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The iPhone update question ... unlocked users will probably want to click "Cancel" for lack of a "Hell, NO!" option.  (Source: Gizmodo, Brian Lam)
Apple warns users that their unlocked iPhones may not work after new software update

Apple recently announced that its new update will likely kill iPhones that have been unlocked to work on to networks other than AT&T, rendering them completely inoperable.

In a statement released by the company earlier this week, the company stated: "Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed."

This statement was immediately followed by Apple's announcement that unlocking the iPhone will result in a voided warranty.

"This has nothing to do with proactively disabling a phone that is unlocked or hacked," Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's unfortunate that some of these programs have caused damage to the iPhone software, but Apple cannot be responsible for ... those consequences."

Last week Steve Jobs had publicly denounced the unlocked iPhones, saying Apple would fight against them.  "It's a constant cat and mouse game," he stated.

There are currently many free and paid unlocking programs, as chronicled at DailyTech.

John McLaughlin of UniquePhones.com, a company out of Ireland that has developed unlocking software, thinks Apple's claim that unlocking software made harmful irreversible changes is fabricated.

"We have reviewed the source code of a number of these applications and to the best of our knowledge any changes made to the software can easily be reversed," McLaughlin said in an e-mail. "After unlocking the iPhone, minimal effort is required to get it in to its previously locked state."

Apple has sold over 1 million iPhones as reported at DailyTech.  There is no word on how many unlocked iPhones are "in the wild," operating on T-Mobile's compatible network or other compatible networks worldwide.

The update's includes the software that will allow the iPhone to access iTunes wirelessly and the Starbucks promotional software, among other updates.

Apple's move may be illegal according to legal experts.  The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act forbids manufacturers from voiding the warranty of a product unless they can prove that the user damaged the product.  Whether Apple's moves are legal depends on whether they can prove in court (as they likely will) that the unlocking software caused irreversible damage to the iPhone's software or hardware.

Many iPhone users will likely find this development alarming.  The solution is simply not to update their iPhones, but many will be displeased that they cannot get the same priveleges as other users -- such as WiFi iTunes.  The legality of the move is debatable, but Apple seems firmly resolved to try to stamp out unlocked iPhones.


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Apple FUD
By TomZ on 9/25/2007 3:36:29 PM , Rating: 4
I can't even believe that Apple would engage in such FUD.

Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed.

Way to go Apple - you really know how to treat customers!




RE: Apple FUD
By neothe0ne on 9/25/2007 3:54:02 PM , Rating: 3
I'm more shocked by the fact they claim a simple software change will brick the device after installing Apple's update. When put in those terms (which is exactly what Apple's statement is), debating the legality of their action is almost ridiculous.


RE: Apple FUD
By SirLucius on 9/25/2007 4:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I'm wrong, but there have been iPhone updates since these hacks were released, right? It would seem that those didn't brick the phone, so either Apple is intentionally putting in code to fry the hacked phones, or they're going out of their way not to take it out. Those updates may have just been for iTunes, though. But I seriously thought the two were connected.


RE: Apple FUD
By Anonymous Freak on 9/25/2007 9:27:49 PM , Rating: 4
There is a difference. The previous updates came out before people figured out how to "carrier unlock" the iPhone. This unlocking process involves changing a piece of firmware that is separate from the "OS" of the phone. While a standard "Restore" basically reformats the iPhone's OS and erases all traces of 'conventional' hacks, it doesn't touch this carrier-lock firmware. All Apple would have to do is add a change to the carrier-lock firmware that assumes that it is updating the original AT&T-locked firmware, and while there is no active attempt to destroy an unlocked phone, it might very well just have the same effect.

Again, Apple doesn't have to go out of their way to detect a hacked phone and destroy it. They just have to write an update that is specifically designed to 'update' the known AT&T firmware. If it just happens to kill unlocked phones, Apple doesn't care. If it happens to work just fine on an unlocked phone, well, just wait for the next update.

Of course, people have also asserted that refusing warranty service on an unlocked phone may be against various U.S. laws. (I forget the exact name of the law, and am too tired from dealing with a sick 3 year old to look it up now, sorry.)

But yes, it is pure FUD that unlocking produces "irreparable" damage. After all, if it were truly "irreparable", then how would it be possible to have developed a reversal process less than 24 hours after Apple's press release?


