Monday, August 27, 2007

Hacking the iPhone

The iPhone is designed to be used only with ATandT cellular service. But with some clever hacks to the iPhone’s software and hardware, Glen Rock New Jersey native George Hotz found a way to make his iPhone work with T-Mobile, since he didn’t want to pay the extra $20/month ATandT charges its iPhone customers and the termination fees that would have been imposed by T-Mobile if he switched.

For George Hotz, iPhone hacking has been good business. He traded his hacked iPhone for a 350Z and three 8GB unhacked iPhones. It takes George 2 hours to unlock an iPhone and he’s been offered hundreds of dollars per phone to do so. But he’s turned down all offers and made the hack public on his web site. And why not? Who thinks it’s OK for the company that makes the cell phone to tell us who we have to use for cellular service? That’s like the TV manufacturer telling us which channels to watch, or like saying we can use cable but not satellite. Can you imagine if Bose radio said OK, you can buy our radio but you can only listen to, say, Fox or ABC? And by the way, it’ll cost you more to get those stations. How did Apple pull this off?

George Hotz spent 500 hours over his summer vacation doing the hack. But Apple Co-Founder and CEO Steve Jobs doesn’t seemed too concerned; he hasn’t yet called or sued George and Apple stock was up $2 on the news. It’s probably just as well. George is just 17 and he’s on his way to college today.

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