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New version of SimFree not only unlocks 1.1.1 hardware, but can unbrick iUnlock or anySIM units damaged by the upgrade

Apple's 1.1.1 firmware and its associated "iBrick" feature have generated a fair amount of press coverage, web site articles and angry blog postings. Some consumers have even gone so far as to file a lawsuit against the company for monopolistic practices and the official company response of "buy a new one" left a bad taste in many customers’ mouth.

However, as with many electronic devices in the past, the game of cat-and-mouse between vendor and hacker continues. The iphoneSimFree team released version 1.6 of its SimFree application, which not only unlocks the new 1.1.1 firmware, but claims to be able to "unbrick" phones rendered inoperable by the upgrade. On the iphoneSimFree website, the proud claim is made that "iphoneSimFree can FIX all phones that anySim and iUnlock bricked with the 1.1.1 update."

The brick-fix requires users to downgrade their iPhone's firmware to 1.0.2, and does require the user to pay the asking price of $100 for the software -- a hefty price compared to anySIM's cost of "free," but still cheaper than a new iPhone. The iphoneSimFree team makes a point to thank the iPhone Dev Team on their page as well, so there seems to be no signs of animosity for their competition.

While DailyTech does not have access to a bricked 1.1.1 iPhone to test this upgrade, a user comment on Engadget claims that the software successfully restored his iBrick to working status.

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"War" Profiteering
By jskirwin on 10/11/2007 1:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
and does require the user to pay the asking price of $100 for the software...

Apple is going to brick 'em again, and these kids will roll out yet another patch.

But are they going to hit users up for another $100? If so, this could bode badly for the enthusiast community.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By ZaethDekar on 10/11/07, Rating: -1
RE: "War" Profiteering
By Kalessian on 10/11/2007 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 5
You think bricking them is just fine?

Apple is a corporation that cares nothing about you, while iPhone owners are consumers just like you or me. Why would you want to take our (and your own) rights away? Why would you side with a ruthless entity rather than your neighbors?

I don't understand some people...

RE: "War" Profiteering
By Parhel on 10/11/2007 1:40:12 PM , Rating: 5
Some people actually enjoy it when a corporation treats consumers unfairly. Those people are known as "customer service."

RE: "War" Profiteering
By marvdmartian on 10/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: "War" Profiteering
By ZaethDekar on 10/11/2007 1:48:32 PM , Rating: 1
If I am making a $600 (at launch) purchase for a phone where they tell you up front the cost, and the only carrier you can use it with, I will respect them and either make the decision to buy it or find something comperable.

If you make the decision to purchase it, then you get upset with it... that is your fault. They told you everything, you made the decision. You take the fall.

Its just like using a pirate version of XP, then trying to update and then it stops working because you don't have a valid CD key.

Its like putting performance engine parts in, and blowing your transmission.

You chose to not be satisfied and then you screwed it up by updating it throwing caution to the wind.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By kkwst2 on 10/11/2007 2:19:24 PM , Rating: 5
It doesn't seem at all like that to me.

To me, it's like GM breaking into my garage and slashing my tires and taking a baseball bat to my windshield because I put new headers on my Vette!

Voiding my warranty? Sure. Having the company purposely destroy my property that I legally purchased just because they don't like the way I use it? No.

I know the analogy isn't perfect, but it's better than yours. Furthermore, the terms of the iPhone contract and their actions in bricking the phone are legally questionable as I understand it. My understanding is reverse engineering for personal use, as well as unlocking phones, were both deemed legal in the courts.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By ZaethDekar on 10/11/07, Rating: 0
RE: "War" Profiteering
By Chris Peredun on 10/11/2007 3:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
There is no DMCA for auto makers.

No, we gearheads have laws that work to our advantage - like the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By tcsenter on 10/12/2007 12:14:30 AM , Rating: 5
Magnuson-Moss expressly permits manufacturers to condition warranties on the use of articles or services "identified by brand, trade, or corporate name", provided the manufacturer furnish those "articles or services" at no charge.

IOW, if Whirlpool wants to require as a condition of warranty coverage that a consumer exclusively use Whirlpool's laundry detergent or fabric softener, Magnuson-Moss says Whirlpool must supply that detergent or fabric softener at no charge.

Guess what Apple provides at no charge? Yup, system software and firmware updates. Magnuson-Moss expressly permits this.

Furthermore, Magnuson-Moss states that the manufacturer is off-the-hook for honoring any warranty where damage, malfunction, or failure was caused by "unreasonable use" while the product was in the possession of the consumer (e.g. hacking or tampering). I doubt Apple would have much difficulty proving in court that all these bricked iPods would work fine but for the unauthorized firmware tampering, which Apple could hardly be expected to design its firmware needs around. Firmware changes and redesigns are commonplace in the industry. That's the purpose of updateable firmware.

