Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Unlocked Apple iPhone

Hey, this is my 400th post to the Antipodes blog!

Ever since its arrival on the US market at the end of June, Apple's iPhone has been associated with a unique phone company: AT&T. Consequently, it has been out of the question for a visitor to purchase an iPhone in the USA and bring it back home to, say, France or Australia. And, as I said in my recent article entitled Apple's iPhone will be Orange in France [display], it appears that France's Orange phone company has been chosen to play the role of the unique iPhone supporter here in France.

Needless to say, over the last two months, the challenge of unlocking the iPhone has preoccupied hackers day and night. A young guy became a celebrity, a few days ago, by announcing that he had succeeded in unlocking his iPhone by means of a hardware approach: that's to say, involving the use of a soldering iron. But, as somebody said, nobody likes the idea of a solution that consists basically of brutally "wreckifying" your precious little gadget in order to unlock it.

The following high-tech website [click the banner] has just revealed that a purely software approach to unlocking the iPhone now exists:

Naturally, people are wondering how Apple and companies such as AT&T and Orange are going to react to this news. A little common-sense reasoning makes it clear that Apple is unlikely to grieve about this unlocking possibility. It was nice for the computer manufacturer to have established juicy exclusive-licensing contracts with the world's great phone companies in order to launch their device, but we should not forget that Apple's main business consists of selling elegant electronic machines... such as the iMac, the iPod and now the iPhone. So, the concept of an unlocked iPhone (unlocked, not by Apple, but by third-party hackers) is obviously great for business, because it will increase the demand for iPhones. So, AT&T and Orange might complain bitterly about the unlocking hack, but I wouldn't be surprised if Apple were to refrain regally from making any comment whatsoever about this news.

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