Brando already sells a SIM card gadget that's claimed to unlock the original iPhone for use on any network, but now the online retailer’s launched an iPhone 3G version. brando_iphone3g_unlock_01 This card unlocks your iPhone 3G, it's claimed Yes, that’s right, according to Brando this little plastic SIM card sized device …
Only works for Vodafone
I have this exact same SIM "attachment" and it only works for Vodafone in the UK. Got mine for half that price too, but the seller has stopped selling them following complaints that they didn't work for every network.
it's not an unlocker... an unlocker would tell the iphone to accept any sim whereas this just fools it into thiinking it's an O2 sim. At least it does not invalidate your warranty though.
Why allow tying?
Why do you allow products to be tied like that anyway? Surely it's a more competitive market if you buy the phone and service separate.
You can still buy the phones on credit in Europe, but the credit is competitive, you can still buy all the services you want, but they all fight for market on price.
There's no hidden subsidy to the handset in the service charge, and no overpricing of the service charge hidden in the up front cost of the handset. Because the two are sold separately.
So why not ban the practice of tying the two together as deceptive?
I've got something similar...
I bought something for about $8 that looks almost identical from dealextreme:
and it certainly works fine on my locked Sony Ericsson phone. You have to snip a little bit out of the simcard to make way for the chip, which is a little bit fiddly, but other than that it works a treat.
Other ones are available on the same web-site for different models of phones, so I've no reason to believe the iPhone ones shouldn't work.
Quote from the PwnageTool guys at iphone-dev
"We’ve been monitoring the whole “SIM-card unlock” proxy-SIM situation. This involves using a chip that is attached to your SIM card (with a small modification to your SIM) or sometimes a small PCB soldered inside the phone. These sim mods so far seem very very very questionable. Zf has found that they use trickery of the GSM and UMTS network that is considered highly illegal in most countries and they rely on sending bogus IMSIs and various other nasty hacks to obtain service on your iPhone. A couple of our members have worked out how this all “works” and we’ll try to publish our findings soon. DevTeam recommendation: Steer clear, don’t use!"
Happly waiting for my OpenMoko to arrive
skip - wait for software unlock
These devices don't really work that well. The quality of reception is worse than using only a SIM card and occasionally you'll even get a "Invalid SIM" or "No SIM" error. I suspect the reason for this increased resistance: the electronic contact between the SIM and the device is not very good and the device will inadvertently move causing complete contact loss. Software unlock is the best.
What's The Point?
You're still going to have to pay the contract, it would make for a bloody expensive phone.
Paris, because she's pretty pointless too, well, maybe two.
I agree with you it is pointless. But if you go abroad it's start making a lot of sense isn't it.
> What's The Point?
Erm...are you aware that many people in this world are actually able to travel to other countries which use different mobile networks, for business and for pleasure reasons?
Those same people often like to use a different SIM card for that particular country, thereby benefitting from local call rates, rather than exorbitant roaming costs...
Try thinking just a little before asking such stupid questions.... even Paris would know that...
I have found that not buying an iPhone in the first place is still the best way not to get tied to networks. Make you look less like a sad dick too.
i got a turbosim for my v1 iphone way back when there was no unlock for OTB1.1.2. Worked perfect with no bad effects until the software unlock came out and i used that instead.
had 2 friends do the same and no probs there either.
Still have the turbo sim so must try it out in a 3g phone soon and see how it goes.
When the software unlock comes out, Apple have only created a massive target for thieves. The only way to get a 3g iphone without contract will be if its stolen and unlocked. muppets.
Anyway, i am happy with my v1 and all its apps. still does what i want.
My next purchase will be a cheap brand phone that has 3g and wifi so i can setup a mobile hotspot for myself and then go wifi from the iphone to the shared 3g. Bingo. All my devices on wifi/3g and a backup phone too !!!
but i digress...
The vast majority of phones sold are locked to the network they're purchased on - network locking is not limited to iPhones, you idiot.
Not buying ANY phone would be the best way not to get tied to networks (or paying the more expensive SIM-free price).
However, it wouldn't change the fact that YOU would still be a sad dick though.
