The software unlock: not a feature you'll likely hear Steve touting at the next MacWorld.
For those who have bought their shiny new iPhones and ditched the sim---and hefty contract---only to find that unlocking solutions aimed at earlier software revisions just didn't work, there is hope. iPhone hacker George Hotz (aka GeoHot) has worked out a way to unlock 1.1.2 and 1.1.3 firmware iPhones via software.
In a posting to his blog
George announced on Friday that the “impossible has been done,
” and claims full credit for the hack. Describing himself as spending much of Thursday “really pissed off,
” George claims that he wanted to direct his anger towards something productive – namely a software-only unlocker for the latest iPhone firmwares.
I don't know what made George so angry, but it must have been quite impressive: it took him a solid 23 hours with only a couple of hour-long breaks in between. It was time well spent, however: after finding an almost identical exploit to the one present in older firmwares but shifted up the memory registers (George wonders if “Apple thought big numbers were harder to guess
”) and working for a solid sixteen hours to find a way to boot his custom code, he'd cracked it.
Users who are running firmware 1.1.2 are advised to seek the 1.1.3 update elsewhere, however: the iPhone Dev Team---not to be confused with the real
Dev Team who work at Apple and are rather unlikely to help you unlock your iPhone---is telling people to use their version of 1.1.3 and not
to update via iTunes. With previous jailbreaks being broken in turn via iTunes-delivered updates this is probably good advice. If your iPhone came as 1.1.3 out of the box, then go ahead and run the unlocker – no problems have been reported.
has a good step-by-step guide to unlocking the handset for those who need a bit of hand-holding when performing operations that have a non-zero possibility of bricking their expensive handsets, or you can go ahead and get the package directly from GeoHot
if you're feeling brave.
Does this make an iPhone more appealing to you, or is that only going to happen if they drop the price like a hot potato? Give us your opinion over in the forums