updated 11:00 am EDT, Wed March 24, 2010
Could undo Apple-imposed barrier
A Turkish company claims to have successfully unlocked an iPhone 3G equipped with v3.1.3 firmware as well as modern baseband code. Recent changes to Apple software updates have put a chill on the unlocking scene, as updating to v3.1.3 simultaneously installs the v05.12.01 baseband, which can not only block new unlocks but also wreck previously established ones. Hackers must normally avoid installing the modern baseband to preserve earlier unlocks.
The new solution involves is said to involve flashing baseband back to v04.26.08, currently impossible through software-only means. The Turkish process -- seen below -- in fact involves tearing down an iPhone to gain access to its chips, effectively restricting the option to people willing to pay for third-party technicians.
The claim comes as Apple itself is said to be planning sales of contract-free US iPhones. These would still be locked to AT&T, and cost a minimum of $499, but theoretically make unlocking practical in the States as people would no longer be forced into taking an AT&T plan before leaving a store.