Hackers are confident they will unlock the Apple iPhone from the O2 mobile network just hours after it goes on sale in the UK on Friday.

Unlocking the Apple iPhone would mean the device would work on any mobile network in the UK. The iPhone is due to go on sale in Apple Stores, O2 shops and Carphone Warehouse outlets at 6.02pm on 9 November.

Cracking firmware 1.1.2

Apple has tried to combat hackers unlocking the Apple iPhone by updating its firmware to 'brick' any unlocked devices but so far, it looks like the hackers are a step ahead of Apple. Hackers told The Guardian they would provide a "jailbreak" programme for the UK Apple iPhone, perhaps within hours of the UK launch.

Apple's vice president, Greg Joswiak, told The Guardian that Apple would resist any unlocking of its handsets, confirming comments of the chief executive, Steve Jobs. "It's a cat and mouse game. People will break in; it's our job to stop them," he said at the Apple iPhone launch.

If you buy a £269 Apple iPhone, you'll be sucked into an 18-month contract with O2, costing a minimum of £35 per month.