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Apple iOS hacker says he shared method to help company

June 8, 2011 |  6:06 pm

The teenager who hacked into Apple's latest mobile operating system said he is sharing how he did it in order to get Apple's attention and show the company the problem in its software.

Mert Erdir, a 17-year-old student in Turkey, found a way to unlock iOS 5 on his device on Tuesday, the day after Apple announced the new mobile operating system. Apple said iOS 5 will be available to the public in the fall, but it was available to developers on Monday.

Erdir said he had contacted Apple before going public to inform the company of the flaw so it could be fixed, but after receiving an automated response from the technology company, he decided to get its  attention by going instead to Gizmodo, the technology blog that published Erdir's method on Tuesday.

"I sent a video to Gizmodo to get Apple's attention on the flaw, but this grew far beyond than I expected and I found myself everywhere on the Net," he said in an email.

Erdir said he figured out how to unlock iOS 5 almost by accident.

"I downloaded it, and as expected, my iPhone got stuck in the activation screen," Erdir said Wednesday. "Then I joked to myself 'Dude, I can open this!' But I really didn't have any real hope."

Erdir said he thought that if he could access the notification center, a new feature of iOS 5, he could unlock the operating system.

"That's where the magic comes in," Erdir said.

After messing around with the device a few times, Erdir was successful in unlocking the operating system.

Apple has not contacted Erdir since he shared how to unlock iOS 5, but Erdir said he has received lots of attention from the tech community.

"It's a little bit awkward to see yourself in all the technology blogs and it came along at the same time with my exams, so it makes it hard for me to work for both," he said.

In the post by Gizmodo, Erdir said he would appreciate donations in order to become an official iOS developer, which costs $99 a year. So far, Erdir said, he hasn't raised much.

"I can buy some ice cream and diet coke with my money," he said in an email. "Yes only these two."


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-- Salvador Rodriguez

Image: Mert Erdir's default picture on Twitter. Credit: