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MacRumors
Aug 27, 2007, 08:17 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Last week a number of iPhone unlocking claims were made by different individuals with one confirmed success (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/24/fully-sim-unlocked-iphones/). A second company (iPhoneUnlocking) also announced they had a software-only solution, but according to a press release (http://blog.iphoneunlocking.com/?p=15), they claim to have been contacted by AT&T's law firm to prevent the release of their unlocking service.

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.

The original iPhone unlocking site (iPhoneSimFree.com (http://www.iphonesimfree.com/)) has not revealed if they have been similarly approached by AT&T.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/27/atandt-taking-action-against-iphone-unlocks/)



thisonechance
Aug 27, 2007, 08:22 AM
I have a feeling this will gather quite a few negatives. So many were excited about the unlocking.

macses
Aug 27, 2007, 08:23 AM
well, I'm just about to order an iPhone. I hope this software will come out soon.

a Belgian iPhone fan

88Keys
Aug 27, 2007, 08:23 AM
AT&T has already lost this battle. Just a matter of time before the software is released in the wild for free.

combatcolin
Aug 27, 2007, 08:24 AM
I supposed its been mentioned before, but all mobile phones in the UK are "unlocked" so you can bung in any SIM card of your choice.

I wonder how well the iPhone will do in the UK if it has a straitjacket deal attached to it.

Early adoptors eh?, i used to be one of them. :rolleyes:

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 08:24 AM
Am I surprised?

I supposed its been mentioned before, but all mobile phones in the UK are "unlocked" so you can bung in any SIM card of your choice.

Are you sure about that?

jsnyd05
Aug 27, 2007, 08:26 AM
Good ole att throwing that legal muscle around

PlaceofDis
Aug 27, 2007, 08:26 AM
not surprising at all.
wonder what Apple's stance on this is?
i think AT&T is betting on and holding onto the iPhone quite a bit. they've done a lot to make it work, and obviously don't want to lose it.

the vj
Aug 27, 2007, 08:27 AM
I believe ATT has nothing to do there unless they pay big $$$ to keep those softwares locked. I mean, is reverse ingeneering and you can not do anything about that. It sucks (for them) but it is not ilegal.

Despite, what if I want to use a phone in a country where ATT has no offices? I can call that discriminatory if the case.

DTphonehome
Aug 27, 2007, 08:29 AM
Why can't Apple just cripple the unlock in one of their frequent software updates?

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 08:29 AM
wonder what Apple's stance on this is?

Apart from the loss of visual voicemail, which I think Apple won't like (ie. reduced function damaging the user experience), this kind of plays into Apple's hands in some respects.

It dramatically increases the market for the device for one.

dave491
Aug 27, 2007, 08:33 AM
Just out of curiosity (and a large portion of ignorance) ("Dammit, Jim, I'm a designer not an attorney!"), what's the legal grounds that AT&T has for stopping the software from being distributed? Altering hardware that's your own property doesn't seem actionable. (at least to me, but I'm no expert...)

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 08:36 AM
I believe ATT has nothing to do there unless they pay big $$$ to keep those softwares locked. I mean, is reverse ingeneering and you can not do anything about that. It sucks (for them) but it is not ilegal.

WHat does the DMCA say about that situation?

iShak
Aug 27, 2007, 08:36 AM
AT&T spent a lot of time and money in negotiations with Apple to obtain this exclusivity, they even changed their network setup to cater for the visual voicemail, so in a way they have every right to defend themselves against any software that would damage their profits, it is a business after all!

The law does provide iPhones owners the right to unlock their phones for 'personal use only' but lets face it, the people outside USA will be the first ones to take advantage of such unlocks before any existing iPhone owners within USA, but like many have said already, I doubt if AT&T would be able to maintain iPhone exclusivity for long now, its just a matter of time before crack is released in the wild for free.

Now the only way to keep the existing customers locked to their network is to to provide them with incentives that other networks can't, price cuts, freebies, better support etc. hope they realize this soon and stop this frenzied/crazy use of legal paper against small time companies ...

macintel4me
Aug 27, 2007, 08:37 AM
Ok, they hired some high-priced local attorney to see if they can fight AT&T's legal team. Ummm...despite the local attorney's opinion, the answer is no. Resistence is futile. Make some/all of it open source and make money on the fame of this case through above-board services.

Anyone who thinks that they could make a buck on this type of venture, even if it's 100% legal, is kidding themselves.

shov
Aug 27, 2007, 08:37 AM
phones in the uk have to be unlocked at the customer's request at the end of the contract period. still doesn't stop 3 charging £15 and being awkward about unlocking my housemate's old phone so i can use it...

i reckon a lot of initial features were disabled in the iphone partly because they weren't ready but also so they could be added at later software updates. these later software updates would re-lock any unlocked phone, so people with unlocked phones could choose to keep them unlocked but miss out on some features (cut n paste, mms, video).

TheChillPill
Aug 27, 2007, 08:38 AM
I supposed its been mentioned before, but all mobile phones in the UK are "unlocked" so you can bung in any SIM card of your choice.

No, they're not. If you buy on a contract, they are almost always locked (with a few exceptions). However, with most handsets you do have the option to buy it 'sim free' - though obviously at significant expense.

jersey
Aug 27, 2007, 08:39 AM
AT&T has brought this on themselves. There is no one else to blame. We, as consumers, are allowed to unlock our mobiles hones as per the DMCA exception #6. Previously, AT&T has unlocked your phone after 90 days in contract or if you requested an unlock for overseas travel. However they are not maintaining this policy for the iphone.

The DMCA states that the consumers are allowed to unlock phones, but not using software to bypass security in place on the phones, which means we have to ask for the unlock codes from our carrier. However if the carrier is unwilling to provide said code, what is the consumer supposed to do?

Furthermore, a phone is locked to a network because it was purchased with subsidy from a specific carrier. The lock helps ensure the carrier profits from the sale of the subsidized phone with a calling contract. Our phones were bought without subsidy. We paid full retail value for the phone, and should be given unlock codes at the moment we ask.

In an ideal situation, the phones comes unlocked in the box, and you are warned that if you want to use all the features the phone has, you need to use XXX carrier, if you choose another carrier, functionality may be limited. But this isn't the case.

AT&T should be warned, a very winnable class action over this issue, will be coming. And soon.

Live by the DMCA, die by the DMCA.

achbed
Aug 27, 2007, 08:40 AM
Yes, I thought you could. Everyone repeat after me: DMCA - I Can't Touch Anything Anymore (even if I paid big bucks for it).

jdechko
Aug 27, 2007, 08:40 AM
According to this (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/23/business/NA_TEC_US_Digital_Copyright.php), AT&T doesn't have a leg to stand on, if I'm reading/applying this correctly. And it's been mentioned before that Apple could really care less as an unlocked iPhone means more sales for them.

In granting the exemption for cell phone users, the Copyright Office determined that consumers are not able to enjoy full legal use of their handsets because of software locks that wireless providers have been placing to control access to phones' underlying programs.

Providers of prepaid phone services, in particular, have been trying to stop entrepreneurs from buying subsidized handsets to resell at a profit. But even customers of regular plans generally cannot bring their phones to another carrier, even after their contracts run out.

Billington noted that at least one company has filed lawsuits claiming that breaking the software locks violates copyright law, which makes it illegal for people to circumvent copy-protection technologies without an exemption from the Copyright Office. He said the locks appeared in place not to protect the developer of the cell phone software but for third-party interests.

Officials with the industry group CTIA-The Wireless Association did not return phone calls for comment Wednesday.

Maybe that was AT&T?

alexeismertin
Aug 27, 2007, 08:40 AM
..... but all mobile phones in the UK are "unlocked" so you can bung in any SIM card of your choice.

Almost all phones in the UK are 'locked' to their respective networks, it costs about £10 from third parties to unlock them. O2 are a bit more relaxed (can't be bothered) to lock their contract phones although their pay-as-you-go ones are mostly locked. In addition to the locking, they use heavily branded software & print their logo's permanently on the handset.

I think that the mobile companies do offer an (albeit expensive) unlocking subsidy code to allow you to use your phone abroad.

juanm
Aug 27, 2007, 08:41 AM
Apart from the loss of visual voicemail, which I think Apple won't like (ie. reduced function damaging the user experience), this kind of plays into Apple's hands in some respects.

It dramatically increases the market for the device for one.

But on the other hand, it gives Apple much ground to get a deal with mobile carriers.

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 08:45 AM
phones in the uk have to be unlocked at the customer's request at the end of the contract period. still doesn't stop 3 charging £15 and being awkward about unlocking my housemate's old phone so i can use it...

True in many cases, but they can be unlocked in shops in many city centres.

You can also buy unlocked handsets directly from the manufacturer.

mkrishnan
Aug 27, 2007, 08:45 AM
Anyway, the DMCA doesn't apply here, as it deals with breaking/cracking/reverse engineering encryption mechanisms. This is different.

Actually, the DMCA would appear to apply (have applied), otherwise, why was an exemption issued for unlocking cell phones?

I think there is some murk to the issue. Other analysts have argued that there may be a grey area here, where a consumer is exempted from unlocking their phone, but a company is not exempted from selling unlocking software. Hopefully that interpretation does not hold up, but the iPhone is probably more likely than any other to be a test case. :(

Also, PS, if there are no locked phones in the UK, why are there so many unlocking services doing storefront business in the UK? :rolleyes:

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 08:47 AM
Also, PS, if there are no locked phones in the UK, why are there so many unlocking services doing storefront business in the UK? :rolleyes:

Many phones are not locked - it depends on the network. O2 and Vodafone never used to lock the handsets, but some are.

Phones bought directly from the manufacturer are unlocked.

Macula
Aug 27, 2007, 08:50 AM
Apologies for the sidewalk philosophy, but we should remember that fairness and legality do not always coincide.

jdechko
Aug 27, 2007, 08:51 AM
Actually, the DMCA would appear to apply (have applied), otherwise, why was an exemption issued for unlocking cell phones?

I think there is some murk to the issue. Other analysts have argued that there may be a grey area here, where a consumer is exempted from unlocking their phone, but a company is not exempted from selling unlocking software. Hopefully that interpretation does not hold up, but the iPhone is probably more likely than any other to be a test case. :(

Also, PS, if there are no locked phones in the UK, why are there so many unlocking services doing storefront business in the UK? :rolleyes:

Well, I edited my post already, because the DMCA probably covers more than just encryption. I'm just not familiar with it. Anyway, there is copyright protection outside of the DMCA, and the article that I linked to didn't specifically mention the DMCA, just copyright (in general, I assumed).

macses
Aug 27, 2007, 08:54 AM
www.iphoneunlocking.com

Monday 27th August 2007 @ 2:15pm
August 27th, 2007
Due to overwhelming response and comments, we have decided to suspend additions to our email mailing list for the moment.

The past few hours have presented incredible changes which we are addressing.


Over the next few days, you can expect a clear response, and you will get what you are looking for too.



Also, would the OMM lawyer who phoned us, please call back today. We have a few questions now that we’re awake.

macFanDave
Aug 27, 2007, 08:54 AM
AT&T has an obligation to its shareholders to enforce its agreements. Apple felt that it had to share the risk of introducing the iPhone by getting AT&T involved. Unfortunately, for Apple to be able to reduce their risk, they agreed to terms with AT&T are anti-consumer, as far as I am concerned.

I still can't understand why we have to oblige ourselves to a two-year contract AND have to pay full-price for the phone. If AT&T is getting two-years of guaranteed income from me, the least I should get in return is a discount on the equipment.

I'd love an unlocked phone, and if I paid the full price for it, I would like the right to switch carriers on a month-to-month basis so I can always be free to get the best deal for MY phone (not my rented equipment). That said, these hacks are undoubtedly illegal and AT&T would be negligent if they did not enforce the agreements they entered into.

phatspider
Aug 27, 2007, 08:55 AM
A view shared by a lot of people, and me, is that this Irish lot never actually had the unlock solution and were hoping to make a quick buck from someone else solution. But when that wasnt forthcoming, they made up some cock and bull about the legal threat

If it is true, why have engadget and iphonesimfree.com not had approaches from this mystery law firm

eastcoastsurfer
Aug 27, 2007, 08:55 AM
AT&T spent a lot of time and money in negotiations with Apple to obtain this exclusivity, they even changed their network setup to cater for the visual voicemail, so in a way they have every right to defend themselves against any software that would damage their profits, it is a business after all!


The problem is that if I purchases a piece of hardware I should be able to do anything I want with it. If I want to throw my iPhone out of the window, hit it with hammer, or frame it and hang it on my wall no one should be able to stop me. If I want to change the software on a piece of hardware that I *own* then I should be able to.

If ATT/Apple wants to keep the iPhone locked down then they should lease them like the cable companies do with their cable boxes. I purchase an ATT phone plan and get an iPhone lease for another $5/month or something. When my contract expires I have to turn the phone back in or get charged. The way it currently works is that ATT/Apple wants to eat their cake and have it to by selling you ownership of the hardware with none of the rights that ownership implies.

Rooskibar03
Aug 27, 2007, 08:59 AM
Furthermore, a phone is locked to a network because it was purchased with subsidy from a specific carrier. The lock helps ensure the carrier profits from the sale of the subsidized phone with a calling contract. Our phones were bought without subsidy. We paid full retail value for the phone, and should be given unlock codes at the moment we ask.


Live by the DMCA, die by the DMCA.

You bought the UNSUBSIDIZED phone knowing full well in order to use it you had to enter into a contract.

I'm baffled by the folks who assume that just because you enter into a two year contract you are entitled to something fee or discounted.

When you signed your first least, did you do so expecting cheaper rent or a fee month now and then? When you signed up for a 3 year car lease, did you get a lower price on the car?

NO, a contract and a subsidy do know go hand in hand, get over it.

peharri
Aug 27, 2007, 09:00 AM
There never was a good reason to lock the iPhone to AT&T.

So far as I can determine, the only feature the iPhone has that relies upon network upgrades is "Visual Voicemail", something of dubious usefulness that, in any case, could be implemented by any operator that wants to in a backward compatible way simply by using MMS the way it was intended.

The result of locking iPhone has been to put a sword right through Apple's "It just works" ethos. I remember as far back as the eighties seeing an ad describing the difference between Windows and Macintosh in terms of how something works. The ad walked the viewer through the easy steps needed to install a printer under Windows. (eg: Plug printer in, get printer driver disk, click on "Setup.exe", you're done) and then compared it to the Mac equivalent (Plug in printer, you're done.)

Now compare "Setting up an iPhone" vs "Setting up every other GSM phone in existence."

Every other GSM phone in existence:

1. Remove SIM card from old phone.
2. Plug SIM card into new phone
3. You're done.

iPhone:

1. Ensure you're sitting in front of an IBM PC clone or Macintosh running either Windows XP SP2 or greater, or Mac OS X 10.4.9 or better.
2. Connect to Internet.
3. Install iTunes, or update it to iTunes 7.1 if already installed.
4. Plug phone into computer.
5. Run iTunes
6. Select "Activate iPhone"
7. Type in the phone number of your existing cellphone account
8. Select plan
9. Wait for phone to activate
10. Discard old SIM card from older phone. Contact older cellular carrier to close account if your old account was not AT&T.

It just works my ass. That's ten steps, and some of those "steps" are actually multiple steps in practice. For all the iPhone's "user friendliness" I'd never recommend one to my mother.

How on Earth did Apple get into this mess? Because it wanted to advertise a price of $600 for the iPhone vs around $700 as it would have done otherwise? Because it wanted the phone available at AT&T stores where the entirely clued up professionals mobile phone salespeople are known to be would have carefully counseled potential buyers? Because the quality of AT&T's hacked together GSM grafted onto an old AMPS/D-AMPS network would have been superior in all areas to rival GSM operator's like T-Mobile, Suncom, et al, to the point that nobody in their right mind would have wanted to use the iPhone with a clean, well built, GSM from the ground up, network like T-Mobile's.

Maybe Apple is just full of Verizon customers, and they think being ripped by a network operator is somehow what everyone wants.

Not that there's anything anyone can do about this now, of course.

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 09:00 AM
According to this (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/11/23/business/NA_TEC_US_Digital_Copyright.php), AT&T doesn't have a leg to stand on, if I'm reading/applying this correctly. And it's been mentioned before that Apple could really care less as an unlocked iPhone means more sales for them.

I think you'll find that they "couldn't" care less. I am sure they really don't give a damn. I think AT&T could care a hell of a lot less - this could cripple them.

Apple should have sold this phone in Apple stores. Plug in a SIM card and you're done. Stuff the visual voicemail. If this phone was £300 ($600) in the apple store, and you only needed to plug in the SIM from your current phone - they would be sold out for years. Everyone would have one. A 2 year plan with a company is not ideal.

mpw
Aug 27, 2007, 09:02 AM
Apart from the loss of visual voicemail, which I think Apple won't like (ie. reduced function damaging the user experience), this kind of plays into Apple's hands in some respects.

It dramatically increases the market for the device for one.
Depends how much they're making from their cut of the usage fees of AT&T customers I guess.

Taylor C
Aug 27, 2007, 09:06 AM
This is why taking a commercial approach to this problem just won't work. Not necessarily Apple but definitely AT&T will do everything they can to prolong iPhone exclusivity, just because of the nature of their agreement with Apple.

daveschroeder
Aug 27, 2007, 09:06 AM
WHat does the DMCA say about that situation?

...specifically that cell phone unlocking is legal (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061124-8280.html).

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 09:09 AM
Apple should have sold this phone in Apple stores. Plug in a SIM card and you're done. Stuff the visual voicemail. If this phone was £300 ($600) in the apple store, and you only needed to plug in the SIM from your current phone - they would be sold out for years. Everyone would have one. A 2 year plan with a company is not ideal.

Agreed, except Apple seem to have convinced AT&T to sort out sane data plans. At least that's the way it looks from here (the UK doesn't have many sane data rates/plans).

Getting the data charging sorted out is a key factor in getting this data-centric device accepted a sa step above the rest of the mobile phone world (it's actually a communicator rather than a phone....well almost).

Taylor C
Aug 27, 2007, 09:09 AM
Unless your contract is up, ans you would like to take your phone to another carrier. This, of course, doesnt apply to any iPhone owner... Yet.

bdj21ya
Aug 27, 2007, 09:10 AM
A view shared by a lot of people, and me, is that this Irish lot never actually had the unlock solution and were hoping to make a quick buck from someone else solution. But when that wasnt forthcoming, they made up some cock and bull about the legal threat

If it is true, why have engadget and iphonesimfree.com not had approaches from this mystery law firm

Yeah, I'd have to agree that their story sounds more than a bit fishy. Why would AT&T seek help from a "Silicon Valley area law firm" instead of just using in house legal dept. for this?

CaryMacGuy
Aug 27, 2007, 09:11 AM
I honestly think that it should be illegal to lock a phone to a specific carrier, this includes branding of the carrier on the phone. In the situation of land lines, there is no phone that ONLY works with Bell South, Verizon, or Embarq. If an individual purchases a land line phone when he is on Bell South and then moves and has to use Embarq, that phone works with no modification.
Plus, consumers already have to stay in a 2 year agreement for this lovely phone and then if they move and their needs change why should they have to buy another (sometimes expensive) phone just because they have a different carrier.
One could argue that breaking this bond between the phone and carrier would keep innovations such as visual voicemail from happening. NOT TRUE! Simply work with ALL the major carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, etc). Then when marketing the phone say this phone will work with all GSM carriers but if you want Visual Voicemail, for example, you need to use AT&T or T-Mobile.

Sharkus
Aug 27, 2007, 09:13 AM
I'm still not 100% convinced that iPhoneUnlocking has indeed been contacted by Lawyers offering "friendly advice" about the whole unlocking situation. I would have thought a faxed cease and desist letter from AT&T and/or Apple's lawyers would have now been sent, let alone whomever phoned the chap at 3am would have clearly stated who they are and what they wanted.

