In the summer of 2007, Apple released the i Phone, in an exclusive partnership with A. He wanted an i Phone, but he also wanted to make calls using his existing network, so he decided to hack the phone. George Hotz, a seventeen-year-old from Glen Rock, New Jersey, was a T-Mobile subscriber.
Then he slid a guitar pick around the tiny groove, and twisted free the shell with a snap.Eventually, he found his target: a square sliver of black plastic called a baseband processor, the chip that limited the carriers with which it could work.To get the baseband to listen to him, he had to override the commands it was getting from another part of the phone.He soldered a wire to the chip, held some voltage on it, and scrambled its code. On his PC, he wrote a program that enabled the i Phone to work on any wireless carrier.
Every hack poses the same basic challenge: how to make something function in a way for which it wasn’t designed. As Hotz describes it, the secret is to figure out how to speak to the device, then persuade it to obey your wishes.
After weeks of research with other hackers online, Hotz realized that, if he could make a chip inside the phone think it had been erased, it was “like talking to a baby, and it’s really easy to persuade a baby.” He used a Phillips-head eyeglass screwdriver to undo the two screws in the back of the phone.