Altered iPhones at Risk of Failure

Apple warned on Monday that iPhone owners who have used unauthorized programs to unlock the cellular service feature of their handsets may end up with a phone that does not work after the company's next software update.

Since the iPhone made its debut in June, hackers have posted a number of methods online to make it possible to use iPhones on cellular networks other than that of AT&T, the exclusive official carrier.

Apple executives say they have discovered that many of those unauthorized unlocking programs damage iPhone software. A software update that Apple plans to issue later this week that will add features such as accessibility to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store may end up making the cellphone completely inoperable if it has been altered.

"This has nothing to do with proactively disabling a phone that is unlocked or hacked," Philip W. Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide product marketing, said in an interview. "It's unfortunate that some of these programs have caused damage to the iPhone software, but Apple cannot be responsible" for those consequences.

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Long time ago one wiseman said - everything created by human can be hacked by another human...
Apple has lost by default in this battle. So any announcements are just a Apple's PR, nothing more.

Just flash the iPhone back to normal BEFORE upgrading to the new software. Then, apply the new hack (when available) if the old hack doesn't work anymore. Or wait to upgrade until the revised hack is released. They're giving you a nice warning beforehand, which I think is mighty nice of them.

Most people I know including myself want unlocked phones so we dont have to be bound to a BS contract.It has little to do with using on other network.

I usually don't post, but I have to respond to these guys saying that its "completely within Apple's rights" and that "it's the same as "disabling a cracked/hacked Windows OS."

Windows is 100% software; you are paying the copyright holder for the permission to use that software, and the software holder has the right to protect his copyright. There is no product to purchase separate from the software.

The iPhone is a phone; you buy it. It's yours. People who hack Windows pay $0.00. People who hack iPhones pay $399.99. It is NOT a violation of copyright to hack the iPhone to allow for its use on multiple networks, under either US or Canadian law.

On the other hand, it IS illegal to destroy someone's property through the use of software. If Apple deliberately bricks any iPhones that are hacked, they have destroyed someone's property, and they should be sued in Small Claims Court. The trickier problem is whether you can force them to honour their warranty if a clearly hardware related problem arises, e.g. the screen fails.

Tom275,

I see what you're saying, but there is something call Terms and Conditions and also the Warranty. You have the Warranty which is legally binding - hacks involved in the phone would be considered misuse and abuse; this is common knowledge => any idiot would know this.

There is also the the software in the iPhone which is subject to the Terms and Conditions. When you fail to follow these Terms and Conditions you are surpassing copyright laws. It may be your phone, but the software belongs to Apple. Whether you reverse-engineer Windows or the iPhone firmware without a license to do so, you are engaging in copyright infringement.

The same thing applies to the music industry. You have the right to play music you purchase, but you do not own it. You can't do whatever you want with it - you only have the license to play it for personal use. You can't play it in public, you can't make copies and sell it - if you're in the U.S., it is legal to back it up and put it on your iPod, but those are one of the few limitations, there are also legal ramifications when mixing a song.

So when you hack the iPhone, or any mobile phone, you are engaging in copyright infringement because you don't have the license to do with what you are doing. And since Apple puts out updates which can damage hacked iPhones, their hands are clean, from the Warranty Conditions, because people misused and abused their phones. People don't have to update to the newest software, but they probably would want to eventually. Apple is not out there to damage phones, they have job security with the providers, and they are warning the updates can conflict with hacked phones, so let the buyer beware.

It's all red tape bs. I say this you say that. I want more money.

I just laugh when I think about how insignificant, pointless and stupid it all really is.

inst everything at risk of possibly failing ? lol good old jobs trying to make out his stuff is differant that it wont fail , yeah right show me something that has never failed ever lol

i think its completely within the realm of possibility that a software patch for a cell phone could render the phone "bricked" if said phone has had portions of its code altered to accept multiple carriers. the patch is designed for a specific software set. if that set is altered, its entirely posible that the patch could fail mid way through and render the phone useless.

I'm pretty sure that the "patch" would be little more than a few bytes of modified code, something along the lines of..

if (Provider != ATT) { Phone.disable(); }

to

if (Provider != ATT) { /* Tra la la la */ }

Note: The above is obviously pseudo code

Kushan said,
I'm pretty sure that the "patch" would be little more than a few bytes of modified code, something along the lines of..

if (Provider != ATT) { Phone.disable(); }

to

if (Provider != ATT) { /* Tra la la la */ }

Note: The above is obviously pseudo code

you misunderstand me.

