updated 11:40 am EDT, Wed August 29, 2007
Uniquephones iPhone unlock
The Belfast, Northern Ireland-based UniquePhones, which specializes in unlocking cellphones for customers, is demonstrating a rough version of its iPhone unlocking software in a new YouTube video. Company founder John McLaughlin is seen taking a new iPhone and synching it with custom software on a PC, and then replacing the original SIM card with one from a Vodafone BlackBerry. This allows him to dial two phonecalls, one to the United States and another to the UK's atomic clock service. Poor focus in the video is attributed to low light and the use of a Nokia N95.
Recently, both UniquePhones and iPhoneSIMfree.com claimed to have achieved software-only unlocking for the iPhone, but only the latter was able to provide a demonstration to the press. UniquePhones has further been threatened with legal action by AT&T, the phone's only official carrier, which has accused UniquePhones of copyright infringement and illegal software dissemination. The company has yet to decide if it will respond to allegations.
Should it be able to surpass legal hurdles, the company's plan is to sell remote software unlocking services, something it already provides in different fashions for phones from LG, Nokia, Motorola and other manufacturers. While unlocking has been legal in much of Europe for some time, it was only made an exception to America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 2006, and then only for a period of three years.