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Firmware update 1.1.1 will relock user's iPhones and force them to activate with AT&T.  (Source: Apple Inc.)
Apple has released its new firmware update, which alters unlocked iPhones

Those rushing in droves to unlock the Apple iPhone may be in for a surprise when they try out Apple's newest firmware update; version 1.1.1.

Apple released a statement earlier this week that, "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."

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

It turns out that the reports are true -- somewhat.  Apple released its controversial iPhone firmware update yesterday.  Among its new official features:

• iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store
• Louder speakerphone and receiver volume
• Home Button double-click shortcut to phone favorites of music controls
• Space bar double-tap shortcut to intelligently insert period and space
• Mail attachments are viewable in portrait and landscape
• Stocks and cities in Stocks and Weather can be re-ordered
• Apple Bluetooth Headset battery status in the Status Bar
• Support for TV Out
• Preference to turn off EDGE/GPRS when roaming internationally
• New Passcode lock time intervals
• Adjustable alert volume

iPhone unlocking has become very widespread, thanks to two key software offerings:  iPhoneSimfree and anySIM.  These programs "unlock" the iPhone and allow it to work on T-Mobile's compatible EDGE network.  In foreign countries, unlocking the phone's SIM card to other networks is the only way to currently enjoy phone service outside the U.S.  AT&T only provides service within the U.S.  England, France, and Germany are all getting dedicated providers in November, but until then or in other countries, there is no way to use the iPhone without unlocking it. 

It is unknown how many unlocked users there are but with over a million iPhones in the wild there is likely a substantial number.  The iPhoneDev group, based on the number of people who downloaded their software, thinks there are "several hundred thousand" users of unlocked iPhones-- a figure Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster takes as a rough upper bound. "Even if the average hacker downloads the software twice, that's still over 100,000 hacked," he says. "The story is far from over."

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has publicly denounced iPhone unlocking, saying Apple vowed to fight it and that "It's a constant cat and mouse game."

Firmware update 1.1.1 works perfectly on normal iPhones, with no reported issues, as expected. 

The update also does not destroy unlocked iPhones, contrary to what Apple indicated might happen.

It does however render them useless, unless you are willing to get an AT&T contract. and any other unlocking associated software is rendered useless by the update, as well.  It is still in the stored on the phone, but the application will no longer appear on the screen.  Further, the update puts unlocked iPhones into the Activation screen that awaited normal users when they first purchased their phone.

At the activation screen, users can try to activate using a valid AT&T activation card and iTunes.  The update appears to render iPhones unlocked by certain modification programs unable to activate at all, according to early reports.  For these applications, users replaced the unlocked SIM card with a fresh one to no avail. 

The program IPhoneSimfree allows iPhone activation with the AT&T card and iTunes, according to a statement from the software providers.  After activation, the iPhone will operate as normal, but will be locked to the network.

It has not yet been fully tested whether the phone can subsequently be unlocked by any means without at least partially crippling the device.  Part of unlocking software's operation relies on updating the seczone region of the phone's memory.  The firmware update apparently clears any updated values and restores the memory to its default configuration, relocking the phone to the AT&T network.  Further, the firmware update may have additional changes to help prevent this zone of the memory from being accessed.

iPhone users on 3rd-party networks should not install the 1.1.1 update if they wish to continue to use a non-authorized network.  The update is voluntary, so there is nothing stopping you from not doing so.

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By acer905 on 9/28/2007 3:12:44 PM , Rating: 5
... Reading the title of this article, all i can think of is the Imperial Deathmarch...

Seriously, this is so gonna tarnish the glistening reputation Apple has.

RE: Title
By acer905 on 9/28/2007 3:14:53 PM , Rating: 4
... And now after commenting, i look at the pic... lol

RE: Title
By CCRATA on 9/28/2007 3:15:24 PM , Rating: 5
no it won't. Apple Fanboys would let Steve Jobs piss on them, and they would still praise him as lord ans savior.

RE: Title
By acer905 on 9/28/2007 3:19:02 PM , Rating: 5
I don't know, in the article that first mentioned this possible killer update, there weren't really any fanboys trying to protect Apple... it was pretty much an Apple bashing festival...

RE: Title
By darkpaw on 9/28/2007 4:36:31 PM , Rating: 5
Some Apple fan boys posted on the Computerworld website that this was a good thing and actually got voted down. I think thats the first time I've seen Apple freaks actually get negative ratings on that rather Apple friendly site.

This sorta thing is the crap Apple has been pulling for years, its about time more people are noticing.

RE: Title
By FNG on 9/30/2007 3:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
But that is really the issue, now there are plenty more Apple customers than Apple fanatics. Regular customers like their products, but plenty of competitors are or will produce similar products that are good enough.

RE: Title
By Flunk on 9/28/2007 4:21:01 PM , Rating: 5
It is fun to see Apple acting like the evil empire they constantly accuse Microsoft of being (to be clear I am not saying anything about Microsoft here, just Apple).

If you are a Cell phone manufacturer, why do you care which provider people use your product on? Wouldn't it be better for you to allow people to use it on any provider, so you can sell more?

Wait a sec, isn't AT&T paying them for the right to sell Apple's product? Doesn't that sound a little big like an illegal monopoly?

Apple treats their customers terribly, that is more than enough reason to avoid buying their products. At the prices they charge they should be providing premium levels of service to back up their premium priced products.

