Teen Hacker Switches iPhone Carriers

Expert coders, solderers can ditch AT&T with procedure
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2007 4:49 PM CDT
(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A 17-year-old New Jersey student has unlocked Apple's previously AT&T-exclusive iPhone, the AP reports, potentially opening the floodgates for users who want to use the vaunted handset with other carriers. Teen hacker George Hotz used a complex combination of software alterations—and hardware soldering—to let his phone onto T-Mobile's network.

The hack, like any cell phone unlocking procedure, is legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and preserves almost all of the iPhone's functions—with the notable exception of its highly touted "visual voicemail" feature. But a rival group has already unveiled an soldering-free software-only unlocking solution which they are preparing to sell to eager dialers here and abroad.