iPhone 3G has been unlocked by tech group
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Apple iPhone G3 has been unlocked by a band of ?independent programmers? allowing the owner to use it on unauthorized wireless networks.
Since the original iPhone was launched in June 2007, Apple has struck partnerships with wireless carriers world-wide, such as AT&T Inc. in the U.S. and France Telecdom SA's Orange unit.
Under the agreements, the iPhone can generally be used only by subscribers to those carriers.
A group called the iPhone Dev Team released a free piece of software called 'yellowsn0w' that unlocks the iPhone 3G.
The software lets users reprogram the phones so they can work on any wireless network based on the same technical standard.
The development could lead to a loss in revenue for Apple's wireless partners. International travelers would be able to buy airtime for their iPhones on local wireless networks when they travel abroad, so they don't have to incur steep roaming charges.
An AT&T spokesman said, ?the iPhone is meant to be used exclusively on the AT&T network. Any other use of the device is inappropriate and would void the warranty.?
This indicates that using the iPhone on networks other than AT&T with the ?patch? is not illegal.
Maybe Apple Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs is getting his comeuppance.
Before Apple, Steve Jobs (pictured above) went into business building and selling ?blue boxes? that allowed free illegitimate phone calls by faking the signals used by AT&T.
Jobs once ripped off AT&T and now a group of geeks are ripping off Apple and Apple?s wireless contractor.
What goes around, comes around.