Print 39 comment(s) - last by tcsenter.. on Sep 28 at 7:34 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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