AT&T lawyers halt release of iPhone unlocking software

AT&T has taken the fight to iPhone unlocking-for-profit.

Press release via iPhone Unlocking:, a subsidiary of UniquePhones ( was poised and ready to release remote software unlocking services for the iphone today at 12 noon EST. The sale of unlocking codes is on hold after the company received a telephone call from a Menlo Park, California, law firm at approximately 2:54 a.m. this morning (GMT).

After saying they were phoning on behalf of AT&T, the law firm presented issues such as copyright infringement and illegal software dissemination. Uniquephones is taking legal advice to ascertain whether AT&T was sending a warning shot or directly threatening legal action. The logistics of different continents as well as it being a weekend factors into how the situation develops.

Until an assessment is made of the potential of legal action, Uniquephones is unable to release the unlocking software for sale. The company spokesperson also said that the company would also be evaluating what to eventually do with the software should they be legally denied the right to sell it. A substantial delay caused by any legal action would render the unlocking software a less valuable commodity as well as creating unforeseen security issues for the company.



  1. This sounds like a marketing ploy.

    Step one:

    “We are going to release software that will break your exclusive phone…” *waits for a reaction*

    Step two:

    “Well we invested substancial amount of money into this project and expected a hundred billlion dollar return within the first year” *waits for the volly to be returned*

    Step three:

    “Oh yes we will gladly accept your generous offer of 10 million dollars in compensation, the hack is yours. Good day sirs.”

    *dances a jig*

  2. Apple’s setting the Venus FLY trap.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    BIG surprise when folks de-HOOk their iPhone and try and re-sync with all the Apple goodies coming down the road can someone say .. video capture?
    voice recording?

    Folks that mod or mess around with the Iphone .. don’t you think Apple BEFORE the thing was invented even contemplated this scenerio? phone unlocked .. 3rd party app’s flowing left then right?
    Don’t you think they at least PLANNED for that?

    Either way .. unlock or toy or mod your iPhone .. I think .. expect major consequences down the line. Apple’s not stupid. They made the thing in the first place so .. stupid is as stupid does.
    Once the dust has settled they’re going to pull off a sync manuever bigger than the iPhone release itself.

  3. Surely, you knew this was what would happen — AT&T defending its turf. Apple had to know that such a crack would occur and I am sure they have responses in mind. All they need to do is regularly break the crack with new software to make going with cracked iPhones a choice involving periodic uselessness for owners of pirate iPhones.

    But in the end, perhaps years out, the only solution is to untie the handset from exclusive use by one carrier. The whole mobile phone business model is going to change forever. But for now there will be war.

  4. Apple has been going down this road of exclusive one track stuff, such as iChat etc. for some time, not good!

    What happened to the computer “for the rest of us”… now more like for the few of us!

  5. You’re missing the point… Their real potential customers are NOT folks who will pay $ to use the iPhone on T-Mobile in the US, (despite the risk of software updates blocking the hack and losing visual voicemail functionality). Who would be crazy enough to do that ?

    Most of their customers would be non-US users who want the iPhone so bad they can’t wait for it to arrive in Asia, Europe, Canada… very few can afford the AT&T roaming fees for daily use abroad, so unlocking is the only option !

    A friend of mine from Toronto bought the iPhone in Buffalo when it came out. Roaming is incredibly expensive so for now he only uses it for Music, Movies and Wifi. He has another phone (with Rogers) in his other pocket.
    When the hack becomes available, he won’t think twice. He’ll just swap the SIM and get rid of the old phone.

  6. Can someone explain please (I don’t know the answer as I don’t personally own an iPhone and haven’t read the contract):

    Unless the contract with AT&T specifies that AT&T owns the iPhone, or part of its value, till the end of the contract, then the person buying the iPhone owns it. Right?

    If that is the case, an iPhone owner should have the right to do with it what they wish, and that includes unlocking it.

    Furthermore, if the person who just bought the iPhone never signed such a contract with AT&T, then there is no legal case to start with.

    Should this company sell unlocking software, it seems to me that it would be doing something perfectly legal. In fact, such software has been around for all other handsets for quite sometime now. However, some contracts specify co-ownership of the handset for the duration of the contract. On the other hand, pay-as-you-go usage does not, and the phone is yours to do what you will.

  7. and say it was a Windows virus that caused the accidental upload

    …or just accidentally leave it on a stock, unsecured Windows PC with a broadband connection. For good measure, use the same PC to talk about it online (gotta love those key loggers).

    The rest will take care of itself.

  8. The iphone is a nice product. It molds many different devices into one easy to use understandable device. It’s not revolutionary, THE IPOD WAS. Apple has made millions of dollars off of illegal downloading. The Itunes store was a way to legitimize their device for the mainstream. Apple does not make any money off of the Itunes store. The iphone is different. It’s a portable mac. Apple has much to gain off of this device. But I did not buy one because it is not on the faster networks. We all know apple will come out with a better version with the faster 3G networks. I will wait for version 2.0.

    Hacking the device is a waste of time because Apple has excellent coders who will squash this hack in 10 minutes…

  9. BIG surprise when folks de-HOOk their iPhone and try and re-sync with all the Apple goodies coming down the road

    Apple wouldn’t be evil enough to, say, have the iPhone track whose network it uses, would they?

    What if a hacked iPhone just happens to stop working after a while? What if it does that AND sets a little flag that voids your warranty? What if your friendly Apple Store refuses to do any repairs on a hacked phone?

    Sorry for the FUD, but with the auto-update “feature”, you have to wonder what else is going on behind the scenes.

  10. “I’m not going to be paying $600 for a device and then subject it to all sorts of potentially damaging and counter-productive hacking and other forms of messing around.”

    And that’s fine if you don’t want to do that, but why should you care if somebody else wants to?

    My bet is this, when you buy the boxed phone from Apple, at that point you have no contract with AT&T unless you try to activate the phone with them. Under US law you are specifically allowed to modify copyrighted phone software to allow it to work with another network. Further unless the terms of your purchase of the phone from Apple state that you must use it with AT&T, Apple have no way of enforcing that legally either. Activate it with somebody else, tough luck AT&T.

  11. “Activate it with somebody else, tough luck AT&T”

    you don’t really understand. apple has an agreement with AT
    @T. which means that any hack will be taken care of, I know they will because i’m in the know…

    good luck. and to actually pay to get a hack is funny, most if not 98 percent of hacks are free.

  12. “you don’t really understand. apple has an agreement with AT
    @T. which means that any hack will be taken care of, I know they will because i’m in the know…”

    And then it will be re-hacked. Just how many battles between hackers and those trying to stop them have you been involved in?

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