RE: Title
By Hare on 9/28/2007 4:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
If you are a Cell phone manufacturer, why do you care which provider people use your product on? Wouldn't it be better for you to allow people to use it on any provider, so you can sell more?

Apple gets 40% of every iPhone phone bill (O2 operator). I'd say the answer to your question is pretty obvious :)
Doesn't that sound a little big like an illegal monopoly?
Not at all. Apple simply has a product that operators want badly and are willing to pay for exclusive rights.

RE: Title
By phattyboombatty on 9/28/2007 4:56:30 PM , Rating: 2
Apple gets 40% of every iPhone phone bill (O2 operator). I'd say the answer to your question is pretty obvious :)

If a consumer purchases an iPhone in an area where AT&T coverage is not available, Apple is not missing out on any lost profits from the phone bill, but is gaining the profit margin from the sale of the hardware. From Apple's perspective, they only stand to gain from iPhone sales to consumers that would not have purchased the iPhone but for the unlocking software.

The more likely reason that Apple is fighting the unlocking of iPhones is because they are contractually obligated to do so by AT&T.

RE: Title
By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 5:07:12 PM , Rating: 2
Doubtful. If they get 40% of a $60 monthly bill - on a 2 year contract, they would get roughly $288. Thats more profit than what they would get with an idividual iPhone sale. If they allowed them to be sold on all networks, they would get no kickbacks, and only make the profit from the sale of the phone itself.

RE: Title
By energy1man on 9/29/2007 5:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
$288 for the year, $576 for the 2 year contract.

RE: Title
By Hare on 9/29/2007 4:29:32 AM , Rating: 3
You are forgetting that AT&T is not alone. There's also Orange, O2 and T-mobile. Hello, over here. On the other side of the ocean ;)

Apple has two reasons for this.
a) get profits from phone bills
b) avoid getting sued by the megaoperators.

RE: Title
By Griswold on 9/29/2007 6:33:31 AM , Rating: 2
I dont think its 40%. T-Mobile in germany is said to give apple 10%.

RE: Title
By Hare on 9/29/2007 9:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
Try this,

Google: "O2 iphone 40%"

The guardian is reporting that Apple can command a 40% revenue share over whatever O2 (a UK wireless operator) will make from iPhone users...

RE: Title
By Flunk on 9/29/2007 1:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know what a rhetorical question is?

RE: Title
By Hare on 9/29/2007 3:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
Which one was the rhetorical question? Sorry, english is not my native tongue so I could have missed something... Then again, sarcasm/rhetorics is quite difficult to pick out of plain text.

RE: Title
By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 4:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
Before I start commenting - Just know that I do not have an iPhone, or any apple products, nor do I plan on it. I have a zune and use windows vista and am quite happy with

If you are a Cell phone manufacturer, why do you care which provider people use your product on? Wouldn't it be better for you to allow people to use it on any provider, so you can sell more?

The reason the cell phone manufacturers - at least in the case of apple - care which provider uses their phones is simple. They are getting major, major kickbacks from the service providers. AT&T is paying apple a portion of the monthly service charges just for being able to retain exclusive rights to the iPhone. Service providers across Europe are doing the same thing, and I believe getting even larger kickbacks. The kickbacks that they make on a single service contract is probably a larger profit than just the cell phone profit itself. If the phone was available everywhere for every provider, why would the providers give kickbacks?

Wait a sec, isn't AT&T paying them for the right to sell Apple's product? Doesn't that sound a little big like an illegal monopoly?

I dont quite understand why that would be illegal. Its the same as microsoft and sony paying game makers to only allow the game to be played on one exclusive console. Also, that has nothing to do with a monopoly, and not to talk down on you, but I think you should look at what the real definition of a monopoly is. A real instance of a monopoly would be if every service provider only carried the iphone and nothing else, thus forcing you to buy an iphone if you want a cell phone.

Apple treats their customers terribly, that is more than enough reason to avoid buying their products. At the prices they charge they should be providing premium levels of service to back up their premium priced products.

This part i am not too familiar with because i dont own any apple products, but im not sure what you mean by treating their customers terribly. From what i read, people who purchase apple products and services continue to do so because they feel they are getting their moneys worth, at least is my guess. But like i said, i dont have any of their products or services, so i am not going to comment on how bad they are because i dont have first hand experience.

RE: Title
By rcc on 9/28/2007 5:03:28 PM , Rating: 1
This is foolish. Apple, or anyone else, has no responsibility to maintain compatiblity with anyone's hacks. They couldn't if they wanted to. All they can do is restore the phone to the way it was, and update it.

Rather like updating cd cracked games, you don't update the game until the new crack is out, if you want to keep using it w/o a cd.

It boggles the mind that anyone would have expected anything else.

RE: Title
By darkpaw on 9/28/2007 5:22:48 PM , Rating: 5
Problem is, they're not restoring the phone to the way it was. They are intentially breaking the phone if an unlock hack was installed to the point where it can't be reactivated at all (in at least some reported cases). Apple is screwing people over big time just because they excersied their legal right to unlock the phone.

RE: Title
By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 5:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
I know everyone has multiple views - but unlocking the phone by modifying the firmware has not yet been proven in court to be legal.

I'm not saying that it shouldnt be legal - but until this goes to court, if it goes to court, i think we should hold off and let the legal system take its necessary course.

