Let's at least give Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) credit for being honest. The first software update for the iPhone did, indeed, break some handsets that had been hacked.

But now comes news that it may be possible to free your iPhone from the tyranny of AT&T (NYSE:T). How? Voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP.

Thank Truphone for the innovation. During last week's DEMOfall07 conference, the British VoIP specialist performed a demonstration of an iPhone making calls via its WiFi network. Not a single line of code was hacked.

Cool? Abso-freaking -lutely. I've long anticipated a feature like this, which is why, in April, I wrote that the iPhone could be worth more than the $600 Apple was asking for its eight-gigabyte model at the time.

But don't get too excited. Not yet, at least. Truphone's software is still in development and may not be available for several months or more than a year. AT&T could, in that time, find a way to stiff-arm Truphone technically. And if not? Ma and Pa Bell could simply decide you kids need to pay more for data access.

I hope not. Truphone is the first of what I expect to be dozens of applications that show off the utility of the iPhone. Why stifle innovation, and sales, before they have a chance to take hold?

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.