Is "unlocking" an iPhone legal?

12-05-2008, 02:40 PM
#1
Is "unlocking" an iPhone legal?

Hi, I have a question about "unlocking" an iPhone.

I don't know much about jailbreaking or unlocking or how it all works, but I'm interested in it. As far as I know unlocking is making it so you don't need a network plan to use your iPhone. (Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this... I want to know how everything works.) Jailbreaking is hacking the iPhone so you can customize it and use apps you can't normally use on an iPhone.

Anyway, here's my question: Is it legal to unlock and jailbreak a 3G iPhone? I know jailbreaking voids the warranty, but I'm not worried about that. I want to get an iPhone so I can
1. have a higher quality speaker than an iTouch
2. have a built-in mic
3. use VOIP calls/skype (I'm going to read about that later)
4. use 3rd party apps

Also, like I said before, I don't know much about jailbreaking. Is it even possible to jailbreak a 3G?

Here are all my questions again
1. Is it legal to unlock an iPhone 3G?
2. How does unlocking an iPhone work?
3. Is there a jailbreak out for iPhone 3G?
4. Where could I learn how to jailbreak an iPhone if I decide to get one?

If anyone could answer those questions for me, that'd be great. I'd really appreciate it

Thanks in advance

PS I don't plan on using cracked apps. I really don't agree with using them and I like to support developers (I also consider it stealing)

[Edit] The reason I am wondering about all this is because AT&T isn't available where I live and iPhones are not sold here

Sorry my thread is so long :S

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Last edited by istopmotion; 12-05-2008 at 02:42 PM.
12-05-2008, 02:47 PM
#2
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Secret Treehouse
Posts: 232
The only one I can answer is the legality of it. I would think that it although Apple doesn't advise it, it wouldn't technically be illegal.

12-05-2008, 02:51 PM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrocStock View Post
The only one I can answer is the legality of it. I would think that it although Apple doesn't advise it, it wouldn't technically be illegal.
Ok, thanks for posting. I've just been thinking lately how many more features the iPhone has, yet it's cheaper than the iPod Touch.

Can anyone help me with the other questions and confirm that it isn't illegal to unlock?

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12-05-2008, 02:51 PM
#4
Hey, some quick information to your questions.

First of all, unlocking the iPhone means you are able to use it on any GSM carrier that uses a SIM card, so basically T-Mobile if you are in the U.S., or in Europe there are many GSM providers. As of now, the 3G iPhone cannot be unlocked, but the iPhone-dev team is hard at work on it. Don't upgrade to 2.2 however if you are looking for an unlock, as this firmware updated the baseband and is not able to exploited in any way so far.

As for jailbreaking, this will always remain on the current iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod touch 1G, due to a hardware exploit that is not able to be fixed with firmware upgrades. Here is a post on how to jailbreak the iPod touch 1G with firmware 2.2, it is exactly the same for the iPhone, just different firmware names.

As for the legality of all this, unlocking is definatley looked down on by Apple and AT&T, as shown by the upgrades in the iPhone 3G and it's difficulty to unlock. I can't really see Apple coming to your house to arrest you if you unlock your iPhone, but just don't be super blatant about it. Jailbreaking will never be stopped unless hardware is changed, and it seems Apple has sort of turned the other eye on this aspect.

Hope this info helped, the iPhone-dev team can be found here, if you need any more info, let me know
12-05-2008, 02:53 PM
#5
25 to lyfe for jailbreaking,
and this is what apple thinks...
http://mac.blorge.com/wp-content/upl...ifferent11.png
12-05-2008, 03:00 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by emb531 View Post
Hey, some quick information to your questions.

First of all, unlocking the iPhone means you are able to use it on any GSM carrier that uses a SIM card, so basically T-Mobile if you are in the U.S., or in Europe there are many GSM providers. As of now, the 3G iPhone cannot be unlocked, but the iPhone-dev team is hard at work on it. Don't upgrade to 2.2 however if you are looking for an unlock, as this firmware updated the baseband and is not able to exploited in any way so far.

As for jailbreaking, this will always remain on the current iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod touch 1G, due to a hardware exploit that is not able to be fixed with firmware upgrades. Here is a post on how to jailbreak the iPod touch 1G with firmware 2.2, it is exactly the same for the iPhone, just different firmware names.

