George Hotz of Glen Rock, N.J., confirmed Friday that he had unlocked an iPhone and was using it on T-Mobile's network, the only major U.S. carrier apart from AT&T that is compatible with the iPhone's cellular technology. In a video posted to his blog, he holds an iPhone that displays ''T-Mobile'' as the carrier.
While the possibility of switching from AT&T to T-Mobile may not be a major development for U.S. consumers, it opens up the iPhone for use on the networks of overseas carriers.
''That's the big thing,'' said Hotz, in a phone interview from his home.
The phone, which combines an innovative touch-screen interface with the media-playing abilities of the iPod, is sold only in the U.S.
AT&T Inc. spokesman Mark Siegel said the company had no comment, and referred questions to Apple. A call to Apple was not immediately returned. Hotz said the companies had not been in touch with him.
The hack, which Hotz posted Thursday to his blog, is complicated and requires skill with both soldering and software. It takes him about two hours to perform. Since the details are public, it seems likely that a small industry may spring up to buy U.S. iPhones, unlock them and send them overseas.
Original blog post that contains the instructions
He's also auctioning the hacked iPhone on Ebay
And he'll be on NPR's Marketwatch