RE: Apple FUD
By erikejw on 9/26/2007 1:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But yes, it is pure FUD that unlocking produces "irreparable" damage. After all, if it were truly "irreparable", then how would it be possible to have developed a reversal process less than 24 hours after Apple's press release?


Well, what it tells me is the quality of Apple software and firmware engineers. If they end up making the iPhone damaged by mistake as they claim I'd be very wary if I owned any Apple products like a computer or mp3 player.

Go by some quality instead if this is the capabilities of Apple.


RE: Apple FUD
By augiem on 9/25/2007 4:32:13 PM , Rating: 5
The hilarious thing about apple is they can get away with nonsense like this because their spinmeisters are just so damn good. The consumer ends up getting a raw deal and apple somehow manages to come out smelling like a rose every time.

Remember the sudden switch to Intel processors? I don't know how the hell they did it, but somehow they came out on top there too. Apple has magically found a way to finally release the true power in Intel processors! Joy!

This is truely a sinless company. No matter what they've done, they're always right, always have been, and they're better than everyone else, period. Every new product Steve Jobs announces is so revolutionary, even Jesus has to have one.

Apple is case study in marketroidiansim gone mad.


RE: Apple FUD
By augiem on 9/25/2007 4:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
BTW, I'm not referring to the disabling of Iphones that have been unlocked. They're fully in their rights to do so, just like Sony with the PSP. What I'm commenting on is the blame-shifting, claiming people are breaking the IPhone by unlocking it. It's BULL #$@#$@, and yet they're all holy and claming to be blameless in the matter.

I can just see steve jobs in a white robe and a halo over his head.


RE: Apple FUD
By Christopher1 on 9/25/2007 6:10:40 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, no, they are not in their rights. Once something is bought by a consumer, to suddenly 'brick' that thing with an update (and I believe that if it happens it will have been INTENTIONAL) is destruction of private property, and they are not within their rights to do that, not in the least.


RE: Apple FUD
By Gul Westfale on 9/25/2007 8:20:34 PM , Rating: 3
i'd understand if they'd disable the phone features (after all they make big money on those contract fees), but to brick the whole thing is kinda heavy. there is no way that that would be an unintentional side-effect of a little update.

i'm glad i'm not an apple customer.


RE: Apple FUD
By cochy on 9/25/2007 11:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
They are only sinless because of Microsoft. Everyone loves to back the little guy.


RE: Apple FUD
By FITCamaro on 9/26/2007 9:49:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is truely a sinless company. No matter what they've done, they're always right, always have been, and they're better than everyone else, period. Every new product Steve Jobs announces is so revolutionary, even Jesus has to have one.


Hence why I refuse to buy Apple products. Apple could make a commercial where they take a kitten, put it in a blender, and then call it the iKitty, and people would rejoice and herald Apple as a true innovator.

Damn....now I'm getting the urge to put a kitten in a blender.....


RE: Apple FUD
By glitchc on 9/26/2007 10:35:16 AM , Rating: 2
:( But kittens are really cute.


ive seent the latest update in a test phase...
By Beavermatic on 9/25/2007 3:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
it doesnt break anything. It's a fodder for scare tactics.

Relax. Your iphone will be fine :)




By Snuffalufagus on 9/25/2007 4:26:33 PM , Rating: 3
Are you the same guy that writes all the mail that ends up in the junk mail folders?


By Beavermatic on 9/25/2007 4:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
no, just watch... nothing will happen to your iPhone come update...


By 3kliksphilip on 9/25/2007 4:53:27 PM , Rating: 3
I knew it... he IS the one! GET HIM!


RE: ive seent the latest update in a test phase...
By Dactyl on 9/25/2007 5:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
Beaver works for Apple and wants you to brick your phones so you will buy more (Apple has their customers pretty well figured out)


By Beavermatic on 9/25/2007 7:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
part 1 of you statement = correct...

the other part = heh, time will tell :)


By omnicronx on 9/25/2007 7:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying you work for apple and that you know for a fact this update will not effect the iphone?


Nice Try
By Quiescent on 9/25/2007 4:44:32 PM , Rating: 4
If software that is added to the iPhone really damages the software already on the iPhone then it is not the user's fault that software added afterwards doesn't work. The software added is most likely not even to effect anything else except whatever it is that makes it activated. Just thinking outside of the box.

