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Tim Cook Just Rocked My World

I had a problem.  I emailed Tim Cook.  He looks to be making it all better.  And I'm astounded.

Here's some background.

I am a big fan of Apple.  When I moved to Israel last summer I was faced with having to part with my iPhone 4 as it was restricted to AT&T.  I had paid off my early cancellation fee with AT&T and asked for an unlock but they told me I could only do this through Apple.  Apple in turn sent me back to AT&T.  I spent a collective few hours on hold with AT&T, only to learn that neither party had a viable option.  

After hours of research online I discovered the Gevey Sim solution.  It was kludgy, requiring me to physically trim my SIM card, use an alternative SIM tray and interloper chip, and requiring that I unlock my iPhone.  There was also talk of having to dial an emergency access number, but I found an app that worked around that requirement.  I've played with these unlocking tools in the past but never found them as good as the original iOS experience.  So I never stuck with any unlocks.

Left with no other option, I went for the Gevey.  I crossed my fingers, trimmed my local Israeli micro-sim, unlocked my device and a few hours of trouble shooting later everything seemed to be working properly.  At first I was reasonably satisfied.  

However, over time my phone has become increasingly dated as I could not update the firmware without fear of locking my device.  Eventually the springboard started crashing, and over time this became more frequent, resulting in a very poor user experience.  I read online about updates to a newer, more stable hacked firmware, but saving SSH blobs is above my technical skill level.  And I was sick and tired of this entire chapter.  I was so annoyed that I even began speaking with friends about switching to Android.

I also started contacting friends and friends-of-friends at AT&T and their partners to try to find a workable unlock solution.  They all seemed to hit the same dead ends I had hit.  I even spoke with a lawyer who was considering a class action to demand Apple and AT&T develop an unlock solution for off-contract phones.

But to be honest, I had thrown in the towel.  I was tired of constantly restarting my phone, and heading out on the road not knowing if my phone would remain reliable for the remainder of my trip.

Enter Tim Cook

A few weeks ago, inspired by a similar story on Techeme, I emailed Tim Cook.  I explained my predicament (omitting the unlocking) and asked for his help in finding a solution to my locked phone challenges.  

A few minutes ago I received an email from an AT&T Partnerships team asking for my account info and IMEI number.  It looks like they are unlocking my phone!  More updates to come as this story progresses.

I'm very impressed.  I have emailed a number of CEOs and Presidents in my time.  But I've never seen or heard a direct response.  Until now.

If this is the new direction Tim Cook is taking Apple in, I'm all in.

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