For people out there who love the iPhone but have an unexplained aversive reaction to AT&T, that sour taste in your mouth may soon be cleansed. The iPhone Dev Team is inching closer and closer to a a total unlock of Apple’s freshman foray into the mobile phone market, and the way that they are doing it is through reverse engineering the software which controls the iPhone’s radio (read: GSM) communications.
Here’s how Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo explains it:
Here is how this works: the iPhone’s radio communications are handled by the Infineon S-Gold2, an ARM-based chip which also controls the JesusPhone’s multimedia abilities. Its low-level functions are handled by the Nucleus Real Time Operating System which, according to iPhone Dev rebel forces, is one of the fronts that could give them a chance to try to “access or disable the lock from within the system.” By reverse engineering and documenting Nucleus, hackers have reached another milestone towards freeing the phone from the AT&T network. From here, one of their objectives is to be able to manipulate the baseband’s memory, so they can also change communication parameters.
They’ve taken the first few steps in understanding this process, but the total unlock will not be an easy goal to achieve. Based on this reverse engineering experiment, they have learned that there are (at least) two layers that must be cut through in order to completely unlock the multi-touchtastic cell phone: the central processor which powers the OS and Nucleus which controls access to the baseband’s memory.