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Apple's latest iPhone moves may have earned it a new class-action law suit--Apple's answer: purchase a new iPhone.

As reported on DailyTech, Apple Inc. disabled unlocked iPhones with its Firmware 1.1.1 update by putting them into activation limbo.  The unlocked phones could not make any calls until activated with a valid AT&T card and iTunes.  Even then, the phones would sometimes still be locked, according to preliminary reports.  Apple covered its bases, by providing a "slide for emergency" option which allows users to make 911 calls on their newly-bricked iPhone.

While many users simply are not going to install the update or are hoping for a cracked version of the patch to be released, some are seeking legal avenues to fight Apple's strike on the modding/hacking/homebrew community.

On Saturday, posts by user myndex appeared in Apple's iPhone Forums, proposing three groupings of users who could seek legal action and calling for users whose iPhones were rendered inoperable to contact the poster with answers to a list of questions detailing their iPhone situation.

The posts were taken down relatively quickly, but screenshots were posted here [1][2].  Additionally, a quick search reveals that Myndex is a tech and research group that appears to use Macintosh computers.  Whether the owner of the Apple forums handle is associated with this group is unknown.

Apple has protected itself by including a large amount of legal phrasing in its packaging, instruction manuals, and online materials, warning users against unlocking their iPhones, which they say violates their contract.

Noah Funderburg, an assistant dean at the University of Alabama School of Law, was quoted as saying. "Anyone who hacks must know that they are taking certain risks," Funderburg told the paper. "If they aren’t willing to assume the risks upfront--like a brick iPhone--then maybe they should not hack the device."

Jennifer Bowcock, an Apple spokeswoman indicated that Apple was unapologetic about the situation. "The inability to use your phone after making unauthorized modifications isn’t covered under the iPhone warranty. If the damage was due to use of an unauthorized software application, voiding their warranty, they should purchase a new iPhone,” said Bowcock

In some cases Apple appears to have not only killed unlockers, but those who simply were participating in the homebrew/3rd-party applications community.  Ross Good, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had not expected to be affected as he had only installed a couple of seemingly harmless third party applications, including one for instant messaging.  After updating, he found his phone returned to the activation screen and would not activate, though he had a valid AT&T contract.  His phone is now among the growing number of phones "bricked" by the update.

No word was received from Apple on what its stance was on the damage done by its updates to non-unlocked users.

Apple is likely to face increased scrutinity, as well as possible legal assaults following its attack on unlockers.  It appears that many, including even non-unlockers were affected by the update.  Apple's is entirely unapologetic to those affected.  Their answer--get a new iPhone.


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Legality - Apple will lose
By Shoal07 on 10/1/2007 9:47:04 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Apple has protected itself by including a large amount of legal phrasing in its packaging, instruction manuals, and online materials, warning users against unlocking their iPhones, which they say violates their contract.


This is highly irrelevant. Apple can never include language in violation of standard consumer protection laws.

quote:
"The inability to use your phone after making unauthorized modifications isn’t covered under the iPhone warranty. If the damage was due to use of an unauthorized software application, voiding their warranty, they should purchase a new iPhone,” said Bowcock


This doesn’t appear to be the case in some of the claims. Apple is voiding ALL warranty, even hardware, when you alter the software, which isn’t legal. It’s the same thing car dealers used to do with standard maintenance, like oil changes... If you didn’t get your XYZ car’s oil changed at XYZ, then XYZ would void your warranty. This was deemed illegal. If you alter the Apple software, and the touch screen is defective by manufacturer fault, they can’t simply turn you away because you altered the software.

Honesty, I don’t know why apple cracks down so hard on these people. You’re selling more phones! I know they must get some kick-back from the ATT activation deal (which they’re not getting from other “unauthorized” sources) but is it worth the damage to the reputation it is causing? It must be a big kickback.




RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By killerroach on 10/1/2007 9:52:05 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Honestly, I don't know why apple cracks down so hard on these people.


Hopefully that's a rhetorical question. Apple enjoys their little sandbox, and are happy to charge you to play in it... just don't come in with your own toys (or more sand) lest they break one of the box's walls and tell you to buy a new sandbox for them :)


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By mdogs444 on 10/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By Pneumothorax on 10/1/2007 10:03:02 AM , Rating: 4
I assume you're from the U.S., but ever read the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act? either google or wiki it. You can turbocharge a car's engine and all the unrelated things like either power windows. radio, brakes are still required to be covered by warranty.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 10:05:18 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm, interesting. I'll have to look into that.

