Tag Archive for 'sim'

“Unlock” your iPhone with SuperSim

They’ve been making a lot of progress figuring out how to carrier unlock the iPhone. Appareantly they’ve been working on reverse engineering the firmware that controls the core phone functions of the device.

In the meantime, someone has figured out a way to create a hacked SIM that will allow you to use your iPhone with a range of GSM carriers that use a compatible SIM format.

It sounds like a bit of a kludge to me, but hey, if it works, I figured some of you would be interested.

Update 8/21: The iPhone has been fully unlocked, without resorting to this SIM kludge, but there is still some work to do before it becomes practical for the average person.

Using an iPhone with a TMobile SIM: What Works, What Doesn’t

The current iPhone is a GSM device.  TMobile is the only other nationwide GSM carrier in the US, so there are a lot of people holding out hope that the iPhone will work with their TMobile account using their TMobile SIM.

The results aren’t promising, but they aren’t completely discouraging either.   ZDNet did the experiement as part of an iPhone review.  The result?  The phone functions didn’t work, but they could still use the device on WiFi to access the internet, and the iPod functionality still worked.

Over on CrunchGear they document a similar experiment using an unactivated SIM with the same result.  It seems they were following the lead of TUAW.

So, it’s pretty decisive.  You can use the iPhone as a combination of a slick new iPod + internet communicator if you want, but there is still the sticky problem of your AT&T contract, at least until people figure out how to activate the phone without an AT&T account.

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’

iPhone Dissected: unexpected anatomy

As I mentioned before, iFixit.com has documented their successful iPhone Disassembly.

I was suprised to learn that it does in fact have a SIM card, so my previous information was wrong. Hopefully this means that you’ll be able to use your iPhone on another use GSM provider like T-mobile (provided there are other US EDGE providers). I can’t see any justification for keeping the iPhone locked since it isn’t carrier subsidized, other than compatibility issues (visual voicemail, etc)