A group in Brazil has unlocked the phone to run on other carriers' networks, and a hacker team has enabled independent apps to run on Apple's latest handset.

Marin Perez, Contributor

July 16, 2008

1 Min Read

Just a few days after its launch, a group from Brazil has managed to unlock Apple's iPhone 3G to operate on almost any GSM carrier.

On its Web site, DesbloqueioBr posted a video showing the unlocked handset making a phone call.

In an interview with gadget blog Gizmodo, developer Breno MacMasi said the unlocking process involved modifying the phone's SIM hardware so the International Mobile Subscriber Identity can be overwritten.

The procedure allows iPhone 3G users to makes calls with any compatible GSM carrier, not just ones with which Apple has an exclusive agreement. But users of an unlocked phone wouldn't be guaranteed to have 3G-network access, and Apple could potentially wipe out the hack with a software update.

The company plans to charge between $250 and $375 to unlock a phone, according to reports.

Separately, a group of hackers known as the iPhone Dev Team said they have successfully removed Apple's software controls that prohibit users from installing independent applications. The team posted a video of this "jailbroken" phone, and the team claims users will be able to run Apple-approved applications side-by-side with independent ones.

While there have been 10 million downloads from Apple's App Store since the launch last week, some developers and customers may want to jailbreak their phones to bypass Apple's application restrictions. For example, Apple explicitly prohibits applications that run in the background.

The team said it will be offering the jailbreaking software for free soon, and the final version will also let users use their iPhones on any compatible network.

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