Oct 21st, 2008

Now that the G1 has now been not so officially released, user’s feedback is slowly starting to shine through the cracks. One of the things that a lot of forum users and commenters have asked about is the G1’s ability to be unlocked.

As with all prominent mobile device releases, sites like eBay and craigslist are humming with entrepreneurs trying to score a few bones by selling the G1s that they received early. These scheming sellers are just starting to sing the android tune (let’s hope it’s a rap), and it seems to include something about unlocking the G1.

A simple search on eBay for the G1 will yield results that show a good percentage of sellers claiming that the G1 they’re selling is unlocked for another carrier. Now to be fair, if the seller had a contract with T-Mobile for more than 90 days, then it’s possible they’ve requested an unlock code from Teemo themselves.

But to set the record straight, as of now there is no known software/hardware unlock possible for the G1 on T-Mobile. Until there is an individual or group (such as the iPhone Dev Team), we won’t be seeing unlocked G1s. We can be confident, though, that the G1 will be unlocked sooner rather than later. This is due to a variety of factors, including the fact that T-Mobile and Google really have no grounds to “refuse” an app to the android market for mass distribution. This would allow developers to create an unlock utility and post it directly to the market, no hacking required.

In fact, during Q&A at the press conference introducing the G1, Cole Brodman was asked a question relating to T-Mobile’s reaction to an unlock utility. Brodman basically said “we would discourage it, but we really can’t stop it.”

One other detail to note: even if (and it’s only a matter of time) the G1 is unlocked, said unlockers won’t be able to use AT&T’s shiny new 3G network. While T-Mobile and AT&T share similar 2G frequencies/spectrum/technology they’re on a different 3G wavelength.

So, Mr. Joe the plumber Unlocker, just sit still for a few more weeks until the angelic unlock utility appears in the market. Then you’ll only be a few taps away from being the newest unlockin’ G.

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