iOS 4.2 Unlock Could Land in January

iPhone users that have hacked and unlocked their combination iPod and smartphone may not have to wait too much longer to upgrade to iOS 4.2. The ultrasn0w unlock looks to be on track for a mid January release with a hack that’s compatible with iPhone 4 baseband 2.10.04, according to the GeoHot Web site.

The news first appeared on Twitter after a soldier asked one of the hacking team if they would be able to unlock their iPhone 4 before they ship out for active duty on January 16. The response: “sure.”

iPhone 4 carrier unlock could hit in January

Unlocking is the process of hacking an iPhone so it can be used with any compatible carrier’s network instead of just Apple’s partners. In the U.S., for example, some users unlock their iPhones so they can use T-Mobile instead of AT&T.

Users that unlock their iPhones are typically left using older versions of iOS because Apple’s updates break the hacks. Until the clever coders behind projects like ultrasn0w can find new ways to work around the code changes Apple introduces, users have to wait to upgrade or risk finding their iPhone completely unusable.

Offering a one word response isn’t exactly a guarantee iPhone owners will see a new unlock hack by January 16, but at least now they have a potential target date to look forward to.

Since Apple doesn’t support jailbreaking and unlocking, iPhone owners should stay away from hacks if they aren’t sure what they’re doing.