Unauthorized hacks Apple iPhone’s most revolutionary feature?

“The iPhone’s fantastic user interface is inspiring another consumer-electronics revolution: making people care about cell-phone unlocking. After my clients’ long, successful battle before the U.S. Copyright Office to exempt phone unlocking from the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, have iPhone customers won the freedom to tinker with their cool new handsets? The answer, unfortunately, is that we still don’t know,” Jennifer Granick writes for Wired.

“We won an exemption in November of 2006 that allows you to circumvent digital locks in order to access ‘computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network,'” Granick explains.

“Despite this success, the exemption does not offer blanket protection for phone unlocking, though the practice might be legal for other reasons. The problem is that the exemption protects unlockers, but it doesn’t apply to those entities that distribute unlocking tools or provide unlocking services to others,” Granick writes.

Full article here.


  1. If Apple really supposed third party development (not just Web 2.0 apps), THAT would be the real revolution. Yeah, it’s cute to see some folks hack into it, but what’s the point of making it so difficult? Apple should help developers out and give them an approved method of supporting this fantastic device…

  2. Mike is right! Apple should distribute a good SDK and perhaps even make an approval program that would place a “Apple stamp of approval” on apps that work properly with the iPhone and within the HID specs.

    Let’s see what Leopard brings to the table.

  3. When other cell carriers turned down Apple, AT&T stepped up to the plate and took a risk on a device that they did not even see right away. AT&T invested money into developing Visual Voicemail. It has been clear to everyone from the begining that AT&T was the sole provider for iPhone services.

    So can anyone explain to me why some people think that it is their legal right to have the iPhone do what it was not meant to do.(Work with another carrier) Please please buy another cellphone made by some other manufacturer.
    Thank you….

  4. “So can anyone explain to me why some people think that it is their legal right to have the iPhone do what it was not meant to do”

    Quite right. You must understand things correctly.

    If Microsoft were to prevent the unlocking of Windows Mobile phones, or place other restrictions on how their customers could use a product that they brought, it is proof of their evilness.

    However for Apple to do the same is just a sign of their foresight and vision.

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