Hacker: unlocked iPhone coming within a week

The Apple iPhone could be unlocked within a week, according to some hackers.

Hackers are likely to unlock the Apple iPhone within the next week, according to reports today. It comes after hacker DVD Jon's announcement yesterday that he'd managed to bypass the Apple iPhone's activation process.

"We believe it will be easy. We are privately aware many of the Apple iPhone engineers came from other handset manufacturers, and we understand their design techniques fairly well," said "gj", an anonymous hacker who is attempting to unlock the Apple iPhone.

"Easy to us means inside one week," he told PC World magazine, offering an estimate of three to seven days.

If hackers are successful, it would mean that you'd be able to use the Apple iPhone with other operators than AT&T , which has an exclusive deal to sell the Apple iPhone in the US.

Activation process

Hackers have already managed to crack the Apple iPhone activation process . It normally uses a software token that is sent from the Apple iPhone via iTunes to Apple, which approves it and returns it to the phone. iTunes then tells the phone to activate. Tools that allow users to activate their Apple iPhones without using iTunes have now been developed for both Windows and Mac OS X.

Jon Lech Johansen, the hacker better known as DVD Jon, has found a way to activate the Apple iPhone without using iTunes. .

"The [hacked] Apple iPhone does not have phone capability, but the Apple iPod and Wi-Fi work," Johansen wrote on his blog .

Bypassing the activation process signifies an important step in the aim of unlocking the Apple iPhone. The activation process requires users to sign up for a two-year subscription with AT&T, and it is likely someone will find a way around this process soon. If that happens, it would allow Europeans to buy an iPhone now and use it on an alternative network.

Since its launch last Friday, hackers and security researchers have been competing to discover vulnerabilites in the Apple iPhone handset.