Works fine for me
I have one from dealextreme as well. It allowed me to use an Orange locked N80(notoriously difficult to unlock) on O2 and then Vodaphone. I suffered no "poor signal" issues or any other errors in about 6 months.
Highly recommended from me.
Apple still does it
Whether it's unlocking, iPhones, OS or hardware costs and Macs, Apple still manages to bring out the worst in people, not in the least the complete Eradication of any sense of humour or a proper sense of self-deprecation or sarcasm. For many just possessing an iPhone seems to make even comprehensible reading a step too far.
Maybe they can look up on their Jezus phone what they need to answer next!
@ Webster Phreaky
The difference is though, that most other phones are significantly easier to unlock than the apple.
This as well as being available on multiple networks.
What is it with so many iPhone/Apple haters... they tell us that the iPhone is crap, it's not suitable for the enterprise, how closed it is, why they hate iTunes, that Mac OS X is last years news and so on.
Why is it, if all these products are awful, and they would never buy an Apple piece, that they are simply clamoring for products like this hack? It's beyond me. Get over it, and just buy one!
Another day, another iphone related story
can we have an Apple free edition of the reg please?
re: Apple still does it
@ Kurisaki Steve
Well, here in Japan, the land where presumably your ancestors have come from, there are no cell phones which are not locked to the network, all phones are locked, and after you paid your dues and the duration of the 2 year contract you signed has passed, guess what, they won't unlock your phone then anyway, you have to go overseas to get that done.
With the iPhone, Apple has actually brought more freedom to Japan. You can now sync your contacts and calendars between phone and desktop, something which was either forbidden (== blocked) by the operators (on the Symbian phones) or if it wasn't forbidden then it never really worked. However, the operators have a service where they read out (manually) and key in (manually) your contacts from the old phone to the new phone when you upgrade, way to go for such a technologically advanced country. With the iPhone this won't be necessary cause you can just sync.
Also, you can now view content on your phone which the operator didn't sign. On most Japanese cell phones you could not view a photo that wasn't taken with the phone's camera or sent to you from another phone. Photos downloaded from your PC or from the internet won't display because they aren't digitally signed by the operator. Likewise with applets, if they aren't signed by the operator, they can't be installed. All this is made possible by the lock-down features in Symbian (not from Apple). It's far more restrictive than what Apple is doing. So, your logic that Apple brings out the worst doesn't seem to work, well, at least not here in Japan.
@ Henry Blackman
You forgot to mention that OSX is really Linux, just some sort of bad and outdated Linux, a proprietary evil Linux, but definitely Linux.
@You forgot to mention that OSX is really Linux
My previous posts here should indicate I'm no big fan of Apple but PLEASE stop trotting out the old chestnut about OSX being Linux based. Google is your friend, Google wont lie to you (much). Even so try searching, you might find where OSX's real roots are.
OSX Unix-Next-Mach roots
Checking Wikipedia, you'll find OSX roots:
@ Anonymous Coward -- Japan
> the operators have a service where they read out (manually) and key in (manually) your contacts from the old phone to the new phone when you upgrade
Rubbish! Softbank have software to do it.
> On most Japanese cell phones you could not view a photo that wasn't taken with the phone's camera or sent to you from another phone
Again - Rubbish! I frequently send photos from my PC to my phone and from phone to phone. No problem. What you're probably experiencing is that the person receiving the email is either (1) on PAYG/4+ year old phone on the 2G network, or (2) has their email settings blocking photo download over a certain size.
@ Anonymous Coward -- Japan
>Well, here in Japan, the land where presumably your ancestors have come from, >there are no cell phones which are not locked to the network, all phones are locked, >and after you paid your dues and the duration of the 2 year contract you signed has >passed, guess what, they won't unlock your phone then anyway, you have to go >overseas to get that done.
That's if the phone has a SIM card. The Softbank ones seem to have what would otherwise be on the sim card burnt into the firmware. DoCoMo and Au handsets do seem to have cards though.
