Earlier this week, the iPhone Dev Wiki found a way to partially unlock Apple's iPhone so that you can make calls using any AT&T or Cingular SIM card.
Apple's iPhone is probably the most-discussed piece of technology in 2007 but unfortunately it's not as accessible as many would have hoped. Firstly, it's not available outside of America at the moment because it's currently locked to the AT&T network and secondly, In order to use the device properly, you have to sign up for a two year activation contract with AT&T if you want to use the device.
Using an application called iASign, the group of hackers has been able to unlock
the iPhone's firmware so that you can use any existing Cingular or AT&T SIM card. This can either be from a current contract or on a pre-paid pay-as-you-go package.
This also means that it's now possible to use an iPhone on a corporate contract, which are often 10 to 20 percent cheaper than the standard tariffs - something that isn't available if you go down the traditional route.
The iPhone Dev Wiki has also confirmed that the hack works on virtual operators, like 7-11 wireless, too and added that the group is not even close to giving up on fully unlocking the iPhone. "We're still up and running, but we won't comment on a possible time line. If the unlocking is possible we'll eventually find it, so stay tuned," said the Wiki.
For those of you thinking about buying an iPhone and unfortunately turned off by the two-year tie-in, there are 18 steps to hacking the iPhone to accept other SIM cards here
. In order to successfully unlock your phone, you'll need iTunes and an Intel-based Mac.
Have you already bought an iPhone, or are you put off by the two-year AT&T contract? Will this change your mind? Let us know in the forums