Given the fact that Apple's iPhone is, at its core, a GSM handset with a physical SIM card just like every other GSM phone out there, this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. But given the hype surrounding the iconic computer maker's debut foray into the cellular market ? and the five-year AT&T exclusive deal that currently limits iPhone sales and usage to one carrier in one country only ? it's still big news.
Hackers are claiming to have accessed iPhone's core radio controls, which more or less represents the final major hurdle on the road to an unlocked handset suitable for use on any GSM network worldwide. Apple released the phone with software locks requiring consumers to activate their handsets with AT&T in order to use any of its voice, data, or media player functions - however, applications and instructions for unlocking iPhone's non-radio features (e.g. iPod functionality) have already been distributed across the Net, as has the first third-party application written to run directly on the handset.
Apple surely is working on a countermeasure to "re-lock" handsets to AT&T should unlocking efforts succeed. Look for an iPhone software update combining new features with "security updates" soon after unlocking efforts succeed. Still, software updates are optional, and should hackers find the key to use iPhones on all GSM networks, you can bet there will be an uptick in iPhone sales on eBay - particularly to users in Canada and Europe who are still waiting for Apple to release the coveted handset in their countries.