Unlock the iPhone
The iPhones were initially only sold on the AT&T network with a Simlock in
place various hackers have found methods to unlock the phone, more recently some
carriers have started to sell unlocked iPhones. But more than a quarter of iPhones
sold in the United States were not registered with AT&T. Apple speculates that
they were likely shipped overseas and "unlocked".
On November 21, 2007, T-Mobile in Germany announced it would sell the phone
"unlocked" and without a T-Mobile contract, caused by a preliminary injunction
against T-Mobile put in place by their competitor Vodafone. In Germany, a
company is not allowed to lock the SIM card to itself. On December 4, 2007, a
German court decided to grant T-Mobile exclusive rights to sell the iPhone with
the SIM card locked, overturning the temporary injunction. In addition, T-Mobile
will unlock the iPhone at the termination of a customer's contract.
The iPhone normally prevents access to its media player and web features unless
it has also been activated as a phone with an authorized carrier. On July 3,
2007, Jon Lech Johansen reported on his blog that he had successfully bypassed
this requirement and unlocked the iPhone's other features with a combination of
custom software and modification of the iTunes binary. He published the software
and offsets for others to use.
According to AT&T, the iPhone 3GS cannot be unlocked, even if you are out of
contract". But on March 26, 2009 AT&T in the United States began selling
the iPhone without a contract, though still SIM-locked to their network. These
iPhone units are often twice as expensive as those with contracts, because Apple
and AT&T lose the deferred income.
Vendors in Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, and Russia sell iPhones not locked
to any carrier and in Australia, all three carriers (Optus, Telstra, and
Vodafone) sell locked phones, but will unlock upon request