Unlocked iPhones are making the rounds on eBay and Craigslist, allowing users to choose T-Mobile, the cell phone carrier with the highest customer service ratings in 2007, or other smaller carriers that use the GSM standard. The unlocked phones themselves are selling for $450 to $700 with hackers charging anywhere from $25 to $50 to unlock phones that customers already own. Many of the phones are being sold to European customers who don't want to wait for the release in Europe. The unlocked phones are also being sold in Asia, with one hacker reporting inquiries from India and Singapore.
The initial hack was done by a 17-year-old kid from New Jersey who spent over 500 hours researching and executing it, and he's now selling his original phone with bids over $15,000 at last count. There is plenty of speculation that Apple will try to block the hack with a future update, mostly to appease AT&T, who owns the exclusive license for iPhone subscriptions, even though hackers have said that the modifications are "restore and upgrade resistant." The most likely mechanism for resetting the hacked phones would be a firmware upgrade, which Gizmodo claims would be "very likely" to reset the unlocked phones.
The iPhone Hack Brings Good News (Portland Business Journal)
Personally, I still do not see myself getting an iPhone for various reasons, but if I did, I would want to have the ability to choose my own carrier. I have been with Verizon for several years, and it has given me very good service, but AT&T has not show itself to have exemplary service. However, having a hacked iPhone might be more trouble than it is worth if upgrades will require re-hacking the phone. Plus, business users will have to jump through several hoops to get the iPhone to work with the most popular groupware application out there: Microsoft Outlook.
Have you gotten your iPhone? Are you planning to or have you already hacked it? What carrier did you go to (or will you go to)? Are you worried about future updates? Join the discussion.