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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Unbrick My Heart

Have you fell in love with you iPhone? I bet you have. Was your heart bricked after updating the firmware to 1.1.1.? Positive again. Don't worry. The help is on the way to unbrick your heart.

But the news is not as good as you might be expecting. The hack does really unbrick your iPhone and get the 3rd party application back in game, however, unlocked phones still can't call.

Basically, the process of unbricking your iPhone is to downgrade the firmware from version 1.1.1 to 1.0.2. Well, if you have ever had PSP then you might know this process. The same has started for iPhone.

Detailed instructions and video can be seen on Gizmodo.

I believe hackers are working hard to get dialing function back as well. After all iPhone is a phone, isn't it?
Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bluetooth - The Weakest Link

Security researchers attention goes to the Bluetooth bug in iPhone. On Friday, Symantec's DeepSight threat network team pointed out the vulnerability in an advisory to customers.

According to the security team, the Bluetooth flaw occurs when malicious SDP (Service Discovery Protocol) packets are handled. Thus, any attacker within Bluetooth range can exploit the vulnerability remotely and execute arbitrary code on the device.

In order to exploit the iPhone Bluetooth vulnerability, the Bluetooth MAC must be known. However, with iPhone this is extremely easy. The iPhone Bluetooth MAC address is always one less than the Wi-Fi interface's MAC address. So, a standard WiFi sniffer does the job here.

According to Apple's security advisory, the Bluetooth vulnerability was discovered and reported by Kevin Mahaffey and John Hering of Flexillis Inc., a Los Angeles-based company that specializes in mobile security development and consulting.

Most people do not consider Bluetooth vulnerabilities seriously. This can be attributed to the belief that Bluetooth is not a long-range wireless technology. However, possible working range of Bluetooth is far longer than most people believe. With specialized antennas it is possible to achieve 200-300 meters, sometimes even more.
Friday, September 28, 2007

Come on, Brick My iPhone

Apple has just released promised firmware update 1.1.1. and the company has also kept the promise about fighting hacked iPhones. Indeed, the update bricks the phone in many cases. If you are lucky enough and your wonder device survives, you have good chance of losing your photos, music and contacts. Unfortunately, even those who have not hacked their devices experienced this. Apart from this, after you update the firmware, the phone gets relocked and third-party applications stop functioning. Other anomalies are possible as well. This is just a matter of time.

So what? I think Apple has overdone the job of fighting unlockers. I don't think it will take long until unlockers release unlock-my-iPhone-1.1.1. It's up to you whether to wait or not. If we take into account that there are no revolutionary features in the 1.1.1. update, maintaining status quo can be the most reasonable choice for unlocked iPhone owners.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

iPhone Hacks Void Warranty, But Who's Scared?

On Monday Apple warned that iPhone hacks void the warranty. Moreover, the company said that the phone would stop functioning after the next software update is applied. As Apple has explained unlocking programs "cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software".

Sorry Steve, but this is a complete b*** s*** and I believe this statement has a sole purpose to frighten those iPhone users who have no clue about how phones, software or computers work.

Even if you are unfortunate enough to brick your iPhone, it can be recovered relatively easy. Moreover, the percentage of known facts of iPhones becoming bricked after applying the hacks is quite low.

To be frank, I expected more "serious" efforts from Apple to fight unauthorised use of the device. Of course, this will scare some users but not enough to eliminate hacking.
Sunday, September 23, 2007

Has Apple Forgotten People With Disabilities?

Well, it seems so. At least, Apple has forgotten that there people with ear disabilities out there. When iPhone is held up to a cochlear implant and or a hearing aid it gives out a loud buzzing interference.

Due to this problem, a group representing people with a hearing loss filed complaints with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission last month. The group is accusing Apple Inc. of not making its iPhone compatible with hearing aids.

This complaint may turn pretty expensive for Apple. Results may vary from paying refunds to customers with disabilities to redesigning the device altogether. However, according to documents posted on the FCC's Web site, Apple may not be required to make changes to the iPhone. "Handset manufacturers that offer two or fewer digital wireless handsets in the U.S. need not comply with the hearing aid compatibility compliance obligations," the FCC states.

Photo source:

This article has been featured on BLOGVASION.COM
Thursday, September 20, 2007

iPhone's Euroinvasion

iPhone's invasion in Europe continues. Soon after a simultaneous debut in the UK and Germany on 9th of November, iPhone will be launched in France at the end of November.

France Telecom's Orange is Apple's "chosen" in France. Analysts speculate that Apple has demanded a 20-30 percent share of service and voice revenues generated by iPhones in return for exclusive sales deals with telecoms operators. (I will talk more about Apple's strategy, which I think is one of the best devised by anyone in business. So stay tuned and check the blog frequently).