You said the iPhone brought freedom to Japan (I'm guessing you're not Japanese as your ingurishu is too good), but the fact is all phones are restricted in Japan. Not many places require evidence of your right of abode and take copies of your papers before allowing you to have a phone, and that's not just for the monkey ALT's but for Japanese citizens.
Also if you want to get your data off of your phone you could always get an SD reader.. all Japanese phones have miniSD microSD slots, even the 5000 yen ones, and the formats are generally pretty standard.
@ Graham Lockley
"...but PLEASE stop trotting out the old chestnut..."
Did you not see the Joke Alert icon?
No, your wrong, it is indeed pointless. If thats what you want your phone to allow you to do the answer is pretty simple, a lot less hassle and alot cheaper. DON'T BUY AN iPHONE.
Are you really that sad that you MUST have an iPhone despite it not doing what you need it to???
Its like buying a Supercar with no boot and then every day moaning and complaining that it doesn't have a boot, you need a boot and you have a right to a boot. Ban cars with no boots, it shouldn't be allowed, the government should do something.
Get a life.
I love my iPhone but if it didn't do what I want it to I wouldn't have bought it, i'd have been smart enough to buy the phone that did.
Instead of bleating on Apple, O2, whoever, perhaps a long hard look at yourself and your buying habits are in order?
@ Alan Scully
Well, my friend, you are wrong. We considered to take Softbank to court over the lock-down crippling of their Nokia Symbian handsets (3G not 2G) and hired a Japanese lawyer to write to them and obtain an official statement from their legal department. We eventually decided not to waste any further money on this, so it didn't go to court, but we have it black on white in writing from Softbank's legal department on official Softbank letterhead that they do indeed cripple their Nokia Symbian handsets using the lock down features of the Symbian OS, that they do it intentionally, not accidentally, and that they have no intention to change this for us.
The crippling involves the inability to view photos sent by email (we needed this to send jpegs of faxes received in our office to be sent to handsets for viewing while on the road if the circumstances require it). The crippling also involves the inability to synchronise contacts and calendar events between employee's PCs and the Nokia handsets for anything other than Japanese W2K because the only utility which is digitally signed by Softbank only works on Japanese W2K (not usable by staff who cannot read Japanese) and utilities which are available for other versions and even other operating systems are not digitally signed and Softbank refuses to sign them. Thus even though there are technical solutions available, Softbank decided to deny their customers the use of those.
Our lawyer said he was confident that he could work something out with them which might have involved some sort of free airtime or free basic fee (for a certain amount of time) granted to us as an out of court settlement, but we really didn't care about handouts, we wanted a solution to the problems we have had. Now that they have the iPhone, we simply change everything over to iPhones, which allows syncing and viewing of faxes forwaded by email (even without having to convert them to jpeg first). We lose the ability to use the phone as a modem, but proper syncing and email with fax viewing is far more important to us than the modem feature. So, we consider the problem fixed once all the Nokia handsets have been replaced by iPhones (limited supply right now).
As for the transfer of contacts between old and new cell phones, yes, the situation may have improved by now and there may be software solutions available but even then, this was not so until very recently and for many handsets it still isn't possible. A friend of mine has just changed his phone on KDDI, he had to wait 3 days for the phone to be returned to him for the contacts transfer. I don't recall what the make and model was, but I know his old phone was a 3G model which he has had for about 2 or 3 years and he simply got a newer 3G model from KDDI's current line up.
Overall, the cell phone landscape in Japan isn't as super hi-tech as the rest of the world thinks it is, yes, indeed there are a lot of "cool" gimmicks for teenagers but when it comes to business functions required by multinational companies operating in a globalised economy, Japan has only just begun to catch up to what the rest of the world has had with GSM for more than a decade. Certainly, interoperability is not amongst the strengths of Japanese telephony, mobile or otherwise.
