Ever since T-Mobile Germany agreed to sell legally unlocked iPhones the main question has been: How? Now we know... iTunes.
The silence from both T-Mobile and Apple has been deafening since the announcement so MacNotes.de has grabbed some early feedback from crazy German customers who were prepared to pay the monstrous 999 euro price tag.
Apparently all customers have to do is purchase an iPhone in store and pay the whopping asking price. From here the store sends the handset's IMEI number to Apple and within 24 hours Cupertino's database registers the lunatic. Then the mentally deranged flush owner connects the handset to iTunes which recognises the phone, raises the alert above and unlocks the handset "in seconds".
Interestingly, the firmware version is unchanged at v1.1.2 and the phone will accept sim cards from all operators as well as any future firmware updates without relocking. Of course such ridiculous sums of money put this method out of reach for regular mentally stable members of the public, but I suspect it won't be too long before hackers manage to get their hands on one of these models and sees exactly what makes it tick.
With France - whose law dictates all handsets must be available unlocked within six months of release - getting an official iPhone launch on 29 November and an Apple approved SDK coming in February this looks like the end of the road.
Common sense - via the full weight of the law - wins through in the end...
In related news, it is being widely reported a thread on Apple's site regarding poor O2 signal reception is sky rocketing. Many baffled journalists are suggesting everything from battery charge to a firmware reset may fix the problem. This is complete codswallop. As Riyad has already addressed in his review: the iPhone has a weak antenna. So unless Apple can somehow tweak its performance with yet another firmware update, bear this in mind if you live in a poor reception area. Topic closed.
Macnotes.de German warning (language, not a third rising of the troops)