Apple today released the following statement:

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entong

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Sep 21, 2007
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#1
CUPERTINO, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed. Apple plans to release the next iPhone software update, containing many new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store (www.iTunes.com), later this week. Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone voilate 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.

source:http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070924/aqm208.html?.v=5
 

Youngbinks

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Jun 4, 2007
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#3
This is really rather unfortunate for someone that bought their iPhone unlocked on ebay and has no idea that their iPhone could be potentially bricked. I'm interested to see what happens with the next update...whenever that may be.
 

SmartAlx

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Jun 7, 2007
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#4
This tastes like a freaking lie: Apple discovered that unlocking software permanently damages iPhone software. If Apple knowingly and purposely bricks iPhones that were not damaged as they claim, then they are breaking the law. They are required to allow us to unlock our cellphones.
 

coop1701

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Jun 30, 2007
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#5
This tastes like a freaking lie: Apple discovered that unlocking software permanently damages iPhone software. If Apple knowingly and purposely bricks iPhones that were not damaged as they claim, then they are breaking the law. They are required to allow us to unlock our cellphones.

Actually they're not....
 

OJsakila

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Jul 15, 2007
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#6
hmm... You guys with unlocked phones are in trouble. I sure am glad I didn't try to be slick and screw over att and Apple.

On the other hand, I don't see how it could permantly disable the iPhone's software... It is only a computer and I'm sure someone will figure it out.
 

nobbie

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Jul 23, 2007
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#7
As Found In Today's Los Angeles Times

Frankly, it's just Apple posturing for future partners. It's in Apple's best interests if the iPhone becomes more useful to us consumers. They (Apple) jsut can't condone unlocking because AT&T would have a conniption. As would any other company Apple approaches for a deal. Think about it. They're not going to brick unlocked phones. That would be cutting off the nose.

Apple warns against hacking into iPhones

The company says programs that enable the device to work with providers other than AT&T are damaging the handsets.

By Michelle Quinn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 25, 2007


SAN FRANCISCO — Apple Inc. issued a warning Monday to iPhone customers who have found ways to uncouple Apple's device from the AT&T Inc. wireless service: If your iPhone breaks, don't come crying to us.

Apple said many of the unauthorized software programs used to "unlock" iPhones from AT&T were damaging the devices. The Cupertino, Calif., company warned that updated software it periodically sent out might not work with phones that had been unlocked -- and could render the iPhones unusable.

Hacking the iPhone is a voilation of customers' software license agreement and not covered under the warranty, Apple reiterated.

The warnings came in response to a slew of underground efforts to let the iPhone, which combines an iPod, Web browsing device and cellphone, work with wireless networks other than AT&T.

Since Apple began selling the iPhone in June, some customers have complained that they want the freedom to choose their cellular carrier.

In August, a teenager in New Jersey gained notoriety for unlocking the iPhone and using it with T-Mobile. But his solution took many hours and involved a soldering iron.

Then in early September, iPhone hackers began to sell software that accomplished the same thing. Some unlocked iPhones sell online for $1,000.

Despite Apple's warning, iPhone customers don't have to accept any updated software from the company. Some hackers say they have ready software-based responses to any attempt by Apple to relock the modified phones.

At a news conference in London last week, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs described the efforts to unlock the iPhone as a "constant cat and mouse game we play," similar to the company's effort to stop hackers from stripping copyright protection from the music it sold on iTunes.

Some Apple observers called the company's warning over unlocked iPhones a soft enforcement approach that stopped short of more serious measures such as lawsuits.

"Apple is in a tricky spot," said Columbia University law professor Tim Wu. "It's in their interest for people to unlock iPhones. It makes the phone more useful. But if Apple is seen encouraging that activity, who would want to do an exclusive deal with them again?"

iPhone unlock kits are selling for $59 at Mostofmymac.com, an online compendium of products and services for Apple businesss users. A site representative said his firm had sold several hundred iPhone unlocking licenses since Sept. 10.

It has warned customers that Apple will probably void their warranties if it detects that they used the software.

"The question is whether people care," said the man, who would identify himself only as "Mac Thinker" because he said he was unsure whether selling the software was legal. "They want the phone."

Jobs created a furor this month when he cut the price of the iPhone by $200 just two months after launching the product, angering people who had paid full price.

In response to the outcry, the company said it would give $100 in store credit to iPhone customers. Several days later, Apple reported that it had already sold 1 million iPhones and was on track to sell 10 million phones before the end of 2008.