Even if you're asleep and someone calls and gives you friendly advice, would you not want to wake yourself up a bit, or get the chap to call back in 10 mins, or get a number to call them back when you're a little more awake. Also, would you not want to consider putting off the call until you have spoken to your legal team and had them ready to listen into the call as well, so they can offer their own advice as well.

It all seems a little too convenient that they state they have an unlock, and will be releasing it on saturday and then it does not happen. There is also the little fact that you need to enter your IMEI number as well as your email address to sign up. Being blunt, that's like posting your Mac's serial number to a similar form on a brand new unknown webiste, very dangerous in my opinion.

As for iphonesimunlock. Well, unless they duped Engadget, they could well have a solution and hopefully we'll know more later today (well they said "next week" last week, so one hopes they'd say *something* today), wether it's when they'll ship and the pricing, or that they to have been given friendly advice not to release the unlock.

Do AT&T and Apple have the right to do something about this? Much as I'd love a carrier independent iPhone, and thus would love to see the software unlock, I think they do have a right to protect their contract that people entered into. Apple won't be too impressed, but an unlock would mean more iPhone sales, plus other Carriers will be happy as they won't have a specific iPhone plan, offering unlimited data transfer, so they can rub their hands with glee at how much they'll be able to charge new iPhone customers. This is one reason why I've not got an iPhone yet. I'm in Canada and so I'd have to pick a carrier whose data charges aren't that bad, My current cell is with Rogers, who are known to have rather high data charges, and there's no point in me getting an iPhone if I'm going to be hit hard on the data charge.

Taylor C
Aug 27, 2007, 09:13 AM
Visual voicemail has become an amazing asset for me personally. That being said, i was already with att before I got my iPhone, I get great coverage and have no desire to switch to another carrier.

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 09:13 AM
...specifically that cell phone unlocking is legal (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061124-8280.html).

Interesting. Thanks for that.

roxnadz
Aug 27, 2007, 09:17 AM
Apart from the loss of visual voicemail, which I think Apple won't like (ie. reduced function damaging the user experience), this kind of plays into Apple's hands in some respects.

It dramatically increases the market for the device for one.

Yep. I'd be willing to plunk down some money for an iPhone if it worked under T-Mobile. There was no way otherwise.

I couldn't - still can't - believe how many actually did sign up for the AT&T iPhone under its current ridiculous contract terms.

Rocketman
Aug 27, 2007, 09:19 AM
http://9to5mac.com/steve-jobs-hacks-phones-234556455

Steve Jobs and Woz first worked together on Blue Boxes - ILLEGAL phone boxes that they sold to UC Berkley students for $150 a pop that would screw AT&T out of revenue. They used their ill gotten gains to fun the Apple 1 prototype. The rest - as they say -is history.

Why no one talking about this?

YOU just did and besides I have seen it in various historical accounts without the conclusions about illegality. In those accounts, such conclusions are up to the reader :)

Look. Apple and ATT have a commercial contract between themselves that ATT is exclusive. The result is all of the convenience buyers are indeed locked into ATT initially. ATT is actually helpful in supporting its own exclusive by offering what has been described as "low data prices" and "vast mobile data coverage" and "surprisingly increased EDGE bandwidth", "excellent calling plans", etc. In short they are competing on price, service and value, with whatever competitors they perceive themselves to have.

I for one cannot see how a hobbiest unlocking program can violate anything, especially on equipment wholly owned by the hobbiest unlocker. So I suspect any such suit will go nowhere and take a long time to do so.

Rocketman

mainstreetmark
Aug 27, 2007, 09:20 AM
So far as I can determine, the only feature the iPhone has that relies upon network upgrades is "Visual Voicemail", something of dubious usefulness that, in any case, could be implemented by any operator that wants to in a backward compatible way simply by using MMS the way it was intended.


This feature is important to me! I don't have to wait ten minutes for the robot voicemail lady to tell me the date and time before finally getting to the message. I hate that VM lady.


Now compare "Setting up an iPhone" vs "Setting up every other GSM phone in existence."

Every other GSM phone in existence:

1. Remove SIM card from old phone.
2. Plug SIM card into new phone
3. You're done.

iPhone:

1. Ensure you're sitting in front of an IBM PC clone or Macintosh running either Windows XP SP2 or greater, or Mac OS X 10.4.9 or better.
2. Connect to Internet.
3. Install iTunes, or update it to iTunes 7.1 if already installed.
4. Plug phone into computer.
5. Run iTunes
6. Select "Activate iPhone"
7. Type in the phone number of your existing cellphone account
8. Select plan
9. Wait for phone to activate
10. Discard old SIM card from older phone. Contact older cellular carrier to close account if your old account was not AT&T.


What, are you serious? You have "Run iTunes" as a step? "Connect to Internet?" Why not "Grasp mouse with hand" and "sit down", or "be awake".

I can't even understand why you think this process is at all hard. Every cellphone should be iPhone easy to set up, and the fact that you can do it yourself at home adds a lot of points. Have you not had to sit in a cellphone shop for 15 minutes while some kid types in your life story into a computer, and then hands you wads of paper, including a receipt that is nearly six feet long?

It's unfair of you to compare the process of using an existing SIM in a new phone, with setting up a new iPhone.

Roy Hobbs
Aug 27, 2007, 09:20 AM
I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up. If its not available in your country sit there and wait.

phatspider
Aug 27, 2007, 09:22 AM
I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up. If its not available in your country sit there and wait.

Wow - you're gonna be popular around here :p

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 09:23 AM
I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up.


Paying/paid big money for your iPhone perhaps?

bjanz
Aug 27, 2007, 09:24 AM
Actually, the DMCA would appear to apply (have applied), otherwise, why was an exemption issued for unlocking cell phones?

I think there is some murk to the issue. Other analysts have argued that there may be a grey area here, where a consumer is exempted from unlocking their phone, but a company is not exempted from selling unlocking software. Hopefully that interpretation does not hold up, but the iPhone is probably more likely than any other to be a test case. :(

Also, PS, if there are no locked phones in the UK, why are there so many unlocking services doing storefront business in the UK? :rolleyes:

The DMCA is quite clear on unlocking cell phones. The software must only disable a lock that benefits a third party (the service provider: ATT, Verizon, etc.) but does not disable or affect other cell phone operation (infringing use). As long as the software does not modify any other internal operation, unlocking the cell phone is legal. See http://www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2006/71fr68472.pdf page 68476, halfway down the middle column.

Several lawsuits have been filed by companies who are trying to protect their intellectual property i/r/t service locks, but most of those are companies who complain that a locked cell phone was purchased, unlocked, and then sold to a third party. This is not considered "personal use" 'cuz the unlocked phone was then resold on the open market.

In this case, since the iPhone was purchased for a (supposedly) unsubsidized cost, and since the "...software locks are access controls that adversely affect the ability of consumers to make noninfringing use of the software on their cellular phones...", unlocking - and ONLY unlocking - is legal.

Hey, ATT? Nyaaa nyaaa nyaaa!!!

:D

\burt

IANAL, I just try to reason things out

TheChillPill
Aug 27, 2007, 09:25 AM
Apple should have sold this phone in Apple stores. Plug in a SIM card and you're done. Stuff the visual voicemail. If this phone was £300 ($600) in the apple store, and you only needed to plug in the SIM from your current phone - they would be sold out for years. Everyone would have one. A 2 year plan with a company is not ideal.

Agree with you 100% here, and I'm somewhat disappointed in Apple for not doing this. Their stance is the only thing that is going to stop iPhone being a major winner. I also don't fully understand how tying the phone to one network actually improves the user experience, so I can only assume its partly greed from Apple in wanting the extra revenue.

However, assuming Apple take maybe $5 per month on each contract, surely their figures would be better if they simply introduced an updated model each year (ala iPod). People with 2 year contracts I guess are less likely to buy the new one every year.

mccldwll
Aug 27, 2007, 09:27 AM
Waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So much whining. Anyone who believes that apple could have introduced the iPhone without the full cooperation/partnership of a major carrier isn't playing with a full deck. One of the breakthroughs is that a large amount of the power has been shifted from the carrier to the device manufacturer. Without a single carrier commitment, the iPhone would have been sabotaged by the carriers to maintain power. Without a single carrier commitment, technical support would have been impossible. Without a single carrier partner, upgrades wouldn't have been done (and future promises made) to access all iPhone features. The iPhone arrangement will prove to be beneficial to both apple and at&t, not just monetarily, but eventually providing the best service through supported improvements (even if not so at the moment). And if anyone thinks this unlock was not anticipated, or will have any real adverse consequences for apple or at&t, you wanna buy a bridge?

iLeoMarc
Aug 27, 2007, 09:29 AM
Personally, I think we should be able to unlock our phones. But only so we can avoid the fees internationally by inserting a pre-paid sim card when traveling. As for unlocking the iPhone to use in T-Mobile or another GSM carrier in the US or Importing the iPhone for international use; I think should be prevented.

As far as I know, Apple had reasons to provide exclusive deals with carriers; and rightly so. If these exclusive deals means that Apple would provide better support for the phone for the two years I am in contract, paying through the terms dealt out between the carriers and Apple, I am a happy customer.

So to prevent all this I think ATT should just give us unlock codes for international use, when we ask for it. At the same time Apple should give the ATT iPhone Users what we pay for (through monthly cut apple gets from att) and give us our updates chuck full of wonderful apps and widgets, leaving everyone who left for T-Mobile saying I should switch to ATT....

Roy Hobbs
Aug 27, 2007, 09:30 AM
Paying/paid big money for your iPhone perhaps?


Then sign up for the at&t service like everyone else.

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 09:33 AM
Then sign up for the at&t service like everyone else.

Touche.

Like that 2 year contract? :D

peharri
Aug 27, 2007, 09:37 AM
This feature is important to me! I don't have to wait ten minutes for the robot voicemail lady to tell me the date and time before finally getting to the message. I hate that VM lady.


We obviously use different voicemail systems. It rarely takes more than a few seconds before I hear the voicemails I've received.


What, are you serious? You have "Run iTunes" as a step? "Connect to Internet?" Why not "Grasp mouse with hand" and "sit down", or "be awake".


Yes, running iTunes is a step. As is installing it. As is ensuring you have a computer that's running the right operating system, that's connected to the Internet, etc.

Some Apple apologetic reading Macrumors probably wouldn't think about the complications in all of that.


I can't even understand why you think this process is at all hard. Every cellphone should be iPhone easy to set up, and the fact that you can do it yourself at home adds a lot of points. Have you not had to sit in a cellphone shop for 15 minutes while some kid types in your life story into a computer, and then hands you wads of paper, including a receipt that is nearly six feet long?

Hard? It's more that it's complex and has many, many, dependencies and things that can go wrong. And yes, for many people, it is hard, my mother could never do it.

But yes, that's happened to me twice in total, in the last eight years, (once with Sprint PCS - actually I can't remember doing that, I was at Radioshack and from memory all they did was ask for my driver's license and SS#, and a few minutes later set the phone up - and once with AT&T Wireless. Never had to suffer that indignity with T-Mobile, I just ordered the starter package over the 'net. But are you saying that using the existing web browser to navigate to an obvious website is harder than installing a custom multipurpose application and plugging a phone into the computer?)

And I always upgrade my phone by buying one and swapping the SIM over though. I've only ever had to deal with a cellular company directly when buying new service. While that also usually involves buying a phone, generally the reverse is not true. Indeed, even back when I had IS-95 service from Sprint PCS, I replaced my phone three times without having to sit in a cellphone shop. Just called customer service and gave them the ESN.


It's unfair of you to compare the process of using an existing SIM in a new phone, with setting up a new iPhone.

How is it unfair? That's exactly what's involved. I've done it many, many, times. That's what's great about GSM. It just works.

Read that again: That's what's GREAT about GSM. It "just works". Once you've got your service, you can do whatever upgrades you want. Your hardware choices are your decision, not the operator's.

Apple has broken a perfectly good system that works fine. And for what? Again, solely to hide about $100 from the advertised price of the phone. It makes no sense.

Outside of IS-95/CDMA2000 bizarro world, it's hard for me to see how anyone can think that the Apple procedures are easier or more flexible than the standard GSM "swap over the SIM" operation.

mkrishnan
Aug 27, 2007, 09:38 AM
The DMCA is quite clear on unlocking cell phones.

Again, that's the exemption, not the DMCA. The exemption invokes the "other circumstances" clause. Also, the phrase "quite clear" is never appropriate for use in determining the ramifications of legislation. :p

This part I think is part of the issue...

The copyright owners who did express concern about the proposed exemption are owners of copyrights in music, sound recordings and audiovisual works whose works are offered for downloading onto cellular phones. They expressed concern that the proposed exemption might permit circumvention of access controls that protect their works when those works have been downloaded onto cellular phones. The record on this issue was fairly inconclusive, but in any event the roponents of the exemption provided assurances that there was no intention that the exemption be used to permit unauthorized access to those works. Rather, the exemption is sought for the sole purpose of permitting owners of cellular phone handsets to switch their handsets to a different network.
In the case of many (although not all) of the iPhone hacks existing so far, there's actually a mixture of these two purposes invoked. The hacks both SIM unlock the phone and are designed to allow access to the software innards, which could potentially be construed to interfere with the copyrights discussed above. Not saying I believe that. I'm saying it's probably enough for someone to make a prima facie valid argument....

4iedBandit
Aug 27, 2007, 09:39 AM
You bought the UNSUBSIDIZED phone knowing full well in order to use it you had to enter into a contract.

Actually you don't enter into a contract with ATT till after you activate the phone on their network. In other words, you buy the phone from Apple. It is yours to do with as you please.


NO, a contract and a subsidy do know go hand in hand, get over it.

The iPhone is not subsidized. If it was you would have to sign the contract before they give you the phone.

Unless there's some obscure FCC rule involved, ATT doesn't have a leg to stand on unless the unlocking software requires users to sign up with ATT first. If I buy a phone and don't sign up for ATT service I have no binding contract with ATT. They have no recourse if I unlock the phone and use it with another carrier.

Mydel
Aug 27, 2007, 09:39 AM
I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up. If its not available in your country sit there and wait.

You seriously need to enroll into some anger management program!!!:o I dont see logic here. iPhone is a cool gadget and you PAY for it 500 or 600$! And than you still pay bills to your provider. You can say what you want but its no way they gonna keep it locked. Even if they force updates it will take only few days to unlock it. And maybe you like all your pesonall info to be kept by NSA upsss AT&T but I dont.

terryzx
Aug 27, 2007, 09:40 AM
If AT&T is so good, then they should NOT be afraid to have competition. Apple needs to unlock this phone and allow EVERYONE who wants it to use it on the provider of their choice.

MarkW19
Aug 27, 2007, 09:41 AM
I agree with those that think iphoneunlocking.com are just making all this up, it really does seem suspicious. However, the company (Uniquephones) does seem to be quite a professional company, going from their main website. They were probably just trying to create a buzz around iPhone unlocking to show that they too were a key player in this area - at the right time, with the Geohotz hardware unlock all over the world's media - in order to get people interested/signed up, in the hope that they could source/finish the unlock software in time. But, I'm keeping my eyes firmly fixed on iphonesimfree for the moment.

Also, AT&T aren't trying to stop people from unlocking their OWN phones - they simply can't do that, under the DMCA (as has been previously mentioned), CONSUMERS are legally permitted to unlock their OWN handsets for use with any service provider of their choice.

AT&T is, however, trying to stop this specific company (and probably many more in the future) from unlocking iPhones for the SOLE reason of making profit for themselves. Make no mistake - these *companies* aren't about helping the 'iPhone community', they're about making money. Which simply brings it down to business vs business. AT&T DO have a leg to stand on in this regard, and as they've undoubtedly poured a lot of time and money into the iPhone project, they've sure as hell had a plan in place to counteract this inevitable issue, from the day they signed the contract with Apple.

Unfortunately, until an opensource (non-profitable/commercial) solution becomes available (or any of us fancy doing one of the current documented hardware hacks), it looks like we're stuck with locked iPhones. And even then, Apple will provide reasons for people NOT to unlock their phones - future software updates/must-have features added that will reverse the hack, warranty lost, etc. I agree that iPhone owners should be able to request an unlock code from AT&T, as they haven't paid a subsidized price for the iPhone - but they can't. Also, from a money point of view - Apple does get a cut of the AT&T contract costs over the 2-year period, so as well as selling the actual iPhone itself, it's also in Apple's best interests to help make sure the iPhone stays on the carrier it's designed for. And - from Apple's point of view anyway - the user experience would be damaged if used on any other network - EDGE settings to mess about with, non-iPhone specific plans maybe without unlimited data, no visual voicemail - all detracting from Apple's intended iPhone experience.

retroneo
Aug 27, 2007, 09:42 AM
Locking a phone that is unsubsidized is unconscionable.

Fair enough a subsidized phone may be locked for a set period of time.

flir67
Aug 27, 2007, 09:42 AM
There never was a good reason to lock the iPhone to AT&T.

So far as I can determine, the only feature the iPhone has that relies upon network upgrades is "Visual Voicemail", something of dubious usefulness that, in any case, could be implemented by any operator that wants to in a backward compatible way simply by using MMS the way it was intended.

The result of locking iPhone has been to put a sword right through Apple's "It just works" ethos. I remember as far back as the eighties seeing an ad describing the difference between Windows and Macintosh in terms of how something works. The ad walked the viewer through the easy steps needed to install a printer under Windows. (eg: Plug printer in, get printer driver disk, click on "Setup.exe", you're done) and then compared it to the Mac equivalent (Plug in printer, you're done.)

Now compare "Setting up an iPhone" vs "Setting up every other GSM phone in existence."

Every other GSM phone in existence:

1. Remove SIM card from old phone.
2. Plug SIM card into new phone
3. You're done.

iPhone:

1. Ensure you're sitting in front of an IBM PC clone or Macintosh running either Windows XP SP2 or greater, or Mac OS X 10.4.9 or better.
2. Connect to Internet.
3. Install iTunes, or update it to iTunes 7.1 if already installed.
4. Plug phone into computer.
5. Run iTunes
6. Select "Activate iPhone"
7. Type in the phone number of your existing cellphone account
8. Select plan
9. Wait for phone to activate
10. Discard old SIM card from older phone. Contact older cellular carrier to close account if your old account was not AT&T.

It just works my ass. That's ten steps, and some of those "steps" are actually multiple steps in practice. For all the iPhone's "user friendliness" I'd never recommend one to my mother.

How on Earth did Apple get into this mess? Because it wanted to advertise a price of $600 for the iPhone vs around $700 as it would have done otherwise? Because it wanted the phone available at AT&T stores where the entirely clued up professionals mobile phone salespeople are known to be would have carefully counseled potential buyers? Because the quality of AT&T's hacked together GSM grafted onto an old AMPS/D-AMPS network would have been superior in all areas to rival GSM operator's like T-Mobile, Suncom, et al, to the point that nobody in their right mind would have wanted to use the iPhone with a clean, well built, GSM from the ground up, network like T-Mobile's.

Maybe Apple is just full of Verizon customers, and they think being ripped by a network operator is somehow what everyone wants.

Not that there's anything anyone can do about this now, of course.



your kidding right???

other providers unplug sim, insert new sim???

first you have to go to the freakin store, wait 1 hour for a service representive to wait on you program a sim card. then make sure it works.
if not repeat above steps.

or go on apple.com and order phone, get it next day,activat online at home in your leisure, never leaving the house. unlock online with program if it comes available. done

oh yeah don't forget to smile too :) with the last step.

Gurutech
Aug 27, 2007, 09:42 AM
I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up. If its not available in your country sit there and wait.
yeah right :rolleyes:

Using other carriers may not give me the full functionality, but we have right to change to whichever carrier we want.

