Monday, August 27, 2007
The iPhone Unlock
I'm sure you've heard by now, the iPhone has been ulocked. This means that you can now use your iPhone with other providers besides AT&T. I've heard from a few people that Apple is the main loser due to this, but I must disagree. Apple is still gaining at least some in the purchase of the phone and usage (iTunes purchases), and suffers mainly through whatever commission they would have received from getting new subscribers. AT&T, however is losing customers therefore losing a monthly fee for data and for calls.
I'm wondering what kind of action Apple can or will take in this situation. The obvious thing to do would be to push a mandatory update to the phone making it unusable if used through another provider. I'm also wondering if Apple has psuedo-broken the exclusivity contract with AT&T since, although it's no longer exclusive to AT&T, it's not because Apple provided it that way (they just provided a box that could be hacked). One part of me says "Way to go hackers! Score one for the 'you better provide what we want or we'll make it that way' team". Another side of me actually wants to take the side of AT&T on this. They pay Apple to recruit them some customers, and lose out.
Another question that comes to mind is "Who is going to do this?". I'm thinking this will go the way of the illegal satellite's a few years ago. At first only the dedicated geeks and hackers will do this (others fearing legal actions and perhaps not being able to use their beloved phone). After a while though, even though the average person will probably be hesitant to do this on their own, they will contact their favorite geek friend who already has one, to alter theirs as well. My guess is that if Apple doesn't do something soon, this will spread very quickly. We've seen (very strangely) several unlocks for this come out within the past few days.... time to get to work on the iLock system.