As for the legality of all this, unlocking is definatley looked down on by Apple and AT&T, as shown by the upgrades in the iPhone 3G and it's difficulty to unlock. I can't really see Apple coming to your house to arrest you if you unlock your iPhone, but just don't be super blatant about it. Jailbreaking will never be stopped unless hardware is changed, and it seems Apple has sort of turned the other eye on this aspect.

Hope this info helped, the iPhone-dev team can be found here, if you need any more info, let me know
Thanks! That really helped, but I think I'm confused about unlocking the iPhone... So, please tell me if I'm wrong about this -

If I buy an iPhone on ebay or Amazon or something, would I be able to unlock it so that I could use it but without a 3G connection? I will just use WiFi on it instead of paying hundreds of dollars a month on phone bills.

Am I right about how unlocking works or does it mean something else? ^
(I'm confused about it, sorry) :P

Mostly I just want the iPhone so I can jailbreak it instead of of jailbreaking the 1G iTouch. I considered buying/jailbreaking a 1G, but I thought it'd be a better deal to buy a higher quality, cheaper iPhone and unlocking it.

Thanks again if you can answer this for me

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12-06-2008, 10:23 PM
#7
1. iPhone unlocking IS legal. heck even Apple sells factory unlocked iPhone 3Gs, but they cost a fortune. In Europe, phones are required to be unlocked, so, Apple sells the phones unlocked to use with any carrier like O2, Orange, Telia, etc.
2. I don't know exactly how unlocking works but it WORKS. I'm on T-Mobile and i have an unlocking 2G iPhone and it works perfectly. If u want to unlock ur phone, go to blog.iphone-dev.org, and download pwnage tool. My friend went to Europe and bought an iPhone 3G for 500 euros from an apple store and it is factory unlocked and works on T-Mobile. Right now it is not possible to unlock the iPhone 3G without it being FACTORY unlocked.
3. There is a jailbreak for the iPhone 3G. u can download pwnage tool from the dev team and follow the instructions to jailbreak ur phone.
4. already answered above ^^^.
also, if u buy an iphone 3g from ebay it has to be factory or sim unlocked since there is no unlock for the phone yet. so, it will cost a lot of money even if its not unlocked because there are only a handful of iPhone 3Gs that are in plastic or unactivated plus the iPhone itself is worth 600 or 700 dollars.

Unlocking allows someone to use a phone on any carrier not just its assigned carrier. SIM unlocks are not recommended by the dev team and some of them do not work but how it works is that u place a very thin (0.1 mm) sim card into the sim card tray and then place the sim card of ur choice and the sim unlock card tricks the phone into thinking it has an AT&T sim card in its tray. so, it recognizes it as a legit sim card.

hope this helps.
12-06-2008, 10:36 PM
#8
There is a specific exemption for phone unlocking in the U.S, where otherwise the DMCA might restrict unlocking.

So yes it is legal to unlock a phone
12-06-2008, 10:42 PM
#9
You might go to hell if you do this ----its what I heard. They send pulses intermitently through the device and if its jailbroken they track you via the GPS......and if you are dumb enough to ever use iTunes on it with your email and credit card number -----oh man! SWAT will be waking you up in the middle of the night so Apple(tm) can get all the money you owe them ---Then --- if you live in the US they treat you like a filesharer and boom ----you owe 250,000 for every app that you "borrow" be careful man ...... here in canada we dont even have the internet per say ---we all use dial up and really fast horses. The horses also deliver our mail. Not anymore as we are all holed up until the snow stops in June.
12-08-2008, 08:42 PM
#10
I already stated that I don't believe in piracy or using cracked apps. I have over one thousand songs from iTunes that have all been purchased (from iTunes), and 100% of my apps were all purchased. I will NEVER use cracked apps.

The only reason I want a jailbroken iPhone is to use *some* apps not available to iTunes, better quality speaker, built-in mic and the number one reason is so that I can customize my iPod. I'm sick of the black background and I want to be able to change that.

I will continue to purchase my apps, so please don't worry about that

Anyway, I think most of my questions have been answered (thanks everyone!) and I think I'll just try to get my dad to sell me his 1G when he finally decides to get a 2G. That way I can have 2 iPods and one of them will be jailbroken. My 2G will always be there for me

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Last edited by istopmotion; 12-08-2008 at 08:44 PM.