updated 08:30 pm EDT, Mon October 22, 2007
250k iPhones for unlockers
Apple estimates that 250,000 iPhones were sold to people who had the intention of unlocking the mobile handsets so that they could be used with wireless providers other than AT&T, with which the iPhone is locked into a multi-year exclusive contract. The estimate came from Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook during Apple' fourth quarter earnings conference call, where the firm also revealed that it had sold about 1.4 million iPhones to date. On October 17th, hackers posted a working iPhone unlock for Apple's latest revision -- iPhone Update 1.1.1.
The talented individuals have created a means of once again removing the iPhone's dependence upon Apple's exclusive cellular carrier, AT&T, by enabling the device to work with any SIM card -- the small storage medium that retains all the data of a particular wireless subscriber. The latest unlocking method comes after slew of curious iPhone owners set out to obtain read and write file access to the devices, while some reached a further goal of unlocking the handset for use with non-AT&T cellular service.
In late September, Apple issued a warning to iPhone owners about unlocking their phones and then released an update that removed filesystem access and disabled most hacked devices, effectively 'bricking' affected iPhones or rendering them useless.