IPhone hacks void warranty, Apple says
It also hints that the next firmware update will cripple modifications
Saying it had found that many of the unlocking programs "cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software," Apple spelled out the policy. "Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty," the company said in a statement. "The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing software is not covered under the iPhone's warranty."
Several unlock hacks are circulating, including the free open-source anySIM unlock created by iPhone Dev Team, and iPhoneSIMFree, a commercial unlocking program that sells between $45 and $90 online. The unlocks let users insert a SIM card programmed with account data from another mobile provider so the phone can make calls on that carrier's network, rather than solely over AT&T's.
Other mods, or modifications, let iPhone owners install their own ring tones -- Apple charges 99 cents on top of the usual 99 cents tune fee for a ring tone -- and add new software to the Apple-approved applications on the device.
Apple also said it would issue an iPhone update this week, and hinted -- as expected -- that it will use firmware updates to cripple unauthorized modifications. "Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs ... will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed," the statement said.
The coming update has been no secret. Shortly after Jobs unveiled the new iPod line and announced the $200 iPhone price drop that angered many early buyers, Apple confirmed that it would update the device to add new features, including the ability to buy tracks from the iTunes music store over Wi-Fi.
Not surprisingly, Apple's policy didn't scare off those who have modified their iPhones. On the company's iPhone support forum, a user identified as ansuz07 said, "The percentage of iPhones that have become bricked from hacks is very low. Even those that experienced problems could be fixed by a simple restore. Apple is going to make it sound a lot worse than it actually is since they are the ones who don't want you to do it in the first place."
Related News and Discussion:
- Apple and iPhone unlocking groups detail positions
- Usability test: Does iPhone match the hype?
- 15 things Apple should fix in iPhone 2.0
- iPhone security: Nightmare for IT or no big deal?
- Analysts to IT: Avoid Apple's iPhone
- Don't Believe the Hype: The 21 Biggest Technology Flops
- C.J. Kelly's blog: Hacking Stupidity 101: Never hack from home
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!