Belfast-based company Uniquephones has said that it is very close to unlocking the Apple iPhone. The news follows predictions from hackers that the Apple iPhone would be hacked into and unlocked within the week .
This would mean that Europeans would be able to use the Apple iPhone months ahead of the launch over here, later this year.
150,000 want iPhone unlocked
By Sunday night, just two days after the Apple iPhone was launched, some 150,000 inquiries had been submitted to the iPhoneunlocking.com website. This was set up especially to request IMEI numbers from Apple iPhones purchased, McLaughlin said. Many wanted to know how to unlock their Apple iPhones - although not everyone was willing to reveal their IMEI number, the ID number for their mobile phone device.
There are at least two steps to unlocking the Apple iPhone, according to McLaughlin. His colleagues have been able to unlock the activation process to the AT&T SIM card specific to an Apple iPhone. This means that another AT&T SIM card can work with the phone and be activated through iTunes.
But so far any attempt to change the firmware of an iPhone so that it can support another operator's SIM card has broken the device, McLaughlin said. The key to unlocking the phone is breaking the encryption process that protects the token sent through the iTunes activation process to an iPhone's firmware, he added.
McLaughlin plans to charge around £25 to unlock the Apple iPhone.