Thanks for the heads up.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By Spivonious on 10/1/2007 10:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
I just read the Wiki article on the M-M Warranty Act and it mentions nothing about what you say it does. It simply provides definitions for what is a full-warranty, limited-warranty, service-contract, etc., and what options the consumer has to remedy warranted parts that fail.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/1/2007 11:04:47 AM , Rating: 2
Comparing this to cars is bad since the "car" part would be hardware only. We are talking about software modifications, not physical hardware modifications. Apple is playing with fire here.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By kyp275 on 10/1/2007 12:09:39 PM , Rating: 3
ah, but then modding cars are not limited to hardware only, there are plenty of software modding you can do with the ECU ;)

provided you op to go for flashing the factory ECU instead of getting a whole aftermarket ECU, that is.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 12:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
And flashing your CPU also voids the warranty of your car.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By kyp275 on 10/1/2007 12:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
I know, but I'm just responding to the modding car being all "hardware" comment :)

frankly though, unlocking an iphone and modding a car's ECU are on two entirely different level.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that the "locking program"(or equivalent) for the iPhone is just that, a small part of the firmware dedicated to locking the phone. While the ECU for a car controls EVERY vital engine/transmission operations, it's a modification at the fundamental level.

With that being said, if you mod your ECU, and your suspension / brake goes out, it's still covered by warranty, as those two components are not related to the ECU at all.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 1:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
Actaully, someone on here stated that it was true - regarding cars being modified.

But after researching, and reading my Audi warranty, that is entirely false.

If you modify the engine, you forfeit the entire warranty on the automobile, not just a specific "part" of the warranty.

You purchase a whole car, and they expect the entire car to maintain its stock standards.

But im fairly certain that the firmware does more than just lock the phone, its probably a sort of driver for all the hardware on the device.


By theapparition on 10/1/2007 3:43:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But after researching, and reading my Audi warranty, that is entirely false.

Nope,
The OP is completely correct. I know this with 100% certainty. The M&M has got you covered. I've been through it many times. They "legally" cannot deny you warranty coverage if that "mod" was not a resonable cause of failure. Your audi book can say whatever it wants, but the law is very clear. I quoted legally because there is a way for them to weasel out of it below.

If you add a turbo, or any other mods, they can't deny fixing unrelated things like the power windows. They can argue that they are not going to cover the transmission, because the engine now puts undue stress on it. That decision rests with the dealer and district warranty manager. As an aside, most dealers don't care, they are getting paid to do the work, but things get sticky when it's a big repair and the district rep has to approve it.

For example, let say you put a sunroof in your car. It's been modded, so they can't deny engine repairs. What if you put non-OEM wiper blades on, does that void your warranty??? Well, you've modded the car, but of course it doesn't void anything. Do you see where I'm going, what defines a "mod". How far do you take a "mod" to be denied warranty. The M&M clearly states that all parts of the vehicule, not directly affected by the mod must be covered.

Now, that's the law. 100% gospel rule of the American land. But here's the weasel part. In most businesses it is common practice to deny warranty coverage and make you fight for it. If you do fight it, you will win, hands down, but it will most likely cost more than the repair, and years of hassle.

I know plenty of people who have fought and won, but also had to go through the hassle. Most say it wasn't worth it in the end. I've been lucky, I've never been denied warranty coverage, even pushing 1000hp on my 02 Corvette, which is still under extended GM warranty. They even replaced an engine and 2 trannys under that! Damn I'm good!

My friend was at a dealership service department, and happened to leave when the service manager and district rep were leaving. They came to a light together, and he thought it was a good idea to do a 4k RPM launch and light the tires up. The district manager immediately ordered his warranty canceled, even though no claim had been made, just for his driving habits. Everything was OK in the end, with the service manager sticking up for my friend. But goes to show you they can cancel without any reason.

Seriously though, you "legally" cannot be denied warranty coverage for making changes to your car. I'm not sure how this parlays into the iPhone discussion, I would think (just my guess) is that making the entire phone un-workable for a firmware change that is supposed to be legal supported by the DMCA, that would be illegal.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By wordsworm on 10/1/2007 12:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We are talking about software modifications, not physical hardware modifications.
So, if you play with the software on a car, you figure that GM et al will play nice? I don't think so... I think it's going to be hard for these dissatisfied Apple users to get what they want. I think Apple should meet them half way and offer software that will allow them to 'reset' the cell.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By Kougar on 10/2/2007 1:55:14 AM , Rating: 2
These are software modifications which are designed to use the device outside the original contract, which was clearly stated first thing on the buy page /box and would be agreed to by the user when the purchase is made?

I can understand both sides of the issue, but there is a very fine line that must be drawn somewhere...

Such as, if Apple has to replace every bricked iPhone or refund those that refuse to sign up to AT&T service, then should all motherboard makers be required to replace or refund mainboards that were flashed and ruined by custom BIOS's? Or GPUs that were flashed with modified BIOS's and ruined in one form or another? Or every other cell phone maker be required to refund phones that fail to unlock that were like the iPhone sold on the premise of a contract agreement? Where does the line get drawn is my question.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By clovell on 10/1/2007 11:44:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In terms of a car example, a good one would be if you purchased a new car from a dealership. While it was under warranty, you decided to make modifications to it - add a turbo charger, change cam gears, etc.

