Hackers claim to revive 'bricked' iPhones

Apple seems to be facing the same problem Microsoft faces with WGA, and console makers everywhere for that matter. In a tug of war for which the hackers just won the last round, Apple Incorporated finds itself with a useless two-week-old firmware update that stopped iPhones not on the AT&T network from functioning.

The iPhoneSIMFree, a commercial venture that was the first to publish a point-and-click unlock hack last month, has announced Version 1.6 of its software, and claimed that it could bring any bricked iPhone back to life. The iPhoneSIMFree hack is sold through a network of online resellers for between $60 and $99. On the other hand, The iPhone Dev Team urged owners of bricked iPhones to sit tight and not to dish out a dime because "Free unlock of 1.1.1 is coming soon." It's unclear how permanent any "unbrick" fix will be, or whether changes to the hacks that allow modifications will survive the next iPhone update from Apple.

News source: ComputerWorld

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21 Comments

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The Gunslinger said,

Hey Stevey! Leave them hacks alone...

If you don't beat your meat.. you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding, if you don't beat your meat!?

RAID 0 said,

If you don't beat your meat.. you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding, if you don't beat your meat!?


"Hey you, out there on your own
Sitting naked by your iPhone
Would you touch me?"

Neither in this situation are "in the right" per-se. Apple being the creator should never smother a product or in a way what we like to call "lock down". They should know this from from previous knowledge with things such as audio format wars and what ipod could play etc. People like choice, creativity and openness. It shouldn't be the job of hackers to bring this to people. Hackers shouldn't be needed to damage the good you paid for to have what respectively should have been there in the first place. Neither are right in their current actions but as always, the root of the problem falls in apple hands.

Had they sold the iPhone like an iPod open or "unlocked" to being used globally on any carrier supporting the technology and open the software to freely develop on, they would have created another boom in the portable industry like they have with the iPod. So really Hackers shouldn't need to do this. Apple have or are shot/shooting them selfs in the foot with these decisions and course of action business wise, really. It's only going to get worse until they decide to make it better so the ball is really in Apples court till they start truly listening to what their customers want, I can almost say it definitely wasn't to have a phone locked to a carrier no matter how unique it was. Customers should never be treated like blood diamond miners.

the iphone is not even AT&T exclusive anymore.
many europe carrier will start getting it after nov 9th.
and also after the contract is done the carrier have the obligation to unlock the phone for you.
unlocking is legal in all ways.
too bad i am getting a n95 8gb mp3 ringtones free, real smartphone, unlocked and with 5mpx autofocus camera

Joseph21 said,
the iphone is not even AT&T exclusive anymore.
many europe carrier will start getting it after nov 9th.
and also after the contract is done the carrier have the obligation to unlock the phone for you.
unlocking is legal in all ways.
too bad i am getting a n95 8gb mp3 ringtones free, real smartphone, unlocked and with 5mpx autofocus camera ;)

Keyword, Europe.

If people want to keep their hacks then they should hold off on updating when apple releases the next update for the iphone/ipod touch, until its confirmed that it does not brick the phone, or a fix is available if it does brick it.

I get worried when articles like this suggest Apple bricked phones on purpose. It may be true they did, but it may also be true it was a painful side effect of closing various software holes found in release 1.0...you know, the exploits used to unlock the iphone could also be show stoppers for legit usage, or holes for other phone-specific viruses to attack.

No, they said they did it on purpose and of course they did - AT&T is losing customers and Apple gets money for every AT&T iPhone customer. That's not to say that various software holes and security holes weren't closed.

Slimy said,
No, they said they did it on purpose and of course they did - AT&T is losing customers and Apple gets money for every AT&T iPhone customer. That's not to say that various software holes and security holes weren't closed.

They warned that it might, and since they had access to the same hacks the rest of the world its safe to say they tested the firmware themselves. Telling the world prior was to stave off the vast bulk of backlash.

Besides, how dare they make customers stick to a contract?

seamer said,

They warned that it might, and since they had access to the same hacks the rest of the world its safe to say they tested the firmware themselves. Telling the world prior was to stave off the vast bulk of backlash.