Apple has stated they are releasing a patch that is not intended to hurt modified phones. they are releasing a patch that adds functions to the phone, like wifi itunes store (ref TFA). that is going to be a lot more then a couple bites. code that adds internet and wifi functionality would most likely be rooted in carrier related portions of code as well. thus lies the possibility of erronus patches in the event the code is modified pre patch.

Seems like if someone had enough money to spend on an iPhone just to hack to make it work with a different service, then they should have enough money to buy a new phone once their iPhone is bricked.

Still, I hope Apple doesn't presume that every bricked iPhone from this software update is due to the user hacking the phone. That is going to result in a lot of angry customers.

ha ha ha ! FUD FTW !!! well done Steevie !!!
I'm nevah ever getting an Iphone (unless someone want to give me one for free) . Nothing can beat my little P990 at least I can do whatever the heck I want with it .

its no different than MS updating a OS to stop/disable a hacked/cracked Windows. If these idiots have the money to throw away...then they can just throw some more away by getting another iPhone...lol....I wonder how many will have to confront Mommy or Daddy and explain why the Phone they brought isn't working....I hear the lies from miles around!

“It’s unfortunate that some of these programs have caused damage to the iPhone software, but Apple cannot be responsible”

I'm sure the sound of their weeping can be heard for miles around

To be honest, I kind of agree with the people that say that it's AT&T that wants the lock down, not Apple. It makes sense: Distribution channels of AT&T AND extra iPhones sold that would be used on non-AT&T networks, all done while not breaching the contract. It's all adds up to more cash for them, I doubt Apple cares at all if AT&T is getting its share of profits.

But obviously there would be no weeping.

wctaiwan

Again, you are forgetting that Apple gets a significant portion of AT&T's profit of each monthly payment of your AT&T subscription. Not sure but I believe it was in the area of 40%, of the "profit".

so yeah, Apple cares.

Apple executives say they have discovered that many of those unauthorized unlocking programs damage iPhone software.

When you translate this from Apple Executive speech, into regular consumer withouth Jobs reality distortion field speech, you get somethign like this: "Out techs managed to ind a way to detect if the phone had been hacked and use this to brick the phoneso you have to buy a new one, and get the AT&T plan, double cash for ush WOOHOOO!"

"This has nothing to do with proactively disabling a phone that is unlocked or hacked,”

Read before you reply - or do you, with your obvious anti-Apple feelings, consider this "Apple executive speech, with Jobs reality distortion fields." And I would assume a full reset using iTunes would fix the iPhone, so they wouldn't really be getting "double cash." And even if it wouldn't, I don't think anyone would want to buy another one after the incident.

wctaiwan

No they'd e getting more than double.

or are you forgetting something.. sur eou can reset the phone, BUT then you still have to use AT&T, and Apple makes more real cash from iPhone subscriptions with AT&T than they do from selling the phone, quite a feat.,

What exactly is there to hack on the iPod Touch? There's no cellphone company or anything of the sort involved with the iPod, so it's not like you're bound to some subscription service, thus having no reason to hack it. :confused:

Dakkaroth said,
What exactly is there to hack on the iPod Touch? There's no cellphone company or anything of the sort involved with the iPod, so it's not like you're bound to some subscription service, thus having no reason to hack it. :confused:

Well, there is no reason to unlock any kind of SIM feature, yes. But the posibility of putting your own apps on the iPod Touch like I believe they are trying to do on the iPhone is appealing for sure. Since both run a slim down OS X, should not be too hard to get apps up and running on it, just have to make sure they optimized for the platform.

Dakkaroth said,
What exactly is there to hack on the iPod Touch? There's no cellphone company or anything of the sort involved with the iPod, so it's not like you're bound to some subscription service, thus having no reason to hack it. :confused:

3rd party/style programs -- maps, weather, email, modifiable calendar, IM, etc etc

Just like PSP, their not saying it will, their just saying choice is yours if you're dumb enough to try standard update a hacked iphone. If you wait it'll be busted open within the week of release and then have alternate method of updating probably. just usual cat and mouse game but just like 3rd party extensions/add-ons with new software it's duty of hackers/developers to sort the issues out while the standard method may or may not work and we won't provide support for 3rd party developments.

All I think they are doing is trying to protect themselves. If all the unlocked phones break after this update they don't want these people assuming Apple will cover them. I doubt they will actually break them, I think Apple would want as many unlocked phones as they can.

Xero said,
All I think they are doing is trying to protect themselves. If all the unlocked phones break after this update they don't want these people assuming Apple will cover them. I doubt they will actually break them, I think Apple would want as many unlocked phones as they can.

