Software Developers Successfully Unlock iPhone

Those waiting for a solution to use the iPhone on a network other than AT&T may have found it: a six-man team of researchers has claimed to crack the SIM lock. This means the iPhone will work on T-Mobile and other GSM carriers overseas.

The crack was produced by iPhoneSIMfree.com, which has invited press organizations to allow the group to unlock their phones for them. Tech Web log Engadget was one of them, and it wrote a post Friday describing the process.

No date for public release has yet been set for the software. However, such an application would likely be well received by those who may want the phone yet balk at the idea of signing a contract with AT&T.

It also appears that Apple was already ready for this eventuality: when unlocked, the phone still will perform as advertised save for visual voicemail. New settings appear which allow the user to select preferred network and EDGE usernames and passwords. All other functions work except for YouTube, which requires some additional work.

In addition, the unlock is upgrade and restore resistant, the group says. If true, this would make it difficult for Apple to retaliate against unlockers by locking them out of their phones.

iPhoneSIMfree.com's solution is much less involved that another method also disclosed on Friday by the Associated Press. In that solution, the phone has to be taken apart and soldered. In all, the process takes about two hours.

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