Apple says 18 percent of iPhones are unlocked

Apple admits that some 250,000 iPhones are unlocked and using other mobile cell phone carriers than the provided AT&T service. This is about 18 percent of the 1.4 million iPhones sold since June 2007.

COO Tim Cook of Apple made the revelation during Apple’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2007 overall earnings conference call. The international company officially announced strong earnings of $6.22 billion in sales, a 29 percent increase over the quarterly $4.84 billion a year ago, and $904 million profits, up 67 percent from a year ago. The Mac desktops and laptop sales rose. The influential corporation also sold just over 10 million iPods and 1.2 million iPhones during those three months.

Cook told analysts that these 250,000 phones were sold to buyers who intended to unlock them at the outset. Cook also warned that Apple won’t let those unlocked phones remain workable for long.

Apple has consistently made it clear it will forcefully counter all attempts to unlock the AT&T connection in iPhones. After the first bout with hackers, Apple released the nifty systems software 1.1.1 upgrade, which disabled unlocked phones. But hackers vowed to determine ways to get around that block, and apparently they have.