Roy Hobbs
Aug 27, 2007, 09:42 AM
Touche.

Like that 2 year contract? :D

I see no issue with a 2 year contract, it's pretty common in the states.

nbs2
Aug 27, 2007, 09:43 AM
I couldn't - still can't - believe how many actually did sign up for the AT&T iPhone under its current ridiculous contract terms.

The terms aren't ridiculous. They look to be exactly the same as every other contract from ATT, but they don't prevent you from buying a subsidized phone as well. So, in a way, they are better than the regular contract terms from ATT. I suppose the 2 year, instead of 1 year, contract term is worse than what you can get with T-Mobile, but what is the difference in monthly charge?

I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up. If its not available in your country sit there and wait.

Maybe you're looking to be the contrarian, but why do you feel so strongly about this? "These unlockers" are part of the reason that the carriers got pushed into a corner to unlock phones (other than the iPhone). The lack of subsidy on the iPhone does make the lock an interesting proposition. What does the user receive in exchange for accepting a locked phone? Nothing. I doubt that the "right to have an iPhone" carries that much monetary value.

Roy Hobbs
Aug 27, 2007, 09:44 AM
yeah right :rolleyes:

Using other carriers may not give me the full functionality, but we have right to change to whichever carrier we want.

and Apple has the right to RELOCK your phone with an update

Eraserhead
Aug 27, 2007, 09:44 AM
I supposed its been mentioned before, but all mobile phones in the UK are "unlocked" so you can bung in any SIM card of your choice.

Not true, they just can be legally unlocked. I got my Nokia 6230i (was on Orange) unlocked for £5 by a third party.

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 09:45 AM
your kidding right???


Of course he is. He's trying to wind people up.

It's obvious from the list of steps for each process. Don't rise to it.

roxnadz
Aug 27, 2007, 09:54 AM
Waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

So much whining. Anyone who believes that apple could have introduced the iPhone without the full cooperation/partnership of a major carrier isn't playing with a full deck. One of the breakthroughs is that a large amount of the power has been shifted from the carrier to the device manufacturer. Without a single carrier commitment, the iPhone would have been sabotaged by the carriers to maintain power. Without a single carrier commitment, technical support would have been impossible. Without a single carrier partner, upgrades wouldn't have been done (and future promises made) to access all iPhone features.

That's only a problem in America. Everywhere else in the world, people buy a phone, throw their SIM in it and move on with life. It's only in this country that we've been conditioned to believe that exclusivity on a particular phone to a particular carrier is okay in any way.

moot
Aug 27, 2007, 09:55 AM
Personally, I think we should be able to unlock our phones. But only so we can avoid the fees internationally by inserting a pre-paid sim card when traveling. As for unlocking the iPhone to use in T-Mobile or another GSM carrier in the US or Importing the iPhone for international use; I think should be prevented.

As far as I know, Apple had reasons to provide exclusive deals with carriers; and rightly so. If these exclusive deals means that Apple would provide better support for the phone for the two years I am in contract, paying through the terms dealt out between the carriers and Apple, I am a happy customer.

So to prevent all this I think ATT should just give us unlock codes for international use, when we ask for it. At the same time Apple should give the ATT iPhone Users what we pay for (through monthly cut apple gets from att) and give us our updates chuck full of wonderful apps and widgets, leaving everyone who left for T-Mobile saying I should switch to ATT....

I am sorry but I don't understand your logic. You are saying it is OK to switch so as to avoid international roaming fees. But it is not OK to choose your carrier. Why the distinction?

Who says that international fees are wrong. If you are so keen on ATT, why not just pay their massive roaming fees.

You seem to have said one thing is OK, while something similar is not. Either unlocking is OK or it isn't. Don't twist logic.

bjanz
Aug 27, 2007, 09:57 AM
Again, that's the exemption, not the DMCA. The exemption invokes the "other circumstances" clause. Also, the phrase "quite clear" is never appropriate for use in determining the ramifications of legislation. :p

Ok, my use of "quite clear" isn't legal, but IANAL. :p right back at ya! :D:D



This part I think is part of the issue...


In the case of many (although not all) of the iPhone hacks existing so far, there's actually a mixture of these two purposes invoked. The hacks both SIM unlock the phone and are designed to allow access to the software innards, which could potentially be construed to interfere with the copyrights discussed above. Not saying I believe that. I'm saying it's probably enough for someone to make a prima facie valid argument....

Here's how I read it (IANAL): If the *ONLY* purpose of the software is to unlock the phone to allow consumer choice of service provider, the DMCA exemption (ok, it's an exemption) allows that use. That's pretty clear from the Copyright Office link in my original response.

If the unlock software also defeats DRM, then it would infringe on DMCA provisions that specifically *don't* allow such use. I have no interest in unlocking DRM protections: if I want an un-DRM'd song, the iTunes Store already sells 'em. I also have no interest in reverse engineering the rest of the iPhone, and have little interest in the rest of the hacks wandering around the 'net. Apple will release games and other apps for the iPhone eventually: market pressure will push them into it.

Give me the unlock tools so I can use an iPhone on TMO, my current and preferred service provider. Give me consumer choice. That's all I ask.

\burt

IANAL, I just try to reason things out

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 09:57 AM
I see no issue with a 2 year contract, it's pretty common in the states.

OK, where do I sign?

Oh you have to be in the US to buy one?...and indeed use one sensibly. Abroad you can't plug another cheap-rate GSM card in to phone home.

You have to admit when companies charge people a lot of money (600) for a device they consider to be free (high end mobile on premium contract is usually free) then it's hardly surprising folk don't want to tolerate restrictions.

All apple loses here is a share of ATT's money....it might be that those extra sales now the phone is unlockable will make up for this. No-one knows for sure.

AidenShaw
Aug 27, 2007, 09:57 AM
Originally Posted by peharri So far as I can determine, the only feature the iPhone has that relies upon network upgrades is "Visual Voicemail", something of dubious usefulness that, in any case, could be implemented by any operator that wants to in a backward compatible way simply by using MMS the way it was intended.

This feature is important to me! I don't have to wait ten minutes for the robot voicemail lady to tell me the date and time before finally getting to the message. I hate that VM lady..

With my Windows phone, 99% of the time I can look at the call history and figure out who the voicemail is from - just by looking at the missed calls.

Seeing the voicemail in a list like the call history would be nice, but it's not a big item.

thomasfxlt
Aug 27, 2007, 09:58 AM
It's my feeling that Apple and ATT had the right to collaborate and create a cellular experience that is unique and proprietary to them. You purchase the device with this knowledge and that's that. To say that Apple needs to support or defend the use of the hardware in another providers network during their agreement with their partner is unfounded.

I think Apple will continue to build the iPhone experience with ATT for the the length of their agreement (to the extent that ATT meets it's contractual commitments). Apple will NOT vigorously pursue unlocking hackers (ATT might). Apple will continue to update the iPhone causing continued problems for the unlocking solutions making the process and benefit of keeping the phone unlocked prohibitive.

JMO:)

Gurutech
Aug 27, 2007, 09:58 AM
and Apple has the right to RELOCK your phone with an update

no they don't

mainstreetmark
Aug 27, 2007, 10:00 AM
We obviously use different voicemail systems. It rarely takes more than a few seconds before I hear the voicemails I've received.


To use your exaggerated "steps":

1. Call the VM number
2. Wait for it to answer
3. Wait for it to tell you how many VMs you have
4. Wait for it to tell you it's gonna play the first VM
5. Wait for it to tell you when the person called
6. Finally get there.

iPhone:

1. Click on the person's name



Yes, running iTunes is a step. As is installing it. As is ensuring you have a computer that's running the right operating system, that's connected to the Internet, etc.

My point with that is if you're going to include "Run iTunes" as a step, you need to be equally granular in the replacing of the SIM card, which would include the steps to remove the SIM card. Can your mom do that?


Some Apple apologetic reading Macrumors probably wouldn't think about the complications in all of that.

But are you saying that using the existing web browser to navigate to an obvious website is harder than installing a custom multipurpose application and plugging a phone into the computer?)


Your negativity is clearly clouding the fact that the iPhone is managed via iTunes, just as all the iPods are. The iPhone has a iPod function in it, and if you're not using that, you may not need a iPhone in the first place.


Outside of IS-95/CDMA2000 bizarro world, it's hard for me to see how anyone can think that the Apple procedures are easier or more flexible than the standard GSM "swap over the SIM" operation.

The very fact that I can buy a phone and set it up at home is the big advantage here. Of course, that assumes AT&T which is being vigorously discussed in this thread already, but not having to sit in the shop to activate it is a big plus. During my Sprint days, every new phone I got required me to blow an entire lunch hour on it. During my Nextel days, new phones were a similar pain in the butt, but lessened via SIM card mangling. I walked into the Apple store, the kid threw me a iPhone, and I was out in 5 minutes. The iPhone was activated at home in my leisure and the whole process was much more efficient than any of the other nine cellphones I've had the displeasure to use.

Consultant
Aug 27, 2007, 10:07 AM
www.iphoneunlocking.com

Monday 27th August 2007 @ 2:15pm
August 27th, 2007
Due to overwhelming response and comments, we have decided to suspend additions to our email mailing list for the moment.

The past few hours have presented incredible changes which we are addressing.

Over the next few days, you can expect a clear response, and you will get what you are looking for too.

Also, would the OMM lawyer who phoned us, please call back today. We have a few questions now that we’re awake.

Its hilarious that it actually says that on their web page. Oh please call us back, we don't know who you are nor how to contact you.

Sounds suspicious. What lawyer does not leave contact info?

4iedBandit
Aug 27, 2007, 10:09 AM
Every other GSM phone in existence:

a) Get in car.
b) Remember you forgot to lock the front door, leave car and go lock door.
c) Insert key in ignition.
d) Turn key clockwise.
e-y) Insert turn-by-turn driving directions here.
z) Get ignored by sales clerk to busy chatting to his buddy on his phone.
aa) Convince sales clerk you need an unlocked version of the phone you want.
bb) Find out "they don't do that."
cc-...) Insert steps for finding and buying an unlocked phone here.
1. Remove SIM card from old phone.
2. Plug SIM card into new phone
3. You're done.


Okay, I'm parodying your post but honestly this is what you've done. You broke out the steps for the iPhone and condensed the steps for other phones to make a disparity.

I've been a GSM phone users for a long time. I've done the sim swapping trick with new unlocked phones. However most people in the US don't know where to get an unlocked phone. When they think of buying a mobile phone they go to a carrier store/kiosk. The stores sell locked, subsidized phones.

You also left out the step where your new phone, if you bought a smart phone, has to be configured to access the data network of your carrier. This information has to be entered in manually. It doesn't transfer from the sim. Oh you can go to the manufacturers web site and have the setup text messaged to the phone, but you neglected to put those steps in. Most people won't think of doing that. They'll call their carrier when their new phone doesn't work like they thought. There's also the problem that US carriers generally will not support phones they don't sell.

As I've already said I've done the sim swapping thing with a variety of phones. It works. I never had a problem with it, but then again I knew where to get unlocked phones and how to make them work with my American service provider.

The iPhone setup is still easier.

Here are the steps I actually followed.

1. Plug phone in to my mac. (already on-line, already have iTunes)
2. Follow the wizard steps to activate account, including transferring my number from previous carrier.
3. Surf the web for 5 minutes while waiting for the phone to go active. (If I remember correctly it actually took 3 minutes to activate with my number.)

My previous carrier automatically canceled my account with the number transfer. I didn't even have to call them.

The iPhone isn't for everyone, but trying to make it look like it's worse than everything else is just silly.

Rooskibar03
Aug 27, 2007, 10:10 AM
Locking a phone that is unsubsidized is unconscionable.

Fair enough a subsidized phone may be locked for a set period of time.

Again, how do you figure? Apple and ATT put the work into the phone and network, why should they not have the right to sell it?

The time they put into making it work was your subsidy.

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 10:12 AM
That's only a problem in America. Everywhere else in the world, people buy a phone, throw their SIM in it and move on with life. It's only in this country that we've been conditioned to believe that exclusivity on a particular phone to a particular carrier is okay in any way.

Well said. Apple could take the market by storm in selling it like an iPod... but you put your SIM in it and away you go. You now have an iPod and a Phone... an iPhone.

Walking into an apple shop, buying the iPhone, walking out of the store, getting it unlocked and popping in your current SIM are going to be very, very popular practices here in the UK. Just you watch. :cool:

mccldwll
Aug 27, 2007, 10:16 AM
no they don't

Yes. they do.

Stella
Aug 27, 2007, 10:21 AM
Yes, its that simple.

I went to the UK for vacation, took my phone with me. I bought a pay-as-you-go SIM card from the Vodaphone shop, replaced that with my Fido Sim card, and off I went...

Done in less than 10 minutes, including buying the Sim card... no waiting for 'next day' and needing to use the internet, like you suggest! :-)

your kidding right???

other providers unplug sim, insert new sim???

first you have to go to the freakin store, wait 1 hour for a service representive to wait on you program a sim card. then make sure it works.
if not repeat above steps.

or go on apple.com and order phone, get it next day,activat online at home in your leisure, never leaving the house. unlock online with program if it comes available. done

oh yeah don't forget to smile too :) with the last step.

Unspeaked
Aug 27, 2007, 10:23 AM
I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up. If its not available in your country sit there and wait.

So very true.

These people wanting to use an iPhone outside of the US or with a carrier other than AT&T are almost as annoying as those idiots that want to run Windows on their Macs.

I mean, really - if you want to expand the functionality of a tool you've paid good money for by using it to run programs it's fully capable of doing, you're a greedy fool. What you should really do is plunk down the bucks for a PC that was meant to run Windows. I hope Microsoft can break BootCamp and Parallels with each and every software update, and possibly a FORCED update.

The world needs more people with minds like ours, kvanwagoner!

nxent
Aug 27, 2007, 10:24 AM
hmm, been keeping my mouth shut so far on this issue, but if i were the software company, i'd just go ahead and release the program to the general public for free, just out of spite.

iLeoMarc
Aug 27, 2007, 10:24 AM
I am sorry but I don't understand your logic. You are saying it is OK to switch so as to avoid international roaming fees. But it is not OK to choose your carrier. Why the distinction?

Who says that international fees are wrong. If you are so keen on ATT, why not just pay their massive roaming fees.

You seem to have said one thing is OK, while something similar is not. Either unlocking is OK or it isn't. Don't twist logic.


Sorry for the misunderstanding, I am for the unlocking of the phone; but not against the exclusive carrier. Main difference is that for the mainstream, average consumer ATT (here is the US) would get the exclusive rights, meaning they would be the only one to sell the phone and to and provide exclusive services to the phone (like visual voicemail). It would be ATT's SIM that will also be sold with the phone.

As far as third party selling software or other unlocking methods, let them. As well as ATT should also unlock phones (like they did for my other phone for overseas usage).

But at the same time because there are iPhones not in the exclusive carriers (meaning they do not have a current plan), they are also not entitled to the software updates Apple provides, with maybe the exemption of security flaws.

To conclude all I am saying is that Apple and ATT should just let unlocking occur, because if they take it further you know the US Congress will get involved. :eek: Instead they should provide the superior support to those individuals who went with the exclusive carriers and no one else!

Mydel
Aug 27, 2007, 10:32 AM
So very true.

These people wanting to use an iPhone outside of the US or with a carrier other than AT&T are almost as annoying as those idiots that want to run Windows on their Macs.

I mean, really - if you want to expand the functionality of a tool you've paid good money for by using it to run programs it's fully capable of doing, you're a greedy fool. What you should really do is plunk down the bucks for a PC that was meant to run Windows can break BootCamp and Parallels with each and every software update, and possibly a FORCED update.

The world needs more people with minds like ours, kvanwagoner!

Really??!:eek: If you wanna be told whats good for you I strongly suggest to move to Iran or one of those countries. They will force you to do many things which Im sure are great for you.

mccldwll
Aug 27, 2007, 10:32 AM
That's only a problem in America. Everywhere else in the world, people buy a phone, throw their SIM in it and move on with life. It's only in this country that we've been conditioned to believe that exclusivity on a particular phone to a particular carrier is okay in any way.


Actually, I disagree on exclusivity of phones to carriers, and hope that we eventually get to a countrywide wifi system, or well integrated cell carrier system, where phones just work, anywhere, anytime, with complete portability. And it would be nice if the same were true for wireless broadband. The problem I have in the iPhone area is that it's really not a phone, but a handheld computer. And it's set up as not just a handset sale, but a 2 year commitment with subscription updates. As such, it can't be taken off the at&t network and function properly, and certainly can't be supported. And everyone bought with full knowledge of those limitations.

And to address another argument that there is no difference between unlocking to switch carriers and unlocking to switch SIMs while in Europe, that's ridiculous. In the former, one is leaving before the end on 2 year commitment, while in the latter, honoring 2 year commitment and paying monthly, while just being able to use another SIM IN ADDITION while in Europe. That I support, and AT&T will, I imagine, offer something along those lines in the future (possibly receprocity so Euro iPhones can also get SIMs to use while in US).

macses
Aug 27, 2007, 10:33 AM
So very true.

These people wanting to use an iPhone outside of the US or with a carrier other than AT&T are almost as annoying as those idiots that want to run Windows on their Macs.

I mean, really - if you want to expand the functionality of a tool you've paid good money for by using it to run programs it's fully capable of doing, you're a greedy fool. What you should really do is plunk down the bucks for a PC that was meant to run Windows. I have Microsoft can break BootCamp and Parallels with each and every software update, and possibly a FORCED update.

The world needs more people with minds like ours, kvanwagoner!well, since it's forbidden in Belgium that providers sell locked phones, I have no choice. I'll have to unlock that beautiful phone, I'm so sorry boys:D

Unspeaked
Aug 27, 2007, 10:36 AM
Someone educate me on this: am I correct in thinking that ANY phone ones buys in the UK has the capability to work with ANY carrier?

From my experience, this seems correct, but I was looking for a more definitive answer.

If true, that certainly seems like an ideal environment, unlike the US where almost half of cell phone users don't even *HAVE* SIM cards because they're on Verizon or Sprint/Nextel...

EagerDragon
Aug 27, 2007, 10:37 AM
Hacking your phone is never a good idea. This was bound to happen.

jarednt1
Aug 27, 2007, 10:38 AM
Apple is ALSO getting paid X amount from At&T per subscriber, so its in Apple's vested intrest to make sure the phone remains locked.

twoodcc
Aug 27, 2007, 10:44 AM
I'm surprised its not apple going after them

Snowy_River
Aug 27, 2007, 10:53 AM
You bought the UNSUBSIDIZED phone knowing full well in order to use it you had to enter into a contract.

I'm baffled by the folks who assume that just because you enter into a two year contract you are entitled to something fee or discounted.

When you signed your first least, did you do so expecting cheaper rent or a fee month now and then? When you signed up for a 3 year car lease, did you get a lower price on the car?

NO, a contract and a subsidy do know go hand in hand, get over it.

Well, because that's generally how business is done. In the cell phone industry, you buy an expensive phone for a discount but you're required to sign a two year contract.

In most instances when you're looking at apartments, if you're given the option of a lease vs. month-to-month, the monthly cost is less if you sign the lease. Otherwise, you'd be a fool not to go to month-to-month. The lease provides the landlord a degree of guaranty that they'll have the income for a certain length of time, and in return, they lower the month price.

With cars, there are plenty of analyses out there that show that your net monthly cost over the term of a lease is less than it would be if you bought the car on a loan and sold it again after 3-years (vs. a 36 month lease). Plus, you don't have the hassle of needing to deal with selling the car.