There is also nothing in Magnuson-Moss or other federal law that prevents a manufacturer from designating any part of its device as having no user-serviceable components or parts, when no periodic maintenance is recommened or required for safe or proper operation. This is why consumer electronics/appliance manufacturers are perfectly free to put security stickers and warnings on their DVD players and computer chassis that read something like "warranty null and void if chassis is opened/seal is broken or removed".

iPhone unlockers haven't a legal leg to stand on (duh). It is not up to the manufacturer to ensure that its firmware update is compatible with unauthorized modifications, but rather the exact opposite duty is imposed upon the user to ensure their modifications will be compatible with all OEM design characteristics.

Of course, Apple might decide to settle rather than go to trial. If you can make it go away by paying the lawyers $500,000 while every member of the class gets a $2.00 coupon to Chuck-E-Cheese, settling makes a lot more sense economically. Principle is often cost-prohibitive in our legal system.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By fic2 on 10/12/2007 1:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
I think a better analogy would be - you bought a GM car and they said that you can only use Exxon gas in the car. You decide that gas is gas and fill-up at the gas station around the corner. Your car checks in with GM and tells them that you have been buying non-Exxon gas. Then they send some goons to take the engine out of your car. And they also tell you that if you want a car that works you can just buy another one and be sure to use only Exxon gas next time.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By chick0n on 10/29/07, Rating: 0
RE: "War" Profiteering
By retrospooty on 10/11/2007 3:15:44 PM , Rating: 3
"Its like putting performance engine parts in, and blowing your transmission."

no, it isnt like that at all. Unlocking does not overdrive the phone past its limits and cause any parts to break as it does in your car analogy.

I agree you are told up front it is exclusive and by unlocking it you void your warranty, but under no circumstances should Apple have bricked the unlocked phones. A voided warranty is all that need to be done. Now the customer can't get it fixed for free if it breaks becasue they chose to unlock it.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By FITCamaro on 10/11/2007 1:36:16 PM , Rating: 4
So you think Apple intentionally causing their own product not to work is perfectly acceptable despite it being perfectly legal to unlock your phone?

There is no reason the update should have bricked the phone. It should have just overwritten the changes made to unlock it and required the user to unlock it again.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By kmmatney on 10/11/2007 5:32:33 PM , Rating: 3
The changes were mainly secrurity fixes. A lot of the hacks used security flaws to break in. If the hacked phones were bricked due to patching up security flaws, so be it...

RE: "War" Profiteering
By mars777 on 10/11/07, Rating: -1
RE: "War" Profiteering
By Treckin on 10/11/2007 10:22:03 PM , Rating: 2

RE: "War" Profiteering
By Christopher1 on 10/14/2007 4:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
No, not 'so be it'. If those security 'flaws' were being used..... then Apple should have made a workaround method for updating them WITHOUT bricking the phones.

Oh, and in case you didn't know...... 5 states are investigating this, because it might have broken their consumer protection laws.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By Polynikes on 10/11/2007 1:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine if a car company could "brick" your car, because you decided you didn't like the exhaust note and put a different muffler on. Or you changed out the CD player. How pissed would you be? I imagine that action would be taken to court IMMEDIATELY, and the car company would pay through the nose in damages.

This is the same thing.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By kmmatney on 10/11/07, Rating: 0
RE: "War" Profiteering
By Mitch101 on 10/11/2007 2:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
How long until a hacker hacks the hack?

RE: "War" Profiteering
By Chris Peredun on 10/11/2007 1:36:08 PM , Rating: 2
<jskirwin> But are they going to hit users up for another $100? If so, this could bode badly for the enthusiast community.

Existing SimFree users are able to upgrade to v1.6 at no cost - the file is freely downloadable from the website. The charge is to register the phone's IMEI with a reseller, and is (as of now) a one-time fee, good for the life of the phone.

<ZaethDekar> Or wait until the free one comes out in about 2 weeks.

Precisely. It would be silly to think that the iPhone Dev Team isn't hard at work on iUnbrick. It'll all a matter of patience. Those who have the money and lack the patience have a good chance of already being SimFree users as well.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By Bioniccrackmonk on 10/11/2007 5:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
Just don't upgrade the firmware and you will be fine.

RE: "War" Profiteering
By kmmatney on 10/11/2007 5:35:01 PM , Rating: 5
Just don't buy the iPhone and you'll be fine...