Those things cause increased wear and tear on an engine. Unlocking a phone doesn't reduce its lifespan to my knowledge.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 12:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
The point isnt lifespand - the point is that they are both modifying the product from its original, factory condition.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By clovell on 10/1/2007 2:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
So, if I put a carbon fiber hood on my Taurus, is the warranty void? No. 19" alloys? No. Aftermarket stereo? No. - etc. So, that's not the point of a warranty on a car. Modding the engine, exhaust, intake, ECM, etc. propogates stress not only to that component, but to the rest of the mechanical parts of the car.

So, I think the point lies in the semantics of the code. If the unlocking function is integral or if its more of an accessory - like a carbon fiber hood - that's going to be what decides this.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 5:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
#1 - i have no idea why anyone would put 19's or a carbon fiber hood on a Taurus. But if they did, I would definately have to get a picture of gay that would look. :-)

But i think voiding the warranty has to do with making mechanical changes to the car.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By HighWing on 10/1/2007 1:03:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
In terms of a car example, a good one would be if you purchased a new car from a dealership. While it was under warranty, you decided to make modifications to it - add a turbo charger, change cam gears, etc.


I'm not sure what company your quoting from, but a few years back I owned a Toyota Matrix. I was interested in adding after market parts to my car and I read up on the warranty for it. According to Toyota's warranty at the time I could add in things like a turbo-charger, etc and it would not void my warranty. Furthermore, if I was to add the TRD parts like their turbo-charger, that would actually still be covered under their warranty. The only catch was that if the non-TRD part was determined to be the cause of a problem, they would not fix that problem, but they would still fix anything else as long as that was not the case.

So you might want to go back and check whatever it is you were quoting from, or consider getting your car from a different manufacture


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 1:19:57 PM , Rating: 1
Toyota's warranty will only be valid if the product is a TRD product (licensed by Toyota), and installed by a Toyota Dealership - or licensed Toyota mechanic.

You cannot just go buy a random turbocharger, bolt it on, and expect toyota to cover the warranty if you blow the motor. Thats not going to happen.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By HighWing on 10/1/2007 3:21:05 PM , Rating: 1
No offense but did you fully read my post or just skim the words?

You said:
quote:
You cannot just go buy a random turbocharger, bolt it on, and expect toyota to cover the warranty if you blow the motor


I said:
quote:
...Furthermore, if I was to add the TRD parts like their turbo-charger, that would actually still be covered under their warranty. The only catch was that if the non-TRD part was determined to be the cause of a problem, they would not fix that problem, but they would still fix anything else as long as that was not the case.


I left out the part about who installs it, but I covered the rest. And I did confirm this at the dealership as well. And just to further mention I actually installed TRD parts myself and at least at my dealer they did honor the warranty on them when I had a problem.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By boogle on 10/1/2007 11:12:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is highly irrelevant. Apple can never include language in violation of standard consumer protection laws.


I'm glad you brought that up, too many companies try to get around 'irritating' laws by putting such phrasing into their 'contracts'. A common one is the 'sale items only come with a 30 day warranty'.

It's not worth the paper it's written on, it's really not. It's the same as writing 'by entering this home you agree that you may be murdered and cannot sue and/or prosecute'. If it was as simple as writing some text on a piece of paper, you could get away with anything.

You cannot avoid laws by signing certain agreements, as Apple may find out their detriment if they do end up with a class-action lawsuit. An agreement can only be created within the existing laws of the country it comes under.

Here's an interesting one for UK citizens: The law covers you for up to 6 years - not 1. The phrasing of the law is that if the item is faulty (ie. you have a bricked iPhone) then you can expect compensation as long as you can reasonably expect the item to last. So for a perishable like fruit, that will only be a couple of days. But for electronics you can feasably go all the way up to 6 years - although you can't expect a full refund due to use you've already had.

In the case of the iPhone, I'm sure that if it's just 3rd party apps you can consider the item inheriantly faulty since using provided tools and manufacturer updates killed it - then it's faulty. As for flashing the firmware - I don't know, but most retailers will take it back simply because they don't want the hassle / complaint if you badger them enough.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By boogle on 10/1/2007 11:25:19 AM , Rating: 2
Would just like to add one little extra bit of clarification: I'm referring to the iPhone itself.

Since AT&T offer a service they can cut off anyone any time they like, for any reason - assuming it's in their contract. Of course the contract still has to be within the law, but afaik as long as the terms aren't unrealistic they can do what they like.

Apple still can't though - they can't 'break' your handset if you paid for it in full. If it's still on contract then technically you don't own the phone and they can do what they want.

This is where it gets muddy.


RE: Legality - Apple will lose
By ryedizzel on 10/1/2007 5:17:01 PM , Rating: 2
Let's use a little common sense here. 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?


