iPhone hackers release free AT&T unlock kit

No more contracts: Within three months of its release, the iPhone has been broken away from AT&T's network. Anyone can do it, for free.

By Farhad Manjoo
Published September 12, 2007 4:00PM (UTC)
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Finally, you can unlock your iPhone from AT&T's network using easily available online tools, without having to do any work on the hardware, for free (free as in no money, nada, zip).

The iPhone Dev Team has done it -- the crew of far-flung, IRC-addled teens and oldsters who for 74 days have been hacking away at Apple's AT&T-locked phone are now offering a full suite of software and a guide with which to do the deed. This isn't Lincoln's proclamation, but in certain circles it's huge. It's the only software-only iPhone hack that won't cost you a red dime to use, and it changes everything.


What this means is you can now run your iPhone on any GSM network in the world -- in America, that means T-Mobile; in the rest of the world, it means a lot of companies. It means that a lengthy contract should no longer hinder your purchase of this snazzy phone. If you've had it with AT&T, you can skip out.

One caveat: At the moment, the hack is not braindead easy -- you need to download a few things, do some command line magic, etc. -- but the team is reportedly working on a graphical version that will do all the work for you.

Details are courtesy of Gizmodo and Engadget, which both had the news Tuesday evening. They confirm that the hack works.


Here's an official guide through the unlock. Here's Engadget's nice recounting of how it came about.

And Gizmodo lists the handles of the hackers responsible for this feat: Daeken, Darkmen, guest184, gray, iZsh, pytey, roxfan, Sam, uns, Zappaz, Zf, and Nightwatch.

To thank them, Giz recommends you PayPal some cash over to iphone.devteam@googlemail.com. Good idea: After all, freedom isn't free.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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