Last week a new method of ‘unlocking’ the iPhone to use it with any mobile carrier emerged. Using something called a Turbo SIM (which costs $80US), it tricks the iPhone into thinking it’s using an AT&T sim card while actually using your sim card of choice.
How does it do this? You need to trim a little excess plastic off your sim card and then sandwich it with the Turbo sim card (the technical term is piggyback I think) making a sim card that still fits in the sim slot. Pretty ingenious actually.
Unfortunately, everyone with an iPhone (and no AT&T plan) found out about this and the company that makes the Turbo Sim, Bladox is apparently sold out and completely overwhelmed with orders – so much so that they actually closed their online store for now. I’ve read on some forums people offering hundreds of dollars for a Turbo Sim as well as lots of offers looking for people to help them do the steps necessary.
If you do happen to get your hands on a blank Turbo SIM, there are some fairly straightforward steps (assuming you’ve already hacked your iPhone) to make it work. This is the best walkthru I’ve come across although I haven’t tried it myself (yet). Ars Technica also has a breakdown of the method and some helpful links.
I’m not quite prepared to shell out a ton of money for a Turbo Sim just yet…it was only a week or so ago that a different, more complicated sim cloning method (aka super sim) was the ‘hot’ unlock method but it only worked with some very specific, older sim cards (mostly from Europe).
With the rapid pace of ‘homebrew’ software development for the iPhone, it’s even more feasible that in the very near future (days or weeks, not months) there will be a software unlock solution that negates the need for additional hardware. The Turbo Sim will definitely help assist in the hacking efforts in the short term.