What's that gentle whirring noise we can hear coming from Cupertino? Could it be the unraveling of Apple's carefully crafted iPhone business plan? Well maybe, just maybe, if teenage hacker George Hotz' crafty modifications catch on. George announced Friday that he has developed the first iPhone hack that unlocks the device from the AT&T network. Specifically it allows users to place calls across rival T-Mobile's network and, potentially, to select other network operators overseas. As PC World reported:
"One blogger, George Hotz, on Friday posted a step-by-step tutorial for unlocking the iPhone that involves both hardware and software modifications. His blog also includes photos of an iPhone he said is unlocked and shows T-Mobile USA as the service provider. "
Not content with this one, small step, other hackers have immediately jumped into the fray. Sneaky Business, through our technology advisory board, has learned of at least three additional hacks that could further revolutionize the usefulness of Apple's svelte device:
- Hacker diretribe's mods: Will allow the iPhone to function on at least fifteen cellular network, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and New Brunswick Cellular. Diretribe admits that the hack requires a certain amount of skill, but should prove popular for those looking to roam freely. "You'll need to replace the motherboard, screen, casing and OS. But anyone experienced in advanced microelectronics should be able to accomplish this in around eighteen straight hours."
- PiratePalooza's steampunk iPhone: Hot on the heels of potential PC industry steampunk interest comes a delightful rendition of the iPhone from PiratePalooza. According to the creator, "rPhone combines three delightfully diverse products into one awkward and cumbersome handheld contraption -- a revolutionary steam-powered satellite phone, a stylish French musicbox, and a vibrasonic multi-purpose tool that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a Sonic Screwdriver."
- Steve Pendleton's hack: Released on Sunday is said to allow the iPhone to play non-iTunes content, and to wirelessly share snippets of content with nearby users. Requires replacing the case, motherboard and memory with all major components from a Zune device. "Don't even think about calling it a ZunePhone" says Pendleton on his blog.