/24/iphone-unlocked-atandt-loses-iphone-exclusivity-august-24-2007/
  11. Jeff Pritchard from Canada writes: Do you think this bothers Apple at all?

    I doubt it. In fact they were probably counting on it.
  12. asm oak bay from Canada writes: hopefully, this kid will be prosecuted and sued. when he gets out of prison the iphone people should hire him.
  13. ghostofpatbuchanen buchanen from Victoria, Canada writes: Yah, I'm sure this 17-year-old kid is worried that Apple will sue him for his collection of Xbox games and Jennifer Lopez posters.
    As for "who needs cellphones," you gotta be kidding.
    On any given day I can talk to clients, potential clients, suppliers, trades, retailers, etc. and never have to drive 10 feet. If I'm at one site I can organize others without having to move. If I had to look for a working home phone or pay phone every time I had to make or take a call, nothing would get done. In fact, I can't imagine how anyone in real estate or construction ever got anything done before cell phones. Even on the domestic front, isn't it better to be able to call your wife and say, "let's meet here for lunch," or "what would you like me to bring home for dinner," rather than reconvening around the home answering machine before venturing out for groceries or a meal?
    Hands down the greatest invention since the desktop computer.
  14. Edwin Longueville from Cavan, Canada writes: Asm Oak bay writes " prosecute and jail" are you a lawyer? hoping to make some money from someone elses ingenuity. applaud the kid for beeing smart and not greedy, i wish we saw more of his kind. I applaud him, and if Apple or A&T sues him, we should see a serious boycott, that is the only thing these greedy companies listen to.
  15. C M from Toronto, Canada writes: Paul Ozarowski from The windy city ..., United States writes - Thanks for the explanation Paul!!
  16. Teacher David from Middle Kingdom, China writes: Took my cheap Nokia to the Nokia Authorized Dealer and they unlocked it for me. Can now buy a SIM card in any country in the world rather than pay the over-priced international roaming fees. First time I used international roaming China Mobile got almost $600 bucks out of me. Ouch. This year my local carrier only got about $100. With most phones the lockup is requested by the carrier not the manufacturer. Keeps customers "loyal". Ok if you never leave your country, however, going international sure saves a lot of money with an unlocked phone... however, think many of the features on the iPhone are specific to iPhone and the carrier so one of the iPhones will never grace my home.
  17. jay bechtloff from Canada writes: K Ordos- buying unlocked phones in Europe costs about 300$ more per phone than the locked versions. You are much better off buying a locked phone then paying someone 20%\$ to unlock it for you. The problem is that in Canada and the US uses CDMA technology and not GSM. With GSM (Rodgers and Fido) you can buy a new sim card and away you go. With Telus and Bell you have a CDMA phone and cannot siwtch to another provider. I think that's hwnat makes it funny about Apple picking AT&T. They picked one of the few companies that uses the worldwide technology and not some CDMA provider which could have containted it.
  18. gord winters from Canada writes: ghostofpatbuchanen buchanen, you are debating don adams and asm oak bay.

    why? one of them doesn't use a cellphone.. except for his cellphone.....
  19. Paul Ozarowski from the windy city ..., United States writes: jay bechtloff from Canada ... in the US T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom) and AT&T are the only national GSM carriers but there are dozens of small, regional ones (http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_us.shtml). Some carriers (T-Mobile for example) will also unlock your phone for free, all you need to do is ask. I'm not sure what Fido or Rogers policy is regarding this but it never hurts to inquire. I've unlocked my last four phones in just this fashion and I always swap out my SIM for a cheap Fido pre-paid SIM when I visit Canada as it beats paying out of country roaming fees, plus you get the benefit of a local number. Also works great in Mexico but the per minute rates there are not nearly as attractive. Apple chose to go GSM as it's the dominant world-wide standard and as such will be easier to roll out globally.
  20. Rocky Balboa from United States writes: There's no reason in theory why a youngster from Waterloo couldn't have "unlocked the iPhone". After all, Waterloo is the home of Research in Motion, which makes the world famous Blackberries. But thanks to Canada's cozy cartel arrangements, the iPhone wasn't even available there. Perhaps, if it had been available on the same basis in Canada that it is in New Jersey, some University of Waterloo professor's 17 year old son could have been the one to get his more than 15 minutes of fame. In a few years, the young man from New Jersey will probably have his own company up and running (think Bill Gates, Michael Dell etc.) There is certainly no shortage of venture capital in the US. Canada will have to be content with a small Canadian sales subsidiary in Mississauga or Markham, that charges high prices to local residents and dutifully sends some tax revenue to Queens park and Ottawa every year. Look in the Toronto area phone books. There are hundreds of Canadian subsidiaries of US companies in the 905 area code, and to a lesser extent in the city itself (416). There probably aren't many Canadian-based companies listed in these directories that export to the US.
  21. Lisa Jones of the Anglo-Celtic nation within a nation from Canada writes: These kids are brilliant, and they are being used by the establishment. My son had some involvement with these 'establishment' sleazes this past year when he and a group of three other computer whiz kids wrote a program for some pretty slick sound wave 'stuff' that totally impressed the sponsor of the competition. The catch? The agreement the 'competitors' signed was that they had to agree to allow the program they created to become 'open source'. All the guys who won (my son's team) got was a jacket (very cool I might add) a moniter and a couple of hundred bucks. The 'establishment' will likely make millions of the software they invented.

    I believe these young computer geniuses need a mentor, a legal mind, who will make sure their best interests are taken care of. If I were a high tech type lawyer, I would want to set up an online shop to counsel some of these kids on spec. Most of them (the kids) are very young. Sure they get scholarships to the best universities, but then the 'establishment' gets ahold of them and chews them up and spits them out. I have no real solutions..... but this young man should have kept his cards close to his heart... for now.
  22. Mike K from Canada writes: Wow, I wish I was that bright at 17, or had the money to play around with a $600 phone trying to hack it. I hope that this kid gets a good university scholarship.

    I was down in NYC last week and played around on the iphone at the Apple Store. It's pretty cool, but not as 'awesome' as I was expecting. My fingers are too big and I was fumbling around with the on screen keyboard. The web feature is nice, but certainly no replacement for a laptop. I can check my e-mail on my crappy little $80 pay as you go FIDO phone...so I don't think that I will be quick to buy one of these phones when they come onto the Canadian market.
  23. D Mores from Canada writes: George Holtz, 17, sounds cool. He even looks like a geek in his picture. Which comes to the question: is this going to raise his popularity in school or with girls?

    Back in my days, guys that looked like that, myself included, were relegated to loser status.

    Some of us never recovered!
  24. Job of the book from Canada writes: Ok, so thank you D Mores for the most unwanted confessoin on this thread. I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that it was a teenager still living with his parents who put an end to a monopoly. Technology... wave to the future.
  25. Lisa Jones of the Anglo-Celtic nation within a nation from Canada writes: To D Mores: This kid would only be relagated to geek loser status in pathetic Canada. Everywhere else in the world he's a God...including in the USA. That's why I took my brilliant son out of Canada. Canadians have a big problem...don't know how to solve it, didn't know how to help my son in Canada, so we left and now he is very happy again in the USA.
  26. Gordon Murray from Canada writes: Funny how the words "hack" and "hacked" seem to move "hacker" from criminal and/or mischievious to almost something noble, rather than a nuisance that's cost to industry.
    "Hey! Look at all that free work input! It can't have been patented because it's counter the rules, right? We simply absorb the information and quickly patent ourselves! There's additionally the free publicity...how we suffer from hackers. Anyone got time to quantify the difference? Not me."

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