By Snuffalufagus on 10/2/2007 3:15:51 AM , Rating: 2
these car analogies, and pretty much all the other analogies made in these warranty or rights of use discussions, turn into ridiculously long threads that stray off topic. Usually they have numerous comments about what other forum users have done with the other product and not the item the article is based on. The courts don't give a damn what you did to your car and what was or was not covered after said mod. Any attempt to compare the iPhone's warranty to that of a car or use of the MM warranty would be useless in court.


Apple bapple crapple
By Misty Dingos on 10/1/2007 10:05:14 AM , Rating: 5
The iPhone is a decent to good cell phone. But Apple wants to lock it to a single high paying bidder. Personally I would just get a different phone.

The feds have stated and mandated unlocked cell phones. The manufacturers have ducked the mandate for years now. It is time to FORCE the FCC to make them enforce the rules. Locked cell phones should be a thing of the past. Should Apple be hauled into court for screwing over people that bought their cell phone? Maybe but only because the phone should never have been locked in the first place.

I won't buy a locked cell phone. Cell phones are disposable technology. At least they should be. You buy it, you like it, you find something better, you buy that and move on.

Think about this. If Apple can make more money by locking their cell phone to a single provider than they can if they just opened the iPhone to anyone that wanted to buy it, what does that say about their desire for market share?

How many more iPhones would have been sold in the US if the iPhone was available for use with any provider? So someone in Apple made the decision not to sell as many iPhones as they could and force people into two year contracts with a single provider. Why? Does this seem like a good marketing decision? Are the kick backs from ATT that freaking good? And that is exactly what that is, a kick back.

If Ford said “Hey you can buy the new Mustang Cobra but for two years you can only use Citgo gas and if use gas from another outlet when we do the tune up we will break the axels of your car.” Does not the concept of ownership mean anything to anyone anymore?




RE: Apple bapple crapple
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 10:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
Considering they get roughly $575+ minimum kickback for a 2 year contract from AT&T.

How much profit do they make on an iPhone? $150? SO theyd have to sell and support 4x as much hardware out there in order to break even with what they get right now. But then again, that wouldnt be breaking even - because they are having this income without having to provide warranty support for those 4x iphones that would be needed to be sold.

Whether we as consumers like it or not, its hard to argue with that income strategy.


RE: Apple bapple crapple
By Misty Dingos on 10/1/2007 10:42:09 AM , Rating: 2
Well bleep it is hard to argue that. I surrender to your business math.

Still don't like the locked cell phone but it does at least make sense.


RE: Apple bapple crapple
By tjr508 on 10/1/2007 10:47:58 AM , Rating: 2
Did you just suggest that market share is more important than profit for a business?

I happen to really like phone locking. Locking adds value to the provider. In every other case except for the iPhone, a good portion of that value is passed on to the consumer. There is still a large unlocked market for the wary.


RE: Apple bapple crapple
By Misty Dingos on 10/1/2007 12:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
How does locking add anything to the consumer except less choice?

Here are the some of the ‘advantages’ I see to locked cell phones. Long exclusive contracts laden with penalties, poor customer service, zero portability, expensive basic services, premium services are exorbitantly priced, and deceptive sales tactics. Just prying the numbers from the provider’s hands took an act of congress.

And considering the way Apple treats market share in relationship to the iPod series of mp3 players you would think that market share was all they were ever concerned with.


RE: Apple bapple crapple
By Scott66 on 10/1/2007 3:27:13 PM , Rating: 2
An unlocked phone costs 200-300 dollars more than the same phoned locked to a cellular service provider.

So the value in a locked phone is cheaper price.


RE: Apple bapple crapple
By rdeegvainl on 10/2/2007 10:07:19 AM , Rating: 2
wrong! I got my unlocked cell phone for free!!!! i had to sign a contract saying i would pay more if i wanted to end to contract early, but the phone is unlocked and if i wanted to put another sim in it, it would still work.
It cost about 200 dollars retail. Getting a phone cheaper by entering into a contract is not the same as locking a phone.


RE: Apple bapple crapple
By tjr508 on 10/2/2007 11:18:34 AM , Rating: 2
Sort of. The contract does add the majority of the value that is then passed, but the locking of the phone also adds even more of a savings. I believe recent analysis has shown something like $50 (as opposed to ~$300 for an average contract) If I end up with even an average extra savings of $20, then I am happy.


RE: Apple bapple crapple
By Oregonian2 on 10/1/2007 2:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The iPhone is a decent to good cell phone. But Apple wants to lock it to a single high paying bidder. Personally I would just get a different phone.


In the US there's only one other major carrier it even theoretically can be used for (T-mobile). Do people really love t-mobile that much? Even without the data services that only work on AT&T anyway?