RE: Title
By bangmal on 9/30/2007 12:06:38 AM , Rating: 4
maybe you should learn more common sense. Things do not need to be proven legal to be legal, as long as it is not written on the law books as illegal then it it is legal, no proof is needed.

RE: Title
By mdogs444 on 9/30/2007 12:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, you would not make a good lawyer.

It has not been written in the law that Apple did anything wrong. Whether you or I agree with the methods that were performed dont matter.

RE: Title
By rcc on 9/28/2007 5:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't disassembled an iPhone, but I'm guessing the software is actually firmware blown into some form of non-volatile memory. When applying a patch to something like that, you generally write over the whole thing, effectively restoring it to the original config, plus the update.

Perhaps the iPhone's OS and software is complex enough that they actually do selective patching, even so why would anyone expect a hack/crack/patch based on a older version to still work.

RE: Title
By Samus on 9/28/2007 8:24:49 PM , Rating: 3
Why does Apple care if the phones are being unlocked? It works in there favor on so many levels!

1) They sell more overpriced hardware
2) Unlocking voids the warranty, so if the phone fails for any reason Apple isn't even responsible to fix it.
3) The kickbacks from providers don't outweigh 1 and 2.

RE: Title
By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 8:41:26 PM , Rating: 3
I believe the kickbacks do outweigh the 1 & 2. They get around $300 minimum for a 2yr contract on an AT&T customer. They'd have to sell 3x as many phones as they do now without the kickbacks. Also, realize that the kickbacks they are getting in Europe are up to 70% as some articles have shown. Thats massive.

However, thats my opinion, and neither you nor I have the ability to see what the actual figures are, only apple does.

But in the event that you are right on #3, they could be sued for breach of contact from the service providers who they have contracts with and be forced to pay such an astronomical amount. They have to show the service providers that they are trying to do everyitng in their power to honor the contract.

RE: Title
By Proteusza on 9/29/2007 7:43:15 AM , Rating: 4
Whoever says Microsoft is worse than Apple doesnt have a clue what they are saying.

Apple will go to some lengths to proactively disable phones that it wont receive revenue from (since Apple gets a share of the subscription you pay to AT&T). Very greedy.

RE: Title
By afkrotch on 9/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: Title
By BMFPitt on 10/1/2007 9:40:02 AM , Rating: 2
Ya, way different from Microsoft making it so users all over the world can't download shows or movies from Xbox Live Marketplace.
Yes, it is way different.

RE: Title
By Locutus465 on 9/30/2007 2:09:02 AM , Rating: 1
I wonder whether Apple might face a class action law suite regarding this update... I'm not completly familiar with the details of the law, but I do know that cell customers were recently granted the right to unlock their phones and take them to another network... I'm not sure whether Apple has a legal defence to fight unlocking... I could be wrong though, like I said I don't fully understand the law (as I've never been tempted to unlock my phone).

RE: Title
By ryedizzel on 9/30/2007 7:27:34 PM , Rating: 3
I am a neutral reader on this situation since I do not own any Apple products and I have to agree with everything that 'mdogs444' is saying.

Apple has an exclusive obligation to AT&T, so its their job to make sure their technology is designed in a way to protect that obligation. It's that simple!

If unlocking the iPhone was a joke and people could use it on any network they want then why would any company bother entering into an exclusive contract with them. Think about it, would you pay Apple a percentage of your monthly profits when another company that is NOT involved in a contract doesn't have to?

RE: Title
By Locutus465 on 10/1/2007 9:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that apple has contractual obligations to try and fight this, but my (apparently dispised post) centered more on the legalities... Obviously cell phone service providers and cell phone makers want to lock you into a network, it's better all around business. I was wondering, however whether new regulartions protected customers rights to take their phones to a new carrier in this case, or if they did not.

If indeed the law protects the customer in this case, then AT&T & Apples contracts won't mean much. If indeed they do not, then obviously Apple is making the right business decission and people who unlock their phones should quit crying foul. Like I said, I'm not familiar with the particulars as I've never wanted to take a phone to a different service provider, I've seen some posts here to the effect that the laws might not apply, but I'm sure it will take law suites to find out for sure (and I'm sure there will be some).

By Dactyl on 9/28/2007 4:17:15 PM , Rating: 5

No one can think this was an accident. Apple deliberately launched an unnecessary update for the sole purpose of destroying peoples' property. Apple broke phones that had been unlocked LEGALLY . Apple's customers did nothing illegal. Apple had NO RIGHT to deliberately destroy their phones.

Apple was even willing to damage AT&T's customers' phones in order to hurt the people who switched away. FIRST, some people who unlocked their phones stayed with AT&T. SECOND, Apple's update apparently caused users to lose contact info, saved files, and other things on LOCKED PHONES.

Steve Jobs is upset because Apple's customers would not accept being locked down. Steve wants Apple users to be controlled and submissive. He wants to lord over them. Now he is punishing them for wanting to break away. He thinks he is entitled to that, and his belief is so strong that he is now acting like a child throwing a temper tantrum.


Apple can claim that unlocking an iPhone voids the warranty. But the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is clear: a company cannot void a warranty unless the customer's act DAMAGED the phone in some way.

Unlocking an iPhone did not DAMAGE it at all. The fact that unlocked iPhones are more vulnerable to Apple's virus does not mean that they were "damaged." That is a ridiculous claim and would be laughed out of court*

* actually, I expect parties would go back and forth with 100 pages of argument and expert testimony each, before the court rejects it. But it is doomed to be rejected.

