Dev Team Says Stay Away From SIMable Hardware Unlock
A software unlock is obviously preferable over a hardware “unlock” option since it’s cheaper (in the Dev Team’s case, free) and doesn’t require any extra hardware, but one Dev Team member points out that hardware unlocks like the SIMable SIM card add-on can actually be dangerous, and could result in legal consequences.
The unnamed member says that card add-ons like SIMable uses fake identifiers in order to get around the 3G baseband chip. The problem is that this information tends to “leak” into cellular networks, generating errors. While this is otherwise generally an effective work-around for using an unauthorized SIM card with a locked device, the errors generated on the network are recorded by the company, and can be considered tampering with the company’s network. In places like Germany, it’s considered a legal offense that can result in three years in prison. In the US it can fall under legislation designed to combat terrorism.
Unfortunately, that’s the only option available at the moment for iPhone 3G users, as the PwnageTool can jailbreak the new devices but not unlock them, although the Dev Team is working on it.