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Teen hacker George Hotz has become the first to release an iPhone jailbreak and unlocking solution. He was not above a bit of self-indulgence, posting a picture of himself prominently on the app's otherwise uncluttered download page.  (Source: purplera1n.com)
This is why he's Hotz...

George Hotz, an enterprising teen hacker who goes by the name "geohot" (as well as "million75" or "mil" for short), won fame and infamy in 2007 when he became the first to free the iPhone from its AT&T U.S. SIM card restrictions.  As a reward, Mr. Hotz won a hot set of wheels -- the Nissan 350Z and a paid consulting job with CertiCell, a cell phone services company.

Now a little older and taller, Mr. Hotz, age 19, has distinguished himself again, becoming the first to publish a jailbreak solution for the iPhone 3G S -- a fix to allow the phone to run apps not approved by Apple.  The first step is to visit Mr. Hotz's page and download the "purplera1n" app.  Mr. Hotz describes the following steps on his blog, writing:
Connect your iPhone normally. Click “make it ra1n”. Wait. On bootup, run Freeze, the purplera1n installer app.
The Freeze installer will install an app called Cydia which allows you to run any application on the iPhone -- Apple approved or not.

Using this newfound freedom, the iPhone's SIM card can be unlocked to run on any network by using the previously released ultrasn0w by the Dev Team.  The Dev Team, not affiliated with Mr. Hotz had published the ultrasn0w app, but had declined to release a fix to jailbreak the iPhone, essentially rendering the app useless (as it was not Apple approved).

The Dev Team had stated that it would release a jailbreak with the OS update v3.1.  Mr. Hotz was frustrated by this, so he took matters into his own hands.  He accuses the Dev Team of delaying the jailbreak release for fear of an Apple patch, chastising, "Normally I don't make tools for the general public, and rather wait for the dev team to do it. But guys, whats up with waiting until 3.1? That isn't how the game is played. We release, Apple fixes, we find new holes. It isn't worth waiting because you might have the "last" hole in the iPhone. What last hole...this isn't golf. I'll find a new one next week."

A Windows-compatible version of the iPhone unlocking tool came last week, and this weekend brought a Mac compatible version.  The Windows version is not compatible with Windows 7, according to Mr. Hotz's blog, and it requires the iPhone to be running OS v3.0 and for the latest version of iTunes to be installed.



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RE: Apple thanks you
By ltcommanderdata on 7/6/2009 9:01:34 PM , Rating: 3
I believe it was tacitly acknowledged that Apple isn't overly concerned that people jailbreak or unlock there phones. I believe when the original iPhone released a significant amount of sales were to people who bought it and then took it out of country for resale to countries where it wasn't available yet. I don't believe Apple tried to crack down on these practices too hard even though it was a concern for AT&T.

Similarly, while Apple is known for it's tight platform control of Macs and the iPhone, I don't believe they generally pursue consumers who hack their platform for interest. Like I don't believe the iPhone OS hackers or the people behind OSx86 hacking OS X have been brought before a court. Apple really only pursues people who try to hack their products and try to make a profit from doing so like Psystar. If Apple really wanted to lock people out of Macs or the iPhone they could just implement some type of TPM chip. The original MacBook Pros had them but Apple decided not to use them. Instead, Apple discourages people from hacking their products to prevent it from getting out of control, but otherwise it just creates an alternate userbase and is good promotion too.


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