updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon September 3, 2007
Famous as one of the first groups to claim a software unlock for the iPhone, iPhoneSIMfree.com now says it will begin sales of an unlocking service on September 4th. Instead of selling directly to iPhone owners however, the company will only interact with resellers, charing $36 per phone for 50 licenses, or as far as $25 per phone for 5,000 or more licenses. The service will require resellers or end users to install a .APP file on an iPhone, at which point the reseller must connect to iPhoneSIMfree's back office to enter information. The .APP can then be launched via the iPhone's Wi-Fi, finally executing the unlock.
Bolstering claims, CNN has interviewed Brett Schulte, a software consultant who demonstrated the unlock to the news organization. The operation is said to have taken only two minutes, and allowed Schulte to replace an AT&T SIM card with one from T-Mobile. When contacted for a response, Apple representative Jennifer Bowcock declined to comment.
Critically, iPhoneSIMfree cannot guarantee that the unlock will hold through future firmware updates by Apple. The unlock is effective with current versions of the iPhone through to v1.02, but Apple may attempt to disable software unlocks to preserve AT&T's five-year US exclusive, or simply break the iPhoneSIMfree technique by accident. In either case, the company will attempt to provide an update to resellers if possible.