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unlock iPhoneIf you’re a fan of the iPhone but refuse to switch over to AT&T (or the provider in your country) the iPhone development community has come up with yet another solution to handle your issues. With last weeks launch of the 16gb iPhone guaranteeing an increase in iPhone users and many existing owners considering trading up, the need for a solution to handle unlocking an out of the box iPhone with loaded with firmware 1.1.3. There have been unlock methods before that work on older firmware, but to do that you would have to sacrifice some of the new features that 1.1.3 offer you (Google Maps locating you by cell tower triangulation).

Last week, George Hotz (aka GeoHot) managed to unlock and jailbreak the 1.1.3 firmware. He produced a guide that would lead you through the long process, but to newer users this task would appear daunting. Early this week, iPhone-Elite.org member Zibri managed to simply the process, calling it ZiPhone. Zibri’s method offered a solution that required less than ten steps to unlock your phone. If that wasn’t good enough, today he managed to simplify it so all you have to do is click the ZiPhone application that you can download from iPhone-Elite.org or Zibri’s blog and you are done. ZiPhone is available for both OS X and Windows and is compatible with iPhone firmware 1.1.2 and 1.1.3.

Unlocking and jailbreaking your phone are absolutely legal uses of your device. It does void your warranty if you cannot restore it to factory settings before receiving service on it, but the developers seem to keep that in mind. While unlocking offers you the ability to choose the carrier of your choice, jailbreaking puts you one step ahead of this months upcoming iPhone SDK by allowing you to install homebrewed applications directly to your phone. If those two options weren’t impressive enough, anyone with an altered baseband should be able to restore it through ZiPhone.

Each time a new firmware is launched, the cat and mouse game begins. With the upcoming release of the iPhone SDK due this month, will the modding community have to keep up this game or will the cat become bored?