iPhone 3G unlocker released on schedule
But it's a beta
As promised, the intrepid iPhone Dev Team released its iPhone 3G unlocking utility, yellowsn0w, on the first of this year.
Unfortunately, it's not a fully blessed 1.0 release, but instead beta version 0.9.4, and reports are emerging that it's performing like ... well ... a beta.
On Yellowsn0w.net, for example, posters report experiences ranging from "I got mine working" to "Still no luck." Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo reports success - well, "It has worked for me after some fiddling," to be exact - but reports from commenters to his article range from "It worked right away" to "for me suddenly it did stop working."
If you'd like to take a crack at cracking your iPhone with this beta, be advised that the version 0.9.4 works only with baseband 02.28.00. Fortunately, that's the version provided by iPhone 2.2 Software Update, Apple's most recent. Before you start messing with yellowsn0w, make sure to use iTunes to upgrade your iPhone to 2.2.
The app doesn't seem worrisome, however. The iPhone Dev Team reassuringly describes yellowsn0w as "a small daemon that is launched on boot. It injects the payload at boot and also whenever there is a baseband reset. You won’t notice anything about it other than that your third-party sim now works."
The Team also promises that "yellowsn0w is completely removable through Cydia, the command line, and iTunes." That should calm experimenters a bit.
Let us know your experiences with beta 0.9.4. And feel free to call us cowards, but we'll wait for version 1.0. ®
It always suprises me the number of people that will slam the 'joyless nerds', while still enjoying all the technology built on lifetimes of work by... err... 'joyless nerds' who honed their skills by 'twatting around'. Gosh, that Marie Curie, all that twatting round with 'radium-isolation' - and even worse, she was a foreigner! And even even worse, she was a woman! And even even even worse, she supported 'open source'! And even even even even worse, she was still a woman! So bad it made the list twice! You must be apoplectic by now...
I take it that they cease to be joyless nerds when their goal is something you consider worthwhile? I'll climb that mountain/trek to the pole, because it's a challenge = 'national hero'. I'll hack that phone, because it's a challenge = 'joyless nerd'? Interesting point of view though not one I'd like to keep through life.
Want an unrestricted phone? Buy one that already is like that!
Basically, that. Kudos to the jailbreaking teams, but really, by buying an iPhone you are already *rewarding* Apple for its stupid lockdown policies. A touchscreen phone isn't a basic necessity, FFS! If you don't like the iPhone restrictiveness, you can always buy an HTC. Or that weird LG variant. Or the BB Storm.
Me? I'll stick with my Curve, and I might go for the BB Bold when my contract ends, if only for the 3G coverage.
I have a similar stance with game consoles: My PS3 allows me to install Linux (or any other compatible OS) without any restrictions (ok, the RSX hardware isn't available. So what?) and requires no hacking. As for games, they are no longer region-locked! Compare to the XBox360, which is basically a PC with a nice graphics card and TV output instead of DVI output.
It's been fascinating . . .
Apple aren't simply wicked or greedy for locking up the iPhone, it was necessary to break the power of the carrier cartels and deliver some semblance of a neutral mobile broadband service at a bearable price to properly open up mobile internet and location sensitive revenue opportunities. Apple played the carriers and the hackers perfectly with the bait (expensive, revenue sharing, deliberately hackable, limited distribution original iPhone) and switch (low user price second gen with up-front carrier subsidy, bullet proof firmware when Apple wants, and worldwide distribution).
The point is, the so called "mistakes" and "greed" have been an essential part of Apple bootstrapping itself rapidly, safely, and profitably into a highly competitive market. Like Microsoft's condoning PC software piracy until competition withered, but far more subtle and in an established market. I doubt Apple knew in detail how the game would play out, but the carriers, the Apple fans, and the hackers played their essential parts perfectly. Without exploiting all three, iPhone would not be where it is today. It's been a joy to watch over the past 2 years, and showed up the other players as relative simpletons.