Just days after its release, the iPhone is already being “hacked” so that it doesn’t need to be connected to AT&T’s phone network, and it’s so easy, anyone can do it.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog’s iPhone guru Eric Sadun reports that by simply removing an iPhone’s SIM card, and replacing it with an inactive SIM card, you’ll have a “sixth-generation iPod” that allows you to access email and web via Wi-Fi, though obviously you won’t be able to make calls.
This “hack” still works even if you don’t have an inactive SIM card to replace the original card with, though Sadun says the iPhone “complains”. Sadun’s advice is to “Buy the iPhone using prepaid, activate, cancel, enjoy.”
However, before you follow Sadun’s advice, there are a couple of issues you should be aware of.
Buying a prepaid iPhone is not straight forward, since both Apple and AT&T really are pushing consumers onto two-year plans. Pre-paid iPhones are only available to people with bad credit histories (though Sadun offers a fix for this as well).
Also, there’s some talk that each time the iPhone’s system software is updated it’ll do a check to see whether the iPhone is actually activated as a phone.
Update: Hacker Jon Lech Johansen claims to have developed an iPhone activation server program. Warning – meddle with iPhone activation at your own risk.