Feeds

T-Mobile iPhones unlocked post-purchase by iTunes

Easy way to SIM-independence for everyone else?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

What's the difference between the locked Apple iPhone sold by T-Mobile Germany and the much more expensive unlocked version sold by the same carrier? Not a jot, it seems: the process of unlocking the handset is handled post-purchase by iTunes.

So claims local website MacNotesDe, which detailed the process. Buy an iPhone and pay the €600 'unlocking fee' - the unlocked version's €999 price minus the €399 T-Mobile wants for the locked model. T-Mobile records your handset's IMEI, which it then submits to Apple. Some 24 hours later, you activate your iPhone in the usual way using iTunes, but this time the handset is unlocked.

Some MacNotesDe correspondents report that the whole activation process takes place in seconds.

All of which suggests the iPhone checks with Apple what SIMs it's allowed to use, presumably by comparing its IMEI with Apple's master database of IMEIs and associated networks. Presumably the iPhone doesn't do this on a regular basis, only upon activation, so if clever hackers can figure out which bit of the handset's memory is set to enable to phone to accept or block certain SIMs, they'll have a simple way of unlocking the phones in future.

Past attempts at unlocking have involved all sorts of adjustements being made to the iPhone's radio software - aka the Baseband. Some even adjusted a handset's IMEI, which may have worked by assigned it a new number set as default to allow all SIMs by Apple's master IMEI database.

We shall see. In the meantime, the official unlocking process leaves the handset with firmware version 1.1.2. The quick activation process suggests Apple isn't re-patching unlocked handset's radio software.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.