This means Apple will have to honor its warranties, and fix/replace people's phones, or it can be sued.

Unless Apple can FIX the iPhones for cheap, it will be out a LOT of money.


Apple's customers, who own unlocked iPhones that were bricked, are all in the same spot. They have been harmed in the same exact way by Apple. Their stories do not differ much. This is important, because it means class action relief is available (there only needs to be ONE lawsuit against Apple if it won't honor its warranties, not 1 million separate suits).

Apple's shareholders must be furious. This is going to cost them a lot of money--both in terms of fixing the broken phones, and harm to Apple's good name. Steve Jobs should be fired for this. If he had any shame, he would resign in disgrace.

I was only joking when I said yesterday that Apple would deliberately brick the phones and Apple's customers would buy new ones.

By ltcommanderdata on 9/28/2007 5:09:27 PM , Rating: 3
Well, in this case the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act likely wouldn't apply:

(c) Waiver of standards
The performance of the duties under subsection (a) of this section shall not be required of the warrantor if he can show that the defect, malfunction, or failure of any warranted consumer product to conform with a written warranty, was caused by damage (not resulting from defect or malfunction) while in the possession of the consumer, or unreasonable use (including failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance)

The iPhone's warranty states:

This warranty does not apply: ... (e) to a product or part that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple;

It's also clearly presented in their Support FAQ:

pple reserves the right to refuse service on iPhones that are outside their warranty period if damage has occurred due to accident, abuse, misuse or unauthorized modifications.

Seeing that a firmware update to unlock the phone would be considered a modification to alter functionaility or capability of the iPhone Apple would be within their rights to refuse warranty based on their policy. Magnuson-Moss would likely allow such an exclusion since it conforms to Apple written warranty policies and the damage was caused while in the consumer's possesion.

That would be for a lawsuit based on whether unlocking gives Apple the right to void warranty. The other argument is that Apple caused the damage to the phone by creating/releasing this firmware update. But for this challenge to work, you would have to prove that Apple specifically designed this firmware to target and disable unlocked phones. That would be very hard to prove.

I'm no legal expert, but that's how I read it.

By Dactyl on 9/28/2007 5:54:52 PM , Rating: 3
Well, in this case the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act likely wouldn't apply
Thank you for pointing that out.
The other argument is that Apple caused the damage to the phone by creating/releasing this firmware update. But for this challenge to work, you would have to prove that Apple specifically designed this firmware to target and disable unlocked phones. That would be very hard to prove.
I don't necessarily agree. If someone sued Apple, they could hire expert witnesses who would be allowed to analyze Apple's source code and testify at trial whether they thought Apple deliberately bricked the phones. Depending on how Apple wrote the code, it might be very obvious that this was intended all along to brick the phones.

It is hard for me to understand what reasonable explanation Apple would have for modifying a part of the phone that would cause unlocked phones to become bricked. Assuming that Apple's modifications even accomplished anything, what was it that was so important to accomplish that Apple had to meddle with the phone's private parts?

Also, there might be another way to get Apple. There is something called the "implied covenant of good faith & fair dealing," which in plain English means, when you make a deal with someone, you should be able to expect them to treat you fairly.

Deliberately bricking peoples' phones after a sale is not nice and not fair. If Apple breached that, that's like breaching its contract with its users. Apple would have to restore its users to their pre-brick state, which means fixing, replacing, or refunding the bricked iPhones, and paying people for money they lost as a result of not having a working cell phone.

By borowki on 9/29/2007 7:24:45 AM , Rating: 2
Remember, it's the people hacking the phone who were acting in bad faith in the first place. Apple sold them the phone with the understanding that it's going to be used on the AT&T network. They signed the contract. It's crazy to think that the courts will uphold some sort of right to breach a contract.

By clovell on 10/1/2007 11:10:35 AM , Rating: 2
No, I don't think signing a contract with AT&T was compulsory when you purchased the phone. And besides, I think breaching a contract with AT&T is a separate legal matter from what's being discussed here.

By Muirgheasa on 9/28/2007 5:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't get is how did these people legally get the phone without signing a contract? Was it not a case of signing the contract before they give you the phone, or am I missing something? And if they got it through illegitimate channels surely Apple's warranty means nothing?

That's a genuine question by the way, not trying to catch anyone out on what there saying, just wondering if I've got it all wrong.

By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 5:24:27 PM , Rating: 1
I believe there were two channels to buy the phone.

1. Purchase from AT&T store - get phone and sign contract in store, activate at home.

2. Purchase from Apple Store - get phone in store, sign AT&T contract & activate online or by phone.

Apple's warranty is not service provider based, it is phone based. It says that if the phone was "modified" by any means, that it automatically voids the warranty. Therefore, if you modify the firmware, it is no longer covered by apple and they do not have to repair it for use on any network.

Now whether all of it is legal or not isnt in question here, just stating the facts of the warranty.

By Dactyl on 9/28/2007 6:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
There was more than 1 contract involved.

First was the contract for buying the phone.

Second was the contract for getting telephone service (with AT&T or with T-Mobile)

Everyone who legally bought an iPhone from Apple agreed to the first contract/license agreement. They may have signed something when they bought it, or there may have been a license agreement inside the box. If you don't want to agree to a license agreement, you have to return the item.

