Unlocking the iPhone could be great news for users who are currently bound by contracts with other US carriers or for users who reside outside of the US and want to start using the device. Although the first signs already indicate that it is possible to unlock the iPhone, hackers must overcome several challenges first. One of these challenges is bypassing the authentication process in iTunes and allowing users to register an AT&T service plan as well as activate the features of the phone itself, including its function as a music player and camera.
As published by gj on the iPhone Dev Wiki, one of the many sites where efforts to unlock the phone are recorded, “we have managed to fool the iTunes activation processes. This should allow us to activate the phone. In fact it should also allow the SIM check to pass, although we have not yet verified it ”.
These advancements allow hackers to define and read iPhone data, including the ability to find out when a phone has been activated.
Once the activation problem has been solved, hackers will find themselves with other tasks. For example, does iTunes have the ability to recognize if a phone has not been activated to use the AT&T network? If so, how will iTunes react?
Once the answer to those questions is found, hackers can focus on unlocking the phone itself. This task will be easier thanks to the fact that the iPhone SIM is removable; the small card that contains the user’s phone number as well as the storage capacity for contacts and messages. Using a SIM card means that the phone is locked by firmware, software that can be cracked.