In fact, the Japanese have a long history to deliberately modify telephony products and standards in order to cripple interoperability. An early example, the Japanese analog phone specification is in many areas incompatible with de-facto standards used in other industrialised nations. For example, Japanese analog caller ID is based on the Bell standard but has a totally unnecessary modification in the checksum calculation, just so as to be incompatible. Also, with 1 or 2 exceptions, all countries transmit the caller ID with the ringing signal and it can be easily read while the line is ringing, the Japanese system requires the line to be picked up to read the caller ID, then hang up again (within 15 ms) so that the line can continue to ring. Again, totally unnecessary and silly modification, just so as to make it incompatible. The result? Japanese manufacturers can sell their caller ID display boxes for about $500 per unit instead of the $25 ~ $50 that such gadgets cost in other countries.
Another example is the fact that Japanese ISDN. The BRI is based on the European standard, but again modified, whilst the PRI is based on the US standard, but yet again modified. In some cases the modifications are as silly as to simply swap two bits, For example bit 5 and bit 8. Whacko! The result? Japanese ISDN is not interoperable with products from overseas without modification which again leads to higher prices Japanese manufacturers are able to charge.
A further example is Japanese SS7. Although SS7 is two-tier where only tier one is an international operability standard and tier two is up to each country, the Japanese have again gone over the top when they designed their national standard, they modified the lowest layer of the protocol, yet again with unnecessary double-double checksumming and other follies. The idea of each country designing their own national standard was about accommodating different geographical requirements, for example, a country like Luxembourg will have very very few nodes and thereby requiring a very small address space, whilst countries like China or the US have vast territories to cover which require many nodes and a very large address space. Yet, there is no reason for any country to modify the p2p layer which operates the same way regardless of the addressing scheme implemented in the higher layers. Whacko!
Yet another example of the Japanese urge to be different is the cell phone spectrum. Every cell phone standard ever conceived anywhere on the planet (other than in Japan) has the same order of uplink/downlink and the separation between uplink and downlink is always fixed, ie. 40 MHz for GSM, IIRC. There are very good engineering reasons why that is so. Yet, the Japanese cellphone spectrum has turned the uplink/downlink order upside down, the spectrum is heavily fragmented and each fragment uses a different spacing between uplink and downlink. Totally irrational from and engineering perspective. Yet another example is the quixotian attempt in the mid 1990s to establish PHS as a standard in defiance of GSM instead of using GSM1800 or GSM1900 (where the PHS spectrum lies).
I could go on to fill an entire book with examples which illustrate that the Japanese simply don't want interoperability and customers being able to freely choose between interoperable products. It is therefore no surprise when Japanese operators make use of lock-down features in more restrictive ways than operators in other countries which have a slightly more open culture.
Yes, I would very much like to see all phones be sold unlocked, or even a ban on handset subsidies and locking, I would also like to see the iPhone become enabled for use as a modem, but if you think Apple's attitude and iPhone is the worst in limiting features that customers might like to see, I point to Symbian (and the way it is used in Japan, at least by Softbank) and say "you ain't seen nothing yet".
"all phones are restricted in Japan."
Indeed, but at least in the UK and other EU countries operators are obliged to unlock the phone (for a fee) after your initial contract period has ended. There is no such obligation in Japan and the operators won't do it.
"Not many places require evidence of your right of abode and take copies of your papers before allowing you to have a phone, and that's not just for the monkey ALT's but for Japanese citizens."
Well, Japan is a rather bureaucratic place, isn't it? I just had my visa renewed and found that they have now introduced an additional level of bureaucracy at the immigration office. Before, you could go there and fetch a number, then wait until your number came up to submit your application. Now, you have to wait in line to have them check whether you are eligible for a number and if you are they hand you the number after which the process continues just as it was before. So what's the point of those numbers now? They could just have done away with them altogether, but the way the Japanese bureaucrats tick, they are more likely to issue a first number in order to get a second number which then allows you to submit your application. Go figure.
However, I don't think anybody who's been living in Japan for a few years would find this sort of thing unusual. The process how to get an iPhone or any other phone is just part of the twisted way this country works. Nothing out of the ordinary. I am told German speaking countries are similarly bureaucratic.
"Also if you want to get your data off of your phone you could always get an SD reader.. all Japanese phones have miniSD microSD slots, even the 5000 yen ones, and the formats are generally pretty standard."
