We pitched in to help my son buy an iPhone for his 19th birthday. I’m so envious, but his birthday came before mine. It is an amazing piece of technology. The iPhone seems like the closest thing I can think of to the perfect personal information appliance.
The one stumbler was that we had to release him from our family plan from Verizon Wireless and sign him up on AT&T. It was the only way — until.
George Hotz, of Glen Rock, New Jersey, has unlocked the iPhone so that it can also be used on T-Mobile’s Network. It seems that only AT&T and T-Mobile networks are compatible with the iPhone. The real benefit of this development is that the iPhone can be used in Europe and Asia, where Apple has not yet released the device through the selected wireless companies there.
The conversion, which requires some soldering and software alterations, is described in Hotz’ blog, and may emerge into a small industry of people who are making iPhone available to lusting customers outside the U.S.
This likelyhood does not make George happy.
“That’s exactly, like, what I don’t want,” Hotz said. “I don’t want people making money off this.”*
I think that’s most amazing to me, and telling, with regard to our times, is the George Hotz is only 17, and he perfected the technique from his home. You know, when I was young, we had science fairs and other opportunities for kids to distinguish their science or technology chops — but always within the context of being kids or students.
Today, youngsters, still in school, are actually participating in their world in ways that simply were not possible before. It’s exciting and a little daunting. I think that it puts even more pressure on educators in what and how we teach, because some of our students may become contributing members of society a lot earlier than we assume.
Just something to think about.*
Svensson, Peter. “NJ Teen Unlocks iPhone From AT&T Network.” WRAL.COM 24 Aug 2007 24 Aug 2007 <http://www.wral.com/news/technology/story/1738824/>.