In fact, it's like the whole Windows XP 64bit ordeal. I can tell you I had experience with someone who tried to install Autocad 2008 Map 3D on XP 64bit. When we had a look at some files for the Autocad installation, it was actually intentionally making it not work on 64bit XP.

I think this is a poor move from Apple. They should have supported other companies in the first place. Especially if they want everybody to use their product. AT&T doesn't always have a nice quality of calls staying on the line everywhere in America. In fact T-Mobile and Verizion are the two that are best for Colorado. What about people in Colorado? You're excluding them from iPhones because you want to stick with AT&T?




RE: Nice Try
By Runiteshark on 9/25/2007 4:49:39 PM , Rating: 1
They want to make people stick with ATT because of the profit sharing that they do with the plans. For a low low $40 a month you can get a paltry 200 minutes of talk time and some 200 minutes of data.

Perhaps ATT isn't forking cash over to Apple if the phones aren't using their towers.

It still amazes me at the fucking sheer stupidity of Apple fanatics though. Enjoy your soon to be bricked cool. (Because you know Apple won't stop at this)


RE: Nice Try
By nitrous9200 on 9/25/2007 5:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
200 minutes? Even Verizon gives you more minutes than that; 450 minutes for $40 a month.


RE: Nice Try
By Anonymous Freak on 9/25/2007 9:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, "200 minutes of data"? No. 200 text messages. "Unlimited" data. (I have been a heavy user of EDGE, over 1 gigabyte a month since I got my iPhone, and I have yet to get a "When we said unlimited, we really meant 500 megabytes" warning.)

But, yes, you're right. Apple wants users to stick with AT&T because they are getting some of the AT&T service contract money. I also suspect that they might have a caveat in their agreement with AT&T like Jobs' has publicly revealed about their contract with the record labels: namely that if a way is figured out how to unlock it, Apple has to release an update that breaks this unlocking within a certain period of time. (I would *HOPE* Apple wouldn't agree to actually break already-unlocked phones, but you never know.) Possibly if Apple doesn't stop NEW unlocking in a certain period of time, AT&T is allowed to stop paying Apple their percentage of monthly fees.

I wouldn't say most Apple fanatics are stupid, merely... fanatical There is a difference. (I am neither. I like Apple products because I think they are genuinely better than alternatives. However, I have no qualms about dropping Apple if other options become better.)


RE: Nice Try
By Quiescent on 9/26/2007 7:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
I do not agree that, if you have an iPod, that they are better. I work with sound quite a bit and I have used DJ style headphones on an iPod nano. The quality of sound is very comparable to an old soundcard I used to have called Creative Soundblaster PCI 64. It wasn't that great and I could compare the quality to radio quality. The song I used to test this out was actually placed on the iPod with the same quality as it was on the computer, because you don't need iTunes to put songs on your iPod. Now the competitor: Creative Zen V is quite good. I like the quality of sound and even without DJ style headphones you could hear the large difference in quality. The messy thing about Apple is their warranties and battery replacement method. They are far too costly to say that they are better. Creative Zen MP3s have user-replaceable batteries. They also have a two year extended warranty which costs about the same or less than the one year extended warranty that Apple gives you.

I tell you that I would not own an iPhone because of the dissatisfaction of Apple products I have had in the past. I did not waste my money on the products to try them out, but instead use them for quite awhile and go exploring on them and testing, etc on friend's. I would not put myself through all the hassle that Apple has to offer.


RE: Nice Try
By Quiescent on 9/25/2007 5:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
I really wish I could have been able to reword that first paragraph. Let me summarize. I don't agree that it damages the software or any upcoming software because it only effects a certain amount of code. Or it could act as code by itself.


slight correction
By kattanna on 9/25/2007 5:45:57 PM , Rating: 5
you state:

quote:
The solution is simply not to update their iPhones


no, the proper solution is to simply not buy one in the first place.




RE: slight correction
By The Boston Dangler on 9/25/2007 8:30:58 PM , Rating: 3
6


Wouldn't It Be Funny If ...
By Screwuhippie on 9/25/2007 3:51:18 PM , Rating: 3
Apple accidentally put a ";" in the wrong place or something on its next software update and ended up actually killing all iPhones instead of just the unlocked one's.

At least I would laugh ...




