An Open Letter to iPhoneSimFree et al.
An Open letter to IphoneSimFree.
It’s very hard to speculate regarding the why’s and wherefores of iPhoneSimFree and Unique Phone’s delays in releasing the software without first considering the following facts:
From Apple’s point of view, the only Telco that is currently authorised to provide phone service for the iPhone in its present state and form is AT&T. From AT&T’s point of view, their hardware, software and network development efforts and expenditures, not to mention the extremely unattractive “bend over” financial arrangement that they entered in with Apple, warrant exclusive rights to all iPhone voice/data services in the US and said rights have been given to them by Apple.
Irrespective of my views regarding this joint venture relationship, the reality of this all is that two company’s out there have now come forward and stated that they possess a way of putting in peril a joint venture deal worth billions over the terms of the contract, by producing software that will allow us all the freedom to use the network operator of their choice. Wow! Imagine.
Steve Job’s mentioned that he expects the sale of nearly 10m iPhones by the end of 2008. Of that 10m, probably 65% of them are expected to be sold in the US. Do the math now ladies and gentlemen: 5m handsets x 60 USD in MRR x 24 [months – the duration of the AT&T contract]? This is what AT&T stands to lose!
Additionally, let’s not forget now that Apple also receives an enormous percentage of the monthly revenue from each and every AT&T iPhone bill. Think about how much they’re going to lose as well! Sure, Apple will make SOME of it back in additional iPhone sales, but let’s stop thinking locally, and start thinking globally!
Here in Europe, Mobile operators and MVNOs reserve the right to SimLock phones for a multitude of different reasons. Whilst you can have that phone unlocked by 3rd parties or do it yourself which is a very common practise (in violation of your contract albeit), the relationship that Apple and AT&T have together is very unique in the sense that Apple makes the hardware/software and gets paid for it and AT&T supplies the services and provides Apple with a cut of whatever they make.
Think about this and how very revolutionary this all is. Apple intends to create similar relations with all other mobile operators in all major countries in the world going forward. Pretty impressive, no? Currently, many of the European operators that Apple has contacted as potential service providers are stalling and not signing the contracts to see what happens, since, you guessed it, if the iPhone is unlocked and Apple can't ensure an exclusive relationship with the operator in a given country, why would they be willing to promise Apple any kickback of their customer's phonebills if you can use anyone's Network? Is not receiving 10-40% of each and every iPhone bill in the world more interesting then selling iPhones? Also, if you crack the iPhone and are able to use someone else's network, Apple doesn't get paid the kickback which is far more interesting than selling iPhones.
Let's take this all one step further and forget AT&T and all the wonderful new iPhones that Apple will sell as a result of this crack. Let's now think like businessmen and ladies. Let's think like Steve Jobs who wants to make his shareholders happy and take Apple to new hights. If the iPhone is cracked, how is Steve et al. ever going to convince all the other Mobile operators out there to become the exclusive iPhone operator in-country and pay him a percentage of all of their customer's proceeds? It ain't going to happen Ladies and Gentlemen. It's for this reason that I feel that iPhone v1 is nothing more than a prototype for an iPhone that is totally locked down in chips and rOM. Apple will take all that the Dev Team, you, I, and IphoneSimFree have done with the iPhone and use this to make the phone better and more secure.
Like you all, I’d like to unlock my iPhone since AT&T is not present where I live. However, both iPhoneSimFree and UniquePhone’s are very stupid indeed if they begin selling this software as they have planned. They might as well release it for freely, since the moment that it hits the street and is tested by Apple/AT&T and confirmed, knowing both Apple and AT&T, they will not allow this act to go with impunity. It might not happen immediately, but it will happen, either directly or indirectly. Sure, iPhoneSimFree will make a bundle off of their unlock supposing that they have used the same iPhone like security to prevent it from being shared with others, but will pay a much higher price in the future.
Re: the 48-72 hour delays. iPhoneSimFree et al. are not working on a pretty GUI as many suggest, what they’re working on is a way to protect themselves from court action via Legal counsel. The laws protecting unlocking mobile phones in the US are very "iffy" at best and are subject to interpretation, especially since the recent changes. This having been said , and from a legal point of view, the presence of Visual Voicemail and equiv. on the phone will ensure victory for both Apple/AT&T for reasons beyond the scope of this posting.
Clearly iPhoneSimFree.com et al. have contacted both Apple and AT&T via their lawyers and informed them of their intensions to begin selling this software, as per standard protocol, and are waiting to see what happens. Problem is that Apple/AT&T will not respond and then will “wait and see” if the software really exists. And that point, I wouldn’t want to be iPhoneSimFree….. As per US laws, failure to respond to a direct mailing within 72 hours can be viewed as an acceptance of sorts, contrary to the “silence does not equal acceptance rule” that we’re all familiar with. However, even a mediocre lawyer can circumvent this argument.
Thus, the moral the story is as follows: Bravo to iPhoneSimFree et al. for finding the crack (assuming that they have), but how very stupid of you to try and make money off of it and expect to walk away rich men/women. Both Apple and AT&T have legal entities in all major EMEA and Asia countries; as such it would be a mistake to think that they couldn't easily go after parties based in other countries.
Personal Message to iPhoneSimFree if you've got your ears on.
Surely what you've done is commendable and I salute you. What is not commendable is your desire to make lots of money off of it and think that you’re not going to be made an example of. It's very silly indeed to think that you will be able to get rich off of what you're doing. My advice to you 6 would be to release the software freely to the world since you’re way out of your league and the big boys out there will not let you put a dent in their multi-billion dollar plans. They’re going to eat you for breakfast and you can run, but you can’t hide. Trust me.
Doubt what I’m saying? Start selling the software…..and think of what I said in prison.
someone pointed ou a looooooooong time ago
in this forum and i agree - all these so called unlocker are just after traffic and email adresses. anyone else thinking different - its just wishful thinking. there is nothing different in the LAW this year to last and so on. people and companies have been unlocking phones in europe for years. there is nothing different this time around.
iphone at&t, nokia vodaphone bladi bladi blaaaaa give a big hoooray to the dev team and cross your fingers.