In this case, only the first contract (that everyone agreed to) matters.

By zombiexl on 9/28/2007 10:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
Ah.. but intentionally breaking something is also illegal and that appears to be exactly what Apple has done.

By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 11:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is not technically breaking anything.

The person who altered the firmware already technically "broke" the phone by Apple's warranty standards. By issuing an update that modifies a way the already unsupported modification works is not Apples fault - intentional or not.

This is the same thing in which people are altering xboxs, and being suspended from Live service. I dont see them calling microsoft and complaining - why? because they already voided the warranty and do not want microsoft to know.

This is the same situation. You alter it, you void the warranty, the product is no longer supported. Apple is not responsible for maintaining or fixing something that is not in its stock state anymore.

This goes for all products. Overclocking processors by using them outside of their warrantied clockspeed, modifying xboxs, modifying cars motors under manufacturer warranty, etc.

The concept is very simple, people just dont want to accept it.

Im not blaming people for wanting to alter the phone, and im not against it either. However, if you want to change something, do it by the rules. Contact your state political representatives and voice your concerns. Until then or if this goes to trial, Apple doesnt technically or legally owe anybody anything - except the users who abided by the signed agreement.

By omnicronx on 9/29/2007 1:19:41 AM , Rating: 2
The person who altered the firmware already technically "broke" the phone by Apple's warranty standards
How so? All that apple says is their warranty is void if you modify it, this doesn't mean Apple is free from laws not pertaining to warranty. It doesn't matter what apples writes in their agreement, technically they are not suppose to be able to damage a product you bought intentionally, regardless of how you modify it. If the update breaking things was a side effect of the update than of course they can get away with it, but we all know this probably was not the case

I really don't see what all the fuss is though, just don't update your phones. Apple does not have to support your unlocked phones in any way, that should have been made clear to your in the first place when you unlocked your phone.

By Dactyl on 9/29/2007 3:39:41 AM , Rating: 3
The concept is very simple, people just dont want to accept it.

Just because it's simple doesn't mean that it's correct.

This simple concept you describe--that companies get to define what is a healthy product and what is a "broken" product, and then destroy "broken" products at will to punish disobedient users--is not a concept that I want to accept.

Luckily, it's not just me who refuses to accept it. And I don't think courts will accept it, either. Judges do have common sense.

By rcc on 10/1/2007 1:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
So, how did Apple destroy these phones? Did they detect for mods and write inoperative firmware to them?

Or, are they just not unlocked anymore?

By clovell on 10/1/2007 11:18:31 AM , Rating: 2
I think we agree on how to resolve the issue, but I don't agree with a lot of the reasoning. Unlocking a phone may reduce functionality, but it doesn't break anything. The phones weren't useless until Apple released the update.

Altering an xbox is different - most people do that to violate copyright laws. Unlocking a phone is completely legal. I don't think this is the same situation.

Overclocking processors pushes them beyond their rated QC-standards - unlocking an iPhone, I can't imagine, does anything to shorten its lifespan (assuming Apple doesn't punish you for it later...) Modifying car motors - same story. The concepts you introduced are simple, but I don't see how they don't relate to the situation at hand.

By rcc on 10/1/2007 2:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
The phones weren't useless until Apple released the update.

Actually, the phones weren't useless until the owner installed the update, which, anyone with an IQ north of 20 should have known was a bad idea.

I still haven't heard a good explanation for what's happening on the phones, are they actually non-functioning? Or just relocked and therefore useless to the owner? More or less.

By zombiexl on 10/3/2007 3:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
So lets sya you overclock your Intel chip happen to own an intel MB.

Then Intel releases a firmware update that disables your mobo for future use then thats ok, right?

Collateral Damage?
By clovell on 9/28/2007 3:17:32 PM , Rating: 4
The way Schiller made it sound was that the firmware update was not supposed to directly address unlocking - that unlocked phones would suffer a sort of collateral damage from it. It sounds, though, from what the article says, that Apple did indeed target unlocked phones to render them useless. That rubs me the wrong way.

RE: Collateral Damage?
By NaughtyGeek on 9/28/2007 3:36:25 PM , Rating: 5
Hopefully someone will break down the firmware update and prove that the update intentionally caused problems with unlocked phones and starts a class action lawsuit against Apple. I hate freakin lawyers and lawsuits, but I hate corporate double speak even more.

RE: Collateral Damage?
By mcnabney on 9/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Collateral Damage?
By PitViper007 on 9/28/2007 3:51:14 PM , Rating: 5
And may well be illegal. The DMCA specifically allows for the unlocking of a phone for use on another network. This exemption was enacted in 2006.

To pull the pertinent exemption:

5. Computer programs in the form of firmware that enable wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telephone communication network, when circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network.

I have a feeling Apple is in for many lawsuits, or perhaps a class action.

RE: Collateral Damage?
By Dactyl on 9/28/2007 4:33:41 PM , Rating: 5
Apple has deliberately prevented people from making phone calls.

If someone needs to call 911 , but can't, they will have a valid claim against Apple.

Apple is potentially setting itself up for massive liability. It knew all along these phones would be bricked (Apple's public statements before the update prove this). Apple knew what could happen if a phone is bricked--that much is common sense. If you brick someone's phone, they can't call 911. Plain and simple.