RE: "War" Profiteering
By Screwballl on 10/12/2007 10:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
that is what I am wondering... everytime there is an amazing new product there are profiteers out there making a buck off the misfortune of others. Hmmmmm now we need someone that can do this to make EA games playable and remove their restrictions (and vulcan death grip on the industry).

Down with the Apple Man!
By Misty Dingos on 10/11/2007 1:23:54 PM , Rating: 2
Power to the People!

OK power to the well heeled People!

*Gets $100 out of his wallet.

RE: Down with the Apple Man!
By dsumanik on 10/11/2007 1:34:25 PM , Rating: 4
One thing you can always say for sure about a mac user:

they are susceptible to aggressive, false pretense, manipulative marketing techniques.

Every single one of them.

If people want to act like yuppie sheep, camp overnight to buy a cellphone, becoming prey to corporate marketing schemes...

...they shouldn't be surprised when they arrive at the slaughterhouse!!!

I would never buy an iphone, or any other consumer electronic device, from mp3 player, to laptop, that did not allow me the freedom to do whatever the heck i wanted with it.

like apple's competition says:

"the best devices have no limits"

RE: Down with the Apple Man!
By borowki on 10/11/07, Rating: -1
RE: Down with the Apple Man!
By Oregonian2 on 10/11/2007 1:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
Never thought someone would come out and say that mac users aren't capable of hacking. Ease of use is a requirement for them, not just something they like.

P.S. - Said in jest, your straight line was just too inviting. :-)

RE: Down with the Apple Man!
By retrospooty on 10/11/2007 3:52:22 PM , Rating: 3
"Mac users are too culturally sophisticated"

Actually when it comes to electronics in general most (not all) Mac users are quite naive. This is why they buy into the hype and lies Steve Jobs tells them without thinking or learning anything for themselves. I really hope you were joking with your statement.

RE: Down with the Apple Man!
By daniyarm on 10/13/2007 5:25:55 PM , Rating: 1
MS products might not be bug free and take a few brains cells to customize, but at least MS customers aren't being screwed every time a new patch comes out. Mac users aren't culturally sophisticated, they are just computer illiterate.
And by the way, geeks don't use Windows, they use Linux.

By Chris Peredun on 10/11/2007 1:47:32 PM , Rating: 4
... this would probably be a good time to pick up a "bricked" model on eBay that didn't survive a 1.1.1 update. ;)

By kextyn on 10/11/2007 1:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
I would assume that the type of people who would unlock their iPhone are the same type that would hold on to it knowing that eventually someone would fix it. Not to mention there are many ebay auctions for fixes to the iBrick.

By ninjit on 10/11/2007 2:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
I already checked as soon as I saw this article, hoping some poor frustrated sap just bit the bullet and bought a new one to replace his bricked one, and was selling to recover whatever he could.

Couldn't find a single one.

If there were any on there in the first place, they all got cancelled as soon as word of this fix got out.

By Razgriz20 on 10/11/2007 2:27:21 PM , Rating: 3
This getting completely annoying "cat & mouse" play. Why don't these people just get another decent phone and stop wasting time with the iPhone?

RE: Pointless...
By Misty Dingos on 10/11/2007 3:13:59 PM , Rating: 3
Because they have been infected with malumitis.

They are now unable to make rational decisions when it comes to cell phones, personal music systems, or personal computers. There is a cure but as malumitis causes the sick person to act in such an arrogant condescending and annoying manner that no one really wants to help them.

Malumitis is a disease related to all things Apple.

RE: Pointless...
By retrospooty on 10/11/2007 3:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
" Because they have been infected with malumitis. - They are now unable to make rational decisions when it comes to cell phones, personal music systems, or personal computers. There is a cure but as malumitis causes the sick person to act in such an arrogant condescending and annoying manner that no one really wants to help them. Malumitis is a disease related to all things Apple."

You get my vote for the best post ever! Although quite humerous, you have actually explained the issue quite well. Its not a cult mentality, its a disease. I especially like the part about how the disease causes the sick person to act in such an arrogant condescending and annoying manner that no one really wants to help them.

We all know at least a few Mac users that fit this bill. LOL

By ZaethDekar on 10/11/2007 1:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
Havn't there been a few lawsuits going around saying that Apple bricked their phone?

Wouldn't this make those lawsuits pointless now?

RE: Now...
By jadeskye on 10/11/2007 1:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
i think it's more likely that apple will find a way to sue the makers of the 'unbricker'.

RE: Now...
By ZaethDekar on 10/11/2007 1:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
Thats why they are charging $100 per phone :-p.

