Thursday, March 19, 2009

AT&T's partly unlocked iPhone

As reported by the Boy Genius Report, AT&T will be offering iPhones without the normal 2-year contract at a $400 premium ($600 and $700 vs. the subsidized $200 and $300).

The “No-Commit” policy means there is no written commitment to keep AT&T service, but it’s not clear if the phone will still be locked (from a technical standpoint) to only work on the AT&T network. If the phone is still locked, then this option is only useful with GoPhone, AT&T’s prepaid network.

This isn’t much of a breakthrough for openness, and far short of what regulators are compelling Apple’s European carriers to do.

Of course, users have been figuring out how to hack the iPhone to run on the only other GSM network in the US — the T-Mobile network. There’s a discussion thread on MacRumors with more than 400 posts just about this topic.

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