I hope this doesn't happen to anyone. I hope nobody is seriously injured because of Apple's evil decision. That would be a tragedy.

RE: Collateral Damage?
By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 4:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network

I agree with you Dactyl that in a way they are preventing people from making calls. But in a way, they are not. Im not an expert on the legal system, and havent seen one of the iPhone/AT&T contracts personally, but an argument could be made that the phone already had firmware installed enabling it to make phone calls. It was altered - against the phone & service agreement (at least so ive heard through forums) - so what the real legality of this is im not so sure.

Can you break the terms of your signed agreement, and hold the provider accountable at the same time? I guess we'll find out from lawyers.

RE: Collateral Damage?
By ltcommanderdata on 9/28/2007 4:49:51 PM , Rating: 4
Thankfully your concern has already been thought of by Apple. It's well known that even locked phones still have the ability to make "Emergency Calls". They may be sneaky, but they aren't stupid.

RE: Collateral Damage?
By NullSubroutine on 9/29/2007 5:13:38 AM , Rating: 5
I am a 911 Operator / Radio dispatcher. They are required by law to allow cell phones to dial 911 even after they no longer have service.

Trust me, I've gotten enough little kids playing with phones and dialing 911 off old cell phones.

So wait a week
By FITCamaro on 9/28/2007 3:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
And they'll have cracked it again. Simple as that.

RE: So wait a week
By Vanilla Thunder on 9/28/2007 3:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
And Apple will issue another firmware update to shut them down again. Simple as that.


RE: So wait a week
By Verran on 9/28/2007 3:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
Right, but you don't have to apply the patches immediately. People with hacked iPhones could just stop updating and they'd be fine. They'd just be lacking the new features.

But more than likely what will happen is that there will be an "underground" for hacked updates. And every time Apple releases a update that screws up hacked iPhones, hackers will chop it up and release just the updates without the disabling code a few days later.

This concept is nothing to the piracy community.

RE: So wait a week
By The0ne on 9/28/2007 4:22:33 PM , Rating: 3
hahaha if you don't already know, it's easier to keep cracks coming than for a company to spend resources addressing it. One reason why piracy is rampant and companies can't keep up.

RE: So wait a week
By bangmal on 9/30/2007 12:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
LOL, exactly.
Just look at those "custom" firmware of psp.
But i doubt this little iphone thing is charming enough to attract as many interested hackers as the psp.

Ban cell phone locking
By sonoran on 9/28/2007 3:32:38 PM , Rating: 4
Why doesn't the US just make it illegal to lock a cell phone to a specific provider's network to begin with? Isn't the whole concept the very essence of anti-competitive trade practices?

RE: Ban cell phone locking
By erikejw on 9/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Ban cell phone locking
By zombiexl on 9/28/2007 11:01:16 PM , Rating: 3
I wasnt aware that the number of dead soldiers had reached 10k.

RE: Ban cell phone locking
By guwd1 on 9/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: Ban cell phone locking
By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 4:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
They cannot due that, or they would be forced to use that scenario in every market available.

For example, console makers would not be allowed to pay a game maker for sole exclusive rights to a game.

Sport's stadiums would no longer be able to contract with a beverage company - coke, pepsi, miller, budweiser, etc for exclusive rights.

And so forth.

RE: Ban cell phone locking
By tjr508 on 9/28/2007 10:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
Locking gives companies another tool to sell their products. The more ways providers have to sell products, the more likely one of those ways will better fit the needs of any given consumer.
Locking cuts down on scammers and adds value to the provider so that they are willing to chip in a little more when you buy your phone. I would believe that "strong" locks like the iPhone's would add even more value to the provider and tempt them to chip in even more. (Ususally to the consumer, but this unique time to Apple) It's great for people who plan to keep their phones and stay with one provider and has no effect at all on people who don't.

wrong move
By GhandiInstinct on 9/28/2007 3:06:12 PM , Rating: 3
Bad idea apple, you were on a role, until this.


RE: wrong move
By mcnabney on 9/28/2007 3:22:54 PM , Rating: 1
Oh I don't know. Apple gets money from AT&T for the wireless service that the customer is supposed to be using. By leaving AT&T, Apple is losing revenue. So all of you Apple fans need to relock your phones and get back to paying Apple your hard earned money.

/this theory also works for other fanboi varieties; Sony, Microsoft...

By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 4:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't own an iPhone, or any Apple product, but I dont have any hatred or love towards the company at all either.

I find it very ironic how when the iPhone first came out, everyone and their mothers bashed it on here because it was so expensive, it was only available on one provider, and last but not least - it was made by APPLE so no one would ever buy one.

Now that the unlocking ability came out, i see some of the same people who bashed the iPhone are now pissed at Apple that they cannot use it on their own network.

Did they just bash it because it was the cool thing to do, because they couldnt afford it, because it was made by apple? If they hated it so much, why do they care so much about whether apple is allowing them to use a product that they dont own or want?

Just an honest question.

RE: Ironic
By tmontana on 9/28/2007 7:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
I find it very ironic how when the iPhone first came out, everyone and their mothers bashed it on here because it was so expensive, it was only available on one provider, and last but not least - it was made by APPLE so no one would ever buy one.

I think you have it a little wrong, it was everyone and their mothers who went out to buy the iPhone because it was made by APPLE without any regard to whether it was worth what they were intially retailing for. The $200 price drop after 2 months release kind of showed how much it was really worth.