Apple's shares reached a new high Monday, gaining $4.13, or 2.9%, to $148.28. The shares were boosted by a Citi Investment Research report that predicted higher-than-expected sales of Macintosh computers and a surge in iPhone purchases.
 

webb

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Jul 19, 2007
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#8
Oh well.

Well, its no bloody secret that an unlocked iPhone voilates the user agreement from Apple/att. Who's the brain surgeon that figured this out?

And heres the big surprise.....are you ready?

When your unlocked iPhone becomes useless...apple will do nothing to help you. You voilated the agreement/terms of use that you agreed to. Apple owes you nothing. Don't expect a refund. And don't use the price drop incident as a basis ("But Apple gave everyone $100 credit!....What about me? Now I have no phone!").

I have kept my phone a virgin. Not that I wouldn't love to have some of those third party apps installed but I am not going to risk bricking my phone. Even if I did install some of them, and the phone bricked I could afford to buy a brand new one but thats not the point.

FW

PS - You wanted the phone before you knew all these 3rd party apps existed...just be patient. It's only a matter of time before Apple sanctions them and puts them on the phone.
 

Spin This!

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May 4, 2007
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#9
I have kept my phone a virgin. Not that I wouldn't love to have some of those third party apps installed but I am not going to risk bricking my phone
The unlock software actually modifies the modem's baseband firmware—so you're really modifying the hardware in this case—but you can easily remove 3rd party applications via restore. I haven't heard of anyone actually bricking their iPhone installing just 3rd party applications.

If you haven't tried 3rd party applications, now might be the time... I'd guessing Apple's newest software will break "jailbreaking" and use much the same methods of restore as the iPod Touch.
 

brinox

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Actually they're not....

care to back your statement up?

it is my understanding that we as consumers in the US are allowed to unlock our phones without reprimand from those we bought our phone from, and those which carry support with.
 

petalmom

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care to back your statement up?

it is my understanding that we as consumers in the US are allowed to unlock our phones without reprimand from those we bought our phone from, and those which carry support with.
Care to back up yours? I've been curious about this for some time. Can you provide a link to this so called "law" or provide any details about it?
 

Spin This!

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After doing a little research on the DMCA and the ruling in November about repealing some its restrictions, the best "nutshell" I found was this article:

Whether this [phone unlocking] was even legal to do so was a gray area until a ruling by the U.S. Copyright Office last November. That decision made it legal for cell phone users to break the software "lock" placed on their phones and move them from one carrier to another.

But it doesn't prevent a cellular company from locking phones, as in Apple and AT&T's case, nor does it require them to unlock it for you...
So there you go. What the hackers/unlockers are doing isn't illegal but it does void any warranty they had in the first place.
 

Prelector

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Sep 6, 2007
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#13
Care to back up yours? I've been curious about this for some time. Can you provide a link to this so called "law" or provide any details about it?
If you'd been curious, a simple google search (cell phone unlock legal) would have turned up a plethora of hits directly on topic.

I'll point you to the Nov 27th, 2006 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 227 list of exemptions.

It provides for an exemption to the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) for cell phones when the sole purpose is to legally switch to another carrier.

Technically, however, the legalily of any "relock" actions has yet to be tested in court. Also, while the exemption allows for the legal unlocking of the phone, neither the manufacturer nor the carrier are required to provide said unlocking services, nor to facilitate them. It's any actions to PROHIBIT this unlocking that hasn't been tested yet. I suspect we'll see this tested very shortly in a suit against Apple and ATT though :p
 

Prelector

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#14
...but it does void any warranty they had in the first place.
Technically, this isn't true either... Black letter law shows that voiding a warranty for after market work/changes does NOT automatically void a warranty, unless that after market work can be shown to have substantially caused the damage in question.

This means that if you mod your phone, Apple has to prove that your mod caused the damage you're trying to get fixed under warranty. Regardless of whatever you might have signed or agreed to.
 

Tinman

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Jul 16, 2007
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#15
PS - You wanted the phone before you knew all these 3rd party apps existed...just be patient. It's only a matter of time before Apple sanctions them and puts them on the phone.
You owe me a keyboard after that laugh.

Lemme see, did the update that added the ability to upload photos for iLife '08 mean more sales of iLife '08 and .Mac accounts? Check.

Did the update that offered ringtones via iTunes mean more revenue for Apple? Check.

Will the update that will offer the WiFi iTunes store mean more revenue for Apple? Check.

