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iPhone completely unlocked for Europe?

updated 10:15 am EDT, Mon August 6, 2007

iPhone unlocked in Europe?

Members of a web forum claim to have finally achieved a "full" unlock for the iPhone, making it usable by European owners. Unlike a recent Australian hack, which only allows voice calls dialed from the iPhone's end, the new hack is said to allow all basic functions, including receiving calls, sending SMS messages and streaming data via EDGE. The notable exception is Visual Voicemail, which requires special support from the phone network.

The unlocking process requires a number of steps as well as specific hardware, including a SIM reader/writer, a SilverCard smartcard, and a V1 SIM; it will not work with V2 or V3 SIMs, which have greater security, and prevent the crack software from retrieving the Ki number. Users must further install software such as Jailbreak, and actually cut the SIM down to the necessary shape. The hack will however work on both Mac and Windows systems.

Unlocking the iPhone for other carriers has been a hacker goal since the product debuted, since it normally requires a two-year AT&T contract, and within the United States AT&T will have exclusivity for the next five years. Unlocking phones is also legal in the US and most of Europe, although the necessary measures may invalidate warranties.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. ajhoughton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What's the point

    What's the point? Apple will release iPhone in Europe soon enough anyway, and you won't need to mess about with SIM readers or hacky software. What's more, Visual Voicemail will probably work when iPhone is actually shipped...

  1. ajhoughton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    What's the point

    What's the point? Apple will release iPhone in Europe soon enough anyway, and you won't need to mess about with SIM readers or hacky software. What's more, Visual Voicemail will probably work when iPhone is actually shipped...

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Because

    Because i want to use a $5/year prepaid card, not the $75 / month plan.

  1. MacnTX

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Yeah, but....

    One very bad side effect is that you'll never be able to update the software when Apple adds new features. You know that the next iPhone software update will almost certainly break hacks like these. The last one required a full restore for any phone that had been hacked for example.

  1. bloodshot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    It already work...

    I've been in Europe, mostly Germany, for the last week and basically everything on the iPhone works perfectly. Phone works, data works, visual voicemail works, etc. The only thing that doesn't work is sending SMS messages. Obviously I'm currently roaming, but from a technical perspective the iPhone has absolutely no problems in Europe...

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    yay!

    people who are asking why this is good, here's one answer. it means that if they can simplify this, i can use my iPhone while traveling without having to pay AT&T's roaming prices which quickly skyrocket, especially with data usage. this also means local people i meet can use a local number to get in touch with me while i'm there.

    as for having to restore before doing an update, it's not really that big a deal. restore only takes an additional 15 minutes, mostly depending on how much content needs to be copied back to the iphone. it's totally worth it. and as the article stated, it's not illegal to unlock your own phone, and not only that, i paid full price for my phone (no subsidy) so i should be allowed to do with it as i please.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: what's the point

    What's the point? Apple will release iPhone in Europe soon enough anyway, and you won't need to mess about with SIM readers or hacky software. What's more, Visual Voicemail will probably work when iPhone is actually shipped...

    While it will work in Europe, what type of restrictions and plans will be needed is anyone's guess. On top of that, WHEN will it work in Europe is also anyone's guess.

    And most people probably don't consider visual voice mail the greatest feature of the entire iPhone experience. Of course, if Apple just released their specifications for VVM, then all phone providers could provide the service if they desired, instead of the Apple-blessed company.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: it already worked

    I've been in Europe, mostly Germany, for the last week and basically everything on the iPhone works perfectly. Phone works, data works, visual voicemail works, etc. The only thing that doesn't work is sending SMS messages. Obviously I'm currently roaming, but from a technical perspective the iPhone has absolutely no problems in Europe...

    Sure, it works, but you need to get it in the US, and you're still stuck roaming with AT&T's plan. As was posted by one 'peter bonte', Because i want to use a $5/year prepaid card, not the $75 / month plan.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    geez who's going to do

    all that? a few of us geeks maybe; most normals wouldn't get past step two.

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: what's the point?

    > What's the point? Apple will release iPhone in Europe soon enough anyway.

    Not quite true. Yes, they claim they'll release it in Europe "soon", but I certainly don't judge that to be "soon enough"!

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