Apple warns against iPhone unlocking, software update coming later this week [updated] | iLounge News


Apple warns against iPhone unlocking, software update coming later this week [updated]

Apple today released a statement regarding the use of iPhone unlocking programs and the changes they make to the iPhone. Apple claims that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available online cause “irreparable damage” to the iPhone’s software, and that a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update will likely cause modified iPhones to become “permanently inoperable.” The company also revealed that it will release the next iPhone software update, containing “many” new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, later this week. Apple went on to strongly discourage iPhone owners from installing unauthorized unlocking programs, and gave the following warning to those still considering the option: “Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone’s warranty.”

Update: Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, has made a statement clarifying the company’s intentions regarding the warning. “This has nothing to do with proactively disabling a phone that is unlocked or hacked,” Schiller 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.”

Related Stories



Ooooooo, I’m so scared.

Seriously, though, don’t all of the unlockers already understand this? It’s a risk you take when you want to mod and customize, which includes all unlocking. You mess it up, thenyou are responsible, not Apple. If you’re cool with that, then hack on!

Posted by jasonact on September 24, 2007 at 5:07 PM (CDT)


I agree.  However, when someone who has modified their iPhone and it becomes bricked, be prepared to hear much “wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Posted by ucfgrad93 on September 24, 2007 at 5:35 PM (CDT)


honestly, if you want to use the iPhone in the U.S. you have two options as far as I know…AT&T or T-Mobile.  I don’t know about other parts of the country, but where I live T-Mobile coverage is actually worse than AT&T, so when I do happen to get an iPhone (please release a 16GB version soon), then I will probably not mess with hacking it.  It just doesn’t seem to be worth it, at lease for me.

for those that do hack their iPhone, I am sure there will be an answer not too far off for this, so they will just have to wait a little longer to use the wi-fi store.  cat and mouse.

Posted by franticnomad on September 24, 2007 at 5:36 PM (CDT)


Apple would tell you this is different from the DRM on purchased music but it IS the SAME, because it’s about us using something we paid for as we see fit.  Apple’s hypocrisy is showing, big time.

And they know better!!  They know damn well that DRM CREATES hackers.  And now they do too.  All because they haven’t made enough on their shameless mark up on the iPhone itself; they have to squeeze more blood from the stone by cutting into AT&T action.

Apple will end up screwing the entire industry.  We will turn to Congress for redress and end up with European-style laws that forbid ANYONE’S phone to be tied to a service.

Posted by Chas on September 24, 2007 at 5:48 PM (CDT)


Apple may be referring to SIM hacks only here.  I believe they (SIM hacks) modify the modem firmware, and I can see that permanently messing something up on the iPhone.  The and 3rd party apps should be able to be wiped with a software restore.  Not sure how these would “permanently” ruin the iPhone.

Posted by nilesmitchell on September 24, 2007 at 5:53 PM (CDT)


Apple Strikes Back

Posted by Osmac on September 24, 2007 at 5:59 PM (CDT)


Blatant scare mongering. All one would need to do is restore the hacked iPhone and then apply any update. The whole point of a software hack is that you don’t modify the phone, and thus it can be returned to a non-hacked state with the click of a few buttons.

Posted by stadidas on September 24, 2007 at 6:06 PM (CDT)


I won’t take any chances. There’s nothing to like enough about the hacks to justify potential bricking, even if it is a longshot.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on September 24, 2007 at 7:14 PM (CDT)


I’m sick of people crying about AT&T. Apple chose ATT and that’s the way it is. If you don’t like AT&T then don’t get an iPhone. Apple has a legit deal with ATT and it’s their right to protect that. I want to use a Verizon LG Chocholate2 on US Cellular but it doesn’t work that way. If you love T-Mobile so much…join them and use one of THEIR phones.

I agree it would be nice to be able to use any phone with any carrier but the system isn’t built that way…right or wrong it just isn’t.

This whole hacking/unlocking crap is getting old. People whined about all the pre-launch hype…then folks cried about the price it’s non stop blabber about these stupid unlocking programs.

Posted by WiPod on September 24, 2007 at 7:27 PM (CDT)


“Blatant scare mongering. All one would need to do is restore the hacked iPhone and then apply any update. The whole point of a software hack is that you don’t modify the phone, and thus it can be returned to a non-hacked state with the click of a few buttons.”

Actually, I believe most of the hacks modify the firmware, so just doing a restore is unlikely to fix a bricked iPhone. I don’t much like AT&T, mostly do to their snooping activities, so I considered getting an iPhone and unlocking it, then using it with my existing T-Mobile account. But, I really don’t want to be the cat or the mouse, I just want something that works and is supported. It would be nice if Apple would open the iPhone to other carriers.

Posted by ArtDecoDalek on September 24, 2007 at 8:06 PM (CDT)


The guy at the Apple store told me I shouldn’t do it because hair will grow on my palms.

Posted by superape on September 24, 2007 at 9:14 PM (CDT)


The issue isn’t just about AT&T…  A great many of the folks who have SIM-unlocked their iPhones have done so to get access to the iPhone in countries where Apple has not yet decided to (or been able to) make it available.