So, simply put, the reason why people are upset about this is because AT&T is changing the rules, based on how these things are handled in most cases, including just about everywhere else in the cell phone industry, even AT&T's other cell phones.

jdechko
Aug 27, 2007, 10:55 AM
Something that's interesting that keeps coming up is that it's an Apple/AT&T partnership through thick and thin. But in reality, Cingular was Apple's second choice for carriers behind Verizon. Apple could have tried to launch this thing on its own, but what it really needed was a carrier, because without a carrier, they've just got a nice iPod with a touch screen that can surf via wi-fi (which many people would buy anyway). Aside from the traditional way of doing things, Apple could have become an MVNO, but they probably realized that it was way too much work, and easier to get someone else to support the network.

If I had to take a guess, I'd say that Steve partnered with Cingular out of necessity, but the relationship is strained at best. Apple probably signed a multi-year exclusive because the had to do some giving (after asking for Visual Voicemail, a cut of the service that they don't even earn, and presumably getting the network upgraded at the last second - remember the magical speed bump on EDGE?) Knowing that the (arguably) hottest phone ever would eventually be unlocked, Apple agreed. They still can sell them through the Apple store, and, as noted, the end user doesn't even have to deal with AT&T.

Additionally, people are asking about the loss of revenue from AT&T, to which I say, big deal. I'd generously estimate that 5% of current iPhone users/AT&T subscribers will actually unlock their phones and switch to another network. However, with the unlocking (which is both domestic and international) Apple has just potentially sold millions more iPhones to customers who previously didn't have access whether it's because the don't like the providers (domestic & international) or didn't get service from the providers or got the short end of the stick (such as the rest of Europe, Japan and basically anywhere there is GSM service).

Basically this is means to an end for Apple, enabling them to sell more iPhones which is what they want to do anyway. I'd not be surprised if the guys who did the unlocking got a little "anonymous tip" from someone who may or may not work for Apple who may or may not know a thing or two about the iPhone ;);).

MacAerfen
Aug 27, 2007, 10:57 AM
one word for you. EULA

Thats End User License Agreement for those that are unfamiliar with it. Like most products, the iPhone carries one of these. The box specifically says, opening this box and using this product requires accepting the EULA. Part of the EULA indicates that you will not modify the software or hardware of the product. So, that means that if you purchase one of these nifty little products and use it you will agree to the EULA.

And no, Apple does not have to change their product to allow it to be used on any network. When you bought the iPhone and chose to use it, you agreed to the fact that you would have to sign up with AT&T. Buying something and then saying, but I want it to now do this, is not something reasonable. It would be like buying an PS3 game and complaining it does not run on your Xbox 360, and try forcing Sony into giving you a new copy that will run on the Xbox. I mean you bought the game, you should have the right to run it on whichever platform you prefer right?

Apple is not forcing you to use their product. It is also not a "new" device. It may function a bit more smooth and offer a few more bells and whistles, but it is in the end a cell phone. If it was a unique new device, you may have some grounds to complain, but since there are many alternate devices you can buy to have similar function, they are not required to modify how they want their device to function.

sanford
Aug 27, 2007, 10:58 AM
If AT&T is so good, then they should NOT be afraid to have competition. Apple needs to unlock this phone and allow EVERYONE who wants it to use it on the provider of their choice.

I think phones should be carrier portable to the extent the network technology allows. But in the case of the iPhone, I don't like the locked arrangement, yet when faced with the choice of buying and going with AT&T or trying an unlock deal, if I'm paying $600 for the phone and about the same across the board for the service -- the iPhone data plan is actually half as much as my old carrier's EDGE data plan -- I'm going to want the features the exclusive carrier provides -- so I went with AT&T. Visual Voicemail is useful to me, for one. YouTube, it's cute, but I hardly need it. But it opens the question of future useful software and service updates to the iPhone that will depend on the carrier's support; and I wouldn't want to be shut out of those because I hacked my phone to work on a non-supporting network.

hayesk
Aug 27, 2007, 11:02 AM
Really??!:eek: If you wanna be told whats good for you I strongly suggest to move to Iran or one of those countries. They will force you to do many things which Im sure are great for you.

I think your sarcasm detector is broken. It was pretty obvious he was being sarcastic.

For example, "your knowledge of Iran and middle eastern countries is amazing. Do tell us more!" is also sarcastic. ;)

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 11:02 AM
Apple is ALSO getting paid X amount from At&T per subscriber, so its in Apple's vested intrest to make sure the phone remains locked.

Unless this opens up their market for phones to counter that loss yes.

Unspeaked
Aug 27, 2007, 11:10 AM
one word for you. EULA


I don't really think the game console comparison works here. Those are proprietary systems and are not remotely compatible.

This is more like if Apple decided tomorrow that the iPod will only play MP3s from Vivendi-Universal. All MP3s from other record labels are non-compatible. True, any MP3 from any label is perfectly capable of being played on an iPod, but the iPod is set to block any non-Vivendi-Universal MP3s from playing.

Then suddenly a patch comes out that removes that and allows any MP3 to play.

It sounds ridiculous when you look at it this way, but that's essentially what's happening... there's a carrier with a network that's totally compatible with the iPhone but that we're not allowed to use because Apple's friends with AT&T.

manu chao
Aug 27, 2007, 11:16 AM
And to address another argument that there is no difference between unlocking to switch carriers and unlocking to switch SIMs while in Europe, that's ridiculous. In the former, one is leaving before the end on 2 year commitment, while in the latter, honoring 2 year commitment and paying monthly, while just being able to use another SIM IN ADDITION while in Europe. That I support, and AT&T will, I imagine, offer something along those lines in the future (possibly receprocity so Euro iPhones can also get SIMs to use while in US).

The problem currently is the data component. Using a pre-paid card to transfer data is either not possible or pretty expensive. But for those going abroad and willing to forgo the EDGE data accessibility, a pre-paid SIM both cuts down the (otherwise expensive roaming) phone-use charges and prevents any unintended data usage abroad.

AT&T already realized that the roaming charges for data will be prohibitive (and the the iPhone offers no easy way for switching off data-transmission over EDGE or GSM in general except for removing the SIM card) and they have introduced an international data roaming tariff.

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 11:17 AM
The world needs more people with minds like ours, kvanwagoner!

...

Doesn't anyone else think that it would be nice if Apple sold this phone unlocked? I can't believe people are for exclusivity. Ridiculous.

I still think Apple should sell this as an iPod that makes phone calls and surfs the internet (at mega slow speeds compared to 3G). Sell it SIM free in the UK, Apple.:eek:

Digital Skunk
Aug 27, 2007, 11:18 AM
I don't think the iPhone is selling that well to begin with (note the "I think" as in guess/opinion). It made a great first run but now that the hype is over and the majority of people that don't have deep pockets, or can't stand AT&T, or need certain features that the iPhone doesn't provide, or need certain features that AT&T can't provide (insurance) people are wising up and staying away from the thing for now.

Most people would love to have one, but since reality has set in, the know they can't cripple themselves with the iPhone and AT&T. Now that it is unlocked, users may get some of the benefits of being able to stick a SIM card in it. T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile users will be happy, and they may go and pick up the iPhone now that the AT&T puppet strings are gone.

Hopefully we see a fully Apple unlocked iPhone or something in the future, and hopefully the iPhone 2.0 will give users more powerful features that the current one lacks. And it would be a very smart move for Apple to release a phone that works with the two bigger better companies, Sprint and Verizon.

knelto
Aug 27, 2007, 11:24 AM
one word for you. EULA

Thats End User License Agreement for those that are unfamiliar with it.

One word for you. Four.

EULA is four words for those that are unfamiliar with numbers.

/I jest! I jest! Someone had to do it... :D

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 11:27 AM
Their numbers are diminishing with every suicide bomb that goes off.

Doesn't anyone else think that it would be nice if Apple sold this phone unlocked? I can't believe people are for exclusivity. Ridiculous.


I demand more restrictions on my phone, and I demand them now! :D

I'm resigned to waiting the iphone out past EDGE and when it becomes 3G but I might be tempted by an unlocked one at £250/300 as a nano replacement.

inkiboo
Aug 27, 2007, 11:33 AM
I supposed its been mentioned before, but all mobile phones in the UK are "unlocked" so you can bung in any SIM card of your choice.

That's not true; Orange and T-Mobile lock all theirs and Vodafone and o2 lock some of theirs.

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 11:37 AM
So....back to the original topic.

The so-called call from the law firm sounds like this company whipping up some hype for their soon-to-released software/unlocking services.

As some have hinted at above in their replies.

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 11:44 AM
I demand more restrictions on my phone, and I demand them now! :D

Me too! I have seen the light. I want things locked down. While we're here, when I buy my next Mac, I want to be told which service provider I need to sign with on a 2 year contract to get the internet. :rolleyes:

I'm resigned to waiting the iphone out past EDGE and when it becomes 3G but I might be tempted by an unlocked one at £250/300 as a nano replacement.

Maybe if I sell my current nano (2Gen) and current mobile (903SH) I can get £300 for the iPhone. I think it'll be more than that though. I am holding out until 3G. Until then, I'll get a SE phone with a 5MP camera and a £15 per month plan :cool:

Back to the topic... quite.

I think that this company should be allowed to sell this software. Unlocking the phone should be allowed. If nothing more, than for roaming reasons (cost).

Unspeaked
Aug 27, 2007, 11:53 AM
...

As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, my comment was so full of sarcasm that it would have set off the red alert on any Saracasm Detector™ within 500 yards of it...

Sarcasm aside, though, don't you think your comment was slightly in poor taste?

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 11:55 AM
Sarcasm aside, though, don't you think your comment was slightly in poor taste?

I got the sarcasm. In hindsight, I do think it's poor taste.

Since you've quoted it though, I doubt I can change it now...

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 12:20 PM
In various serveys of iPhone owners, more than 75% are happy with the phone and most are actually happy with the service. Yes there are exceptions and ATT has been working on improving their system.

I don't have an iPhone but have been with ATT (Pacbell, SBC, Cingular) for over 8 years and live in San Francisco, travel frequently to New York, Chicago and LA and have no real problems. Yes I am not online with data transfers by voice serves in great.

milo
Aug 27, 2007, 12:20 PM
Here's what I don't get...

Can't they just get around this by requiring you to sign the ATT contract in order to buy the phone?

It seems like the mistake they've made so far is selling them and allowing activation at home. Couldn't they get around this by just requiring the buyer to enter the contract before they can have the phone?

People could still unlock the phone, but as long as ATT is still getting either the monthly fee or the early cancel fee, what would they care?

goosnarrggh
Aug 27, 2007, 12:21 PM
one word for you. EULA
Ah, but the EULA is nothing other than the license under which a copyright holder grants usage rights to a licensee (ie the end user).

Its enforcement is subject to the copyright laws in effect in the country where you physically reside. And the copyright office in the USA's stated opinion is that unlocking phones for the sole purpose of network interoperability is explicitly permitted.

It has been argued in this thread that the LoC's exemption was only intended to be used by the network carrier if it voluntarily wanted to unlock the phone.

That rationalization is complete BS. The network carrier is (or at least is an agent acting on behalf of) the copyright holder. A copyright owner can do whatever they want with their copyrighted material; they own it, and it's theirs to do with as they please regardless of anything the DMCA (or any other copyright law) says.

The DMCA (and copyright law in general) only comes into play in terms of the rights that the licensee (eg. the end user who isn't a copyright owner) has.

The only reason for the DMCA exemption to exist would be because the LoC found it warranted to grant the end user additional rights regardless of the network carrier's intentions.

Unspeaked
Aug 27, 2007, 12:26 PM
Since you've quoted it though, I doubt I can change it now...

I edited the quote, so you're welcome to change your comment, if so inclined...

ncbill
Aug 27, 2007, 12:37 PM
Sorry, but there's no guarantee any particular clause in a EULA is enforceable until tested in court.

Apple's only recourse would be to sue personally an end-user who had unlocked their iPhone to try and enforce that particular clause.

Considering there is now a specific exemption in the DMCA to allow the end user to unlock their phone, I doubt such a suit would even make it to trial.

Of course, I don't see how the DMCA or other U.S. laws apply since the company in question is located in the U.K.

You'd think their response to a 3 AM phone call from a U.S.-based law firm would likely be "Sod off, you wankers!"

one word for you. EULA

Thats End User License Agreement for those that are unfamiliar with it. Like most products, the iPhone carries one of these. The box specifically says, opening this box and using this product requires accepting the EULA. Part of the EULA indicates that you will not modify the software or hardware of the product. So, that means that if you purchase one of these nifty little products and use it you will agree to the EULA.

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 12:38 PM
I edited the quote, so you're welcome to change your comment, if so inclined...

Many thanks - done.

Here's what I don't get...

Can't they just get around this by requiring you to sign the ATT contract in order to buy the phone?

It seems like the mistake they've made so far is selling them and allowing activation at home. Couldn't they get around this by just requiring the buyer to enter the contract before they can have the phone?

People could still unlock the phone, but as long as ATT is still getting either the monthly fee or the early cancel fee, what would they care?

I actually like your idea. This would make it more like getting a normal phone. Thing is - it would mean the Apple store would become very busy (more than usual) due to the time it takes to do all this.

Rooskibar03
Aug 27, 2007, 12:42 PM
Well, because that's generally how business WAS done. In the cell phone industry, you buy an expensive phone for a discount but you're required to sign a two year contract.

So, simply put, the reason why people are upset about this is because AT&T is changing the rules, based on how these things are handled in most cases, including just about everywhere else in the cell phone industry, even AT&T's other cell phones.

Let me make a small correction for you there.

I seem to remember a time when you could visit certain web pages without subsciption too. Everyone pissed an moaned because it used to be free and now its not.

Just because thats how it was done, doesn't mean anyone has to keep doing so. There is no law that says a company must discount any product because you have to use their services.

hh83917
Aug 27, 2007, 12:46 PM
I think Apple will be happy about it because that means they might be able to sell more phones to the world instead of limited by carrier or country. But maybe to pity AT&T, they might void unlockers warranty.

jarednt1
Aug 27, 2007, 12:53 PM
It seems to me, that Apple will somehow relock these phones via a software update.

Remember it may be in the contract that Apple is somehow responsible for relocking phones that become unlocked.

There are bound to be new features added, and a software update could relock these phones.

Macromullet
Aug 27, 2007, 12:54 PM
The primary issue I see with the current situation is that Apple and AT&T negotiated hard for the current exclusivity deal. As I recall, only AT&T was able to give Apple the terms they desired and work with them to implement things like visual voicemail and activation via itunes. One carrier provided the level of support (both technically and financially) that Apple required, so it doesn't surprise me in the least that Apple or AT&T would go after them hard, and I cant say I blame them. The phone was a risk for both companies, and so I don't think its unreasonable for the two companies that took the risk to profit from an exclusivity agreement.

Another problem is support. Apple has typically benefited from the lower support costs of closed systems. With people hacking up their iphones and using different carriers, who knows what will happen, and I guarantee a lot of those support calls are going to fall back on Apple, and I don't blame them for trying to avoid that at all costs.

While I think in the long run open systems benefit consumers, I also think that companies and people that take risks should reap the fruits of their labor.

kitki83
Aug 27, 2007, 12:56 PM
I think Apple will be happy about it because that means they might be able to sell more phones to the world instead of limited by carrier or country. But maybe to pity AT&T, they might void unlockers warranty.

I am confused ok does the iPhone profits go directly to ATT, Apple or both. If its Apple then they wont probably care since they make the money off the phone. Either way you still have to pay way more just to get the phone and cancel contract.

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 01:10 PM
One thing that surly will happen. Once you hack in any manner, your warranty will no longer be valid. So it will be up to you to fix on your own. Also you may not be able to have access to any future software updates. That is a very real possibility.

kitki83
Aug 27, 2007, 01:23 PM
MagnusVonMagnum has a point its the property of Apple and ATT if people don't like it awell don't buy the product or find one that fits your needs. I know people will say but theres a demand for this outside of ATT, yeah I bet Apple spent millions in reasearch that my prove otherwise, we dont really know what goes on in Apple, as far as I know they are planning world domination.

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 01:26 PM
But he has a point its the property of Apple and ATT if people don't like it awell don't buy the product ...

At what point in the buying procedure does the iPhone become mine? I'd guess after I hand over $599? Am I wrong?

If they're giving them away with 2 year high-end phone contracts then I might buy into your point a little more.

matttrick
Aug 27, 2007, 01:30 PM
At what point in the buying procedure does the iPhone become mine? I'd guess after I hand over $599? Am I wrong?

If they're giving them away with 2 year high-end phone contracts then I might buy into your point a little more.

not to mention some people flat out cannot use AT&T. the coverage at my home is abysmal, it doesnt work around here unless i drive a few miles up the road. whats the point then?

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 01:33 PM
But he has a point its the property of Apple and ATT ..

Until they sell it to you... you're right. My MacBook is mine. I can sell it on if I want. It is not Apple's. I bought it from them.

ajhill
Aug 27, 2007, 01:39 PM
All this is a little premature. It's not entirely clear what Apple/ATT's legal options are, but this may be a little like the record companies worried about people file sharing HD movies. Sure there will be some small percentages of the population that steals products on the open market. But if the price is right most people will purchase things through the proper channels.

Apple can counteract this by leaving the price of the iPhone high, and in the future offering price drops by way of an activation rebate. Maybe even make people pay a fee if a purchased iPhone isn't activated on the ATT network. There are a lot of options. Not to mention that Apple and ATT's legal departments are a lot bigger than any startup software pirates out there.

This is a story that has been blown totally out of proportion. Both Apple and ATT are 800 lb. Gorillas waiting to pounce on the these little guys that are looking to steal from them.

JoeG4
Aug 27, 2007, 01:53 PM
Cell phone unlocking is legal.

AT&T/Apple are breaking the law if they try to prevent it from happening, and if they want to keep others from making money off commercial software that does it, they'll just have to give up the info themselves! :cool:

LAWL at the people giving pity to AT&T. This is ****** Ma Bell people, they've weaseled their way into the #1 place in the US market by buying exclusivity contracts like this many times before, as I recall the razr and the itunes phone both had exclusivity contracts to Cingular long before anyone else could get them.

I'm sick and tired of Ma Bell's uncompetetive whiney brat behavior. They don't deserve anyone's business no matter what the circumstances.

Tampa Tom
Aug 27, 2007, 01:59 PM
Quote:
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 infringe...blah.......blah.....blah

---

A 2:54am "call". How'd they get your number.? You belived them?? Where's the legal documentation????? A Cease and desist order ???????????

OR (perhaps) did iPhoneUnlocking just PRETEND to have a software unlocking solution and then create a general clamor for it, take the money and RUN???

Time will tell, but there's a sucker born every minute.

kitki83
Aug 27, 2007, 02:02 PM
Just wondering why is it Apple being discussed I thought it was only ATT whose sending the lawyers. I dont see any news about Apple taking part, either way let see what will happen, be nice if someone creates Linux based iPhone.

mccldwll
Aug 27, 2007, 02:15 PM
Cell phone unlocking is legal.
AT&T/Apple are breaking the law if they try to prevent it from happening, and if they want to keep others from making money off commercial software that does it, they'll just have to give up the info themselves! :cool:

Oh? OK. You're right. Call Apple and AT&T and give them the bad news.

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 02:19 PM
not to mention some people flat out cannot use AT&T. the coverage at my home is abysmal, it doesnt work around here unless i drive a few miles up the road. whats the point then?

Every single carrier has areas where there are drop outs. NO EXCEPTION. Yes maybe ATT is bad near you and Verizon my be perfect. Six blocks away it could be the opposite.

Black Belt
Aug 27, 2007, 02:27 PM
Both Apple and ATT are 800 lb. Gorillas waiting to pounce on the these little guys that are looking to steal from them.

Huh? Spin like this is part of the problem. It is not stealing at all, unless calling someone who hands over $600 and wants to actually use the product they bought is somehow "stealing". People who think that way steal freedom from society.

Unspeaked
Aug 27, 2007, 02:37 PM
Until they sell it to you... you're right. My MacBook is mine. I can sell it on if I want. It is not Apple's. I bought it from them.

