Apple May "Unintentionally" Kill Unlocked iPhones with Update
September 25, 2007 2:34 PM
comment(s) - last by
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
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,
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
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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RE: Nice Try
9/25/2007 9:35:03 PM
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
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
9/26/2007 7:11:27 PM
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.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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