The problem, of course, is that there’s no way to separate those who are unlocking the iPhone even though they can use AT&T from the folks who simply have no other choice (other than not buying an iPhone at all).

Posted by Jesse Hollington on September 24, 2007 at 9:23 PM (CDT)


This is getting stupid now. Apple telling people what to do with their devices and then threatening to damage it. I think a one week boycott of iTunes would send a powerful message. I think it is time we the paying consumer flexed a bit of monetary muscle here.

Posted by Don Trammell on September 24, 2007 at 10:09 PM (CDT)


Go ahead. Brick all the unlocked iphones. Class-action lawyers are licking their chops just thinking about it.

Posted by Someguy on September 24, 2007 at 10:52 PM (CDT)


Go ahead. Brick all the unlocked iphones. Class-action lawyers are licking their chops just thinking about it.

I find it disgusting that Apple would threaten to brick modified iPhones. It would be akin to GM using OnStar to fry the ECU of a customer’s Escalade or Corvette simply because they took the car to a customizer and did a major makeover. Once the device is sold, it’s out of your hands, Apple. If you didn’t want it subjected to change, you never should have sold it to begin with. You already got your bloody money out of the device once it’s sold; live with it. Stop your obvious boot-licking for the benefit of AT&T. Small wonder Verizon turned you down, you control freaks.

Posted by flatline response on September 25, 2007 at 12:33 AM (CDT)


Apple, please.  It’s a firmware update.  The fact that they are threatening hacks that a software update is coming that might brick the phones… I agree.  Scare mongering, at best.  When they update the firmware image and release it, the ‘Restore’ function in iTunes will load the new image.  Then, it’ll get hacked again, and so on…

Also, when I opened my iPhone, I didn’t see any kind of software licensing agreement… not on the box, not on the plastic it was encased in.  So, exactly how is this a violation of the software license agreement?

Posted by Jeff on September 25, 2007 at 12:55 AM (CDT)


it’s not like apple is forcing hackers to update. there’s still a choice. if u want the new features don’t hack ur phone. or if want a hacked phone don’t be mad that the update bricks ur phone. simple as that.

apple can’t be liable for bricking a hacked phone because it’s unsupported software.

Posted by peter Dy on September 25, 2007 at 12:58 AM (CDT)


steve jobs and apple can suck it - modders will have nothing to fear.

they are for the people.

Nobody should be on apples side on this.

Choice is the key word.  Unlocking the phone gives the consumer that power to modify the phone to their liking.

-1 for apple.

Posted by gabe on September 25, 2007 at 1:36 AM (CDT)


It’s not about just sucking it up and making the switch to AT&T. I would gladly switch to AT&T for the iPhone if it didn’t cost $200+ dollars to cancel my 2-year agreement with T-Mobile. Just can’t justify spending 2/3rds the price of the iPhone just to use it.

Posted by jC! on September 25, 2007 at 1:50 AM (CDT)


This isn’t about Apple threatening anyone. This is about Apple covering their butt legally and making it clear that your warranty is NOT going to be honored if you choose to hack your phone. They want to discourage people from hacking the iPhone because THEY are the ones who will get the tech support call from some idiot claiming his iPhone doesn’t work anymore, and it wastes Apple’s time and resources to troubleshoot iPhones that have been damaged by cobbled-together third-party software.

And all this “I bought it and it’s mine so I’ll do what I want” talk is garbage. It’s not yours. The SIM card is the property of AT&T and the software—like ALL software—belongs to Apple. Read your EULA. You agree to it when you install anything on your computer, and by proxy, the iPhone. By agreeing to the EULA you accept that you are licensing the use of the software (including the firmware) on the iPhone, and that you will not alter it.

Apple COULD brick your phone and not be liable for a damn thing… But they probably won’t. They’re being nice about it and saying “We know it can be done, and we don’t encourage it, and no matter what you do we won’t exchange or repair your iPhone if you alter the firmware in any way.”

It’s their right to protect themselves from providing tech support for MISUSE of the iPhone.

Sony, Microsoft, and pretty much every other company does the same thing. You can hack their stuff, but if you do it, you lose the right to tech support.

Frankly, I find it backhanded and disgusting that some of you want to have your hacked hardware, but then also want to have the ability to (dishonestly) ask Apple for warranty coverage. You can’t have it both ways: You either benefit from Apple’s software and warranty support, or you benefit from the hacks and get your tech support from the people who wrote the hacks.

What’s that? The hackers won’t fix your iPhone if you screw it up?

Well then maybe Apple’s warning isn’t so unreasonable, now is it?

You have the freedom to choose—But don’t expect you should get BOTH options at Apple’s expense. When you hack your iPhone, then trash it, and then lie to Apple and expect them to fix it, you drive up the prices of tech support and you make it harder for other people with legitimate issues to get help.

I have no sympathy for anyone who bricks their iPhone, PSP, Nintendo DS, Blackberry, Palm, or any other device. You made the choice. Nobody put a gun to your head and forced you to use the hacks.

So pick:  Apple’s software and support, or some other software and NO support.

Totally reasonable. Any other company would do the same.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on September 25, 2007 at 1:55 AM (CDT)

Subscribe to iLounge Weekly

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy