Either ultra-confident in their legal team or just confident altogether, iPhoneSIMfree.com has announced that it will begin offering unlocks of Apple’s iPhone starting September 5th.
According to MacNN, the company won’t sell directly to iPhone owners and will only interact with iPhone resellers. Interested parties can expect to pay US$36 per phone for the first 50 licenses and US$25 per phone for 5,000 or more licenses. The service will have resellers and end users intall a .app file on the iPhone which will connect to iPhoneSIMfree’s back offices to enter information. This application can then be launched via the iPhone’s Wi-Fi feature, thereby completing the unlock.
iPhoneSIMSfree has demonstrated the unlock to CNN, which interviewed software consultant Brett Schulte. The unlock demonstration is said to have only taken about two minutes and allowed Schulte to swap an AT&T SIM card with a T-Mobile card.
Apple has declined to comment.
To date, iPhoneSIMfree has stated that they cannot guarantee that the unlock will remain through future firmware updates released by Apple. The unlock is current through version 1.0.2 of the iPhone firmware, but future updates may circumvent the unlock and return the handset to running exclusively on the AT&T wireless network.
If you have any thoughts or feedback on this, let us know in the comments or forums.
In other news, Ambrosia Software released version 1.0.0 of iToner, its custom ringtone transfer utility for the iPhone.
With iToner, users can drag MP3 or AAC format files onto the iToner application window, click the “Sync” button and port the ringtones to the iPhone. Ambrosia has stated that the ringtones will continue to function even in the face of iPhone firmware updates.
iTones retails for US$15 and is available as a 2.7 megabyte download.
The application is programmed as a Universal Binary and can run at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware. iToner requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later to run.
If you’ve tried the program and have either positive or negative feedback, let us know in the comments or forums.
A six-minute video posted on the iPhone Unlocking blog shows John McLaughlin, founder of Uniquephones, using a software unlock to allow his iPhone to function on the Vodafone wireless network to make two phone calls using the handset.
The video, which was shot using a Nokia N95 cell phone, demonstrates McLaughlin hooking the iPhone to a Windows PC, running a software program, resetting the iPhone twice as part of the process, then hooking it to a Mac, synching it to iTunes, swapping in a Vodafone SIM card and placing two calls.
According to Macworld News, Uniquephones already unlocks phones from several manufacturers, including Nokia and Motorola and cites about 60% of its customers as being in the United States.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, so here’s the YouTube video of the demonstration in action:
McLaughlin had reportedly planned to post his company’s iPhone unlocking method on the iphoneunlocking.com web site last Saturday, but stated that he feared legal action from AT&T Wireless if he posted the software. McLaughlin, having received a phone call at 3:00 AM in Belfast from a representative of O’Melveny & Myers, a law firm acting on AT&T’s behalf, stated that the caller said his company would be distributing and infringing upon the copyright of Apple’s intellectual property should he begin selling the software to iPhone subscribers.
As of Tuesday, McLaughlin has stated that he’s still undecided as to whether he’ll distribute the software, but claims that the video shows the the process is possible.
Got two cents to chip in on this? Let us know over in the comments or forums.
You may love your iPhone, but a surprisingly high number of users are reporting that their handsets are currently offering a shorter-than-previous battery life after installing the recently-released iPhone 1.0.2 firmware update.
According to iPhone Atlas, more than a dozen users have corroborated the issue via a discussion thread on the Apple web site.
Some of the more notable comments include the following:
-‚ÄúBefore the update, there was one time I had 12+ hours of using the iPod with over two days standby. Now after the update, I get about two days standby with 5 hours mixed usage.‚Äù
-‚ÄúIn 1.0.1 I was getting over 2 days standby and 6-7 hrs of misc. use. Now at 1.0.2 I can barely get 6 hrs of use and recharging every day. I‚Äôve tried a deep cycle with no change.‚Äù
Other issues that have emerged appear to include an overly eager battery indicator. In these cases, users have reported the battery indicator suddenly jumping approximately 20% when connected to power, the end result being the user feeling they have a fuller charge than may actually exist.
Some users have reported success in restoring the iPhone by clicking “Restore” under the “Summary” tab and running the process.
If you’ve seen this or anything similar with your iPhone since the 1.0.2 or have ideas for a fix or workaround, let us know in the comments or forums.