Now that the unlocking ability came out, i see some of the same people who bashed the iPhone are now pissed at Apple that they cannot use it on their own network.

Your comment really has no logic behind it, why would someone who doesn't want or own a iPhone want to use it on 'their' network?

Did they just bash it because it was the cool thing to do, because they couldnt afford it, because it was made by apple? If they hated it so much, why do they care so much about whether apple is allowing them to use a product that they dont own or want?

I don't think it was an issue of hating it's products, I think it is just an issue of them leveling the playing field since Apple uses its pull to market attacks on it's competitors and brainwashes it's followers to tell their friends to use only Apple products.

Just a thought.

My iPhone Thoughts
By Ringold on 9/28/2007 11:58:57 PM , Rating: 2
Summarized eloquently by the best page in the universe.

RE: My iPhone Thoughts
By Ringold on 9/29/2007 12:00:18 AM , Rating: 2
Addendum: Neither work safe, nor a hot idea with kids watching.

The man makes valid points, though.

wtf apple?
By HardwareD00d on 9/29/2007 1:13:29 AM , Rating: 2
I hope this changes the way a lot of people view apple. This is about the dumbest move they could've made. Pissing off your customers (who are already pissed about the $200 price drop) is a really bad idea.

RE: wtf apple?
By cmdrdredd on 9/30/2007 3:57:18 PM , Rating: 1
People who bought a PS3 are in no better shape either. They lost money the same way. Similar situation as far as dropping prices and EOLing old models of hardware.

By DLeRium on 9/29/2007 5:30:31 AM , Rating: 1
Seriously. WTF. For those of us that have been unlocking and flashing firmware like us SE, Samsung, and Nokia users who have been flashing to remove shutter sounds and to flash to different regions already know that you don't update your damn phone via manufacturer website after flashing. That's rule #1. If you can, you're taking a big risk in either bricking your hardware or you might just revert back to your old firmware and you undid the benefits of flashing. Sigh.

I can guarantee you that most people here even complaining about the iPhone and not being unlocked only want it to be unlocked so they can use it on T-Mobile. You think that many people even bother getting quad-band phones and go aroudn the world swapping sim cards out? Not that many of us do that. I for one do when I travel to Asia. But whatever... It's just funny to read about cell phone discussion in a generally less informed crowd.

By cmdrdredd on 9/30/2007 3:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
I want it to be clear. I hate the iPhone and think Apple is ripping people off with it. You as a consumer are supposed to understand what you're buying. You knew ahead of time it was only from AT&T (service). You bought it anyway and hacked it. Good for you. If Apple decides they don't want you to hack it. Just like MS or Sony doesn't want you to put a mod-chip in your console, that is their right as a manufacturer to introduce a measure to protect their product from what they deem as misuse. It's your fault you bought another overpriced apple product that has many flaws outside the topic of phone service. I do not feel sorry for you.

It's like buying any other product, modifyilg it without consent, then expecting them to make good on it when it no longer functions.

No prblems hey?
By Marlin1975 on 9/28/2007 3:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
Firmware update 1.1.1 works perfectly on normal iPhones, with no reported issues, as expected.

I have already seen people with locked iPhones complaining fo somethings being messed up for them. I think most were minor such as losing numbers, contacts, etc... but there are reports of problems.

By milodog on 9/28/2007 7:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Apple will sell a iPatch to fix to the bricked iphones that people spent way to much money on anyways.

Innovative Irony?
By teckytech9 on 9/29/2007 3:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
Today, I don't own any apple products, but an Apple II+ from my younger days. Its sitting here right now on my shelf as a paper weight and momento (reflecting in the past...)
I saw many other innovations such as the mac, newton, tablet pc's, and mac cubes in a myriad of colors. I read the book by Guy, describing the design mentality within the company which led to new products. What seem most ironic, is that Apple always leads the introduction of innovative products, but never captures a majority of the market share for that specific product-line over the long haul.

The following has been their tract record:
1. Create a need by launching massive advertising campaigns.
2. Deliver flashy-colored designs in products - causing market frenzies.
3. Market responds with large overpriced purchases.
4. The cycle repeat more than a several times.

What I find ironic is Apples hardware and software that is so very exclusively locked into their products whereby they discourage third-party channel development for the purpose of having exclusive rights of sole innovation and ownership. This attitude is akin to a donut company who launches their product in every city in the hopes to make quick profits at launch-time knowing full heartedly that their products are excessively sweet and loaded with extra calories! A month or two later, when the euphoria ends, no one buys their donuts anymore, and the company decides to give away their products for free, provided that the customer signs an exclusive 2-year contract with a nominal monthly fee.

wow, this is refreshing!
By yacoub on 9/29/2007 7:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Reading the comments here is a breath of fresh air after reading comments on apple-related blogs, which are frequently trolled by some painfully retarded Apple fanboys posting in every thread about the iPhone and iPod touch with inane comments along the lines of "THIS IS GREAT NEWS, I LOVE STEVE JOBS <3".

It's ridiculous that Apple removed functionality from the touch, just as it's ridiculous that they are killing the 3rd party app world for the iPhone with the new firmware.

