I've always been an inconditional iphone modder, i have some It/ programming skills so the question i'm gonna ask is preety technical:
I never got to understand what is the ACTUAL technical and software difference difference between a Locked and Unlocked iPhone (whether is 3G or not) where is the lock information stored? How does the firmware/ baseband change from carrier to carrier or sim-free iphones?
What is the firmware/baseband difference between a locked a (legally) unlocked iPhone (i live in belgium).
How does the iPhone recognize the sim card? ( I've heard that it's some carrier id or something...
Is there any HARDWARE difference between locked and (legally) unlocked iPhones?
I've heard that iPhones can be legally unlocked through carriers if you pay some "ransom" for freeing the phone, and then the carrier would contact apple in order to <unlock> the phone through iTunes, is this possible? If so Couldn't some network/ computer lever software hack be invented to fool iTunes?

I'm sorry if this looks complicated, i've tryed to look this king of tech info everywhere but i just can't find it...

Cheers, guts