Monday, March 31, 2008

Interview with creator of ZiPhone unlocker for iPhone

Today we’ve had a chance to catch up with Zibri, the creator of ZiPhone, a popular iPhone jailbreak/unlock solution, and ask him some questions about the present and future of ZiPhone, as well as some questions that he needed his crystal ball for.

iW: With the new ZiPhone installer, you make it super easy to jailbreak an iPhone, and allow for apps to run on top of the iPhone OS. Why did you go for this approach instead of going the route of iPhone Pwned and unlocking the phone from the ground up?

zibri iphone

Pwned what?!

I made ziphone so to be as near as original as possible.
That’s why i flash the original 3.9 bootloader and not a modified one.
And that’s why I didn’t add any fancy graphics in the flash nor modified the iphone bootloader or the kernel (as that tool does).

I just have a different philosophy and I don’t force anyone to agree :)

iW: What are the main advances in today’s v3.0 ZiPhone release?

Well the main advantage is that anyone can now add his favourite apps or mods to his iphone.
What you need to do is just pack everything in a zip file and name it (and put it inside the ziphone directory).
A more detailed description is in the PLUGIN_HOWTO.txt file.

iW: What can we look forward in new generations of ZiPhone? How soon do you think we can see a new ZiPhone release?

From now on, ziphone releases will just update main included files (for now they are BSD+SSH+Installer).
Anything else can be done externally and we will code a utility to do that soon.

ziphone v3.0 iphone unlock
ZiPhone v3.0

iW: Has there been any response from AT&T / Apple about shutting you down for legal reasons?

Cellular unlocking is PROTECTED by the DMCA (digital millennium copyright act) and ZiPhone is not even SOLD and it’s opensource.
I am accepting donations for my efforts in doing it, not for the tool itself.

iW: What do you think the future of iPhone software will be, with the imminent release of the SDK? Will most developers move to the SDK, or do you foresee Jailbreaking continuing on?

I think many will prefer to be free and not tied to apple and many other will do the opposite.
The world is nice because there are different people with different thoughts… otherwise it would be boring :)

iW: You say that you have jailbroken Apple’s 2.0 / 1.2 iPhone firmware. Are you worried someone else will release a jailbreak before you? Or do you have other intentions with the jailbreak?

I am not competing with anyone.
And I will not be for SURE the first.
That’s because i prefer to test things very well before releasing.
And that’s why ZiPhone never bricked a phone. (which was not prviously ruined by using other software or hardware hacks)

iW: What happened with your recent bout with Google AdSense? Did they take your ad money because of the nature of your website?

I don’t really know THE REASON.
But as I said my site is LEGAL by any terms expecially for US laws.
But as I said I am not “money hungry” as many other people think.
And I just don’t care.

ziphone v3.0 iphone unlock
ZiPhone v3.0

iW: What would you change about the iPhone with the next upcoming version? - hardware or software

This and that.. but it’s not so important.
There’s already too much of that discussed on the net.
I just like it the way it is..
Sure a more open software would be nice.
And sure 3g would be nice too.

iW: Have you ever considered making money off the ZiPhone software, as it is the one of the most widely used jailbreaking tools?

Well I am making money from donations and sponsors and I am happy like this.

iW: What can you tell us about the future of iPhone hacking — do you think that iPhone SDK’s upcoming digital signatures could be successful at locking out the hackers from iPhone firmware?

Let me check my crystal ball… hmmm.. i forsee….nevermind.. I think I gotta clean it :)

iW: Any last words for our readers?

Get out, breath some fresh air, eat some good food and stop being in front of a computer all the time !
(many people told me that but it didn’t work)

So will just say, NAMASTE !
(In indian language that means something near to the trekkie ‘live long and prosper’ :) )

iW: You can of course always check more about the project and donate to Zibri at

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