An interesting quantum mechanics effect makes it possible for some lucky owners of the current generation iPhone to connect to high-speed 3G networks today.
Hubert Hochsztapler, a researcher at the institute for nano-technology at The Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, discovered back in 2004 that old GSM cellphones could be used as 3G phones using the quantum tunneling phenomenon.
Would it work on the iPhone?
The iPhone was not tested by Hubert Hochsztapler and his colleagues, but our own lab reports today confirm that most current iPhones are already 3G capable. No new hardware is required.
The iPhone contains an accelerometer which measures minute movements of the iPhone. This turns out to be a great benefit to achieving the 3G capability. But due to interference from the accelerometer when it’s inactive, you first need to open an application on the iPhone that makes use of the accelerometer. The Safari browser is an excellent choice, since it will also allow you to visibly enjoy the effects of the faster data connection provided by 3G.
First turn the iPhone from portrait mode to landscape mode, back and forth a couple of times to ensure that the accelerometer is engaged and working. You should see the display change between portrait and landscape mode. Now start downloading a very large web page and simultaneously begin shaking the iPhone lightly along its y-axis. Think of the iPhone as the yoke of an aircraft. You want to avoid pitching and rolling the iPhone as you’re shaking it.
If you hit the right shaking-frequency (41 Hz seems to be optimal), the electrons in the iPhone will reach their tunnel state and the radio transmitter will “tunnel-up” and connect to the AT&T 3G network in your area (if one is available).
Impact on Apple’s stock price?
A Gartner analyst recently reported that Apple has already placed an order for 10 million units of the new 3G iPhone from their manufacturers in Asia. But when current iPhone owners discover that their iPhone already is 3G capable, they will not upgrade as Steve Jobs has decreed they should. This will effectively turn Apple’s 10M order into one big iBrickload of phones, says April F. Olson, an analyst covering the AAPL stock for Hochs Securities.
It doesn’t work with all firmwares
This technical trick has been confirmed to work only on non-jailbroken 1.1.4 firmware phones (also known as the 4.1 release in the U.S.).
Please report your success with your “new” 3G iPhone in the comments below.