Have you noticed all the hoopla surrounding the iPhone and unlocking it from AT&T? We just blogged about the first software based iPhone SIM unlock the other day. Today there are least 4 verified iPhone unlocking hacks out there and you bet there will be more now that hackers know that it can be done fairly easily.
AT&T has to be sick at the stomach right now. They sold their proverbial soul to get a 5 year exclusive on arguably the most hyped consumer electronics device in history only to find out, not two months later, the device can be unlocked from their network and used on which ever network the iPhone owner chooses. Rumor has it that AT&T is trying to go after the hackers, however, pretty much everyone is saying that the DMCA protects consumers from unlocking their phones so they can change carriers and use their devices on a new network.
What is really telling, however, is that Apple, to our knowledge, has yet to threaten any legal action. Even the most die-hard Apple fanboy would admit that Apple sues people at the drop of a hat for some of the most ridiculous reasons one can imagine so the fact that they have been quiet makes you wonder if they didn’t anticipate and on some level, even welcome this.
The iPhone isn’t subsidized with a service plan from AT&T. You pay full price when you pick one up at both the Apple or the AT&T store. How much does Apple really care if you unlock your iPhone and use it on a network other than AT&T? My guess is not much. This kind of makes me wonder if Apple played AT&T from the start.