It is not clear at the moment what iPhone's price will be in France. However, it is safe to expect it to be in a 269 - 279 euro range, pretty much the same as it costs in Germany and the UK.

It's indeed ineteresting to see how iPhone will do in Europe. It has become the most successful and top selling smartphones in the USA. Will it make the same miracle in Europe?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

iPhone's Double Hit: UK + Germany

Apple will have a double launch on the 9th of November, 2007. It has become known that iPhone will be launched in Germany on the same day as it will be launched in the UK. Apple (as expected) has teamed with T-Mobile.

Germans will have to pay about $553 for owning the device. The price includes sales tax and a two-year service. iPhone can be purchased through Deutsche Telekom stores, and through the T-Mobile online store.

Most likely the next target will be France. Orange is widely expected to be Apple's chosen in France.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time to Fight iPhone Unlocking Hacks?

Finally, for the first time Apple has officially said that the company would fight attempts to use the popular device on unauthorized networks. Aren't you a bit late Steve? What have you been doing until today? Oh, I beg my pardon. The company was busy "dating" potential hubbies in Europe. Pretty good excuse. So, now after the iPhone is a couple of days far from hitting the shelves in the UK, Apple started to think about fighting illegal hacks. But time has played for Apple this time as well. I can imagine thousands of people who have bought the device in hopes to use iPhone with carriers of their choice. It's now possible to get the unlock hack for free, but what about those who have paid $50 and $99 for the commercial hacking software?

I am confident, announcing that the company would take legal actions against the unlockers at this stage is a part of a marketing campaign as well. Though, on the other hand it was expected that sooner or later Apple would start doing so. But the question is how effective the company will be in this endeavour.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Welcome to UK iPhone

"We dated a few people who we didn't get married to, so there are a few unhappy girlfriends out there." said Steve Jobs revealing Apple's iPhone partner in the UK.

I've always been amazed with Jobs' showmanship. He always does something that nobody else can. The show must go on indeed but what is really happening behind the curtains?

First off, the price of the device, £269, is by no means cheap. Additionally, the iPhone users in UK will have to sign up for an 18-month contract, at a minimum price of £35 a month, giving us a £900 for owning the mircale device.

Competition is already there. Nokia N95 is alredy a better choice. But iPhone has something that no other device does. It is usability and the very features that make it iPhone.

However, it is viable to assume that by the holiday season, offers from other companies will become more tempting and lucrative and many customers will look at alternative offerings. Will iPhone win Britons' hearts? We'll have to wait and see.
Monday, September 17, 2007

Third iPhone Update is Already on the Horizon

iPhone unlockers may shortly have to start all over again. Apples is about to release the third firmware update to the phone. Will the unlock survive firmware upgrade? Most likely not. The update shall address stability issues and extend the device with new features as well. Particularly, this shall include functionality to access just announced Wi-Fi iTunes Music Store, which will allow iPhone users to browse, purchase and download media from the iTunes Store with a WLAN connection.
Sunday, September 16, 2007

anySIM Gets a GUI - Well Done iPhone Dev Team

It looks like that iPhone Dev Team is working hard on their free iPhone unlocking hack. If the initial release required quite a hassle and command-line wizardry, now the free unlock software can be used by non-geeks as well. Simply, the team has released a GUI to the unlocking hack which makes unlocking your iPhone unbelievably easy.

So, if you want to use your iPhone with ANY mobile operator, don't want to pay $50 or $99 for the unlock software and don't want to mess around the command-line tools, simply download the anySIM and enjoy your unlocked iPhone.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Who Wins iPhone EU Rights?

According to Financial Times Deutschland, Deutche Telekom (T-Mobile), France Telecom (France's Orange), and Britain's 02 (Telefonica) had snapped up commercial exclusivity of the iPhone in their respective countries. But who will win the rights?

Yesterday journalists received invitations from Apple with a mysterious "Mum is no longer the word." line. Does this mean that Apple will reveal its European iPhone partner soon? There is an intense speculation both by telephone companies and the media that the conference will reveal the secret.
Thursday, September 13, 2007

3G iPhones Are on the Horizon

Wireless chip and DSP sector analyst Will Strauss of Forward Concepts claims that 3G enabled iPhone is already on the horizon.

An announcement from Apple is expected anytime, even during this week. Apple may announce the Wideband-CDMA 3G capable version of the phone as well when it finally reveals which operators it has chosen for the European launch of the handset. Though, Strauss is uncertain whether the iPhone's 3G baseband chip would also include the higher-speed HSDPA capability.

