Tag Archive for 'GSM'

iPhone 4s CDMA Unlock Status

The latest iPhone 4s is a single hardware platform that works with GSM carriers like AT&T, and CDMA carriers like Verizon and Sprint in the USA.  Unfortunately, you have to decide which carrier you want to work with when you buy the phone.  How long will it be until an unlock is available for these devices that allows you to switch between any GSM or CDMA carrier?

If you have any insights, please leave a comment!

A 3G European iPhone, and What it Might Mean for the US

I’ve written a story for iPhone Unlocked about what Apple’s choice of European carrier will mean for iPhone users in the US. The bottom line:

  • European iPhones are due within 6 months
  • European iPhone will almost certainly be 3G
  • European iPhone will not be tied to carriers due to laws about offering unlocking for a reasonable fee

Read the full article for more analysis.
On a related note, Crave UK considers which UK carrier has the best shot at the iPhone.

O2 in the UK iPhone Update

Earlier we reported the rumor that O2 beat out Vodafone for the right to distribute the iPhone in the UK, now other publications are carrying the story.

The Financial Times also indicates that O2 has prevailed over Vodafone and suggests that the UK iPhone will also be a 2.5G phone like the US model. Ireland’s Silicon Republic suggest that the European iPhone will indeed be a 3G device. Vodafone has an extensive 3G network, but it may be that Apple is using the same strategy in Europe as they did in the US, when they partnered with also-ran AT&T/Cingular. Partnering with a 2nd or 3rd place carrier gives Apple more leverage, and, if the partnership is successful, puts them in a very strong position for dealing with other carriers.

European iPhone Progress, Thanks to “DVD Jon” at iPhone Unlocked

Major progress has been made at Unlocking the iPhone that may lead to being able to use it on global cellular networks.  It may be a while before this makes a big difference for Eurpoe though, because the iPhone relies on the primitive EDGE network for mobile internet connectivity when a WiFi connection isn’t available; there are no major Euoropean EDGE networks.

iPhone Unlocking Progress, Thanks to “DVD Jon” at iPhone Unlocked
Jon Lech Johansen, who was the first person to crack DVD encryption, has released a Windows utility called the “iPhone Activation Server,” that allows you to activate your phone without iTunes, AT&T or a credit card.

The major caveat is that an iPhone activated this way isn’t really a phone. The iPod and WiFi work, but you can’t stick in a Tmobile SIM and use it on their network. At least not yet.

iPhone: locked up tight, not that it matters right now

Update 8/21: The iphone has been fully unlocked, but there is still some work to do before it becomes practical

Original Post:

The iPhone is currently locked up tight, which means that people are stuck with using it on AT&T’s network. However, even if someone clever found a way to unlock them, you still wouldn’t be able to get the full iPhone experience. I wrote about this in my very first entry, but it’s aged off the front page, so I guess it’s time for an update with a few more details.

  • First off, it’s only a GSM/EDGE phone. In the US, I’m pretty sure that means that tMobile is your only possible option (other than some regional GSM providers). No chance to use Verizon or Sprint.
  • Second, because it’s a US phone, you won’t have much luck with it in Europe. even though GSM is prevelant there because they use different transmission frequencies. Also, Europe pretty much skipped over EDGE for real 3G datarates. (Update: the iPhone is quad-band, so frequencies shouldn’t be an issue).
  • Third, some of the phone features, the Visual Voicemail and Push IMAP in particular, are dependent on new, non-standard, cellular infrastructure. Also, some people have suggested that unlocked phones, in the US, at least, are denied access to a carriers mobile data infrastructure, which would pretty much make the iPhone suck, unless you had a usable WiFi signal.

That does still leave you with the internet features, but only in theory, because, once again, the iPhone isn’t unlocked, and probably won’t be anytime soon, though some people are holding out hope.

This blog is optimistically dedicated to the time when the iPhone is fully unlocked so it can be used in full featured form with a range of carriers, and so 3rd party developers can create installable apps.

Note: Some people are selling “unlocked iphones,” but all they really mean is that it doesn’t have a service plan yet. Big deal, since you only have one choice for service right now (and probably for the next 6 months, at least), and that is AT&T.

Continue reading ‘iPhone: locked up tight, not that it matters right now’