RE: Apple bapple crapple
By jetdoc on 10/1/2007 5:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How many more iPhones would have been sold in the US if the iPhone was available for use with any provider? So someone in Apple made the decision not to sell as many iPhones as they could and force people into two year contracts with a single provider. Why? Does this seem like a good marketing decision? Are the kick backs from ATT that freaking good? And that is exactly what that is, a kick back.


What people fail to realize is that had there been no exclusive contract, there would be no iPhone. The cell carriers have a modicum of control over what phone manufacturers can and can't do with their phones, and no other cell carrier was willing to give Apple Cart Blanche when developing the iPhone. Seriously, do you think Apple gives a rats ass about AT&T.

The mobile carriers are trying to expand into other markets like entertainment ie. music, video, and game downloads. I'm sure Verizon has spent a lot of money developing and promoting Vcast. The iPhone/iTunes combo is a threat to their aspirations. That's why when Apple approached Verizon, Verizon told them to take a hike. AT&T probably had the least to lose and the most to gain from the iPhone. Let's face it, if the iPhone gains the same success and popularity as the iPod (over 100 million sold), AT&T stands to profit handsomely at the expense of it's rivals. What benefit is there to Apple of an exclusive contract with AT&T? There isn't any. So Apple has supposedly negotiated a deal where they get some benefit from AT&T whether it be a percentage of profits or fixed amount for each new iPhone/contract. I would suppose that as part of the agreement Apple had to assure AT&T that the phone could be locked and kept locked.


"Certain risks?"
By killerroach on 10/1/2007 9:42:56 AM , Rating: 2
That law school professor's quote brings to mind one of the reasons why I'm glad I ended up adding an Economics major in college... had I stuck with Political Science, I'd probably also be stuck going to law school and having to deal with people like that.

Yes, there are risks to hacking. However, in most cases, when a device is successfully hacked, that's the end of the story; you don't have to worry about the product maker zapping your purchase because they don't like what you are doing with it. What ever happened to "you bought it, it's yours?" I understand the doctrine is being eroded by digital content providers, but this is a tangible device...

Finally, the third-party application developers who got froze out are probably the linchpin of such a lawsuit actually working, as courts have tended to side with independent application development in the past. That being said, this is Apple... all bets are off.




RE: "Certain risks?"
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 9:46:05 AM , Rating: 1
The problem is not the people who installed 3rd party IM applications on the device, and I feel bad for them.

The problem is the people who hacked it to use on other networks. Apple is doing what they need to do in order to honor their exclusive contracts with the service providers.


RE: "Certain risks?"
By clovell on 10/1/2007 11:48:20 AM , Rating: 2
Haven't thought of it like that before. I guess that puts them in a tight spot.


RE: "Certain risks?"
By gradoman on 10/1/2007 12:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm,

Why can't they offer phones that are already unlocked...? Like how Nokia does. So weird for them to not offer it unlocked -- in my opinion at least.


RE: "Certain risks?"
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 1:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
If they were unlocked, they would not be able to have exclusive contracts with service providers....


RE: "Certain risks?"
By gradoman on 10/1/2007 2:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
right, but do you see the premiums on those unlocked phones Nokia? could you explain how an exclusive contracts bring in more money vs an exorbitant premium of an unlocked phone?

(not being sarcastic here)


look
By sprockkets on 10/1/2007 12:32:05 PM , Rating: 3
You agreed to a 2 year contract.
You agreed to their TOS.
You then tried to break their lock - accept the consequences since you know that the people who made the unlock software will not be stupid enough to pay for bricked iphones.

You know what happens when you take a Linksys WRT54G and put on dd-wrt or any other firmware? You void the warranty. Why? Linksys doesn't pay for that firmware, cannot guarantee it, and therefore will not be responsible if it is poorly written, and since dd-wrt allows for CPU overclocking and radio signal increases which wear out the hardware quicker they certainly will not back that up, or if it doesn't flash right and brick it.

It isn't Apple's job to test all third party firmware and programs to see if their firmware update is not compatible with it; they can only guarantee what they sell. That is apple's way of business, and is nothing new or out of the ordinary compared to how their computers and OSX are setup to only run on their hardware. Don't expect to call Apple and say OSX isn't running right when you are running it on non Apple hardware, even if it is an Intel system.

You took a risk. You lost. The conclusion of the matter is you are a Dee Dee Dee for buying a $500 phone and 2 year contract with no 3G.




RE: look
By xti on 10/1/2007 1:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
you can buy the phone at the stores in the mall with no contract.


RE: look
By clovell on 10/1/2007 2:35:27 PM , Rating: 3
The law allows people to unlock their phones. Unlocking them did not break them. The update Apple recently released is what broke them, and from the sound of it - that was intentional.

Law doesn't explicitly allow you to alter your router's firmware and we're not talking about anything that increases the wear placed on the phone.