Will Apple make the same "thunder" in Europe that the company has made in the USA? Difficult to say. However, it is very likely and expected. At least Vodafone expects so. As a counter measure, on 10th of September, Vodafone launched an unlimited music download service MusicStation. Hurry up Apple, hurry up or iPhone's music magic may get deluted in Europe in the shade of MusicStation. The latter has a library of over 1 million tracks from the major music publishers.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

iPhone Gets Closer to MovableType

MovableType users will be able to use iPhone for mobile blogging. Six Apart announced an open-source plug-in for its Movable Type 4.0 blog on Monday.

The iMT plug-in installs an alternate template that is specifically tailored to iPhone's screen. The plug-in works over AT&T Wireless' Edge network and over the Wi-Fi as well.

Tap-based interface and custom integration with built-in iPhone functionality makes the iMT plug-in a perfect choice for MovableType's iPhone equipped users.

So, iPhone users have one more reason to use MovableType and the MovableType users have one more reason to buy iPhone.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fully Unlocked 8GB iPhone Arrives on the Shelves

Now anyone can purchase fully unlocked 8GB iPhone with a single click of a mouse. As claims, the device is unlocked for any GSM operator in the world. Moreover, ships phones to almost every part of the world. Sounds tempting? No doubt. But wait, I've got some bad news for you.

Bad news number one is that the price is quite high. Yes, it's almost $1,300 without shipping fees. Did you expect anything else? Maybe uncle Steve's $500 iPhone offer sounds more attractive now? Well decide yourself what is important for you. Spend additional $800 or join the overnight campers at the AT&T stores waiting to sign freaking contracts?

Bad news number two is that disclaimer applies, which says:

This i-Phone has been unlocked for use in any GSM provider in the world. Please note that we can only guarantee the unlocking for as long as you don't upgrade your version of firmware from Apple. Apple will re-lock the mobile when you upload upgrades to your i-Phone and will not be responsible for the re-unlocking of your device.

This means that, well you know what this means. As soon as you will need to upgrade the firmware, your iPhone will stop working and will become just an iPod :)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bad News For Commercial iPhone Unlockers - iUnlock Works

There's bad news for resellers of commercial iPhone unlock software. The iPhone Dev Team has released a free hack to unlock iPhone.

Both Gizmodo and Engadget posted the news on Tuesday evening confirming that the hack worked!

At the moment, the hack is not a one-click solution though. Rather it requires you to download a few things and do some command-line level work. This should not be a problem for an average computer user. However, compared to the commercial hacks, it has a big advantage. It's free and is available immediately. The team is working on the graphical version of the tool. This should allow less experienced users to take advantage of the free unlock software.

This news will make many iPhone users happy. After all, it is now possible to use the gadget with any cell phone operator at no additional cost.

Photo source: Engadget
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Preorder Your iPhone Unlock Software

iPhone unlocking software becomes commercial and goes on sale. Several resellers have already started accepting preorders.

iPhoneSIMFree's unlock software hack can be purchased for $99. An Australian Web site, iPhone Worldwide Unlock, listed the hack for $50. A German reseller has the same $50 price tag.

The price of the software is not cheap but it looks like the resellers have already accepted thousands of preorders. Though, none of the resellers provide any guarantees that the hack will survive a firmware upgrade from Apple.

Will Apple re-lock the device in a future update is not known. Neither has the company made any comments on possible legal actions against the resellers.

But where can I buy the software? Glad you asked. Follow the links below:

Online shops:

AUSTRALIA: iPhoneWorldwideUnlock and AussieIphoneUnlockClick

GERMANY: 1digitalphoneClick

UNITED KINGDOM: Iphoneunlocked


USA: Wireless Imports

Monday, September 10, 2007

iPhone is Already in 1 Million Pockets

There are iPhones in 1 million pockets 74 days after the launch of the device. At least this is what has been announced by Apple. Not a bad result if we recall that it took two years to reach the same mark with iPod, which is an extremely popular product itself.

At a glance everything is fine with iPhone. The device (the 8 GB model) has become $200 cheaper; the 4 GB model is already out of production and the 16 GB model can be seen on the horizon. Apple is ready for the upcoming holiday season, though there will be no 3G enabled iPhone this year.
Saturday, September 08, 2007

iPhone - Number One Enemy of Your Wallet

iPhone's international plan for data services in 29 countries (most of them are European countries) costs $24.99 for 20 megabytes. In countries outside the plan charges can hit a $20 per megabyte mark. iPhone has a "neat" feature, which regularly updates e-mail, even when the phone is off and this can translate into pretty solid amounts.