Wait - so what you're saying is to hack my MacBook into a cell phone?

Brilliant~!

:p

pieman02
Aug 27, 2007, 02:50 PM
I believe ATT has nothing to do there unless they pay big $$$ to keep those softwares locked. I mean, is reverse ingeneering and you can not do anything about that. It sucks (for them) but it is not ilegal.

Despite, what if I want to use a phone in a country where ATT has no offices? I can call that discriminatory if the case.

Couldn't ATT or Apple include in the user agreement that there shall be no other network but ATT be used on the iPhone or something like that?

CJD2112
Aug 27, 2007, 02:52 PM
Quote:
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 infringe...blah.......blah.....blah

---

A 2:54am "call". How'd they get your number.? You belived them?? Where's the legal documentation????? A Cease and desist order ???????????

OR (perhaps) did iPhoneUnlocking just PRETEND to have a software unlocking solution and then create a general clamor for it, take the money and RUN???

Time will tell, but there's a sucker born every minute.

That's an interesting take. I honestly do not believe it was ATT or any law firm representing the company. What firm would call someone at almost 3 in the morning on a weekend without sending an official "Cease and Desist" order? Sounds bogus, either someone is having fun or the individual claiming to have unlocked the phone for a price is pulling a fast one. I smell b.s.

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 02:53 PM
Wait - so what you're saying is to hack my MacBook into a cell phone?

Brilliant~!

:p

Yep... that's exactly what I am saying.

hayesk
Aug 27, 2007, 02:56 PM
If Apple gets a kickback, then isn't the $599 price essentially discounted with contract? They just aren't selling non-discounted iPhones.

JoeG4
Aug 27, 2007, 03:08 PM
Huh? Spin like this is part of the problem. It is not stealing at all, unless calling someone who hands over $600 and wants to actually use the product they bought is somehow "stealing". People who think that way steal freedom from society.

But.. but.. YER STEALING FROM AT&T $1400!

thevofl
Aug 27, 2007, 03:09 PM
Let's look at this from a business standpoint.

Let's say you are Apple. You are going to O2 or Vodaphone or Rodgers or . . . How are you going to get them to essentially relinquish control over the UI and accept Apple's demands for profit sharing if the phone is not exclusive? Are you going to say, "You are guaranteed to have 100.00% of iPhone users until they start tinkering with their phone, and then go somewhere else."

Let's say you are AT&T. You have spent a huge amount of money to upgrade your network, changing the way your system works in a multitude of ways. In return, you are guaranteed to have two years of revenue. Yes, you probably have to share a small amount of revenue, but you will acquire a million plus customers--customers who agree to a two year contract with you just by buying the phone. Are they going to tell their shareholders, "Hey we just spent millions on upgrading our network, nearly a million phones already, but some people are jumping ship. It's ok. They want to circumvent our system to go over to T-Mobile. Yes we gave up a lot of concessions to Apple, and now those customers are getting Apple's perks on another network."

People have complained that the exclusive contract is not like any other contract. Keep in mind that Apple is not like any other phone manufacturer.

1) They have a huge success record with the iPod, and they will have their own customers to build off of. Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, etc. can't make this claim.

2) Apple agrees to exclusivity in order to have complete control of the user interface, continuing the intuitive UI reputation began by the Mac, the iPod, and most recently :apple:TV. The other makers cannot make the claim of exclusivity in exchange for creative control.

3) Apple reportedly gets a portion of revenue from each customer.

4) Apple only has two models.

5) Apple will supply software updates, promising new features. I don't know of other Carriers / Makers that will update and include new features without requiring a new piece of equipment.

6) Apple takes on all tech support.

7) Apple created a relatively easy activation process, not requiring an hour or so in the store or on the phone.

I can't imagine Apple allowing hackers to upset the balance between provider and carrier. I can see Apple not allowing unlocked phones from being eligible for any updates/upgrades.

I don't like exclusivity at all. But like the poor EDGE speeds, I knew that going into the contract.

marsonist
Aug 27, 2007, 03:23 PM
That's an interesting take. I honestly do not believe it was ATT or any law firm representing the company. What firm would call someone at almost 3 in the morning on a weekend without sending an official "Cease and Desist" order? Sounds bogus, either someone is having fun or the individual claiming to have unlocked the phone for a price is pulling a fast one. I smell b.s.

Businesses often try to strong arm competition, whether it is legal or not (Look at Microsoft for a prime example.) We already know that the DMCA allows for cell phone unlocking. If AT&T were to send a cease and desist letter they would be held accountable for what it said. Threatening telephone calls at 3am might be enough to scare a small developer out of releasing a project while still leaving plausible deniability.

Sounds exactly like how a business who stands to lose lots of money and has no actual legal recourse would play the game.

farmboy
Aug 27, 2007, 03:29 PM
Generally speaking (keep that in mind), Apple is not violating the law if they take any steps (hardware or software) to prevent unlocking. You MAY be allowed to attempt to unlock your iPhone on your own, ONLY FOR USE ON ANOTHER NETWORK, but they don't have to help you do it and they can take all efforts to prevent it. They can also void your warranty on the spot. If I'm not mistaken, it states on the iPhone box, and was well publicized prior to release, that the product is to be used under a contract with at&t. This constitutes legal notice, and if you purchased the phone, you accepted those terms of use. That's one area Apple/at&t could get you. You can use the phone as a doorstop if you want to, but if you try to use it as a phone, you are using the *licensed* property of Apple/at&t. You own the phone, you license the software that makes it work. Same with your computer.

The EULA is another--and unlike a response posted a while back, EULAs have been enforced in many cases, especially in software piracy instances, and the fines are hefty. That's why you must click "ACCEPT" or "AGREE" before you install protected software--that's legal requirement that you read and accepted the terms and you can be held to them. Enforcement may be spotty and they might not try for PR reasons, but they could. Ask your IT guy about whether you can use a single license of MS Word over a network--the legal obligation$$$ are real.

Commercial sale of code to unlock the iPhone is probably illegal. AT&T could sue the hackers for lost sales, everyone who signs up an iPhone with another carrier. Yes, you Brits, I'm talking about the USA, but it will apply to Apple's partners in Europe as well.

As a general matter, Apple holds the copyright to the code in the iPhone (not talking about specific BSD code in OS X). If the Apple code is used (in whole or in part) in the software unlocking code, it could easily be claimed to be in violation of Apple's copyright on the code. This is NOT covered by the DMCA exemption--you can't use Apple's code to unlock the phone.

The point is...this is serious. Courtrooms, huge fines, all that stuff. Voided warranties are the least of it.

pianojoe
Aug 27, 2007, 03:43 PM
The point is...this is serious. Courtrooms, huge fines, all that stuff. Voided warranties are the least of it.

but lets face it, the people outside USA will be the first ones to take advantage of such unlocks before any existing iPhone owners within USA,

Anyone who thinks that they could make a buck on this type of venture, even if it's 100% legal, is kidding themselves.

Luckily, if you live outside the U.S., you may not have to abide to the EULA. Most terms of standard Microsoft EULAs, for example, are null and void in Europe, because under our laws it is illegal for a company to restrict the end user in such a way. And for the next couple of weeks, foreign geeks are THE target market for iPhone unlocking software. I could name 30 people who would pay $50 on the spot for such a haxie.

Unspeaked
Aug 27, 2007, 03:47 PM
So when (if...?) Apple releases the iPhone in Europe, it sounds like there will have to be an option to either sell an unlocked phone or offer an unlock for a price (it seems that's what the UK posters are saying is required by law of current cell phone manufacturers, anyway).

If that's the case, what's to stop another can of worms from opening and seeing all the European iPhones for sale on eBay to be used in the US (and Asia, South America, Australia, etc) on any network?

It seems like that would be an equally bad, if not worse, problem for AT&T...

gnasher729
Aug 27, 2007, 03:48 PM
WHat does the DMCA say about that situation?

DMCA is about breaking encryption in order to copy things that you shouldn't copy. This doesn't happen here. If someone wrote a hack that makes it possible to extract iTMS songs from an iPhone with the encryption removed, then DMCA would stop them. Or if someone wrote a hack to run the iPhone software on a different phone. But in this case, there is no copying involved, so no DMCA. Same if someone wrote software that allows you to copy your own voice as a ringtone to the iPhone.

weckart
Aug 27, 2007, 03:48 PM
If Apple gets a kickback, then isn't the $599 price essentially discounted with contract? They just aren't selling non-discounted iPhones.


Correct. I am surprised at the number of posts claiming that Apple is selling an 'unsubsidised' phone and that therefore it is 'in Apple's interest' that the hacks spread to increase demand for the phone. If the amount that AT&T hands over to Apple represents the bulk of the profits on each phone sold then I cannot see how either Apple or AT&T benefits from this.

It's Apple's fault entirely. It should have sold the iPhone at the full price and on the open market. Phones are not the same as computers and Apple cannot hope to control 'the user experience' in the way it is accustomed to. Mobile phone customers are better informed and more discerning than Jobs et al give credit for.

gnasher729
Aug 27, 2007, 03:51 PM
But.. but.. YER STEALING FROM AT&T $1400!

By the same argument, everyone using an iPhone is stealing probably around $1000 from Verizon, and another few hundred dollars from Nokia.

Counter
Aug 27, 2007, 03:51 PM
AT&T has already lost this battle. Just a matter of time before the software is released in the wild for free.

Ditto.

They can throw all the laws about they want, however they want to word them.

weckart
Aug 27, 2007, 04:01 PM
The EULA is another--and unlike a response posted a while back, EULAs have been enforced in many cases, especially in software piracy instances, and the fines are hefty.

In Europe EULAs are not worth the virtual paper they are written on. Has any ever been enforced in the US? I understand that where charges have been attempted, the parties involved have settled. Has any precedent ever been set, which would establish the validity of these once and for all?

Commercial sale of code to unlock the iPhone is probably illegal. AT&T could sue the hackers for lost sales, everyone who signs up an iPhone with another carrier. Yes, you Brits, I'm talking about the USA, but it will apply to Apple's partners in Europe as well.

Not illegal. Reverse engineering is not illegal in Europe. You need to go a bit further before you have a case for damages.

As a general matter, Apple holds the copyright to the code in the iPhone (not talking about specific BSD code in OS X). If the Apple code is used (in whole or in part) in the software unlocking code, it could easily be claimed to be in violation of Apple's copyright on the code. This is NOT covered by the DMCA exemption--you can't use Apple's code to unlock the phone.

Copyright breach is probably the best bet AT&T has of intervening in the US, but it would possibly require Apple's cooperation.

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 04:14 PM
By the same argument, everyone using an iPhone is stealing probably around $1000 from Verizon, and another few hundred dollars from Nokia.

That's an idiotic reply. NO. You signed a contact with ATT. You are either a former customer of Verizon and Nokia and possibly paid through the nose to leave or you were never hooked up with them.

I understand that many want the freedom to use whatever service they want. but everyone knew upfront about the Apple ATT connection here. No one forces you to buy or use an iPhone like you are not forced to by an iPod. If you due it is tied to iTunes. Granted iTune is a great service that was designed by the same company.

The RAZR phone was exclusive to one carrier for a time. Yes not two years but if you wanted one you had to sign up in the beginning.

gnasher729
Aug 27, 2007, 04:14 PM
I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up. If its not available in your country sit there and wait.

I can't understand that attitude at all. As a customer I have the right to do whatever is most beneficial to me. If that isn't what is most beneficial to a company, well tough. So ATT paid big bucks? Tough. Caveat emptor. Applies not only to customers as you think, it also applies to companies.

gnasher729
Aug 27, 2007, 04:16 PM
That's an idiotic reply.

Now guess what I think about your reply.

Companies have all the right to try to get my money. I have every right to avoid giving it to them.

cameronjpu
Aug 27, 2007, 04:26 PM
I still can't understand why we have to oblige ourselves to a two-year contract AND have to pay full-price for the phone. If AT&T is getting two-years of guaranteed income from me, the least I should get in return is a discount on the equipment.

You ARE getting a discount on the phone. Just because it says full price, it's full price with a 2 year contract. Without that contract, full price would certainly be higher. About $200 higher based on how much Apple can expect to make from each new ATT user.

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 04:27 PM
NO. You signed a contact with ATT.

Unlocking the iphone does nothing to the contract you've signed. ATT will happily keep taking the money out of your account for that.

All this means is, people can buy their own phone (not ATT's) off Apple, unlock and choose their own network.

farmboy
Aug 27, 2007, 04:29 PM
To Weckart: Yes, EULAs are enforceable. In mid-2006, over $2,000,000 fines in just 19 cases in the US. See Business Software Alliance (bsa.org) and Microsoft. When settlements are reached out of court, they still constitute precedent.

Damages: AT&T would go in claiming every potential customer lost. Whether they would get a settlement for that is another matter.

Reverse engineering: You can reverse engineer anything if you want to--you just can't use the intellectual property for your own product or commercial benefit, and that includes Europe (we have patents in the EU).

Goldenbear
Aug 27, 2007, 04:29 PM
That's an interesting take. I honestly do not believe it was ATT or any law firm representing the company. What firm would call someone at almost 3 in the morning on a weekend without sending an official "Cease and Desist" order? Sounds bogus, either someone is having fun or the individual claiming to have unlocked the phone for a price is pulling a fast one. I smell b.s.

Exactly what I was thinking.

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 04:31 PM
Unlocking the iphone does nothing to the contract you've signed. ATT will happily keep taking the money out of your account for that.

All this means is, people can buy their own phone (not ATT's) off Apple, unlock and choose their own network.

I agree there. That is fine as long as you don't start using with ATT. Once you log in wit them you are obliged to their subscription. That other "idiotic" reference I posted was in regards to a statement about taking money from Verizon and Nokia. If you legally not use their service or equipment, you are not stealing from them.

bubbalwz
Aug 27, 2007, 04:31 PM
When legal gets involved, it's best to go ahead an open source it or let it "leak" to bittorrent. Once it's out, AT&T will have fun trying to get it removed.

ajhill
Aug 27, 2007, 04:32 PM
Huh? Spin like this is part of the problem. It is not stealing at all, unless calling someone who hands over $600 and wants to actually use the product they bought is somehow "stealing". People who think that way steal freedom from society.


ATT subsidizes this phone with the intention of making the subsidy back during the course of the contract. Not to mention the hours of work and millions of dollars spent on research and development.

Stealing is stealing. Its has nothing to do with "freedom"

Stella
Aug 27, 2007, 04:42 PM
Evidence?

That $200 could be pure 'profit' for Apple - i.e., a cash cow for Apple.

The cost analysis of the phone has already been made and Apple are already making a hefty profit from each iPhone ( ignoring r&d, marketing etc ).

You ARE getting a discount on the phone. Just because it says full price, it's full price with a 2 year contract. Without that contract, full price would certainly be higher. About $200 higher based on how much Apple can expect to make from each new ATT user.

mambodancer
Aug 27, 2007, 04:44 PM
ATT subsidizes this phone with the intention of making the subsidy back during the course of the contract. Not to mention the hours of work and millions of dollars spent on research and development.

Stealing is stealing. Its has nothing to do with "freedom"

Please provide proof that AT&T subisidized any development on the iPhone. Even if they did, the argument is not relevent to the discussion.

thomasfxlt
Aug 27, 2007, 04:44 PM
ATT subsidizes this phone with the intention of making the subsidy back during the course of the contract. Not to mention the hours of work and millions of dollars spent on research and development.

Stealing is stealing. Its has nothing to do with "freedom"

Totally agree. How can anyone who knows the terms of a deal in advance (it's called a contract folks and it takes two to have one) after the fact say it's their "right" to change the deal. Nobody forced you to buy an iPhone and sign a contract with ATT. Go ahead and buy one. Don't activate it with ATT. That's your right, but don't expect Apple to give a damn about you after you do. Nor would I, as an investor in any company, want to support unauthorized uses of devices that we are obligated to warranty. ATT helped Apple bring the product to market. They have mutually beneficial advantages from this arrangement. It's called capitalism and it's perfectly legal. All this crap about ATT being awful is spin. They're no worse than Verizon or T-Mobile. It just depends on where you live. If ATT doesn't work for you, too bad. You will just have to wait or buy an iPhone that will be unsupported.

For the record, I wish Apple had kept the phone open, but it was their right to do what they did.

I'll guess this will be settled in the courts and the lawyers win again.

mpw
Aug 27, 2007, 04:45 PM
ATT subsidizes this phone with the intention of making the subsidy back during the course of the contract...
Do they? by how much? Does it say they are anywhere in Apple's store or on the box?

If they do then that's their choice to do so, if unlocking the phone can be done legally between buying it and signing up to AT&T's service then their subsidy of the phone looks pretty dumb business practice to me. And dumb businesses generally get what they deserve.

As Apple will surely find out if they let their quality slip any further, but that's another issue.

koobcamuk
Aug 27, 2007, 04:49 PM
Nobody forced you to buy an iPhone and sign a contract with ATT...

I thought that you can walk into an Apple store and buy and iPhone?

Where do I sign?

On my way home - I will get it unlocked... then pop in my SIM and away I go!

Who has the new contract? O2? It doesn't matter at all if the iPhone is unlocked :D

thomasfxlt
Aug 27, 2007, 04:55 PM
Do they? by how much? Does it say they are anywhere in Apple's store or on the box?

If they do then that's their choice to do so, if unlocking the phone can be done legally between buying it and signing up to AT&T's service then their subsidy of the phone looks pretty dumb business practice to me. And dumb businesses generally get what they deserve.

As Apple will surely find out if they let their quality slip any further, but that's another issue.

Why are they obligated to inform us of how much they make off the ATT relationship? What's dumb about choosing business partners to make something happen that couldn't have efficiently happened on their own? What's wrong with Apple and ATT getting a return on their strategic partnership?

Buy an iPhone and unlock it. It's yours.

Buy a Ford Mustang and chip it. It's yours.

Buy anything and modify it....it's yours.

I think these modded iPhones are fine. They just are no longer the responsibility of Apple.

mccldwll
Aug 27, 2007, 05:00 PM
Phones are not the same as computers and Apple cannot hope to control 'the user experience' in the way it is accustomed to.


Possibly you've hit the nail on the head here, but definitely not the way you intended. If true that phones are not the same as computers, maybe people should realize that simply because it's called the iPhone and is capable of making calls doesn't make it a phone in the traditional sense. Phones don't have a computer's operating system. It's really a handheld computer, and apple wants to maximize that experience.

Benjamindaines
Aug 27, 2007, 05:12 PM
I personally have no reason to unlock the iPhone and move to T-Mobile, AT&T has much better coverage (in my area) and better prices. I am very happy with AT&T... even *gasp* their customer support! I would however like to be able to sign up for a pay-as-you go account with Digicel and use that when I come to the Cayman Islands, instead of paying AT&T's outrageous international rates. Seriously $20 per meg?!?! WTF I can buy an all day Wifi pass for that!

mpw
Aug 27, 2007, 05:13 PM
Why are they obligated to inform us of how much they make off the ATT relationship?...
They're not.
...What's dumb about choosing business partners to make something happen that couldn't have efficiently happened on their own?...
Nothing, obviously, but what Apple could've brought the iPhone to market without AT&T couldn't it? What functionality would've been missing? visual voicemail? Was visual voicemail that important to the success of the iPhone?...What's wrong with Apple and ATT getting a return on their strategic partnership?...
Nothing.

Not sure why you seem to have aimed those points at me as if you were countering what I'd said, 'cause I never mention those issues.

...Buy an iPhone and unlock it. It's yours...
Nar, you're all right, I not a fan, too limited for a smartphone IMO.

Rot'nApple
Aug 27, 2007, 05:16 PM
not surprising at all.
wonder what Apple's stance on this is?
i think AT&T is betting on and holding onto the iPhone quite a bit. they've done a lot to make it work, and obviously don't want to lose it.