It’s been four full days and I find that I am still in an inebriated state when it comes to my new iPhone. Every time I pick it up to make a call, check my schedule or listen to a tune, I can’t seem to put it down. I dare say I have quickly become addicted to my new device. While I will make no claims that it is perfect, it has certainly exceeded many of my expectations.
There is one thing though, that knocks me into sobriety every time I think about it.
Were the hell is the Instant Messenger client?
Seriously, the developers of iChat didn‚Äôt think to include one of their most heavily used Internet applications in their brand-spankin‚Äô-new hand-held Internet device. Hello, who fell asleep in that meeting? While I’m not expecting to see iWeb on the iPhone I was looking forward to iChat.
I know this wasn‚Äôt some hideous blunder- that the iPhone team ran out of white-board space when listing what applications needed to be in the first release. It was obviously left out intentionally- but why? To sell it as an add-on application later; even though it is freely available on every Mac? Or perhaps it was at the influence of AT&T, attempting to gouge iPhone users out of an additional US$20 per month.
Isn’t it enough that AT&T didn’t have to subsidize the phenomenal price of Apple’s initial foray into the mobile phone market? Not to mention the number of new subscribers they must have picked-up as the only service provider offering the most sought-after phone in the history of mobile technology.
Both Apple and AT&T are making a fortune on this partnership. It is not my intention to begrudge them. I’m thrilled with the phones success and with a 55% profit on each unit, the board at Apple could fill the executive conference room with cash following the first few days of sales. Now there’s a party I’d like to be invited to‚Ä¶ tunneling through cash in Cupertino.
So my question is simple: Why? What were they thinking, that we would all be happy with an iChat-esque SMS window? That we would be able to ‚Äúchat‚Äù with friends, family and business associates via SMS and limited to reaching them on their cell phones. Sadly, I don’t have everyone’s cell phone number on my IM list. Even if I did, I wouldn’t put them in a position to pay 10 cents every time I had a quick question for them, with an additional 10 cents for them to reply (and God-forbid if they are roaming).
Over the last four days, I have spent more time emailing and Web browsing from my iPhone then I have my PowerBook. Through my experiences, it is obvious that Apple spent a great deal of time producing some well thought out and amazing smart phone applications. So much so, that I haven’t thought twice about my Treo since I copied over my contacts and put it in my desk drawer. But I’ll give one last shout out to my 650, at least it had true IM functionality. I was always connected, always available, all the time.
Yes, there are Web based IM clients that could be utilized through the Safari mobile browser. While I was thrilled to find them, (gracias Senior O’Grady) using them on the iPhone comes with a number of inherit limitations and so far has proved to be rather clumsy. After using the iPhone web-browser, iPod and numerous widgets like ‚ÄúWeather‚Äù and ‚ÄúStocks‚Äù I’m sure Apple would want iPhone users to have a similar experience when it comes to Instant Messaging. Since Apple doesn‚Äôt seem to want others developing Apps for iPhone- a slick, always available, widget-like Instant Messenger can only come from Jobs and Co.
Personally, I refuse to use SMS as IM, even if you paint the iChat interface over it. And I’m certainly not going to drop another US$20 per month into the bucket so I can pretend to have IM functionality. SMS is not the same; it serves a completely different purpose and it limits ones reach as well as their ability to be reached.
I can only hope that this was a timing issue and that the iChat Widget didn’t make it out of the oven in time to be at the launch party. If that is the case, hopefully that adorable blue chat bubble will appear on my iPhone home screen in the near future, as a software update.
Don‚Äôt get me wrong, there are a number of PDA Apps that seem to have missed the boat. My wife, in particularly would like to see an e-reader. I‚Äôve locked on to IM as I find its absence glaring in such a product.
So yes, I have some issues with my iPhone, but to be honest every time I pick it up, I tend to forget what they were. (until I want to Instant Message someone)
Earlier we brought you the iPhone v N95 Battle Royale – a much fairer fight than battling a recliner couch. This time the Apple iPhone goes up against the reclining mechanism of kwarren‚Äôs couch. And, as we would expect, the iPhone loses‚Ä¶badly.