At least, this is what happened to Jay Levy and his family by using iPhone during their Mediterranean cruise. Their three iPhones generated a whopping $4,800 bill.

But the Levys are not alone. A 68 year old real estate agent from Bronx, Herbert Kliegerman said he incurred $2,000 while visiting Mexico. Kliegerman filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status in New York State Supreme Court last week. Simple, Apple did not properly disclose the international roaming charges. Kliegerman was offered a $1,5000 refund from AT&T Wireless but the real estate agent is seeking a full refund.

Interestingly, the 6,707-word terms and conditions document on the AT&T Web site says: "Substantial charges may be incurred if phone is taken out of the U.S. even if no services are intentionally used.". Wow, Kliegerman's chances are pretty slim of winning the case.

It seems to me that iPhone's honeymoon is over and the device has started facing difficulties of the real-world. Will iPhone survive or will Apple experience the same fiasco as the company did with personal computers? That is the question.

This post has been featured on BLOGVASION.COM
Saturday, September 08, 2007

No More Free Ringtones on iPhone

In one of previous posts I talked about a possibility of using custom ringtones on iPhone. The loophole was found by a MacRumors forum user. By following the method described by the user, it was possible to sync custom ringtones to your iPhone for free.

Apple was very quick to fix this problem in the iTunes 7.4. Within 24 hours of releasing iTunes 7.4, users were alerted to the availability of iTunes 7.4.1, which of course does not allow using free ring tones. Thus, if you have iTunes 7.4 on your computer, you may refrain from updating to 7.4.1. Decide yourself what you need. The "latest" version of the software or ability to use free ring tones.

This post has been featured on BLOGVASION.COM
Thursday, September 06, 2007

iPhone as a Business Adventure

Here we have another surprise from Apple. On Wednesday, Steve Jobs announced that the company was cutting the price of the 8GB model by 33%, which makes a whopping $200. Thus, Apple's miracle device 10 weeks after its launch costs only $399.

Customers are angry and so are company's investors. How can this move be explained? The first idea that comes to mind is that Apple is not able to meet the forecasts and has taken more aggressive marketing action.

However, I see a different picture here. I strongly believe that in business succeed not the best products but those products which are accompanied by the the biggest buzz and hype. In our complicated world, marketing is something almost a mystical thing. Little marketing details can make dramatic difference. Let's notice a couple of things.

Have you noticed how many blogs, websites and shows are devoted to iPhone? I can't remember any other product with such a huge buzz as Apple's iPhone. I must say that Steve Jobs did the most marvelous job in this respect.

The deal was made with AT&T only. Boom, the phone is locked for any other carrier. Want an iPhone? You are welcome to grab one, come and subscribe to AT&T. Want to use the device with other carriers? No problem, do some hardware tweaking and the phone is unlocked. Don't want to deal with soldering? Oh, there are already at least a couple of different alternatives to unlock the phone at the software level. Had it be possible to use the phone with other carriers, that lucky guy would not have got a brand new car for his unlocking software and gazillion of bloggers would not have been able to write nice posts about this fact. How many blog posts, news articles and rumour has arisen about unlocking iPhone? Countless!!!

The phone doesn't have support for Java. Is it good or bad? After all Java game development industry is estimated to be a billion-dollar industry. But let's sacrifice ability to use Java software on iPhone to the hype and buzzword and as a side effect to stability of the device.

No, no and again no. We are still not able to sell as many iPhones as we would love to. What do we do next? Yes sure, let's cut the price by $200. Wait, you can buy many different cell phones under $200 and this guy is reducing the price by $200. What about those people who have paid original price? Good news for them, if they have not opened the phone they can take advantage of the Apple's refund policy.

But how did the investors react? They did exactly as expected. Apple's share prices dropped by more than 5% just overnight. That's bad but the action (price cut) leads the company to even more aggressive marketing campaign. At the same moment Apple introduces an array of new digital products.

All in all, I see that Apple is playing a risky but well thought out marketing game. Where will it lead? Oh, we only have to wait and see.

This post has been featured on BLOGVASION.COM
Saturday, September 01, 2007

Say Goodbye to Hacking iPhone Ring Tones: Meet iToner

iPhone users no longer need to hack the phone to use custom ring tones. To put custom ring tones on your device you can use a cool little utility called iToner from Ambrossia Software, Inc.

With iToner, a $15 utility, the process requires only dragging and dropping audio files onto the single-window interface and then hitting the Sync button. You don't even need to restart the phone to use the ring tones. Moreover, as the developer claims, the ring tones will be available even after a firmware update is applied to the phone.

iToner requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later. A 30-day trial period is available.

This post has been featured on BLOGVASION.COM