RE: look
By Hexxx on 10/2/2007 7:34:29 AM , Rating: 2
Hypothetically, firmware can cause physical hardware damage or accelerated wear and tear. It would be up to the consumers to prove that their were malicious intentions on Apple's part. Unlocking other brands of phones often involves re-flashing using manufacturer developed firmware, not third party. In this case I believe Apple did engineer the firmware to cause problems to unlocked phones, however I'm sure they've covered their tracks pretty well.


Apple Messed Up Bad
By mmntech on 10/1/2007 1:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'm usually an Apple fan (though I wouldn't call myself a fanboy, an overused term IMO) but I have no sympathy for them this time around. I mean, they release the most anticipated mobile device of 2007 in only one country on only one GSM provider. You can't make exclusive deals like that anymore. Especially considering GSM isn't proprietary technology and many other phone networks around the world use it. They also underestimated the technological know-how of people these days. For the die hard fans, if there's a will, there's a way.

Legally, I don't know what people can do. It's illegal to modify software without permission due to copyrights. Hardware is a bit different but I think this is a more of a software issue, since not all unlocking programs required hardware mods. Despite supposed laws, it's getting harder and harder to get companies to honor warranties. Even people who had iPhones with AT&T that were bricked by this update may be in for a rough ride. It's not just Apple but that's the general attitude companies have toward their customers these days. Still, Apple should replace, for free, all bricked iPhones, modded or not, if they truly value their customers as their claim to. It's 100% their fault due to bad business decisions.




RE: Apple Messed Up Bad
By Scott66 on 10/1/2007 4:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
Why should Apple be nice to customers that cancel the AT&T contracts? These people will cost Apple at least $200 per phone since AT&T won't pay Apple its percentage on the service contract. Also by changing modem firmware to work on other cell providers will cause the firmware resets to not work as some coding may be gone. The landfills are full of phones with screwed up firmware due to an improper flashing. If Apple had to replace all CMOS chips in the phone it would cost almost as much as replacing the brick with a new phone. The valued customer will then turn around and reflash the phone again.

Apple will, I am sure, fix the phones with only 3rd party application hacks, as long as they are still AT&T customers. The geniuses at the bar will give a verbal tonguelashing to the customer and likely not be in too much of a hurry to reset the phone, but they will do it.

Those with modem hacks to other providers are out of luck. They know it too, but were willing to stick it to man. Occasionally the "Man" pokes back


RE: Apple Messed Up Bad
By B on 10/1/2007 6:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between costing Apple $200 per phone, and denying Apple the opportunity to generate an additional $200 of revenue per phone. Unlike most phones where the carrier subsidizes and reduces the purchase price in exchange for the purchaser committing to a two year contract. Here, the buyer is paying the full retail price.

Your logic seems to indicate that if I buy an Ipod and stock it with music from my cd collection, then I have cost Apple $x by not stocking it with music from Itunes. In reality I haven't cost them anything, in fact they made money by selling me the hardware.

Ultimately, I think most people here in this forum are PC and gadget enthusiast that have legitimately grown accustomed to being able to tweak and play with their toys as they see fit. As the many posts indicate, these kinds of restrictions (warranted or not) frustrate me and others, as we don't like being told how to use something we purchased.


RE: Apple Messed Up Bad
By Scott66 on 10/1/2007 9:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
When you get an iphone you sign a contract that you will use only AT&T. By unlocking it, the contract is broken

When I buy a ipod, I did not sign any contract saying I will only get my music from itunes. Apple fully expects me to rip my CD's and other legally owned music. I know this because their manual shows me how to do this.

I am sure nowhere in its manual, there are no instructions on how to unlock the iphone.

Your frustration in being told on how to use your pc and gadgets is understandable but not applicable to the possible bricking of iphones. I can make my computer run windows linux or many other language legally. I cannot change the way windows is compiled or add new features to it. I can fiddle with the hardware, but if I create new BIOS for the motherboard and it causes a problem with their update, ASUS will not fix it for me. Why should we expect Apple to try to make sure any updates they want to introduce not cause problems for my tweaked and flashed iphone?

I can't believe there are individuals expecting Apple to rescue them from their own stupidity and greed.


Problem?
By Murst on 10/1/2007 1:02:08 PM , Rating: 1
I guess I just don't see the problem here. Apple sells the iPhone (hardware + software). If you modify the software, why do you expect the software to continue working? You've got to have something seriously wrong with you if you expect Apple to update your modded iPhone. Now, if Apple broke the hardware, it'd be a different issue. But its just the software that stopped working. Its the equivalent of Dell supporting the linux distro you just installed on your computer after Dell shipped it with Linux.

Ok, so you decide to mod your phone. After the mod, the phone works. But don't go to Apple for your updates anymore, because when you modified the software, you released Apple from being responsible w/ what happens to your software. You should now be getting updates from the people who modded your iPhone, and if they don't give you updates, then perhaps you shouldn't have used them in the first place.

Now, with all that said, I do believe there should be a law that forces phone providers to provide an unlock for every cell phone.




