Brian Braiker in Newsweek:
Hackers around the world had one goal this summer: “Unlock” the iPhone and allow users to ditch AT&T’s exclusive service contract. The glory today goes to George Hotz, a 17-year-old New Jersey tinkerer who logged some 500 hours (and downed a river of energy drinks) to post detailed instructions on his blog on how to liberate an iPhone and operate it on any cellular network. It’s an ingenious and fully functional solution, but be warned. Hotz’s hack requires a soldering gun and some fairly technical know-how. Apple declined to comment.
While Hotz is the hot topic around the Internet watercooler this weekend, other purely software-based hacks were also being unveiled. One group that claims to have broken the chains that bind iPhone owners to AT&T says they have been ordered to cease and desist by the carrier’s lawyers. Uniquephones, a Belfast-based cell phone service that boasts having unlocked phones on more than 600 mobile networks, had been planning to sell its software download online beginning this weekend. The fix is supposed to be as simple as plugging an iPhone into your USB port, downloading a software patch and clicking an “unlock” icon.