I wonder if there are terms in the at&t / apple exclusivity contract aggreement that will cause apple to revamp it's software and or possibly future hardware in order to not breach their contract agreement with at&t? Afterall, at&t never saw the phone when in development and agreed upon it on blind faith. Apple, in return, says at&t will be exclusive USA carrier. Can't be exclusive with all these hacks, both physical changes and software hacks.

Apple will need to step up to the plate, afterall it is their hardware and software that has been cracked, nothing doing from at&t standpoint (other than possibly locking the phone to be exclusive carrier as contractually agreed upon by at&t and apple).

Again, I wonder if Apple could be held in breach of exclusivity contract if they don't come up with a fix or "fined" by at&t for lost revenue by taking out that fine through monies paid from iPhone purchasesers who use at&t or if such a clause was written into the apple/at&t deal?:confused:

Rot'nApple
Aug 27, 2007, 05:31 PM
At what point in the buying procedure does the iPhone become mine? I'd guess after I hand over $599? Am I wrong?

If they're giving them away with 2 year high-end phone contracts then I might buy into your point a little more.

YES!:D

Please show me where on Apple's website, you have the option of at&t or t-mobile or whoever else and where ever else? Apples USA website looks pretty easy to understand: Apple iPhone / AT&T Mobile Service Provider. Am I wrong?

The handing over of $599 gives you a 'brick' - the activation with at&t makes it alive...

It's Alive... It's Alive...

milo
Aug 27, 2007, 05:38 PM
You signed a contact with ATT.

Not necessarily. Don't you sign the contract at activation, and not when you buy the phone? If that's the case, you could buy an iPhone and then hack it to another provider. That's not breaking a contract if you never signed one.

sblasl
Aug 27, 2007, 05:41 PM
Is it possible that T-Mobile might have liabilities or might not want to piss Apple off with the hopes of having the iPhone available to them in the future? Can T-Mobile refuses to allow an "unlocked" iPhone on to their network?

Rot'nApple
Aug 27, 2007, 05:47 PM
Not necessarily. Don't you sign the contract at activation, and not when you buy the phone? If that's the case, you could buy an iPhone and then hack it to another provider. That's not breaking a contract if you never signed one.

And therein lies the rub! You, would not necessarily be breaking a contract with AT&T, but wouldn't Apple?

Apple would be breaking the contract it has with at&t regarding exclusivity of the iPhone if hackers find workarounds either through Apple's hardware component or software part. It's up to Apple to maintain the legitimacy of it's agreement with at&t by updating the iPhone to keep hackers from causing apple to break their contract with at&t. Not to mention, don't expect new iPhone apps if apple software team has to keep having their attention diverted to hackers who think they are in the right with regards to unlocking the phone.

lazyrighteye
Aug 27, 2007, 05:47 PM
Agree with you 100% here, and I'm somewhat disappointed in Apple for not doing this. Their stance is the only thing that is going to stop iPhone being a major winner. I also don't fully understand how tying the phone to one network actually improves the user experience, so I can only assume its partly greed from Apple in wanting the extra revenue.

However, assuming Apple take maybe $5 per month on each contract, surely their figures would be better if they simply introduced an updated model each year (ala iPod). People with 2 year contracts I guess are less likely to buy the new one every year.

Not picking on Chill, at all, who merely echos common dissatisfactions with Apple, AT&T and the iPhone. His post just happened to prompt me to chime in with my typical useless ¢2.

I think we all might be looking at this whole iPhone, one carrier, locked, unlocked business through too powerful a microscope. Let's all try and take a step back and see this from a less immediate/reactionary perspective. Approach this with a "bigger picture" mentality. Because, at first glance, it does seem odd Apple would pair with one service provider, offer a full-priced yet locked phone, etc., etc.
But on second glance, maybe not.

Can we agree on the following two statements?
1. Apple loves control.
2. Apple is extremely patient and does not get involved in businesses where they have no experience.

If so, I have a less discussed concept I think may warrant some pondering.

I'm guessing that Apple paired with one large US carrier mainly for research, plain & simple. Having practically zero experience in mobile communications, they are (basically) learning what (and how) a major US service provider (in this case AT&T) does right and what (and how) they do wrong. Apple will then take what they learn from this whole experience and in about (what?) 2 years (?), be in position to also act as service provider - ensuring total control over the end user's experience. Something that wreaks Apple and was surely their intent all along.

In the meantime, they will happily continue to charge $600 to customers for the right to (basically) beta test easily the best all-in-one 'phone-ish' device on the market. All while honing their game, so to speak.

So, while the total experience is not yet 100% Apple certified, I think they are well aware of this perception, but patient & smart enough to remain focused on their ultimate goal(s). Which is taking shape right under our noses.

So while today Apple's actions may seem odd, could it not be they have a bigger picture in mind: that their actions are part of a plan to ensure a better iPhone/Apple/Mac user experience in the future?

Thoughts?

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 05:56 PM
Not picking on Chill, at all, who merely echos common dissatisfactions with Apple, AT&T and the iPhone. His post just happened to prompt me to chime in with my typical useless ¢2.

I think we all might be looking at this whole iPhone, one carrier, locked, unlocked business through too powerful a microscope. Let's all try and take a step back and see this from a less immediate/reactionary perspective. Approach this with a "bigger picture" mentality. Because, at first glance, it does seem odd Apple would pair with one service provider, offer an unsubsidized yet locked phone, etc., etc.
But on second glance, maybe not.

Can we agree on the following two statements?
1. Apple loves control.
2. Apple is extremely patient and does not get involved in businesses where they have no experience.

If so, I have a less discussed concept I think may warrant some pondering.

I'm guessing that Apple paired with one large US carrier mainly for research, plain & simple. Having practically zero experience in mobile communications, they are (basically) learning what (and how) a major US service provider (in this case AT&T) does right and what (and how) they do wrong. Apple will then take what they learn from this whole experience and in about (what?) 2 years (?), be in position to also act as service provider - ensuring total control over the end user's experience. Something that wreaks Apple and was surely their intent all along.

In the meantime, they will happily continue to charge $600 to customers for the right to (basically) beta test easily the best all-in-one 'phone-ish' device on the market. All while honing their game, so to speak.

So, while the total experience is not yet 100% Apple certified, I think they are well aware of this perception, but patient & smart enough to remain focused on their ultimate goal(s). Which is taking shape right under our noses.

So while today Apple's actions may seem odd, could it not be they have a bigger picture in mind: that their actions are part of a plan to ensure a better iPhone/Apple/Mac user experience in the future?

Thoughts?

I would be curious to know how many of those commenting here are actually using the iPhone and what has there experience been so far...with ATT. It seems like most of us who are commenting have not used one at any length. Maybe I am wrong. I would love to hear feedback from day to day user.

Two friends of mine here in San Francisco have them and LOVE them. They use ATT and even with all our hills, say the coverage is good with a couple of fallout areas which every company has. They also travel (in advertising) and love that that don't have to have their laptops open all of the time....like in airports.

I played with it and LOVED it. There is a learning curve but the Web portion was amazing on WI fi and good-a bit sluggish on EDGE.

emotion
Aug 27, 2007, 05:58 PM
I would be curious to know how many of those commenting here are actually using the iPhone and what has there experience been so far...with ATT.

Who cares? Disatisfication with ATT is one of many reasons for unlocking.

pocketrockets
Aug 27, 2007, 06:06 PM
The way I see it, ATT loses and Apple wins.

1. You are not breaking the rules by unlocking the phone after you buy it and before you sign up with ATT.

2. I think its safe to say that most people hate ATT for exclusivity, even its customers and even Apple.

3. The Apple/ATT partnership is shaky, at best.

4. Apple's product is solid and its partnership with ATT is only a means to an end.

lazyrighteye
Aug 27, 2007, 06:17 PM
I would be curious to know how many of those commenting here are actually using the iPhone and what has there experience been so far...with ATT. It seems like most of us who are commenting have not used one at any length. Maybe I am wrong. I would love to hear feedback from day to day user.

Two friends of mine here in San Francisco have them and LOVE them. They use ATT and even with all our hills, say the coverage is good with a couple of fallout areas which every company has. They also travel (in advertising) and love that that don't have to have their laptops open all of the time....like in airports.

I played with it and LOVED it. There is a learning curve but the Web portion was amazing on WI fi and good-a bit sluggish on EDGE.

I suspect that most iPhone haters do not actually use an iPhone on a daily basis.

FWIW, I picked up my iPhone on June 29.
It also represents my only phone. No land line.
Having used a few different 'smart phones' over the past decade, this one is hands-down, the most useful one I have encountered.
EDGE is nowhere NEAR as slow as I was anticipating. Safari, on EDGE, is more than acceptable. Maps does not see any tangible lag due to EDGE. The keyboard is a non-issue for me. Sure, there are some things/features I would like to see eventually revised/included - but overall, straight out of the box, this device rocks.

I too travel a bit for work and this things is invaluable. No longer am I lugging around and/or opening up a laptop just to check a quick email or catch up on the latest macrumors. One device. Several useful functions. And with airport security beefing up, traveling light is paramount.

And in my experience, AT&T has been better than VZW (my previous carrier) or T-Mobile. Not only is my reception better (read: more stable, aka; I frequently dropped calls with VZW), my bill went WAY down while my functionality went way up. For me, leaving (yes, my contract happened to be up) VZW for AT&T and an iPhone was win win all the way.

The few people I personally know, using iPhones, they are equally as happy. But maybe we're the minority. Maybe not.
It might be worth noting people are more likely to post negatives than positives. ;)

I'd be happy to elaborate on any specifics, for those more curious of day-to-day usage.

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 06:18 PM
Who cares? Disatisfication with ATT is one of many reasons for unlocking.

Who cares?

I admit I do not have an iPhone, but I have been with AT&T (and who they were before: Cingular, SBC, Pacbell) for over 8 years and have had no real problems. No more than friends I have who use other providers. Things drop on occasion with them all.

So that's why I would care to hear from actual day to day users who have been in the trenches for the past two months.

Stella
Aug 27, 2007, 06:27 PM
Is it possible that T-Mobile might have liabilities or might not want to piss Apple off with the hopes of having the iPhone available to them in the future? Can T-Mobile refuses to allow an "unlocked" iPhone on to their network?

I doubt it would be possible to bar certain phones from the network.

Some one correct me, but the carrier has no idea what phone your using on their network - if they don't have the records already.

DesignerOnMac
Aug 27, 2007, 06:31 PM
You bought the UNSUBSIDIZED phone knowing full well in order to use it you had to enter into a contract.

I'm baffled by the folks who assume that just because you enter into a two year contract you are entitled to something fee or discounted.

When you signed your first least, did you do so expecting cheaper rent or a fee month now and then? When you signed up for a 3 year car lease, did you get a lower price on the car?

NO, a contract and a subsidy do know go hand in hand, get over it.

If I remember correctly, Apple did approach a few other carriers, but all but AT&T said "NO"!

As I posted in another thread, you can buy ANY cell phone brand in South America and they are ALL unlocked! It is only the USA that requires you buy a phone and sign a contract! In South America you buy a phone card for whatever amount you want to use and go with the carrier for that card! End of story!!

I agree with others that now people are bitching about being with AT&T! All of you new that BEFORE you bought your iPhone!!! LIVE WITH IT, or do something else!

Also, there are countless phones you can buy online that are unlocked, pay full price, (some are as expensive or more expansive than the iPhone)! And then you have to find a carrier and 'pay the piper'....what's the difference??

Just by 2 cents!

synth3tik
Aug 27, 2007, 06:33 PM
I know everyone wants an unlocked iPhone, but people fail to realize that this was really the only way AT&T was comfortable with the demands of Apple. Once it gets to the point where you don't have to pay over $2K for an unlocked iPhone on ebay AT&T might simply say that Apple has not lived up th their end of the contract by allowing people to unlock the phone, and kill their contract with Apple, and then no one gets an iPhone.

Honestly AT&T is the same as all other carriers.

pocketrockets
Aug 27, 2007, 06:59 PM
September 5 announcement.

Begins with video of ATT globe exploding. and then...

PNW
Aug 27, 2007, 07:03 PM
ATT subsidizes this phone with the intention of making the subsidy back during the course of the contract. Not to mention the hours of work and millions of dollars spent on research and development.

Stealing is stealing. Its has nothing to do with "freedom"

So If I go down to the Apple Store, pay their asking price for an iPhone, and never start or sign a contract with AT&T exactly what have I stolen? This idea that companies have a right to unfettered access to my wallet is utter nonsense. To extend that further if I modify a piece of hardware I own to better suit my needs what exactly am I stealing? We're not talking about theft of service here (i.e. using a network without paying for it). So once again what is being stolen? If AT&T requires the contract to make their profit margin they shouldn't allow Apple to sell the phones without the contract.

If the local pub starts selling pints for less than they pay for them it's bad business on their part not stealing on the part of their clientele

Ha ze
Aug 27, 2007, 07:54 PM
September 5 announcement.

Begins with video of ATT globe exploding. and then...

I'm just gonna guess that that wont happen lol

MacAerfen
Aug 27, 2007, 08:01 PM
Again part of the condition for buying the phone and using it is accepting the end user license agreement which indicates you will not modify the hardware or software. Just like when purchasing a software program like Windows XP. You are purchasing the right to use the product, not take that product and use the research the devoloper put into it to make something else.

diamond.g
Aug 27, 2007, 08:11 PM
I doubt it would be possible to bar certain phones from the network.

Some one correct me, but the carrier has no idea what phone your using on their network - if they don't have the records already.

They would know what phone you are using, but couldn't stop you from using it.

Apple Los Cabos
Aug 27, 2007, 08:12 PM
I will be in agreement with AT&T if they were giving you the iPhone so as which you have the contract of two years with them, but it's not like that, you already paid for the iPhone and already it's yours.

thejakill
Aug 27, 2007, 08:15 PM
I would be curious to know how many of those commenting here are actually using the iPhone and what has there experience been so far...with ATT. It seems like most of us who are commenting have not used one at any length. Maybe I am wrong. I would love to hear feedback from day to day user.

i resisted getting one but when my birthday came i couldn't say no. it works great with att, better reception than i got with tmobile. there are places that i couldn't use my old tmobile phone that work perfectly with att. the visual voicemail is great. i was one of the those people that wanted a "phoneless" iphone, but after having one for a month now, i wouldn't want it without the phone and edge network. it's a bit slow, but works everywhere. that's one of the coolest things about it, that you can use the net and email anywhere. and the phone part is better than i expected, so no complaints here. the monthly plan isn't that much more expensive, and with free mobile-to-mobile i hardly use any minutes anyway. go get one!

CWallace
Aug 27, 2007, 08:19 PM
I would be curious to know how many of those commenting here are actually using the iPhone and what has there experience been so far...with ATT.

I've been with AT&T my entire cellular life (about a dozen years). I stay with them because they work and I feel treated fairly by them.

Quite simply, the iPhone is the coolest piece of tech I have used since my Amiga 1000. And like the early days of the Altair and Z-80 computers, seeing the thriving hacking/modding community continue to expand the capabilities and usefulness of my iPhone really has me excited and intrigued for the next "one more thing" they will bring forward.

CWallace
Aug 27, 2007, 08:35 PM
At what point in the buying procedure does the iPhone become mine? I'd guess after I hand over $599? Am I wrong?

You own the phone the moment you hand over the cash and take the drawstring bag. It's just if you want to use all of it's functionality, you need to activate it with AT&T.


Couldn't ATT or Apple include in the user agreement that there shall be no other network but ATT be used on the iPhone or something like that?

Probably, but enforcing it would be effectively impossible.


Let's look at this from a business standpoint...

Excellent summary.


I'm guessing that Apple paired with one large US carrier mainly for research, plain & simple. Having practically zero experience in mobile communications, they are (basically) learning what (and how) a major US service provider (in this case AT&T) does right and what (and how) they do wrong. Apple will then take what they learn from this whole experience and in about (what?) 2 years (?), be in position to also act as service provider - ensuring total control over the end user's experience. Something that wreaks Apple and was surely their intent all along.

A solid concept.


I doubt it would be possible to bar certain phones from the network. Some one correct me, but the carrier has no idea what phone your using on their network - if they don't have the records already.

Cellphones (or at least SIMS) do have unique identifiers. So when you call in with a problem and tell them you have an iPhone, they could block that SIM. After all, they need some way to cut you off when you stop paying your bill. ;)


The biggest issue will be for the carriers themselves. They will probably have limited ability to troubleshoot service issues with the iPhones and you can be sure that if you don't activate your iPhone with AT&T, sending it in for service-related issues will be met with, at best, blank stares and, at worst, canceled AppleCare/warranties.

mccldwll
Aug 27, 2007, 08:37 PM
I would be curious to know how many of those commenting here are actually using the iPhone and what has there experience been so far...with ATT. It seems like most of us who are commenting have not used one at any length. Maybe I am wrong. I would love to hear feedback from day to day user.
.

I am a happy iPhone user. I hate contracts and have avoided them for eight years, paying more for no commitment plans, and even considered failing the credit check and going the prepaid route on the iPhone. Decided, however, that it really made no sense since the iPhone was actually a great deal. Anyone who thinks the situation would be better if at&t weren't directly involved just isn't dealing with the reality of introducing a new product in the telecom industry and wanting any semblance of quality control. And this isn't just some "stupid" phone which plays music and takes pictures, which many here seem to see it as. The iPhone is an amazingly sophisticated piece of technology, and it is essential, that apple retains as much control of ther experience as possible. I trust apple to get it right. I don't trust any of the telecoms (except google, but that's a future story). And for all the opiners here who believe you have any clue about what apple and at&t can't do, and what purchasers and hackers legally can do, unless you have a law degree AND an intimate familiarity with the issues involved, you don't. It's not as simple as you seem think it is. This is chess, not checkers. Things aren't a certain way simply because you want them to be.

sanford
Aug 27, 2007, 08:43 PM
Hated it on principle. Decided with new iPods coming had to see for myself. Figured I'd eat the restock fee when I was right all along. Plus have 90 days to go back to Tmo. Bought it. Love it. Makes me less computer-centric rather than more. Just as happy with ATT as Tmo in service quality and customer care. They really are trying to win us over. EDGE is just fine for everything but maybe playing Gears of War online. It's not really a smartphone, though. It's a whole new gig.

I suspect that most iPhone haters do not actually use an iPhone on a daily basis.

FWIW, I picked up my iPhone on June 29.
It also represents my only phone. No land line.
Having used a few different 'smart phones' over the past decade, this one is hands-down, the most useful one I have encountered.
EDGE is nowhere NEAR as slow as I was anticipating. Safari, on EDGE, is more than acceptable. Maps does not see any tangible lag due to EDGE. The keyboard is a non-issue for me. Sure, there are some things/features I would like to see eventually revised/included - but overall, straight out of the box, this device rocks.

I too travel a bit for work and this things is invaluable. No longer am I lugging around and/or opening up a laptop just to check a quick email or catch up on the latest macrumors. One device. Several useful functions. And with airport security beefing up, traveling light is paramount.

And in my experience, AT&T has been better than VZW (my previous carrier) or T-Mobile. Not only is my reception better (read: more stable, aka; I frequently dropped calls with VZW), my bill went WAY down while my functionality went way up. For me, leaving (yes, my contract happened to be up) VZW for AT&T and an iPhone was win win all the way.

The few people I personally know, using iPhones, they are equally as happy. But maybe we're the minority. Maybe not.
It might be worth noting people are more likely to post negatives than positives. ;)

I'd be happy to elaborate on any specifics, for those more curious of day-to-day usage.

Stella
Aug 27, 2007, 08:50 PM
Its the SIM card. If you report your phone / stolen lost, they will 'disable' your SIM card, so others can't rack up a huge phone bill of X rated numbers to the other side of the world!

