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.”

« Apple announces more iPhone Tech Talks

EyeTV 2.5 update brings Wi-Fi video streaming for iPhone, iPod touch »

Related Stories



Oh.. and by the way:

“Choice” my butt! This is not about “choice” you sanctimonious dweeb!

Apple GIVES you a choice: Buy their product, or BUY SOMEONE ELSE’S. It’s called Free Market Economy, or Capitalism, and guess what? If you don’t like the product Apple offers you can take your business elsewhere. THERE’S your MotherF-ing choice.

Nobody forced you to buy an iPhone. If you buy one KNOWING that you’re going to do something risky like hacking it, then you enter into the whole deal with your eyes wide open and should have ZERO expectations of support from Apple.

Choice? You had a choice at the cash register.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on September 25, 2007 at 2:00 AM (CDT)


well, we will see…  I dont think Apple will purposely brick a hacked phone with firmware update.  They are just covering their ass in case their firmware is not compatible with your hack.  I dont expect Apple to release a firmware and guarantee that all hack will be fine, but it is also not acceptable to purposely brick a hacked phone neither.

Posted by Aerohunter on September 25, 2007 at 3:04 AM (CDT)


I wonder how much Apple pays Wilder.

Anyone notice the wording of this statement?

...many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available online cause “irreparable damage”...

They didn’t say ALL, so that must mean that there may be a few unlock programs out there that work just fine. I wonder which ones… <shifty eyes>

Also, I don’t really see what all the fuss is about. The only other real choice in the US would be T-Mobile. I don’t see the real advantages of one GSM company over the other. I only see an unlocked iPhone benefiting regular globe trotters swapping out prepaid SIMs.

After all, how much cheaper would a T-Mobile unlimeted data plan be compared to AT&T’s?

Posted by Matthew on September 25, 2007 at 4:26 AM (CDT)


“Wilder_K_Wight ” YOU ARE RIGHT ALL THE WAY !!!

I could not have said it better then you did and I take exactlly the same stand you take.

I’m glad that someone took the time and said what had to be said. Because all you hear in these few post about this matter is CRYING AND BIT**ING.



Posted by dennis on September 25, 2007 at 7:03 AM (CDT)


Thing is, the HACK doesn’t break the phone, the UPGRADE would intentionally break it. It’s one thing to go crying back to Apple for service, it’s another to have them disable your phone.

What if some Apple Store rep comes to your house, looks to see if your phone is unlocked, and then smashes it on the floor if it is. How is that any different from an “update” intentionally breaking your modded phone?

Just because whatever EULA or agreement or anything says they reserve whatever rights doesn’t mean it’s enforceable nor does it make it right.

“Is Apple Going Rotten?” Yes, yes it is.

Posted by Someguy on September 25, 2007 at 7:29 AM (CDT)


I think it’s important to understand that Apple isn’t very likely planning to do anything deliberate here—rather they’re acknowledging the very real possibility that hacks based on chip-level firmware updates might cause problems when the next update tries to write the same firmware.

The firmware updates are frequently applied as a patch.  If you try to patch code that isn’t what your patch is expecting, you end up with unpredictable results.  Try doing a firmware upgrade to just about any device and watch what happens to the device if it fails to complete properly.  I’ve had more than a few devices that I’ve had to hack about with in recovery mode because something went wrong while writing an EEPROM (which is essentially what part of Apple’s iPhone software does).

The iPhone was never designed to be idiot-proof in terms of updates, because the normal end-users aren’t supposed to be playing with these pieces.  Try doing a firmware restore back to v1.0 and you’ll find a similar runaround in terms of the ability of iTunes to update the baseband (modem) firmware with the older version. 

Is this likely going to cause a permanent problem for somebody who has a basic understanding of what they’re doing and how to recover from it?  Not likely.

However, keep in mind also that Apple is writing these statements for the casual end-user who hacked their iPhone with a free GUI unlock tool without any real knowledge of how it all works.  THESE are the users who are going to likely apply the update, find their iPhone “bricked” (in terms of their own ability to recover from it) and then try and make a warranty claim to Apple.

The terms of the warranty are fairly clear, and hacking about with the iPhone does pretty much invalidate the warranty in principle if not in fact.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on September 25, 2007 at 8:07 AM (CDT)


GSM phone users don’t want SIM locks and do want an OS open to 3rd part applications. Every mobile handset manufacturer except Apple understands this.

Posted by The Doctor on September 25, 2007 at 10:40 AM (CDT)


all goes back to the point that SOME PEOPLE JUST DON’T GET IT.

Apple chose AT&T as THEIR CARRIER FOR THE IPHONE. Apple said this from DAY1 !!!... and NOW some PEOPLE ARE COMPLAINING about the statement APPLE made.

That is the BIGGEST BULLS*** I ever seen im my life. IF you don’t Agree with AT&T as a Carrier then YOU DON’t HAVE TO BUY THE IPHONE.

plus, there are devices out which are attend from the beginning to run only to run with a certain carrier. IF SOME USER GET a unlocked DEVICE, guess what they are not covered by T-Mobile or whoever is their carrier.

I just don’t get it when some peopel complain about unfairness from APPLE.

>>> IF I want to get me a Ford 150 and don’t like that warranty and service part I have the choice to drop that vehicle and go to Nissan Dealership to get their product. <<<

different manufacturer >> different Carrier >> different products >> different Prices ... everybody have the same choice to choose. .. but some cry like a baby,... who knows they probly are ....

Posted by dennis on September 25, 2007 at 11:42 AM (CDT)


the bottom line is $$$ notice all the talk about unlock came after announcement of iPhone launch in Europe.  There is already a gray market for iPhone, people would buy it in US, unlock it and sell it in Europe for a profit.  Especially now, the MSRP in Europe is much higher thatn US.  Unlock is eating into the Profit that Apple wants, and the EXCLUSIVE carrier sure wont be happy if their customer can buy hacked phone for less.

Posted by aerohunter on September 25, 2007 at 7:24 PM (CDT)



At least Apple is warning you before hand. Im sure u would pissed if they didnt give you heads up and your new phone was broken.

If you dont like AT & T then dont get an iPhone its that simple.

Posted by Jon on September 27, 2007 at 12:41 AM (CDT)

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

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 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy