updated 02:10 pm EDT, Sat July 28, 2007
iPhone on Telstra
Representing one of the most significant milestones in the race to completely unlock the iPhone, a user has been able to successfully register the device with and make calls on Australia's Telstra network. He's posted a YouTube video demonstration of the semi-unlocked phone in action. The hack was accomplished by modifying the iPhone's default SIM card to be recognized as an AT&T SIM, while actually containing data that allows it to be accepted by Telstra. There are still some significant limitations, however. While the hacked phone can make calls on the Telstra network, it cannot receive them. Also, SMS text messages cannot be sent or received. In the video, ozbimmer demonstrates placing a custom SIM card (that contains data from both the AT&T and Telstra SIM cards) in the iPhone and making a phone call to his voicemail account.
The hack is made possible through the use of iActivator, a Mac OS X program that provides an interface for activating/deactivating your iPhone without invoking an AT&T contract or prepaid plan. The program doesn't unlock the iPhone's SIM, but simply unlocks the functionality of the iPhone so that an AT&T-based activation is not necessary. The tool also has the option to perform a "Jailbreak" on the iPhone, which allows files to be written to the device's filesystem.