Hackers have found a way to use Appl's iPhone on networks other than AT&T 's , opening up the coveted device to rival carriers and overseas customers, according to a Web report on Friday.
A group called iPhoneSIMfree.com said it had developed a piece of software that, when installed on an iPhone, allows the use of rival mobile services such as T-Mobile, according to widely followed technology blog Engadget.com.
AT&T has an exclusive two-year agreement to provide phone and data services for the iPhone in the United States. Apple is in talks with carriers in several European countries to launch the device there by the end of the year.
Enabling the combination phone, media player and Web browser to run on other networks -- known as "unlocking" -- has been a stated goal of many hackers since the iPhone hit the market in late June.
"The unlock process took only a couple of minutes. From our end it was totally painless," Engadget said.
Several other methods for unlocking the iPhone have emerged on the Internet in the past few weeks, although they involve tinkering with the iPhone hardware or more complicated ways of bypassing the protections for AT&T's exclusivity.
The iPhone is based on GSM wireless technology, which is deployed widely throughout Europe but used in the United States only by AT&T and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile.
iPhone users outside U.S. could take advantage of the hack, since there Apple has not agreed with any provider yet. Although Apple has not officialy made any official statement until now, it is possible to take legal actions against the hackers.