RE: Problem?
By Murst on 10/1/2007 1:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
The last sentence of the first paragraph should be:

Its the equivalent of Dell supporting the linux distro you just installed on your computer after Dell shipped it with Windows.


RE: Problem?
By enlil242 on 10/1/2007 6:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless, if you ufck up your computer, you can restore it to a factory state... If you install a bad BIOS update, you can restore the BIOS...

Dell doesn't say, "too bad. Buy a new computer..."


RE: Problem?
By Murst on 10/2/2007 1:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
There's no question that Apple should provide a way to undo the unlocking (I believe Apple has already stated that they will be releasing software to do this).

I just don't see why people expect Apple to update their iPhone once they've modified the software it runs on.


Now you dare not criticize at AT&T
By crystal clear on 10/1/2007 10:47:15 AM , Rating: 2
If Apple is arrogant then its partner AT&T are even more-

Read this-

AT&T has rolled out new Terms of Service for its DSL service that leave plenty of room for interpretation. From our reading of it, in concert with several others, what we see is a ToS that attempts to give AT&T the right to disconnect its own customers who criticize the company on blogs or in other online settings.



http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070930-att-...




By acer905 on 10/1/2007 10:54:12 AM , Rating: 2
... wow


By Dactyl on 10/1/2007 4:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T should go to the next step, which is to disconnect people who say bad things about AT&T while using cell phones with AT&T calling plans.

Anyone who calls their lawyer on their iPhone to talk about suing Apple would have their call go dead and their phone bricked.


Should have known better
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 9:44:10 AM , Rating: 1
Im not for the way that Apple treating their actual customers who had AT&T contracts and 3rd party software.

As for the "hackers" who intentionally modified the product while knowing the possible consequences - well, you knew the possibiliy this would happen, and thats too bad for you.

You know the old saying "if its too good to be true, then it probably is". Fits perfectly for those who bought just a phone with the idea to use it outside of the agreement.

Oh well. Another reason I will never own an apple product, but im not going to defend the people who intentionally used it the way they were not supposed to.




RE: Should have known better
By dagamer34 on 10/1/2007 10:49:34 AM , Rating: 1
The real problem is that Apple states that their update might cause "unforeseen problems" wen they sure as hell know it will break any unlocked phones. This is seen by the fact that when you downgrade from 1.1.1 to 1.0.2, the phone is just about perfect (sans-activation), meaning everything wrong is purely software, and not hardware, and definitely NOT a good reason for voiding a warranty.

We come to expect companies to void warranties because of hardware tinkering, but software? That's like CompUSA giving you the cold shoulder because you installed Linux. We don't need to put up with this crap.

I argue against this because it's just a slippery-slope that will deteriorate intro true vendor lock-in where decent products are shackled by shitty programs and exorbant fees.


RE: Should have known better
By clovell on 10/1/2007 11:55:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure you can really say that people knew they were risking their phone - some functionality? sure. support? yeah. warranty? no doubt. service? maybe.

Any functionality of of the phone besides 911? Whoa, now.

To my mind, that's pushing the limits; the courts will decide if they went too far, though.


Curious..
By ksherman on 10/1/2007 10:14:07 AM , Rating: 2
Why did Apple feel the need to go so far? I am not defending the hackers, as I agree that they blatantly violated the terms of use, but why not just force-fash the firmware back to default and make it harder for the hackers to get at it? I don't understand why they decided to move straight to bricking the iPhones...




RE: Curious..
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 10:18:22 AM , Rating: 2
I dont necessarily think they are fully bricked. They still power on, so im sure there is a way to get the original firmware on there.

But to answer your question as to why they went this far...

No matter how many times they fix the hack and revert back to normal, the hackers will find a new way around the apple fix. So the only sure way for apple to guaruntee there is no hack - break them. At least thats my take.


Great PR?
By jetdoc on 10/1/2007 12:42:59 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see... you could have bought a Blackberry, Treo or any other smartphone for that matter, which would not have locked you into a single carrier and would have allowed you to install 3rd party apps for $200 to $300 less than an iPhone, yet you bought one anyway! It must really be an awesome product or these people are incredibly dumb.

iBricks and iMorons are meant for each other.

The Doc




RE: Great PR?
By jetdoc on 10/1/2007 5:51:39 PM , Rating: 2
It is an awesome product. When my contract expires, I'm going to dump Sprint and buy two of them, one for me and one for my wife.


It would have been nice...
By enlil242 on 10/1/2007 4:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
It would have been nice if the 1.1.1 update zapped your phone to a factory fresh state, not kill it. I am sure that was possible. It sounds as though they are punishing "enthusiasts."

I have an unlocked iphone right now as I have tmobile through the end of the year and was going to switch to AT&T once my contract expired. I haven't updated yet, but it would have been wise for Apple to say, hey, if you update, you will be required to join AT&T and won't be able to unlock you phone. Not say, "Buy a new phone."