Apple front?
By ninjit on 10/11/2007 2:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
It just occured to me that iPhoneSIMFREE could be a front for apple.

Wouldn't that be insane?? They already know how to lock/unlock the iPhone at will, and keep doing it at every patch to milk users of even more money.

If not officially apple sanctioned, maybe a few Apple engineers in the know making a bit more money on the side?

Just my morning musings, conspiracy theories will always abound...

RE: Apple front?
By FITCamaro on 10/11/2007 3:09:08 PM , Rating: 2
I honestly wouldn't put it past them. But no I don't think its the case.

RE: Apple front?
By Gul Westfale on 10/11/2007 9:27:40 PM , Rating: 1
i was just going to say what the OP said... this could be apple making more money off their unsuspecting customers/slaves.

By v1001 on 10/11/2007 1:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
If apple bricks it again it's going to make them look all that much worse and intentional. Probably wont help their court case at all.

RE: Again
By ninjit on 10/11/2007 2:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think the mere fact that a 3rd party program fixed their so-called "bricking" actions is proof enough that Apple is lying through their teeth.

Their firmware engineers, if anyone, would know what parts of the code need to be changed to fix this.
They could have easily just disabled the unlocking reverting the phone back to a locked state with the new update, but they CHOSE to go with the bricking route hoping it would scare people away from trying it again.

I hope they get bent-over the table in court for this (not the monopolistic charges, that's just a load of codswallop).

$60 NOT $100
By Squuiid on 10/11/2007 3:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's actually only $60 not $100 as everyone seems to be saying. is one of many authorized resellers that sell it for $60. I used them and it worked like a charm. is also known to be $60

Other resellers found here:

RE: $60 NOT $100
By Chris Peredun on 10/11/2007 3:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
My mistake. $100 is the MSRP - resellers are permitted to sell for less.

By rcc on 10/11/2007 6:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
Color me surprised.

By crystal clear on 10/13/2007 8:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
the official company response of "buy a new one" left a bad taste in many customers’ mouth.

The official response of all buyers will be-

"buy a new one" yes NOT an iPhone for sure.

The quote of the occasion will be-

You not only Learn from your mistakes & experiences also from other peoples mistakes & experiences .

Apple has earned itself a lot of bad publicity right from the beginning.
All this effects future sales & you see it in the buying season (christmas)

Competition is getting tougher by the day as you see new competing products from the likes of Nokia/Ericksen/Motorola/Samsung etc.

The Coming Of The iPhone Clones

Prices & Performance being the deciding factor plus the freedom to add on 3rd party applications with NO hinderence or restrictions whatsoever-OPEN in short.

Competition is already coming up with iPhone look-alikes that have much more functionality and are open architectures. And soon the iPhone will be of historical only interest.

Note- soon the iPhone will be of historical only interest.

Will the clones quickly beat the original in both functionality and price?

Time will show.

Talking about competing product lines,here are some examples-

"Nokia Slashes Hit Phone Price Ahead of Christmas ",1895,2195185,

Nokia - N Series ....OPEN to ANYTHING.
We believe the best devices have no limits. That's why we've left the Nokia Nseries open. Open to applications. Open to widgets. Open to anything. So go ahead and load it up. What it does is up to you.",open...

To summarize it all-

Apple lost to the PC world, namely, price and open architecture, the iPhone will lose to the open architecture world of the mighty competition of mobile/cell phone world

You know,...
By Palomar Jack on 10/14/2007 5:08:56 AM , Rating: 2
...if you bought one of these pieces of crud, and hacked it or not. It does not matter. You wasted your money. Here's why:

No, I'm not Maddox, nor do I know him, but, I do know logic when I see it. And now, something to ponder. "In the world of trends, fads and fashion there are two kinds of people; Those who own the leash, and those who wear it."

Now, did you really "get one over on Apple" if you bought an iPhone to hack, or did you just buy a really expensive leash to ware like those who didn't hack it? It does not matter, Apple's still the one who "got one over on you".


SW versus HW
By cwb4tx on 10/29/2007 11:29:00 PM , Rating: 2
Best I can tell, the iPhone itself (as a device) isnt damaged by the "brick SW" YOU downloaded.

Some of you might want to read more about the click wrap licenses you accept on SW downloads.

You dont even OWN the SW you are using in most of your products so these analogies of YOUR car and gas are way off the mark.

If Apple decided to insure IT'S software would no longer fuction if the terms of the agreement with you, the licensee, are broken then they are free to do so and could likely prove it in court if they had to.

Might seem harsh but then again, why are we all so eager to ignore fine print and sign contracts so eagerly.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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