New Jersey teen untethers iPhone from AT&T network

Thank God that someone finally unlocked the iPhone from AT&T.  It’s about damn time. 

While there’s been a lot of speculation as to why Apple would make such a bonehead move as tie themselves to AT&T, I can kind of see how it works for them.  For one, I’m sure that AT&T paid ridiculous dollars to become The Provider of Choice.  Second, I’m sure that Apple was happy to have a carrier that would offer the whole supercool voicemail thing, which is one of the ‘big’ features of the iPhone.  Third, why not?  AT&T’s wrangling of the Cingular network (which is actually the other way around – Cingular grabbed up the ATT mobile division and is using it to rebrand their unbelievably tarnished brand identity and reputation) makes it one of the largest (if not the largest) networks around. 

So you alienate the poor jerks who are fighting the overpriced, bloated, horrible customer service companies and use T-Mobile (like me.)  No big deal, we’re a minority anyway.  Locking the iPhone down to AT&T seems like a low blow though.  Offering it primarily through AT&T, that’s one thing.  Locking it down?  Low.

And everyone knows I’m a huge fan of Apple and all things Apple.  Their product line, their philosophies (most of them, anyway), and their general Way has been something I’ve been preaching for years.  This latest move doesn’t impress me (and I know it hasn’t impressed many others.)  Unfortunately (and Apple knows this) the phone rocks.  It’s really impressive.  I don’t do first runs, I always wait for revisions, and I was sorely tempted to score one an iPhone.  I hate AT&T/Cingular, and I was sorely tempted to get an iPhone.  This lockdown crap had me up in arms, yet I was sorely tempted to nab one of these puppies. 

So yeah, they’re doing their thing, dancing with the devil, whatever.  Their products still rule.  Even though the process of unlocking the sucker requires 2 hours of skilled soldering and software manipulation (i.e. hacking this shit out of it), I’m glad it was accomplished.  I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before there’s a simpler, more easily accomplished solution or, like was mentioned in the article, the cottage industry of unlocking iPhones will spring up to provide the rest of us with phones.  I think a lot of whether this cottage industry will thrive will depend entirely on how much more expensive the iPhone will get after the unlocking process.  We’ll see.

What’d be great would be to see Apple actually offering to unlock iPhones.  Or heck, why not just sell unlocked iPhones to begin with?