That might work getting data _off_ the phone, but it doesn't work getting data _into_ the phone, at least it won't on mine. It tells me that I am not authorised to open the data. Softbank support told me this was for my own security :(
>Indeed, but at least in the UK and other EU countries operators
>are obliged to unlock the phone (for a fee) after your initial
>contract period has ended.
>There is no such obligation in Japan and the operators won't do it.
Are you sure that's true? Surely the terms which you are given (leased) the phone dictate whether the supplier has to unlock it. You would have to read all the legal documents of each supplier to find out exactly where they stand.
>but the way the Japanese bureaucrats tick, they are more likely to
>issue a first number in order to get a second number which then
>allows you to submit your application. Go figure.
Well, it's their country isn't it?
>However, I don't think anybody who's been living in Japan for a few years >would find this sort of thing unusual.
I find it really silly how people that have "been living in Japan for a few years" whine and whine about their "situation". Take that arsehat debito as the greatest example of that. Japan isn't all that different from any other country it's just the majority of people that move to Japan have no experience of living anywhere outside their home country and expect Japan to jump hurdles to accommodate the less than 2% of population that aren't Japanese.
Bottom line; If you don't like what the operators do to hardware before they lease it to you in Japan either A: move somewhere else B: learn some Japanese and buy a shiro-rom phone.
"Well, Japan is a rather bureaucratic place, isn't it? I just had my visa renewed and found that they have now introduced an additional level of bureaucracy at the immigration office. Before, you could go there and fetch a number, then wait until your number came up to submit your application. Now, you have to wait in line to have them check whether you are eligible for a number and if you are they hand you the number after which the process continues just as it was before. So what's the point of those numbers now?"
Exactly the same system exists in Portugal (I recently renewed my EU residents permit). The queue to be assigned a number is simply a triage system that ensures that people who don't have the right papers or are "not eligible" get weeded out early and quickly. Seems sensible to me in a place where they have to deal with way more people than they really cope with. Don't have any problem with it at all.
"Surely the terms which you are given (leased) the phone dictate whether the supplier has to unlock it. You would have to read all the legal documents of each supplier to find out exactly where they stand."
Not in the EU. It is a legal requirement in the EU to unlock cell phones after a certain waiting period. The fee the operators can charge for unlocking is also regulated. In the UK for example, the maximum fee is £35 (or at least it used to be a few years back) and the waiting period is (or was) 3 months.
"I find it really silly how people that have "been living in Japan for a few years" whine and whine about their "situation"."
Japan is definitely more bureaucratic than many other countries, and some of its industries are extremely protectionist. Stating the fact is not whining in my view. I also wouldn't consider it whining to point out that handset subsidies and customer lock-in are anti-competitive business practises which are harmful to the economy.
"Bottom line; If you don't like what the operators do to hardware before they lease it to you in Japan either A: move somewhere else B: learn some Japanese and buy a shiro-rom phone."
You are missing the point. I know I can buy an unencumbered top of the line Nokia handset at the Nokia duty-free store at Narita airport. As a phone user I don't really care enough about features to do that. But as somebody who lives and works in Japan, I _do_ care simply because I want the Japanese economy to do well and therefore I do not welcome anti-competitive business practises in Japan. Note, I am in good company on this: Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank is an outspoken critic of those business practises (let's hope he'll actually eat his own dog food now that he controls what used to be Vodafone Japan).
Anyway, I believe the whole thing was brought up as a response to somebody saying that Apple was the originator of restrictive practises in the mobile phone industry. The practises of Japanese operators were merely offered as a counter example to show this was already going on without Apple. So, calm down, it was not an exercise in Japan bashing.
@ Michael Brown
"same system exists in Portugal (I recently renewed my EU residents permit). The queue to be assigned a number is simply a triage system that ensures that people who don't have the right papers or are "not eligible" get weeded out early and quickly. Seems sensible to me in a place where they have to deal with way more people than they really cope with. Don't have any problem with it at all."
Well, I have reason to believe that the reason they changed the system here is to prevent a scam with the numbered tickets. Why else would they sign each ticket? It wouldn't be the first time that some unemployed local Chinese or Iranians took advantage of the system -- we had a telephone card scam years ago which led to disabling international calls on all pay phones. Quite likely they caught some folks making a business of selling the numbered tickets. If so, there would have been other solutions which didn't impact the efficiency of the process.