RE: Wouldn't It Be Funny If ...
By Proteusza on 9/26/2007 7:04:53 AM , Rating: 2
or something like

if(iPhone.Unlocked = 1)
{
MessageBox.Show(this, "We told you not to unlock your phone");
iPhone.Destroy();
}

PS: for the unenlightened, most c++ compilers wont show an error when using an assignment instead of a comparison in the if statement. It should really be
if(iPhone.Unlocked == 1)


Where's the Apple crowd?
By rsmech on 9/25/2007 7:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't seen anyone defending this move by Apple yet. Usually I will read some excuses for them. Did Apple step over the line here? Maybe an Apple loyalist hates AT&T more than they love Apple.




RE: Where's the Apple crowd?
By TomZ on 9/25/07, Rating: 0
RE: Where's the Apple crowd?
By Runiteshark on 9/25/2007 8:25:33 PM , Rating: 1
This is a rare day in the world. For once in the history of the known universe, Apple fanatics and apologists haven't found anything to defend Apple with.

The world may be coming to an end now.


RE: Where's the Apple crowd?
By Gul Westfale on 9/26/2007 1:05:18 AM , Rating: 2
(impersonating an apple customer)

"omg, so now my phone is broken... hmm i wonder why it does that? well, no matter, at least now i have the chance TO BUY ANOTHER ONE!!1! AT A 200 DOLLAR DISCOUNT!! *runs to store*"

then again, how many apple fanatics actually unlock their phone? if you're smart enough to realise that you get screwed on the contract they offer then surely you are smart enough not to buy an iphone in the first place?


Whatever
By Polynikes on 9/26/2007 8:26:47 AM , Rating: 3
So now, just like with the PSP, there's gonna be a big homebrew community, and only a short time after Apple releases firmware the hackers will have all the new features implemented into their hacker-safe firmware. I don't even know why Apple tries. Anyone who did the firmware update is probably going to be well aware of the threat Apple has just issued.

Also, I think that's a sound business practice. Trying to screw over your customers. Apple gets more and more like the RIAA every day.




Maybe
By audiomaniaca on 9/26/2007 3:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe:

a) Apple is trying to scare people and make them stop unlocking iphones

b) Apple is really willing to ruin even more it's image which is already getting down the hill

Anyway, is there anyone fool enough to think that Apple's agreement with ATT doesn't have a defined time to start selling fully official unlocked phones for anyone? Aple is doing nothing than trying all ways possible to protect their actual deal with ATT.

If someone gets an unlocked iphone, the only one getting pissed is the mobile operator (AT&T).




Go Apple
By acer905 on 9/26/2007 8:16:12 AM , Rating: 2
Woot! go Apple, alienate your customers! Screw over your fans! You can do it!

Hmm... well, for those people whose iPhone does get bricked... you can always blend it... It might be fun...




This is a way to avoid lawsuit
By clnee55 on 9/26/2007 12:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
Will the unlocked get damaged? unlikely, but this warning is good to avoid being sued in the future. It is like the hot coffee from Mc Donald can burn you warning.




'legal experts'?
By tcsenter on 9/28/2007 7:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple's move may be illegal according to legal experts.
Errr...some "dude" conjecturing on a phone-centric news/tech website does not a legal expert make.
quote:
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act forbids manufacturers from voiding the warranty of a product unless they can prove that the user damaged the product. Whether Apple's moves are legal depends on whether they can prove in court (as they likely will) that the unlocking software caused irreversible damage to the iPhone's software or hardware.
Actually, this is a common misreading of Magnuson-Moss.

Magnuson-Moss expressly permits manufacturers to condition warranties on the use of articles or services "identified by brand, trade, or corporate name", provided the manufacturer furnish those "articles or services" at no charge.

IOW, if Whirlpool wants to require as a condition of warranty coverage that a consumer exclusively use Whirlpool's approved laundry detergent or fabric softener, Magnuson-Moss says Whirlpool must supply that detergent or fabric softener at no charge.

Guess what Apple provides at no charge? Yup, software and firmware updates. Magnuson-Moss expressly permits this.

Furthermore, Magnuson-Moss states that the manufacturer is off-the-hook for honoring any warranty where damage, malfunction, or failure was caused by "unreasonable use" while the product was in the possession of the consumer (e.g. hacking).

iPhone unlockers haven't a legal leg to stand on (duh).




"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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