AT&T Cracks On Commercial iPhone Unlocking Groups

macpro2006It was bound to happen: AT&T is going after the commercial snakes groups trying to profit from the iPhone unlocking. Apparently they can hunt these mercenaries down. You can still 100% unlock with the TurboSIM method but, once again, there is only one way to really blow up the Death Star: Support the iPhone Dev Team to get the FREE software unlock.[…] Thanks to macpro2006 for providing this nice story on Digg (more than 854Diggs).

What other users say about this:

backon: I never liked Iphoes, It sucks.

pekea: best regards

toetagger: Why haven’t we heard from the other unlockers? Did att contact them? What’s the point in stopping
only one method? This week, unlockers will ask “law firm” to explain what legal reason to desist.

justinkwaugh: these guys are known scammers

gurellia53: maybee they’ll figure out that fighting AT&T in the courtroom would cost more than they’d make off the software and then they’ll release it for free. That would piss off AT&T

bigrodey77: Is it just me or are the comments completely FUCKED?

LeonardNimrod: @ pr5owner.

You don’t have to sign up for a contract, you have always been able to go month to month. When you purchase an iPhone there is no lengthy contract that has to be filled out. It’s yours free and clear. Walk into and Apple Store or AT&T Store make the purchase and leave. Simple and sweet.

There is a discount with the iPhone The reason the phone only costs $500/600 and not $800/900 like other high-end phones is because Apple is getting monthly payments from AT&T customers using the iPhone, especially for new customers. Recall that half of iPhone customers are new to AT&T. This is a huge bonus to AT&T, hence their desire to keep the phone from being unlocked.

However, with only T-Mobile and a couple MVNOs being the only carriers beign able to support GSM there really isn’t much of a threat in the US. Plus, options like Visual Voicemail and YouTube (currently) will not function without AT&T service.

The real issue here is Apple’s ability to secure contracts in other countries. With the iPhone unlocked Apple loses a good deal of bargaining power. Will they try to maintain the same contracts by offering a new firmware update that will break the current unlocking feature or will they simple offer the phone to all EU countries at an increased price to supplement the loss of income incurred by not getting monthly dues. I’m going with the former and I expect Apple will offer another service provider tie-in (like Visual Voicemail) that will make customers want to stick with Apple’s preferred carriers.

gh0st3000: I believe AT&T has a very valid reason to stop these people. The clause in the DMCA is that it’s allowed “when circumvention is
accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone
communication network.”
The issue isn’t the actual cracking, it’s that they are profiting from it. Cracking it for personal use is perfectly legal, making a business based on it definitely is not. On the other hand, if the crackers were to release the tool for free, I think AT&T would be SOL.

HappyScrappy: “cracking on” isn’t the same as “cracking down on”.

And this article is poorly researched. This company is shady and surely saw their customer base disappearing to a competitor, so they brought up a story about how they were being held back.

There’s no actual evidence AT&T is quashing this.

wilhoitm: The visual voicemail wont work anyway! I think?

Chicken: Why even buy the phone in the first place and pay to unlock when you can just get a different phone that has more features that are unlocked.

djalam: hahah i hope this software gets released so at&t get what’s coming to them…..

twrife: Would a cracked iPhone ever work on Verizon?

lead2thehead: Companies sell software to unlock *every* GSM phone. I predict that this “crackdown” will fail miserably.

JoeLeo: Summary:
AT&T doesn’t make the iPhone, Apple does – AT&T is just being a bully without legal standing.

The problem is, who can afford to argue a legal case against them?

We all know that it’s 100% legal to unlock a GSM phone from its wireless carrier – regardless of method – since last November.

The iPhone is a hardware product purchase – not a software licensing agreement. Once you own the product, you’re free to do what you want with it – as long as it does not harm their network; this is supported by the Nov 2006 ruling by the US Copyright office explicitly stating that it’s not a DMCA violation to unlock phones from wireless networks (in other words, it’s a consumer’s legal right).

People say we need Internet network neutrality, but, what is overlooked is the fact that we more urgently need *wireless* network neutrality.

AT&T has been around for more than a century and they’re an oligopoly. Due to anti-trust they were broken up once only to remerge with their sister companies. As a service provider, they overstep their lines when they censor content such as the with Pearl Jam earlier this month. A better documented example is that they also censor text message content provided by content providers [i.e. content sent by SMS short codes, for example, PayPal Mobile was disallowed on the AT&T network for payments via SMS common short codes (CSC) for over a year and, currently, T-Mobile in the US disallows any third party SMS payments program, via short codes, on their network]. Limiting porn or betting, via SMS, is understandable, but limiting SMS payments is definitely crossing the line.

By continuing to censor and bully consumers and companies, alike, AT&T could lose their “service provider” status and be labeled as a “content provider” which would be very bad for the US consumer trying to maintain convenient and free, yet private, communications.


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