Hopefully the litigation would give them an opportunity to let unlockers "come back." Otherwise the Hackers who devise an "relock" will be the heroes and Apple would look like the "bully."

Even Microsoft politely tells you that you may have a counterfeit OS, but doesn't brick your computer. (Bad analogy, but I am at work)




RE: It would have been nice...
By B on 10/1/2007 6:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree with you and your opinion. Apple probably could have had the programmed the update to return the phone to a factory fresh state. Rather, their actions seem to have malicious intent and they certainly did not seem to make any attempt to mitigate damages.


Analogy Proffered
By Dactyl on 10/1/2007 4:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Noah Funderburg, an assistant dean at the University of Alabama School of Law, was quoted as saying. "Anyone who hacks must know that they are taking certain risks," Funderburg told the paper. "If they aren’t willing to assume the risks upfront--like a brick iPhone--then maybe they should not hack the device."
Since lawprofs like analogies so much, here's one of my own:

If you walk on the shoulder of the freeway, you risk being hit by a car.

But that doesn't give Steve Jobs the right to drive down the shoulder hitting as many people as he can.




RE: Analogy Proffered
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 5:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. I wouldnt want him to mess up his hybrid Prius...haha


Don't get the update...
By GaryJohnson on 10/1/2007 10:05:34 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
While many users simply are not going to install the update


People seem to be reacting as though this is effectively destroying people's unlocked phones, but to me at least, the above statement seems to be a no-brainer solution to keeping your iPhone working.

It also seems to me that, provided the phone will still power up, it should be or will be possible to revert the software/firmware/etc on the phone to a previous 'un-updated' state.




...
By acer905 on 10/1/2007 9:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
Where there was once the force choke, there is now... the iForce choke




By kilkennycat on 10/1/2007 11:07:16 AM , Rating: 2
Not only did they hack the iPhone for use on unauthorized networks, being already warned that subsequent firmware updates might brick the device, but they also installed the new official firmware (having again been warned in advance by Apple), and voila their iPhone committed hara-kiri.




The Great Dactylini Foresaw As Much
By Dactyl on 10/1/2007 4:29:10 PM , Rating: 2
Jennifer Bowcock, an Apple spokeswoman indicated that Apple was unapologetic about the situation. "The inability to use your phone after making unauthorized modifications isn’t covered under the iPhone warranty. If the damage was due to use of an unauthorized software application, voiding their warranty, they should purchase a new iPhone,” said Bowcock

I knew this would happen:
quote:
[Apple] wants you to brick your phones so you will buy more (Apple has their customers pretty well figured out)
http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=9042&...
I said that last Tuesday, before a single phone was bricked.

We'll see if Apple's customers really are such floor-licking toadies as to crawl back to Jobs. Jobs certainly thinks so.

It's not entirely his fault for thinking that--loyal Apple customers like to brag about how slavishly devoted they are to the company. I think we're about to find out that when Apple fans talk about how devoted they are, they don't really mean it. They just thought it was the cool thing to say. They're actually normal people like you and me.




They deserve it...
By tjr508 on 10/2/2007 2:02:49 AM , Rating: 2
Call it apple's tax on stupidity.

Not only did users who got bricked ignore apple's warnings, but they also ignored the warnings of the 3rd party software vendors by updating.

Wiffleball rules apply. Two strikes and you're out (of an iPhone).




Apple Like Fanboys
By jdun on 10/2/2007 2:11:55 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why so many people like Apple products. They are overpriced. iPhone is crap compare to the Asian cell phones that are already out and 1/10th cost.

Apple fanboys love to take it up their butt and want so more. Stop supporting Apple, you thank me later.




Contract vs Warranty
By wallijonn on 10/2/2007 1:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple has protected itself by including a large amount of legal phrasing in its packaging, instruction manuals, and online materials, warning users against unlocking their iPhones, which they say violates their contract.


Notice how it is not worded that one violates the warranty. It is worded such that it one violates one's contract.

How long is the warranty? Two weeks, 30 days, 90 days, 1 year, 3 years? If it is two weeks, then that should be the length of the legal contract since the first party has absolved itself of any responsibility.

Otherwise it can be argued that even if you lose your iPhone and decide not to buy another that you will still have to honor the remainder of the contract, keep paying for services no longer needed. It can also be argued that since the contract was signed with said phone in mind, getting a new iPhone will necessitate signing another contract, forcing the consumer to pay for two services, one of which is non-existent.




From my understanding...
By Wightout on 10/2/2007 4:55:12 PM , Rating: 2
Dell does the same thing. If you install linux on your machine you void the warranty of the comp as a whole (hardware included). I seem to remember a story about a person who had a bust hinge of some sort and when he took it into get it repair He was turned down due to his warranty being voided by installing linux.

Not that I am encouraging this behavior, but I just don't see how it is different. Please correct me if I am wrong...




"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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