Apple has posted a statement that “many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs cause irreparable damage to the iPhone software.”
Ian Betteridge writes:
No, wait, it’s software. It’s code. By definition, “damage” to software can be undone, which is why it’s “soft” rather than “hard”. You might end up with it having to be restored to its factory state, but that’s not “irreparable”, is it? And yes, even if it’s “firmware” it’s re-flashable. That’s why it’s “firm” – it’s held in hardware, but can be re-flashed.
Either Apple doesn’t know the difference between software and hardware, or its definition of “irreparable” simply means “we’re not going to do it for you, buster”, which isn’t exactly the dictionary definition. I can’t fix a broken window, but that doesn’t mean it’s “irreparable” and I should just sit here with a draft blowing through the house for the rest of time.
I explained this to a friend.
As I understand it, there’s two types of software used in the iPhone.
There’s the System, which is the operating system and applications.
There’s the Firmware, which is the underlying software which lets the System talk to the Hardware.
iPhone update 1.1.1 does a clean install of your iPhone so it doesn’t “remove third party software” as much as it wipes the device clean to start again. It’s a System update. It doesn’t touch the Firmware.
If you add third party apps, then these will be wiped. You hacked the System.
If, however, you have modified your iPhone to, for example, remove yourself from the clutches of AT&T, then you have hacked the Firmware and hacked the System.
If you apply the iPhone update then there’s a mismatch between your hacked Firmware and your unhacked System and voilÃ¡, you have an iBrick.
Now it’s fair to say that Apple did warn people not to do this. It would also be fair for Apple to figure out a Restore for the iPhone and charge for it. That said, the number of people out there who want others to pay for their stupidity is astounding. I’ve seen the most ridiculous attempts to get accidental damage or neglect covered under warranty.
You didn’t spill anything on this laptop? Then why does it smell of coffee and have fungus growing inside it?
You didn’t damage this iPod? That big dent in the back came from where?
Removing all traces of the sticker that says “Breaking the seal wil void your warranty” does not actually mean your warranty is intact.
Bringing me a cardboard box full of rubble and telling me it’s a Macbook Pro and I should cover the warranty because you decided to dismantle it in a fit of pique is not going to wash.
Apple didnâ€™t kill or damage a single unlocked iPhone. They released a new software update which iPhone users had to agree to install, which could only be done after acknowledging a very strongly-worded warning stating that the update might render unlocked iPhones inoperable. The 1.1.1 update is not mandatory. Unlocked iPhones running the 1.0.2 software work as well today as they did a week ago.