Apparently, this guy‚Äôs not-even-one-month-old iPhone slipped in between the seat cushions of his reclining couch. Getting up and folding the couch back into it‚Äôs upright position basically caused the steel bits underneath the seat to crunch the iPhone into an unholy mess of glass and metal. (Thanks KennM)
Back when I was 17, I spent my summer vacation working in a Burger King in Fall River, Massachusetts by a 400 degree machine that spat grease and fired compressed, heated steam at my polyester-clad self. It was about then that I realized I never wanted to do this again and that I felt really bad trying to push Disney’s “Pocahontas” merchandise on people.
George Hotz had a different experience. A 17-year-old Glen Rock, New Jersey resident, became the second person to unlock Apple’s iPhone and use it on an alternate wireless network from AT&T, in this case T-Mobile.
According to the Associated Press, Hotz commented that the unlocking takes about two hours and involves an amount of soldering according to his blog.
Hotz was able to confirm the hack by installing a reporter’s SIM card inside the iPhone and placing a call on the T-Mobile network using the reporter’s account.
With regard to instructions for people looking to unlock their own iPhones, Hotz has posted early versions on his blog, but cautions that the hack is complicated, requires skill with both soldering and software and that missteps may render the iPhone useless.
Neither Apple or AT&T have provided comments regarding the unlock and Hotz has stated that neither company has been in touch with him.
Hotz’s hack leaves most of the iPhone’s functions intact, but disables the visual voicemail feature.
Unlocking a cell phone falls into strange legal territory and last year the Library of Congress specifically excluded cell-phone unlocking from the coverage of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Hotz himself stated that he spent about 500 hours on the project since the iPhone became available, working with a wider community over the Internet.
“Some of my friends think I wasted my summer but I think it was worth it,” he told The Record of Bergen County, which reported Hotz’s hack Friday.
Hotz heads for college on Saturday. He plans to major in neuroscience at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
On Friday, South Korean mobile service provider KT Freetel announced that it’s currently in negotiations with Apple to act as an iPhone carrier.
According to CNN Money, the deal, like Apple’s deal with AT&T in America, would provide a contract in which KT Freetel would be the exclusive wireless carrier for the iPhone in the country.
Apple is in simultaneous negotiations with several cell phone carriers in Europe with plans to extend to these markets in the final months of 2007. The company has stated that it plans to bring the phone to Asian markets sometime in 2008.
Got an opinion on this or how Apple should proceed into the Asian markets? Let us know over in the comments or forums.
The iPhone remains unassailably cool these days and a new, playable Nintendo Entertainment System emulator for the device doesn’t hurt either. iPhoneNES, which has been demonstrated as a proof-of-concept, has been updated from version 0.01 to a release candidate and can be downloaded as a binary release or in source code form.
For people looking to get iPhoneNES up and running on their iPhone and load NES ROMs onto the device, Gizmodo has posted a full guide as to how to load the ROMs via FTP of all things.
Keep in mind that a few pieces of software will need to be initially installed, chief among them being the recently-famous Installer.app. A similar set of instructions has also been published via heart attacked’s instructions over at the iPhoneAlley forums.
It’s tinkering and once again, it’s the kind of change that the next iPhone firmware update is going to hate and perhaps wipe out, but it’s still classic Nintendo on your iPhone. That being said, good luck and have at it.
If you have any suggestions or ideas regarding this, let us know in the comments or forums.
In response to customer complaints about excessively long and detailed phone bills, including the infamous YouTube video in which blogger Justine Ezarik received not just a phone bill, but a FedEx package containing a 300 page itemized bill, AT&T has stated that it will remove itemized detailing for future bills.
According to Macworld UK, AT&T sent along the following text message to current iPhone owners: “We are simplifying your paper bill, removing itemized detail. To view all detail, go to att.com/mywireless. Still need full paper bill? Call 611.”
AT&T spokeman Mark Siegel pointed out that the company has always offered a summary bill, although users could choose to hang a line-item bill sent along. A third alternative of a pure online bill has also been offered in which users could view their usage details as well.
The company has stated that it’ll be changing the default billing option for iPhone users. New iPhone users who’d like a detailed paper bill will be charged US$1.99 a month per phone line. Current iPhone users who’d like to make changes to their existing account(s) will be charged US$1.99 for the detailed paper bill after September 28th.
If you’ve seen the text message for the billing change appear on your iPhone or have an opinion or feedback about the situation, let us know in the comments or forums.