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Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs can gloat -- they've once again foiled iPhone unlockers via a firmware update, this time to the bootrom shipping on new units.  (Source: Telegraph UK)

A screenshot of the new bootrom was posted by unlocker Mathieulh. The new bootrom began shipping this week.  (Source: iClarified)
Apple's strikes again, sending jailbreakers on their heels

Apple plays what its CEO Steve Jobs once likened to a game of "cat and mouse" with iPhone unlockers and jailbreakers.  Jailbreakers, like the iPhone Dev Team, try to release the iPhone from being limited to the official iTunes app store and other firmware restrictions, while unlockers, such as George Hotz, use the jailbreaks and other techniques to unlock the phone, allowing it to run on any hardware-supported network.

Usually the unlockers/jailbreakers seize the day, but occasionally Apple will win a round.  Apple has tried many approaches -- everything from "bricking" unlocked iPhones to denying jailbroken iPhones access to the iTunes store -- to halt the spread of unlocking in the U.S. and force people to use AT&T, despite the hardware being capable of working on other carriers such as T-Mobile.

Now, Apple has managed to gain an upper hand over the persistent hackers according to iClarified, thanks to the release of a new bootrom, iBoot-359.3.2.  The phone firmware, which shipped on new iPhone 3GSs starting this week, closes previously used doors to exploits.

A user named "Mathieulh" first noticed the new bootrom and took a screenshot.  It was subsequently confirmed by Muscle Nerd of the iPhone Dev Team that the loss of the 24kpwn exploit would render the iPhone unjailbreakable for the time being.  This means that the unlocking fixes, such as the utility released by George Hotz, also won't work anymore as they rely on jailbreaking as a preliminary step.

For users wishing to jailbreak, iPhone jailbreakers are hard at work trying to find alternative exploits that could be used to unlock the phone.  They suggest, in the meantime, that users purchase older stock of iPhones or buy refurbished units.

The iPhone 3GS was unlocked as soon as it was released, thanks to unlockers with iPhone Developer connections.  George Hotz used the iPhone Dev Team's exploit, along with his own methods, to publish a route to jailbreaking the phone just weeks later.



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RE: Meanwhile..
By neilrieck on 10/17/2009 7:51:12 AM , Rating: 2
Way back when, Apple-2 was one of the most popular PCs partly because it was cool and partly because it was an open architecture. IBM recognized this so introduced their IBM-PC as an open architecture causing it to dominate the world. Then, Apple released Macintosh as a closed architecture PC. It was cool but it never gained market share anywhere close to that of the IBM. IBM tried to close parts of their PC architecture (anyone remember Micro-Channel?) but this was also a flop and they quickly backed down. Meanwhile competition from reverse engineering companies, like Compaq, only strengthen the IBM-PC market while leaning on closed-architecture machines like the Mac.

So today you've got Apple CEO (controlfreak ego officer) Steve Jobs continuing to lock a phone "after he sells it to you". Meanwhile, Google is enabling the production of open architecture phones based upon their Android technology along with ties to the open-handset-alliance. The only real control any of us has in this capitalistic marketplace is to vote with our dollars and never do business with companies selling closed architecture products.


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