> Not in the EU. It is a legal requirement in the EU to unlock
Can't find any direct legislation on this. Only thing that seems close is some consumer protection legislation... can you point me in the right direction?
Also since when has large company listened to EU directives? I'm pretty sure charging the excessive roaming costs that most operators do was ruled as unfair by the EU,... yet we're still paying excessive roaming costs.
> But as somebody who lives and works in Japan, I _do_ care simply because
> I want the Japanese economy to do well and therefore I do not welcome
> anti-competitive business practises in Japan.
So don't buy encumbered products? The carriers will soon notice the huge dent you have caused on the Japanese economy and rethink their business strategies.
Your argument seemed to be that your phone's firmware has some brain damaged security where-by all files have to be digitally signed.. that's maybe to stop things like bad image decoders from turning into workable exploits. Interoperability issues opposed to handsets being locked to a network (reduction of consumer choice).
Saying that Apple have "opened up" anything is ignorant to say the least...
"> Not in the EU. It is a legal requirement in the EU to unlock
Can't find any direct legislation on this. Only thing that seems close is some consumer protection legislation... can you point me in the right direction?"
I don't know what the EU directives are but I remember when I was looking for info on roaming regulation on the EU commission's web site I stumbled into a note that said something about such a policy being adopted for the whole EU following the regulation implemented in the UK (by OFCOM the UK regulator). Maybe the EU hasn't made much progress in implementing this, I haven't followed it that closely in recent years. Trust me the operators in the UK do follow the OFCOM rules on subsidies and unlocking. Once you have had your phone for three months you can walk into any mobile phone shop in the UK, pay the £35 and have it unlocked. Ask the friendly staff why and they will confirm its due to legislation not because the operators are so kind.
"So don't buy encumbered products? The carriers will soon notice the huge dent you have caused on the Japanese economy and rethink their business strategies."
Yeah right, which is precisely why this sort of thing has to be done by regulation or legislation, it won't happen due to demand, because the whole scheme is designed to artificially create demand by bribing consumers. That's the point.
"Your argument seemed to be that your phone's firmware has some brain damaged security where-by all files have to be digitally signed"
I didn't make any argument, I only chimed in to confirm what somebody had posted about not being able to do this or that due to operator imposed restrictions after somebody else said this was "rubbish". My phone is a Symbian phone, I think the Symbian OS allows operators to reject anything that isn't signed by them, if they are so inclined and Softbank apparently is.
As for Apple, my phone predates the iPhone by 2 years and it's got a bunch of restrictions (as explained), so I believe I am entitled to say with confidence that Apple didn't start the restrictions on smart phones thing.
Honestly, I really couldn't care less what people think of Apple or Softbank, the only thing I feel strongly about is the absence of legislation or regulation on limiting handset subsidies and SIM locks, but for macro-economic reasons, not because I can't unlock my phone.
EU and roaming charges
"Also since when has large company listened to EU directives? I'm pretty sure charging the excessive roaming costs that most operators do was ruled as unfair by the EU,... yet we're still paying excessive roaming costs."
You are confusing the publishing of preliminary findings on roaming charges by the EU commission's investigation with the regulation that eventually followed it. EU regulation on roaming charges only came into effect on June 30 last year.
After the regulation had been passed all EU operators were obliged to meet the roaming tariff caps by the time the rules came into effect and they had been very busy implementing the necessary changes in their networks. Note that the rules apply to voice services only and they call for a gradual reduction. The next reduction kicks in at the end of this month. The operators are under close scrutiny to comply. Remember this was launched as an anti-trust case during which tons of documents had been ceased and several arrests had been made where executives are still facing the prospect of indictments. Say what you will about the EU, but nothing could be further from the truth than to suggest the EU has no teeth.
I use Rebelsimcard on my iPhone 3G
I came across this a week ago. www.rebelsimcard.com
works fine in my iphone and nokia. Costs £15 and its from a local firm in Rochdale
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