Click to viewAs we wait for the release of the new firmware that, according to Apple, "will likely" brick all unlocked iPhones—hits update for the 75,453rd time— here's the promised Star Wars timeline which narrates the quest for the free software unlock, complete with dates, links and commentary.
It all started here, when Frucci asked for a graphic about The AT&T/iPhone Moral Quandary. Little did we know what would come later, with the iPhone unlock race that started as soon as Apple's cellphone was released:
8:00 AM ON WED JUL 18 2007. The first approach started here: the Dev Team partially unlocks the iPhone. As a result, you could use any SIM card or contract from AT&T, instead of those contemplated in the agreement.
11:55 PM ON TUE JUL 31 2007. A new milestone is achieved: they announce they have reverse-engineered the software which controls the iPhone's radio communications.
5:57 AM ON SUN AUG 5 2007. Another milestone: obtain the plans for the fucking Death Star, extracting the full content of the radio memory.
8:59 AM ON MON AUG 6 2007. First unlock is achieved: hackers in Europe use the information previously obtained to forge a SIM and fool the iPhone to believe it is working in the AT&T network.
11:10 AM ON WED AUG 8 2007. We try the forge SIM hack, but it doesn't work: it only works with first-generation SIM cards.
8:45 AM ON TUE AUG 14 2007. The first solution that unlocks 100% any iPhone is announced: using a TurboSIM card the iPhone doesn't know if it's not working on the AT&T network. Still, this costs money and the cards are scarce. The search for the free software unlock continues.
12:20 PM ON MON AUG 20 2007. The iPhone grass-roots developer community say to Steve Jobs "TFSU!" as third-party iPhone applications become mainstream. AppTapp and iBrickr demonstrate how easy is to install them.
3:35 PM ON TUE AUG 21 2007. Using information and code from the Dev Team, a hacker unlocks the iPhone using a hardware soldering. Later it was discovered by others that no soldering was needed, just a couple of metal pins and a bit of wire.
12:20 PM ON FRI AUG 24 2007. Partly using the information obtained by the Dev Team, a group called iPhone Sim Free announces the first software unlock, but they want you to pay for it. Weeks would pass until they released their paid program to the public, only to be rendered obsolete three days later by the iPhone Dev Team with the free software unlock.
11:30 AM ON SAT AUG 25 2007. Knowing that only the free software unlock was going to be The Real Thing™ and that the Dev Team was demoralized by the news and the attitude of some people in the community, Gizmodo asks for your support for the iPhone Dev Team ongoing efforts
6:23 AM ON TUE AUG 28 2007. A newspaper claims Israeli hackers get yet another new unlock. Shortly thereafter, we discover it is an error and they just used the modified version of the hardware unlock.
3:00 AM ON TUE SEP 11 2007. The first commercial unlock gets released and the Giz witnesses as the reseller has countless problems installing it in two clients' iPhones. Gizmodo discovers there's a bug in the iPhone Sim Free software that makes it unusable with certain SIM cards. As a result of this discovery, iPhone Sim Free fixes the bug hours later.
7:40 AM ON TUE SEP 11 2007. Later in the day, some hackers vow to reverse-engineer iPhone Sim Free's commercial unlock. The core iPhone Dev Team, however, keeps working in its own independent solution.
6:30 AM ON TUE SEP 11 2007. Hackers race to obtain the unlock. GeoHot claims in a IRC channel that he has reverse-engineered the iPhone Sim Free. This was discovered to be false a few minutes later.
7:10PM ON TUE SEP 11 2007. The Death Star explodes: the Giz is the only media outlet to witness as the core iPhone Dev Team unlocks the iPhone with its own solution. It gets released as free program at 8:10PM, only a few hours after the paid software unlock was released,
1:00 PM ON WED SEP 12 2007. The next day some stupid bozo tries to snatch $41,000 posing as the "sole developer" of a graphical tool to unlock the iPhone. He fools a major gadget site into thinking he's the author. Hours later, Gizmodo uncovers the imposter, a 23-year-old from Belfast who got the original code from Erica Sadun and convinced another developer to make it work.
1:36 PM ON WED SEP 12 2007. The UIkit team, a separate group of programmers who work in graphical applications for the iPhone, announce that they are working on the graphical software unlock, which was released on September 15.
The same day, the iPhone Dev Team confirms that Apple may re-lock the phone with future software updates.
1:26 PM ON WED SEP 26 2007. As they get ready to battle the next iPhone firmware update, the iPhone Dev Team irons out bugs in the software unlock, bringing it up to version 1.0.2.
So yes, the iPhone Dev Team is still working on the unlock. Not only that, as you probably already know, they are preparing software to un-brick the iPhone and return it to its original state. And hopefuly, unlock it again. You can support them by donating money to the following PayPal account:
firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, it's googlemail.com, not gmail.com)
Short FAQ about the Dev Team
Q: Will the stuff you find out be freely available on the forum and the wiki?
A: Simply, yes [as shown again and again.]
Q: Why do you think you can do this?
A: Simply remember the AppleTV. Many good hacks, including running OSX on your aTV came from here.
Q: Isn't that illegal?
A: No, we don't live within the US, there are a lot free countries that allow you to break or modify stuff on your own.
Q: Were can we talk on the iPhone hacking?
A: join #iphone at irc.osx86.hu
Q: Where is the money going?
A: Not much left, hosting is paid, and other stuff around the project, most of the time we run minus