Why would apple want their phones to be unlocked? Do you realise that Apple gets a cut off of every penny AT&T earns from an iPhone user?
If that user switched to sprint, they'd no longer get that money.
And that's why they're practically threatening to brick your phone if you even think about switching (Mmmm, Irony), it's all money and nothing else.
And unlike the iPod Nano, there's literally no excuse for them or any way to defend them - they're making a huge profit from the sale of the iPhone Hardware as it is, this is just pure Greed.

No, it's real!

I unlocked my iPhone, and wanted to check for this "damaged software". So, I went and looked at the installed firmware. At first, it looked ok. But then I went deep and stopped looking at the bytes, and looked at the individual bits instead!

OMG! Instead of 1s and 0s, they were 0.768s and 0's. The 1s were all damaged by about 25%! :O

markjensen said,
No, it's real!

I unlocked my iPhone, and wanted to check for this "damaged software". So, I went and looked at the installed firmware. At first, it looked ok. But then I went deep and stopped looking at the bytes, and looked at the individual bits instead!

OMG! Instead of 1s and 0s, they were 0.768s and 0's. The 1s were all damaged by about 25%! :O


you have a quantum computing iphone! oh man you just powned the universe.

(Kushan said @ #1.4)
If that user switched to sprint, they'd no longer get that money.

Actually, the only other carrier (in the US) you can use the iPhone for is Tmobile, since its a GSM phone.

Kushan said,
Why would apple want their phones to be unlocked? Do you realise that Apple gets a cut off of every penny AT&T earns from an iPhone user?
If that user switched to sprint, they'd no longer get that money.
And that's why they're practically threatening to brick your phone if you even think about switching (Mmmm, Irony), it's all money and nothing else.
And unlike the iPod Nano, there's literally no excuse for them or any way to defend them - they're making a huge profit from the sale of the iPhone Hardware as it is, this is just pure Greed.

You think Apple cares if people unlock their phones are you serious? Apple gets a small share from AT&T per iPhone, but what about the people who have contracts with other providers and don't switch? They get nothing, but hey! what if they could unlock the phones for any provider? Then that guy who wasn't going to switch can go to Apple and buy an iPhone.

Apple isn't a cell phone provider, they are a hardware and software company, all they want is to sell iPhones, the revenue they get from AT&T, O2, Orange, T-Mobile is bonus (really ****ty for the providers though) Hell if I were Apple I'd be secretly helping unlock iPhones, they well just end up making a hell of a lot more with them unlocked then they would with them locked. The only one who really loses are the providers.

Apple is just covering its own ass incase the updates messes up the iPhones, that way they don't get flooded with people wanting new ones, they are basically just saying if you unlocked your iPhone, your on ur own, and they are telling people this before the new update because they don't know if it will break them. It likely will break it, but it won't make them a paperweight.

The iPod Touch is far more secure than the iPhone, its likely that the iPhone update is going to change its security to that of the iPod Touch.

Xero said,

You think Apple cares if people unlock their phones are you serious? Apple gets a small share from AT&T per iPhone, but what about the people who have contracts with other providers and don't switch? They get nothing, but hey! what if they could unlock the phones for any provider? Then that guy who wasn't going to switch can go to Apple and buy an iPhone.

Apple isn't a cell phone provider, they are a hardware and software company, all they want is to sell iPhones, the revenue they get from AT&T, O2, Orange, T-Mobile is bonus (really ****ty for the providers though) Hell if I were Apple I'd be secretly helping unlock iPhones, they well just end up making a hell of a lot more with them unlocked then they would with them locked. The only one who really loses are the providers.

Apple is just covering its own ass incase the updates messes up the iPhones, that way they don't get flooded with people wanting new ones, they are basically just saying if you unlocked your iPhone, your on ur own, and they are telling people this before the new update because they don't know if it will break them. It likely will break it, but it won't make them a paperweight.

The iPod Touch is far more secure than the iPhone, its likely that the iPhone update is going to change its security to that of the iPod Touch.

What benefit is it to apple that people can unlock the iphone?

Locked iPhone means Apple gets sale from iPhone plus lots of revenue from Provider
Unlocked iPhone means Apple gets sale from iPhone ONLY.

Think of it this way, it was APPLE that wanted the exclusivity with providers, it was APPLE that wanted 40% of their earnnigs. If Apple WANTED Unlocked phones, they'd have SOLD them like every other phone manufacturer out there.