If you told another carrier that you had an iphone that is being used on their network, then your very stupid ;-) - to risk the SIM card being disabled. You could just whack another sim card in it and learn from your mistake!


Cellphones (or at least SIMS) do have unique identifiers. So when you call in with a problem and tell them you have an iPhone, they could block that SIM. After all, they need some way to cut you off when you stop paying your bill. ;)

unigolyn
Aug 27, 2007, 08:55 PM
You bought the UNSUBSIDIZED phone knowing full well in order to use it you had to enter into a contract.

I'm baffled by the folks who assume that just because you enter into a two year contract you are entitled to something fee or discounted.

Are you on crack? Why on earth would ANYONE sign up for two years of indentured servitude unless they got something out of it?

When you signed your first least, did you do so expecting cheaper rent or a fee month now and then? When you signed up for a 3 year car lease, did you get a lower price on the car?

WORST car analogy ever. A car or an apartment is a physical entity that depreciates in value through use. A cell phone account is a service. Did you sign a two-year contract with your cable provider? Your ISP? Can you only get electricity at your house if you sign a two-year contract?

Long-term contracts were introduced to sell subsidized phones. Now that everyone's used to long-term contracts, the telcos want to pretend that it's somehow normal to have long-term contracts for their services, subsidy or not. I know why they love those contracts - they don't have to compete in per-minute pricing as long as the majority of their customers are contractually obligated to stay with them for years.

In those European countries where most people buy unsubsidized phones, you can pay about 5 cents per minute for outgoing calls and have unlimited calling to any cell phone in the same network. Incoming calls are never charged to you. So if you make 300 minutes of outgoing calls per month, you end up paying 15 bucks for it. The monthly for the contract itself is $1, unless you opt to get your bills emailed to you, in which case it's $0. The only caveat is that you have to make at least $5 worth of calls per month, or they charge you the $5 regardless. An unlimited 3G data plan is $27 per month. You're not charged anything for call display (hear that, Canadian telcos?)

And you can opt out and take your number to a cheaper competitor at any time. Unless you got a subsidized phone, in which case you have to pay the balance of the phone's full price to end your contract, at which point the provider is legally obligated to unlock your phone for you.

hagjohn
Aug 27, 2007, 08:56 PM
If Apple does nothing to "block" the hack, then I bet ATT will sue Apple for breach of contract. "Exclusive Provider" means Apple would have to go to some length to protect against "hacks". I would guess.

The way I see it, ATT loses and Apple wins.

1. You are not breaking the rules by unlocking the phone after you buy it and before you sign up with ATT.

2. I think its safe to say that most people hate ATT for exclusivity, even its customers and even Apple.

3. The Apple/ATT partnership is shaky, at best.

4. Apple's product is solid and its partnership with ATT is only a means to an end.

unigolyn
Aug 27, 2007, 09:04 PM
I hope that at&t or Apple's legal teams can block these unlockers. If people don't want at&t don't buy the iPhone. at&t paid big buck to be the exclusive carrier and there is no reason why some geek hackers should be allowed to bypass this.

Or I hope Apple can relock with each and every sofware update, and possibly a FORCED update!!

If you want an iPhone sign the at&t contract and shut up. If its not available in your country sit there and wait.

I don't give a flying ******* what AT&T paid Apple. The $599 is going directly to the manufacturer of the device, AT&T is not subsidizing it. What AT&T paid for was:

1. The right to be the only operator who can sell iPhones with contracts.
2. The right to be the only operator whom Apple provides activation for via iTunes.

If I want to use the device I owned with any other operator, and I can bypass the technical hurdles in doing so, I can do so legally, and AT&T can't do anything about it. They like to pretend they can, but they can't. End of story.

unigolyn
Aug 27, 2007, 09:13 PM
Yes, its that simple.

I went to the UK for vacation, took my phone with me. I bought a pay-as-you-go SIM card from the Vodaphone shop, replaced that with my Fido Sim card, and off I went...

Done in less than 10 minutes, including buying the Sim card... no waiting for 'next day' and needing to use the internet, like you suggest! :-)

Uh, when I took my Fido phone, that I paid the full, unsubsidized price for, to Europe, it was SIM locked. I went and paid about $15 Canadian to have it unlocked, after which my prepaid SIM worked just fine.

Then again this is Canada, the country with the absolute worst cell phone providers in the entire world.

M!K
Aug 27, 2007, 09:14 PM
Of course this was going to happen! D'you really think that AT&T would let this happen.

Plus here's what i think: If some program is able to unlock the iPhone, Apple is in trouble too; They have a contract with AT&T for a 5 years iPhone-exclusivity. So not AT&T nor Apple will let someone release a program that unlocks the iPhone. Sorry for those who were trying to get it!

mpw
Aug 27, 2007, 09:18 PM
I suspect that most iPhone haters do not actually use an iPhone on a daily basis...
Well if they hate the thing of course they're not gonna be using it, duh!

Rot'nApple
Aug 27, 2007, 09:18 PM
I will be in agreement with AT&T if they were giving you the iPhone so as which you have the contract of two years with them, but it's not like that, you already paid for the iPhone and already it's yours.

What's this "GIVE" thing? Since when is it required that any mobile phone carrier give you anything along the lines of hardware ie. 'a phone' when signing up for their service via a contract of minutes etc.? I mean, I see a Nokia phone branded by T-Mobile, but T-Mobile didn't "make" it, so why should T-Mobile give it to you. How does Nokia make money and recoup it's R&D and marketing, etc. What a "gimmee" mind set we seem to expect out of life.

Also, when I pay for MY hotel room, doesn't mean the bed is mine to walk out with and do as I please! (although look out little bars of soap! lol) Instead, I pay for the understanding that I am getting a room, hopefully clean, with a bed with fresh linens, an a/c, tv and lights that work, etc. for one nights sleep, or however many nights I paid for. I know the motel room is rented and teh iPhone is purchased, but I go in there with the understanding.

I go into the Apple store, I see the iPhone, I see literature regarding the understanding that it is to be used in conjunction with at&t's mobile service. I see the same on Apple's website - at&t minutes and rate plans, not to mention at&t's website. I go into an at&t store I see the iPhone and literature on mobile plan rates... I won't find that at T-Mobile's store or website, Verizon's store or website, Sprint's store or website... etc. I go to apple.com and replay the iPhone announcement back in January by Steve Jobs and see where Job's say's AT&T is THE exclusive carrier...

Hhmmmmm... I thinks to myself, there seems to be some connection with Apple's iPhone and AT&T as the exclusive mobile carrier, irregardless of where I plop my 600 bucks down... be it an apple store or apple online or at&t store...

If Apple didn't want the phone locked, then why is it locked? If Apple could have had the iPhone used by any ole body, anyway they wished, don't you think Apple would have done so? If the iPhone was not an AT&T exclusive, don't you think one would be able to input a T-Mobile SIM card and change-o, presto, it works?

Kind of like the episode of "Cops" I was watching the other day where a neighbor was watching their neighbor's house while they were on vacation and they called the police because of a break-in. The arrested person, who was an ex roomate, said they had a key that fits into the lock (never mind the fact that it didn't work to turn the tumblers in the lock) and with a friendly persuasion by throwing their hip into the door, the door magically worked. Never mine the lock was still deadbolted and the door was bent and the doorframe was splintered, they still had a key.


Yeah these are stupid comparisons... but no more stupid then the philosophy that, since I paid for the iPhone, it's mine to do as I please, when it's well documented with what you can do ala which service provider allows the phone to work right out of the box and with what service provider(s) it won't.

mambodancer
Aug 27, 2007, 09:20 PM
I don't give a flying ******* what AT&T paid Apple. The $599 is going directly to the manufacturer of the device, AT&T is not subsidizing it. What AT&T paid for was:

1. The right to be the only operator who can sell iPhones with contracts.
2. The right to be the only operator whom Apple provides activation for via iTunes.

If I want to use the device I owned with any other operator, and I can bypass the technical hurdles in doing so, I can do so legally, and AT&T can't do anything about it. They like to pretend they can, but they can't. End of story.

Agreed. This whole discussion of AT&T subsidizing the iPhone are just unsupported statements without fact. AT&T does not manufacture any kind of phone. LG does, Sanyo does, Blackberry and Palm do, etc. etc. The manufacture of phones isn't subsidized by any telephone carrier so why would people think the iPhone was? The iPhone was made and manufactured by Apple. This phone would have just as easily been offered by T-Mobile or any of the other carriers Apple approached had they but said Yes. Your 2 points are exactly spot on.

Rot'nApple
Aug 27, 2007, 09:34 PM
Agreed. This whole discussion of AT&T subsidizing the iPhone are just unsupported statements without fact. AT&T does not manufacture any kind of phone. LG does, Sanyo does, Blackberry and Palm do, etc. etc. The manufacture of phones isn't subsidized by any telephone carrier so why would people think the iPhone was? The iPhone was made and manufactured by Apple. This phone would have just as easily been offered by T-Mobile or any of the other carriers Apple approached had they but said Yes. Your 2 points are exactly spot on.

Except for the fact that it was AT&T that said yes. And it seems that Apple has given it exclusivity. While it is true that AT&T didn't create the iPhone and there is nothing AT&T can do, Apple did create the iPhone and I am sure through software updates, that there is something that they can do.

But let's just wait and see...

Will those who hack and unlock the iPhone via manipulation of Apple's hardware and / or software just to put in another phone carrier's SIM card, will they be locked out of future Apple updates for iPhone OS, say, version 5.0.2 that has increased stability, tighter security and new Apple provided iPhone apps or will they be relegated to iPhone OS 1.0.1.

CWallace
Aug 27, 2007, 09:36 PM
This whole discussion of AT&T subsidizing the iPhone are just unsupported statements without fact.

It's really just confusion. Cellular carries often eat some or all of the physical cost of the phone in exchange for a long-term service plan which ensures they make not only the amount they "ate", but also generates a profit. So it is natural for folks to think AT&T is doing the same with the iPhone. While Apple is certainly making darn nice coin on the iPhone, part of that is driven by it's capabilities and part by the fact it's Apple and hey, you pay to play.

It may very well be that AT&T is paying zero to Apple for each iPhone, and are only making revenue from the service plans themselves. Personally, I think this to be the case. And in such a case, AT&T would indeed not be subsidizing any of the cost of the phone. Also in such a case, it would be no surprise AT&T would fight tooth-and-nail against an easy unlocking since the entire $499 or $599 of the handset goes to Apple (in other words, Apple charges AT&T $499 or $599 for each iPhone they sell in an AT&T store).

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 09:47 PM
Well I find it very interesting that those who reponded to my question, Actual owners of the iPhone, who use it with AT&T, seem to be quite happy with it and the service that are getting.

So aside from those who have to switch and pay a cancellation...what is the problem? I had on Moto phone with ATT once and the reception was spotty...more than usual. I got a differnt phone (RAZR) which I still have and my reception almost everywhere is so much better. Sometimes it is not just the provider but the specific phone. It may be that if you had an iPhone, some of your problems would evaporte. Maybe?

CDphoto
Aug 27, 2007, 10:10 PM
I am not a computer tech or a lawyer but I think the solution could be rather simple. Just change the way the unlocking software works OR is marketed. Simply have it run as a application that, while on, allows the user to access other networks. Something that can be turned on or off if desired. Call it iVacation. Market it to iPhone users who travel and need to access international cell phone carriers (areas where ATT does not provide first hand coverage.) The companies selling the unlock would be no different then any other software developer. Since it would technically be an application, not a software hack, there would be nothing ATT or Apple could do. It would be like Apple saying you cant run adobe software because we said so and don't like what it does on our hardware.

Additionally once you leave the USA, ATT has no further exclusivity rights. Some other carrier will. Who is to say you can't take the same phone you purchased (and own, NOT RENT - it is not a hotel bed) and use it on Apple's European cell partner? Does ATT say in its contract that when outside their coverage area you MUST use partner carriers? For this reason among many others, I think ATT's challenge could easily be thrown out.

These are idealistic views. If any of it is possible it could solve the potential issue. And lets not forget this is only a potential problem not an actual one! Yet.

Football1maniac
Aug 27, 2007, 10:15 PM
Agreed. This whole discussion of AT&T subsidizing the iPhone are just unsupported statements without fact. AT&T does not manufacture any kind of phone. LG does, Sanyo does, Blackberry and Palm do, etc. etc. The manufacture of phones isn't subsidized by any telephone carrier so why would people think the iPhone was? The iPhone was made and manufactured by Apple. This phone would have just as easily been offered by T-Mobile or any of the other carriers Apple approached had they but said Yes. Your 2 points are exactly spot on.

In the same perspective, what about the iPod? I've seen all over the internet, Linux OS on the iPod. Is it illegal? NO! You are the owner of product you bought. If I want to go smash an iPod into a million pieces, hell, I'll do it!

AT&T has no right meddling with products already purchased by the consumer, I don't care what contract is on it.:mad:

pocketrockets
Aug 27, 2007, 10:17 PM
Again, ATT loses no matter what. They have no hand to tell Apple to make software updates locking the phone. Sure ATT might sue Apple for breaking an agreement. Still, Apple will most likely still win based on many of the arguments I've read tonight, and in the end, Apple will apease millions of customers, increasing their revenue and marketshare, while ATT gets nothing.

After all, what's ATT going to do? Get mad at Apple and say, the deal's off? They have no argument! LOL.

The smartest thing for ATT to do would be to not do anything. Just let it slide. Less than 5% of the iPhone community will hack it anyway.

BKKbill
Aug 27, 2007, 10:26 PM
I supposed its been mentioned before, but all mobile phones in the UK are "unlocked" so you can bung in any SIM card of your choice.

Same here in Thailand. And as said before AT&T has already lost this battle.

PubGuy
Aug 27, 2007, 10:32 PM
Everyone seems to be missing the point.
1) The Consumer pays full RETAIL price for the iPhone and owns the product.
2) If the Consumer ends up with bad credit, they can opt for a Monthly pre-paid plan.
3) If the Consumer chooses, they can cancel their service with AT&T within 14 to 30 days from signing the contract without penalty.
4) the DCMA allows for the legal unlocking of phones to work with other providers.
5) the Consumer can choose to unlock their iPhone without any legal repercussions (and it is NOT THEFT of anything ... its totally legal).
6) all the rest of this mindless speculation is meaningless.
7) besides, the basis of this whole discussion is nebulous at best. There is absolutely no validation that this mysterious phone call was even from a valid attorney, let alone one representing either Apple or AT&T. unlocking of cell phones is totally LEGAL in Europe and the company that states that it can do so with only a software patch is in Europe. It is even a legal exception in the US based on the DMCA. So, why is this even a valid discussion?????

GetSome681
Aug 27, 2007, 10:41 PM
Everyone seems to be missing the point.
1) The Consumer pays full RETAIL price for the iPhone and owns the product.
2) If the Consumer ends up with bad credit, they can opt for a Monthly pre-paid plan.
3) If the Consumer chooses, they can cancel their service with AT&T within 14 to 30 days from signing the contract without penalty.
4) the DCMA allows for the legal unlocking of phones to work with other providers.
5) the Consumer can choose to unlock their iPhone without any legal repercussions (and it is NOT THEFT of anything ... its totally legal).
6) all the rest of this mindless speculation is meaningless.
7) besides, the basis of this whole discussion is nebulous at best. There is absolutely no validation that this mysterious phone call was even from a valid attorney, let alone one representing either Apple or AT&T. unlocking of cell phones is totally LEGAL in Europe and the company that states that it can do so with only a software patch is in Europe. It is even a legal exception in the US based on the DMCA. So, why is this even a valid discussion?????


This has turned into a discussion because most people don't investigate the facts before forming their opinion. Most people in this thread have no idea what they're talking about. Also, I'm not going to believe a word that comes from these guys until I see them come forward and show their unlock like iphonesimfree.com did.

PNW
Aug 27, 2007, 11:02 PM
What's this "GIVE" thing? Since when is it required that any mobile phone carrier give you anything along the lines of hardware ie. 'a phone' when signing up for their service via a contract of minutes etc.? I mean, I see a Nokia phone branded by T-Mobile, but T-Mobile didn't "make" it, so why should T-Mobile give it to you. How does Nokia make money and recoup it's R&D and marketing, etc. What a "gimmee" mind set we seem to expect out of life.

Um T-Mobile buys the phone from Nokia at wholesale and then "sells" it to me for $0 and a long term contract. Point in case I have to sign the contract before I get the phone. Afterwards the phone is mine, I can do what ever I want to it including use it on another network, but I'm bound to the contract I signed with T-mobile which nets them more than the retail markup on the phone would.


Also, when I pay for MY hotel room, doesn't mean the bed is mine to walk out with and do as I please! (although look out little bars of soap! lol) Instead, I pay for the understanding that I am getting a room, hopefully clean, with a bed with fresh linens, an a/c, tv and lights that work, etc. for one nights sleep, or however many nights I paid for. I know the motel room is rented and teh iPhone is purchased, but I go in there with the understanding.


What understanding? that's the fundamental difference between owning and renting. If you own something it's yours to do with as you please if you rent it its not.



Yeah these are stupid comparisons... but no more stupid then the philosophy that, since I paid for the iPhone, it's mine to do as I please, when it's well documented with what you can do ala which service provider allows the phone to work right out of the box and with what service provider(s) it won't.

What so stupid about feeling that I can do what ever I damn well please with my property. I realize that the iPhone is designed and marketed to work with AT&T and if I don't like that I don't have to buy one. However figuring out how to make it work on another network is not stealing, and is well within my rights as the owner of said iPhone. It may violate the warranty, it may not be legal to sell/ profit from/ or patent said modifications, but it goes against the very essence of ownership to suggest I can't even attempt to make them. It's also worth noting that Apple tends to give a wink and a nod to tinkering. Note the recent "well it will void the warranty" statement about hacking the full OSX on the Apple TV.


So aside from those who have to switch and pay a cancellation...what is the problem? I had on Moto phone with ATT once and the reception was spotty...more than usual. I got a differnt phone (RAZR) which I still have and my reception almost everywhere is so much better. Sometimes it is not just the provider but the specific phone. It may be that if you had an iPhone, some of your problems would evaporte. Maybe?

T-Mobile has a tower on top of the apartment building at the end of the block, everyone else's towers are on the far side of a nearby hill. So With T-mobile we get full signal strength in the basement with everyone else you have to go outside to make a call. So in my case the carrier makes a huge difference. I don't have $500 to drop on a phone so it's kind of a mute point, but as an inherent tinkerer I get pretty ticked off when people start suggesting that companies should be able to dictate what consumers may and may not do with their products once they've been purchased. If a corporation wants that much control they should rent rather than sell.

Rot'nApple
Aug 27, 2007, 11:05 PM
This has turned into a discussion because most people don't investigate the facts before forming their opinion. Most people in this thread have no idea what they're talking about. Also, I'm not going to believe a word that comes from these guys until I see them come forward and show their unlock like iphonesimfree.com did.

Went to iphonesimfree.com and saw at the bottom of the homepage...

Copyright iPhoneSimFree.com . All rights reserved.
No responsibility taken for any misuse of the information above.

"Copyright"... "All rights reserved."... - hell of a nerve, but you gotta luv 'em!:rolleyes:

With regards to "Also, I'm not going to believe a word that comes from these guys until I see them come forward and show their unlock like iphonesimfree.com did."...

Where did you see iphonesimfree.com actually demonstrate their software that makes you believe that the software produced by them works?

mazola
Aug 27, 2007, 11:13 PM
Wait a minute.

I am the power.

cameronjpu
Aug 27, 2007, 11:14 PM
Evidence?

That $200 could be pure 'profit' for Apple - i.e., a cash cow for Apple.

The cost analysis of the phone has already been made and Apple are already making a hefty profit from each iPhone ( ignoring r&d, marketing etc ).