Besides, how dare they make customers stick to a contract?


I think we're misunderstanding each other's points. I'm not saying that Apple doesn't have a right to brick the iPhones, I'm just responding to your comment that said they might not have done it on purpose. I belive they did, and they had a right to.

seamer said,
They warned that it might, and since they had access to the same hacks the rest of the world its safe to say they tested the firmware themselves. Telling the world prior was to stave off the vast bulk of backlash.

Besides, how dare they make customers stick to a contract?


They failed to avoid the bulk of backlash.

And sorry to see you're brainwashed by the way cell phone companies operate. Locked phones should be illegal. They do not benefit the customer in any way.

ciaran00 said,

Locked phones should be illegal. They do not benefit the customer in any way.

Of course they don't, but Apple did not do anything tricky, it's up to them how to sell their product.
*Poll added

Slimy said,
it's up to them how to sell their product.

Not in the US. It's specifically legal for people to unlock their phones. Apple doesn't sell them with contract, only by stipulating they work on AT&T only.

Technically this is only in AT&T's best interests, because lets face it, if you go through the hassle of unlocking your iPhone (to use on T-Mobile), you would have never been an AT&T customer anyway. Apple gets a "cut of the action", but they'd rather have a hardware sale they might not otherwise see. It seems pretty safe to assume 99.9% of the unlockers have no interest in ever signing up for AT&T.

I'm actually curious if a DMCA suit could be brought against Apple. Is expressly legal to unlock phones, their firmware changes could be ruled an attempt to "hack" the device and thus covered by the semi-standard stipulations noted in the law.

What they really should do is build a standardized function to unlock the phone. Just like with my Moto K1, if I insert another SIM it immediately asks for the unlock code. The iPhone should do the same. Apple and AT&T just aren't obligated to provide the codes. In that regard, if someone is able to acquire the code for their handset, there would never be any chance that a firmware update could brick the phone. Worst case, you need to re-enter your code.

Schmoe said,

Not in the US. It's specifically legal for people to unlock their phones. Apple doesn't sell them with contract, only by stipulating they work on AT&T only.

Hmm, didn't know that, that's interesting and changes quite a lot!

The overall point is noone forced iphone users to buy the phone, they chose to. They knew the limitations beforehand, and thus cannot cry about being locked to a single carrier.

If an artist sells you a canvas with a classic painting on it with the stipulation it stays that painting for 100 years, and you paint over it with your own design anyway, what gives you the right to whine when the painter comes back and repaints it the way its meant to be?

And you peasants that want to claim I'm being a fanboi, try again. I believe in the best tool for the job at hand. That means ipod for music and an XP machine as a desktop. I dont own a phone, and my intel imac lives as a Windows machine, not osx. Suck it.

Schmoe said,

Not in the US. It's specifically legal for people to unlock their phones. Apple doesn't sell them with contract, only by stipulating they work on AT&T only.

Technically this is only in AT&T's best interests, because lets face it, if you go through the hassle of unlocking your iPhone (to use on T-Mobile), you would have never been an AT&T customer anyway. Apple gets a "cut of the action", but they'd rather have a hardware sale they might not otherwise see.

This isn't true. Although Apple is going to make a tidy sum from the sale of the iPhone, they're going to make even more from the contract, plus a regular income is much better for companies than occasional lump incomes.
This isn't unheard of, Printer manufacturers frequently sell their printers at cost because people will have to keep buying the ink. Of course, those printer manufacturers don't prevent you from using cheap 3rd party ink cartridges.

Kushan said,
This isn't true. Although Apple is going to make a tidy sum from the sale of the iPhone, they're going to make even more from the contract, plus a regular income is much better for companies than occasional lump incomes.

I never suggested otherwise. I merely said, between the choice of no iPhone, and an iPhone sale for a T-Mobile customer, it would be in Apple's best interests to sell the hardware sans ongoing revenue (only AT&T really benefits from the overzealous locking). It seems a safe assumption that most everyone unlocking their iPhone is probably doing so because they refuse to use AT&T.