Why Buy the Cow When You Can Get the Milk for Free?

[digg-me]Recently I’ve seen a lot of ads for people selling unlock/jailbreaking services. Some claim to be able to even do a software unlock for iPhone 3G. Prices range from $14.99 to $39.99 just for the ability to download unlocking and jailbreaking software from their website. Some require you to buy an additional piece of hardware (a SIM) to unlock the iPhone 3G, but some sites say you can just download a software.

This bothers me because I feel like this is contrary to spirit of Jailbreaking. Jailbreaking was made free to us by the hard work of the iPhone Dev Team and others, and these wonderful people are doing this to open up Apple’s artificially closed offering to the iPhone lovers of the world.

One site I found is charging people for access to a “members only download area” where they can download Jailbreaking and iPhone 2G Unlocking software.

Also, some sites offer 3G software unlock services, although some people do admit that they will have to spend more money and buy a special SIM (from them of course).

There are still other services where you send them your iPhone and they will unlock it for you. I understand that it can be a bit scary to think you might brick your iPhone, but it would be scary for me to to send my beloved iPhone out to a complete stranger. If you they never send your phone back, what is your recourse?  Would you call the police and tell them you were trying to illegally unlock your phone?

The basic problems I have  with paying for unlocking/jailbreaking services (but not limited to) are:

  1. They are charging an awful lot of money for what is free on the web.
  2. They are charging an awful lot of money for something they didn’t even develop.
  3. Some of these people are promising services that may or may not even be possible.
  4. They are not warning people that new versions of the iPhone firmware may make their upgrade obsolete or they are promising them they will always be able to support the jailbreak/unlock.
  5. The people listing these services may not even be qualified or understand how to use the software.  I found a reference while researching this story of someone who created an Unlocking iPhone 3G website and was trying to sell it for $500, lock, stock, and barrel.

What do you think about this?