What's the difference between pure profit and tainted impure profit?

Apple gets around $800 per 8 GB ATT iPhone, period. Selling it without ATT only nets $600. See how that's $200 less for Apple?

wnurse
Aug 27, 2007, 11:15 PM
The problem is that if I purchases a piece of hardware I should be able to do anything I want with it. If I want to throw my iPhone out of the window, hit it with hammer, or frame it and hang it on my wall no one should be able to stop me. If I want to change the software on a piece of hardware that I *own* then I should be able to.

If ATT/Apple wants to keep the iPhone locked down then they should lease them like the cable companies do with their cable boxes. I purchase an ATT phone plan and get an iPhone lease for another $5/month or something. When my contract expires I have to turn the phone back in or get charged. The way it currently works is that ATT/Apple wants to eat their cake and have it to by selling you ownership of the hardware with none of the rights that ownership implies.

Why do people always make the same old tired argument that you make?. No, you do not have the right to do whatever you want with the product you buy... you only have the right that the owner of the product confers upon you. Sigh.. hasn't this been debated in other forums?. I bet you made this argument before. An example of where you cannot do whatever you want is with music.. you cannot just sell unlimited copies of your music electronically just cause you paid for it.. You cannot drive your car through a red light cause you paid for the car. You cannot demand the captain of a cruise ship going to greece take you to alaska cause you paid for the cruise, you cannot demand extra legroom on a plane cause you bought a ticket. You cannot reverse engineer an ipod and mass produce it cause you bought one. You cannot install mac osX on any computer other than a mac cause you paid for it..
Get it?... ok... jeesh!!!. The owner of a product can introduce any limitation on product use that they want to and that is legal. You can choose not to buy that product but once you do, you agree to limitations set by the owner of the product. Stop making these 4th grade observations that you can do anything with a product you bought.

nemaslov
Aug 27, 2007, 11:20 PM
T-Mobile has a tower on top of the apartment building at the end of the block, everyone else's towers are on the far side of a nearby hill. So With T-mobile we get full signal strength in the basement with everyone else you have to go outside to make a call. So in my case the carrier makes a huge difference. I don't have $500 to drop on a phone so it's kind of a mute point, but as an inherent tinkerer I get pretty ticked off when people start suggesting that companies should be able to dictate what consumers may and may not do with their products once they've been purchased. If a corporation wants that much control they should rent rather than sell.[/QUOTE]


I guess I am just old fashion. When I am home...I have a land line. My mobile phone is for when I am...well mobile.

wnurse
Aug 27, 2007, 11:24 PM
Again, ATT loses no matter what. They have no hand to tell Apple to make software updates locking the phone. Sure ATT might sue Apple for breaking an agreement. Still, Apple will most likely still win based on many of the arguments I've read tonight, and in the end, Apple will apease millions of customers, increasing their revenue and marketshare, while ATT gets nothing.

After all, what's ATT going to do? Get mad at Apple and say, the deal's off? They have no argument! LOL.

The smartest thing for ATT to do would be to not do anything. Just let it slide. Less than 5% of the iPhone community will hack it anyway.

Apple will win based on the arguments you have read?. Are you for real?. See what happens when you let 5 years old type on computers?.

Also apple appeasing millions of users has nothing to do with ATT suing the pants of them.. and lets take your argument to a logical conclusion.. what other carrier would want to deal with apple if they can cavilarly break their agreement?. A phone without service is an expensive paperweight. Maybe you should give apple the advice to let things slide too.. perhaps you should tell them to let thinksecret slide.. or those people in china cloning the iphone to slide... Actually, you are not 5, you are 4. Stop playing with your mothers computer and go do your homework.

PNW
Aug 27, 2007, 11:32 PM
I guess I am just old fashion. When I am home...I have a land line. My mobile phone is for when I am...well mobile.

I'm old enough to still see merit in a land line (and like it for incoming calls), but once the T-mobile tower went up, it seemed silly to pay extra for long distance.

Rot'nApple
Aug 27, 2007, 11:36 PM
What understanding? that's the fundamental difference between owning and renting. If you own something it's yours to do with as you please if you rent it its not.




What so stupid about feeling that I can do what ever I damn well please with my property. I realize that the iPhone is designed and marketed to work with AT&T and if I don't like that I don't have to buy one. However figuring out how to make it work on another network is not stealing, and is well within my rights as the owner of said iPhone. It may violate the warranty, it may not be legal to sell/ profit from/ or patent said modifications, but it goes against the very essence of ownership to suggest I can't even attempt to make them. It's also worth noting that Apple tends to give a wink and a nod to tinkering. Note the recent "well it will void the warranty" statement about hacking the full OSX on the Apple TV.


So if I bought a cable-ready tv from walmart, and it's my tv, to do as I wish, and I want to receive more tv channels. Since I have the right to do with my property anything I like, as in hack my tv to receive channels that other people see on cable, I can, just as long as I don't need the local cable company's "cable box" and I won't splice into any of cable's proprietory lines running from their network, to the streets, to the houses... If I hack until I "invent" a work around that supplies cable programming to my cable ready tv that I bought and is my tv, I'm in the clear, as well as the right!

I don't think my local cable company would buy it though...



I don't have $500 to drop on a phone so it's kind of a mute point, but as an inherent tinkerer I get pretty ticked off when people start suggesting that companies should be able to dictate what consumers may and may not do with their products once they've been purchased. If a corporation wants that much control they should rent rather than sell.

Our government does it all the time, but by your own admission above, you must be a Fair Tax supporter, http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer - who wants to repeal the income tax that our government uses to dictate what tax citizens HAVE to pay based on the income received from the hard work they put in to their employers.

Good deal my friend!

GetSome681
Aug 27, 2007, 11:42 PM
With regards to "Also, I'm not going to believe a word that comes from these guys until I see them come forward and show their unlock like iphonesimfree.com did."...

Where did you see iphonesimfree.com actually demonstrate their software that makes you believe that the software produced by them works?

How did you miss this? There's even a video that shows it.
http://www.engadget.com/2007/08/24/iphone-unlocked-atandt-loses-iphone-exclusivity-august-24-2007/

Again, iphonesimfree is the group that has demonstrated that their unlock works. AT&T is 'supposedly' theatening legal action towards iphoneunlocking, which is another group that announced they had a software unlock shortly after iphonesimfree, yet they have not backed up any of their claims. More than likely iphoneunlocking is just riding on the coat tails of the real unlockers, iphonesimfree, and are using all the buzz surrounding this to generate loads of traffic and signups to their website. All this will play out soon enough, so eventually we'll know the truth.

PNW
Aug 27, 2007, 11:46 PM
you cannot just sell unlimited copies of your music electronically just cause you paid for it..


No but I can rearrange it however I want to for my own listening enjoyment.


You cannot drive your car through a red light cause you paid for the car.


I can if I own the light and the intersection


You cannot demand the captain of a cruise ship going to greece take you to alaska cause you paid for the cruise

I can If I bought the boat, though I'd have to settle a fair number of lawsuits from passengers expecting to go to Greece.


, you cannot demand extra legroom on a plane cause you bought a ticket.

Once again if I bought the plane I can have as much legroom as I want.


You cannot reverse engineer an ipod and mass produce it cause you bought one.

I can If I make enough changes so as not to violate the patent, and that's only necessary if I want to sell them. If I just want to make a better iPod for myself I'm well within my rights.



You cannot install mac osX on any computer other than a mac cause you paid for it..

I'd be interested to see that hold up in court of of course acquiring a legal full installation of OS X would be rather tricky since no one sells them, so I'll grant you a draw on that one, but the rest of your arguments are bunk

pocketrockets
Aug 27, 2007, 11:49 PM
Apple will win based on the arguments you have read?. Are you for real?. See what happens when you let 5 years old type on computers?.

Also apple appeasing millions of users has nothing to do with ATT suing the pants of them.. and lets take your argument to a logical conclusion.. what other carrier would want to deal with apple if they can cavilarly break their agreement?. A phone without service is an expensive paperweight. Maybe you should give apple the advice to let things slide too.. perhaps you should tell them to let thinksecret slide.. or those people in china cloning the iphone to slide... Actually, you are not 5, you are 4. Stop playing with your mothers computer and go do your homework.

At least a 5 year old would know that question marks that end a question don't need to be followed by a period.

I think most people on this board think that your points are bunk anyway, and they probably hate your guts for it.

beer.coffee
Aug 27, 2007, 11:54 PM
At least a 5 year old would know that question marks that end a question don't need to be followed by a period.

Haha, grammar police always make me laugh :p
It's the tireless effort of a select few that keep the internet on its literal tracks.

pocketrockets
Aug 27, 2007, 11:56 PM
Haha, grammar police always make me laugh :p
It's the tireless effort of a select few that keep the internet on its literal tracks.

Haha. Yup. Actually its more like punctuation police. But there I go again.

PNW
Aug 28, 2007, 12:03 AM
So if I bought a cable-ready tv from walmart, and it's my tv, to do as I wish, and I want to receive more tv channels. Since I have the right to do with my property anything I like, as in hack my tv to receive channels that other people see on cable, I can, just as long as I don't need the local cable company's "cable box" and I won't splice into any of cable's proprietory lines running from their network, to the streets, to the houses... If I hack until I "invent" a work around that supplies cable programming to my cable ready tv that I bought and is my tv, I'm in the clear, as well as the right!

I don't think my local cable company would buy it though...



That's because that would be theft of service. You'd be stealing cable broadcasts albeit "magically" through the air. No one's talking about modifying the iPhone to get free service they're just talking about modifying it to pay for someone else's service. Modifying said cable ready tv to receive both cable and satellite broadcasts and paying for both services is more along the lines of what I'm talking about.



Our government does it all the time, but by your own admission above, you must be a Fair Tax supporter, http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer - who wants to repeal the income tax that our government uses to dictate what tax citizens HAVE to pay based on the income received from the hard work they put in to their employers.

Good deal my friend!
The government regulates what I can and can't do with my property rightly or wrongly in the name of public safety, but I'm not sure what that has to do with tax policy? All I'm doing is defending my right to tinker.

beer.coffee
Aug 28, 2007, 12:07 AM
Haha. Yup. Actually its more like punctuation police. But there I go again.

Haha :o

BKKbill
Aug 28, 2007, 12:14 AM
Haha. Yup. Actually its more like punctuation police. But there I go again.

Just love it. And am I ever impressed with all the shrewd attorney types on Mac Forms, certainly is good to see so many adept at discovery and manipulation of legal technicalities. Anyone from Philadelphia per chance?

pocketrockets
Aug 28, 2007, 12:20 AM
Just love it. And am I ever impressed with all the shrewd attorney types on Mac Forms, certainly is good to see so many adept at discovery and manipulation of legal technicalities. Anyone from Philadelphia per chance?

Hahaha, why, do you need a lawyer?

koobcamuk
Aug 28, 2007, 12:28 AM
Of course this was going to happen! D'you really think that AT&T would let this happen.

Plus here's what i think: If some program is able to unlock the iPhone, Apple is in trouble too; They have a contract with AT&T for a 5 years iPhone-exclusivity. So not AT&T nor Apple will let someone release a program that unlocks the iPhone. Sorry for those who were trying to get it!

I hope this software gets onto a torrent file.

Then watch AT&T try to stop it... :D

lazyrighteye
Aug 28, 2007, 12:38 AM
Well if they hate the thing of course they're not gonna be using it, duh!

Hehe.
I meant more that I find it interesting how many people bitch and moan about something they have probably not ever used nor use on a daily basis.
If they did, and still felt like bitching & moaning, great.

But the former is just weak sauce.

Besides, millions of Windows users hate windows yet continue using it. ;)

CDphoto
Aug 28, 2007, 01:20 AM
...You cannot drive your car through a red light cause you paid for the car. ...


I am sorry but please make arguments that are logical. Just because you buy a car doesn't mean you can drive it through a red light? What???? Lets first stop comparing apples to oranges. If you buy a car you can modify it how ever you want! Think about how many hot rods exist is the world. Could you imagine Ford telling the owners of mustangs that they can NOT add a new exhaust or boar out the engine for more horse power! We are debating the difference between ownership and renting/leasing. There is a huge difference. People please at least get the basic fundamentals of Consumer law right before entering this debate.

The slate can clearly be settled on these points:

1.We do not need to debate who owns the iPhone when it is purchased. It is undebatable. So stop doing it!!!!!!
2.There is enough information readily available to prove that the unlocking of cell phones is LEGAL. There are some fine points to this but otherwise it can be laid to rest too.
3.An iPhone can be purchased without an ATT Contract period. Same price as with one.
4. No one can prove or disprove it so drop this "it is subsidized" BS. Apple could be taking a cut of the cell service revenue not a phone subsidy. If you cant prove a point it is not a valid argument in a debate.
5. ATT has no right to determine what a user does with a device once it is purchased unless it is rented and under the rental contract it is clearly stated that no modifications can be performed.
6. If you signed an ATT contract well you made your bed. If you don't like it too bad. No one held a knife to your throat.

The reason this started: I believe a company got caught over promising and under delivering. Either that or iPhoneSimFree.com pulled one heck of a trick out of its bag to delay a competitor from releasing a competing product earlier then they. Finally maybe this did have to do with ATT. They could have used this bogus method to delay the release in order to attempt to find a legal means to prevent the softwares release.

Regardless, even if no company ever sells the unlocking software. We all know that the unlock will make it out to the web and people will use it. NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE LEGALITIES OF USING IT. As long as then get what they want.

CDphoto
Aug 28, 2007, 01:25 AM
sorry double post

BKKbill
Aug 28, 2007, 01:52 AM
Hahaha, why, do you need a lawyer?

Thanks but no thanks. Really not required. If I ever do it will be a simple matter to just post here what with all the experts on jurisprudence. :p

emotion
Aug 28, 2007, 04:07 AM
What's the difference between pure profit and tainted impure profit?

Apple gets around $800 per 8 GB ATT iPhone, period. Selling it without ATT only nets $600. See how that's $200 less for Apple?

Please show sources for this information.

Otherwise this is just conjecture.


I guess I am just old fashion. When I am home...I have a land line.


You're old fashioned. Seriously, a lot of people choose not to have landlines these days.

emotion
Aug 28, 2007, 05:13 AM
OK, here's a twist. In France they are due to get the iPhone over the next few months. Apparently the law in France states that a lock-in is ok for up to 6 months. After that the hardware provider has to allow (or provide info to allow) the user to unlock and use another provider (the contract with the telco is still there though, unless you cancel).

This implies that in France at least unlocking is going to have to be not only allowed but in some way assisted.

If the iPhones are the same worldwide then easy unlocking will eventually have to be allowed.

...or just maybe EU/Asia market get a different phone? Or different firmware?

koobcamuk
Aug 28, 2007, 06:19 AM
...or just maybe EU/Asia market get a different phone? Or different firmware?

Let's have a 3G phone that doesn't work in the states! :D

emotion
Aug 28, 2007, 06:26 AM
Let's have a 3G phone that doesn't work in the states! :D

I'm still clinging onto the fragments of info/rumour that suggest an outcome like that. :)

Stella
Aug 28, 2007, 06:38 AM
What's the difference between pure profit and tainted impure profit?

Apple gets around $800 per 8 GB ATT iPhone, period. Selling it without ATT only nets $600. See how that's $200 less for Apple?

Where did you get the $800 from? isn't the 8GB iPhone $600 where ever you buy it from?

( edit - err, yep, $600 from AT&T too - http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/specials/iPhoneCenter.html

So, where did you get the $800 per 8 GB ATT iPhone? )

rbroady
Aug 28, 2007, 06:47 AM
Where did you get the $800 from? isn't the 8GB iPhone $600 where ever you buy it from?

( edit - err, yep, $600 from AT&T too - http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/specials/iPhoneCenter.html

So, where did you get the $800 per 8 GB ATT iPhone? )

apples cut on the two year contrat i believe

Mykolas
Aug 28, 2007, 06:52 AM
Don't you think ppl, that this could be fake? Maybe they dont have software ready to unlock all iPhones. They this pretend to have one. m?

BKKbill
Aug 28, 2007, 06:57 AM
Where did you get the $800 from? isn't the 8GB iPhone $600 where ever you buy it from?

( edit - err, yep, $600 from AT&T too - http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/specials/iPhoneCenter.html

So, where did you get the $800 per 8 GB ATT iPhone? )

Some of it might be here.
http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9747031-7.html

koobcamuk
Aug 28, 2007, 06:57 AM
I'm still clinging onto the fragments of info/rumour that suggest an outcome like that. :)

If that really happens... I think you could count me in.

Stella
Aug 28, 2007, 07:29 AM
apples cut on the two year contrat i believe

As I said earlier, that is no evidence for Apple iPhone subsidies - it could be a cash cow for Apple.

At no point in time have Phone manufacturers been successful in preventing phone unlocking. Apple isn't going to be the first.

christian_k
Aug 28, 2007, 07:34 AM
Let's have a 3G phone that doesn't work in the states! :D

This would be easy. Just make it GSM 900 / GSM 1800, but leave out the 1900 and 800 MHz Bands. This would work all over Europe but would be useless in the USA (or: limited to WLAN only operation).

Even a lot of GSM/UMTS dual mode phones are not able to log on UMTS directly, they always first log on GSM and switch to UMTS only when needed (this reduces energy consumption).

So they could even make a special Version for Europe with GSM 900/1800 and UMTS.

koobcamuk
Aug 28, 2007, 07:50 AM
So they could even make a special Version for Europe with GSM 900/1800 and UMTS.

That's what I meant. I want 3G though. Then I'll get this puppy.

sanford
Aug 28, 2007, 07:53 AM
He's right. It's the hole in the nonsubsidy plan. Although even with a subsidy you have to agree in contract that they own the phone until the contract is satisfied but they usually handle this with termination fees. I'm happy with att and full feature support and because att store was a few miles closer than Apple even bought my iPhone there. But tbe contract I entered into AFTER purchase is for service, not the phone.

I don't give a flying ******* what AT&T paid Apple. The $599 is going directly to the manufacturer of the device, AT&T is not subsidizing it. What AT&T paid for was:

1. The right to be the only operator who can sell iPhones with contracts.
2. The right to be the only operator whom Apple provides activation for via iTunes.

If I want to use the device I owned with any other operator, and I can bypass the technical hurdles in doing so, I can do so legally, and AT&T can't do anything about it. They like to pretend they can, but they can't. End of story.

ncbill
Aug 28, 2007, 08:30 AM
You're referring to copyright infringement, both civil and criminal.

Yes, I agree you shouldn't pirate software, otherwise your employee will rat you out to the BSA, and you may be criminally charged (though that almost never happens when it's simply a company pirating software for its own use)

There is no issue of criminal copyright infringement when an end user unlocks their iPhone.

The best recourse against such action would have been the DMCA, at least before last year's exemption.

I get the impression you are a software developer.

You can throw whatever you like into a EULA, but again, there's no guarantee a court will enforce any particular provision against the end user.

Try installing a rootkit (even if disclosed in the EULA), and see if that protects against civil or criminal liability (it won't)

But EULA provisions wouldn't apply in the case of a company selling an unlock tool.

To Weckart: Yes, EULAs are enforceable. In mid-2006, over $2,000,000 fines in just 19 cases in the US. See Business Software Alliance (bsa.org) and Microsoft. When settlements are reached out of court, they still constitute precedent.

Damages: AT&T would go in claiming every potential customer lost. Whether they would get a settlement for that is another matter.

Reverse engineering: You can reverse engineer anything if you want to--you just can't use the intellectual property for your own product or commercial benefit, and that includes Europe (we have patents in the EU).

emotion
Aug 28, 2007, 08:40 AM
Some of it might be here.
http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9747031-7.html

It's widely known that Apple demanded a cut of the monthlies from the network provider but there's no evidence I've seen where the cost of the phone is subsidised directly by anyone.