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iPhone 3G unlocking down to a tough, old-fashioned science in Vietnam

Chris Ziegler

Most would-be iPhone 3G unlockers are impatiently waiting for an easy software solution that's been in the works since release day, but in some parts of the world, entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands. Enter Vietnam's Tuan Anh Do, who employs a team of some 30 technicians diligently tearing iPhones and iPhone 3Gs apart to remove the baseband chips, reprogram them, and solder them back into place at a charge of about $80. Considering that the end result is a totally carrier-unlocked device, the cost could be perceived as reasonable by some Vietnamese who desperately want an iPhone on the domestic carrier of their choice -- but there's the ever-present risk of re-locking, which 2.2 conveniently does. Of course, that just means more business for Do, who charges another $50 to unlock re-locked handsets. All told, probably not a business model Apple would approve of -- but it's pretty awesome that a single handset has given rise to an entire cottage industry.

[Thanks, JagsLive]

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