Spotting a trend yet? Good. All I see Apple doing is adding stuff to generate them more revenue.

Meanwhile...

Does Safari still crash? Check.

Do we still not have something as basic as copy and paste? Check.

Do we still not have MMS? Check.

Do we still not have Flash? Check.

And they, apparently, aren't gonna show up with the next update either. I said I would wait till the first "major" software update before getting irked over the lack of updates. Well it looks like that update won't do much at all, except put an ATM machine in my iPhone for Apple.

BUT WAIT!

3rd-party apps have in some ways lessened the fact that Apple hasn't updated any of their apps. Yet now it looks like those same 3rd party apps might be taken away if I update my iPhone, and if the update is anything like the Touch they could be taken away for a long time. yes, that would make me a really happy puppy.


--
Mike
 

el31415

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Jul 15, 2007
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#16
hmm... You guys with unlocked phones are in trouble. I sure am glad I didn't try to be slick and screw over att and Apple.

On the other hand, I don't see how it could permantly disable the iPhone's software... It is only a computer and I'm sure someone will figure it out.
Screw ATT and Apple
That's ATT and Apple that are screwing us
you forget that you paid FULL price for the iPhone
I will understand if it was one of those discounted or free phone to keep you locked in the 2 years contract

Apple discovered that unlocking software permanently damages Apple deep pocket .

Anyway I trust more the Dev team than Apple
and I can almost guarantee you that they (Dev Team) will come with a fix
and don't care less about those so called useless update
Itune Store

class action were are you when we need you !
 

doron

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Apr 17, 2007
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#17
CUPERTINO, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed. Apple plans to release the next iPhone software update, containing many new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store (www.iTunes.com), later this week. Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone voilate 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.

source:http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070924/aqm208.html?.v=5

woooh!:eek:...man i just tried to do that last night and for the grace of God it didn't go through...in fact i had to restore my phone...man i'ma just stay away from the hackn stuff man...word...if Apple aint authorize it, then i aint authorizn it on my phone...word
 

Silverado

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#18
All the talk about Apple intentionally bricking unlocked phones is pure bologna. Apple is simply protecting itself in case some modded phones get damaged. I am sure that a simple restore before updating will do the trick.

It's funny how Apple fans are far more upset and vindictive than Apple itself :) It's like they're saying "na nana nana... you disobeyed mom and bad things are gonna happen to you!" :laugh2: My advice: grow up a bit.
 

Tinman

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Jul 16, 2007
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#19
All the talk about Apple intentionally bricking unlocked phones is pure bologna. Apple is simply protecting itself in case some modded phones get damaged. I am sure that a simple restore before updating will do the trick.

It's funny how Apple fans are far more upset and vindictive than Apple itself :) It's like they're saying "na nana nana... you disobeyed mom and bad things are gonna happen to you!" :laugh2: My advice: grow up a bit.
Although I haven't seen too much of that sentiment here at EIP, I have seen it elsewhere. I don't understand it, as my modded iPhone has no effect on someone elses.

As for Apple intentionally bricking phones, no, I don't think they would try and do that. But I also don't expect them to work around unlock software (in the baseband, which is not returned to OEM condition after a restore). So it's possible that an update, not expecting the baseband to ever be touched, could mess up unlocked phones.

Obviously we can restore to remove any mods or 3rd party apps before updating. However, I would not be surprised if Apple locked out--like the iPod Touch--or made it significantly more difficult to, mod or use 3rd party apps. If this turns out to be true I might be looking for a different phone in the near future. The Apple I thought I was buying into was the one who rallied against Big Brother--not the one who has become Big Brother. :cool:


--
Mike
 

petalmom

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#20
If you'd been curious, a simple google search (cell phone unlock legal) would have turned up a plethora of hits directly on topic.

I'll point you to the Nov 27th, 2006 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 227 list of exemptions.

It provides for an exemption to the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) for cell phones when the sole purpose is to legally switch to another carrier.

Technically, however, the legalily of any "relock" actions has yet to be tested in court. Also, while the exemption allows for the legal unlocking of the phone, neither the manufacturer nor the carrier are required to provide said unlocking services, nor to facilitate them. It's any actions to PROHIBIT this unlocking that hasn't been tested yet. I suspect we'll see this tested very shortly in a suit against Apple and ATT though :p
I actually have done a limited amount of research but not being a lawyer (thankfully, ha!) I seem to find conflicting information. Sort of like reading these forums :)