It's ridiculous because they are only HURTING sales by doing these things. They have some absolutely confounded notion that people who already have a cellphone they're happy with will magically run out and buy an iPhone if they strip the iPod touch of all functionality except being an iPod. What morons! Honestly, the phone and camera functions alone are all you need to differentiate the two products enough to ensure the touch doesn't siphon any sales from the iPhone.

All they did by removing and neutering the software apps on the touch is dissuade folks who'd love to see some PDA functionality in the device. And all they do by locking down the firmware on both devices is dissuade potential buyers who would be interested if they knew a thriving 3rd party app community would be able to accentuate the apps on the devices for increased functionality.

Instead Apple has gone the way of other lumbering corporations (which is what they are showing themselves as becoming) by going with an anti-customer policy. They no longer care about the customer, they care only to extract the highest profit margin by offering the least function for the highest price. The irony of course being that leaving the software apps on the touch wouldn't have cost them an extra dollar since they were already in the firmware before they took the time and effort to remove them.

This is what so clearly demonstrates the anti-customer mentality: They actually went through expense - time and money - to REMOVE or neuter the apps that would have naturally ported right over to the touch from the iPhone ("same binaries" remember). So they had to pay their software team to remove several apps, modify the Calendar app to remove functionality, and then compile and QA test all the changes. That's a lot of effort to demonstrate your hate for your end user. And that action alone makes Apple worthy of being hated in return.

Evil bumble bee............
By crystal clear on 9/30/2007 6:15:41 AM , Rating: 2
This is for Apple-

“I don’t blame them for fighting the unlocks,” said Brian Lam, editor of Gizmodo, a blog devoted to gadgets. “They are trying to make money, as a business. I get that.”

Still, he said, that disabling someone’s phone, “instead of just relocking it and to wipe out the apps, it seems like Apple is going way too far; I’d call it uncharacteristically evil.”

"Relocking it" is legal but to render the machine useless .... is certainly not legal.

A judge would say this-

Yes relock it but why destroy it...(iphone) ?

Evil intentions......

I don't see why....
By ZaethDekar on 9/30/2007 11:29:43 AM , Rating: 2
so many people are pissed. Updates are optional on any program in the world. Even in windows you can choose to not update.

I think we would all do the same thing in Apples situation.

If you spent millions of dollars to get a product out into the hands of people and OPENLY told them it is only for the AT&T network and it costs oh so much and then they turn around and break it on purpose. I think we would all be frustrated. When people bought the iPhone they basically were saying 'Okay, its a good chunk of change but I am willing to pay for your product and use it on AT&T' then they broke that aggrement.

Its just a materialistic game of chess and Apple made a move.

What's everyone complaining about?
By lco45 on 10/1/2007 5:00:57 AM , Rating: 2
People seem to think it's their God-given right to have everything the way they want it.

Neither Microsoft nor Apple are an 'evil empire', they are just businesses offering products for sale, end of story.

If you don't want Vista, don't buy it. It's not Microsoft's duty to provide you with an OS.

If you don't like Apple not allowing unlocking, don't buy the phone. Surely they are entitled to bundle their product with AT&T, or to offer it with any other condition they choose.
You want an iPhone that's useable on any network? Boo hoo! There are plenty of other choices, and remember, it's YOUR choice ... whiners...

Shoulda brick'd em.
By tjr508 on 9/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Shoulda brick'd em.
By mdogs444 on 9/28/2007 8:43:26 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Shoulda brick'd em.
By darkpaw on 9/29/2007 4:22:36 PM , Rating: 4
Seriously, I think its people like you that don't really get it. I haven't seen anyone asking Apple to *support* hacked phones, but there is a difference between not supporting them an intentionally ruining them.

In the DirectTV case, that is a whole different matter. People were using hacked cards to STEAL service. If people were using hacked iPhones to STEAL network service I don't think there would be many complaints about them getting zapped either.

Apple does not have any need to support hacked phones, but they also should not be screwing over people that PAID for the hardware. The iphone isn't even a typical cell phone that is being subsidized, you pay full price wether or not you sign an AT&T contract.

If someone pays for the hardware and decides to hack it to do something Apple doesn't intend but still a legitimate use, that fine Apple doesn't have to support them. Apple doesn't have a right to completely ruin the device either though. They could have just flashed them back to factory install instead of bricking the devices.

RE: Shoulda brick'd em.
By mdogs444 on 9/29/07, Rating: -1
RE: Shoulda brick'd em.
By clovell on 10/1/2007 11:38:03 AM , Rating: 2
by operating the product outside the permitted or intended uses described by Apple
Which are?
to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized
Right. The damage here is the loos of some functionality suffered by unlocking the phone. The inoperability of the phone caused by the update was caused by Apple. People are upset about the latter, not the former.
to a product or part that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple
The law states otherwise.

None of those quotes say anything about what is or isn't legitimate usage.

These people modified their phones within the law. I've yet to see that unlocking the iPhone and using on another provider's network gives Apple the right to brick the phone.

RE: Shoulda brick'd em.
By tjr508 on 10/2/2007 2:10:32 AM , Rating: 2
Users that purchased the phone without actvating on ATT did not pay full price. Apple is out about a couple hundred every time that happens and as the contract was agreed upon, I would assume ATT is out quite a bit as well.
The correct price of an iPhone is clearly $400 PLUS a specific ATT contract.

Uh Oh, Type-O!!
By Vanilla Thunder on 9/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Uh Oh, Type-O!!
By Vanilla Thunder on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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