back to article Apple reminds customers who's boss

Apple has issued a notice that unlocked iPhones could suffer permanent damage when they update the firmware, and reminded customers that such damage is not covered by the warranty. The process of unlocking an iPhone is complicated, and involves code running at a pretty low level in the OS. Users may feel confident that they …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "One Apple fan"

    So other than providing a cheap laugh, why paraphrase what that guy said?

    I mean it's hardly very representative and personally, I would rather read what someone within the industry thought, rather than what one Internet loony thought. Of course for the former, you actually need contacts....

  2. Dam

    Apple reversing? So what?

    "The assumption amongst many iPhone buyers seems to be that no matter what Apple does, the hackers will make everything work. The faith in techno-anarchism is touching, but may be misplaced if Apple just reverses everything with each update."

    Oh is it misplaced?

    Author, I suggest you read up on the PSP scene and witness how Sony is failing to secure the PSP firmware.

    An universal downgrader is even due any day from now, which will even work with future updates as long as Sony doesn't deeply tweak the hardware...

    And Sony did reverse what tools the "hackers" used.

    PS: DAX, I love you in a hetero way.

  3. Micha Roon

    Why can't they do it right?

    If Apple had released the Mac OS to PCs in the early 90s, we'd have more than one OS to choose from for our PCs.

    If they had allowed competition when they tried it in the 90s, we'd have all sorts of Mac designs to choose from.

    If they would sell the iPhone unlocked to third party software we'd have a beautyfull platform to develop mobile applications for.

    My point is that if they had done what the market wants to buy, they'd be in a much better position right now. Even though they are doing great.

    Competition is good. I take as proof the sorry state of the Windows OS.

    And by the way, they should have built OS X on top of BeOS not BSD

  4. Daniel Bennett

    Apple have plans

    Basically their plan is, or so it seems, that they will update firmware which will break the unlock code - but most probably also break your phone turning it into a doorstop.

    We will see I guess... though I don't think they will win.

    Cracked firmwares for Sony PSP are around, so could we see crack firmwares of the iphone if need be? Most probably yes.

  5. gareth

    comments on comments


    don't forget xbox softmods MS even started putting copys of the software on game disks so it would overright softmods but even that was thwarted

    @Micha Roon

    you do have other OS options modern linux os's are perfectly usuable in most environments bar gaming and even that is improving, ive yet to be able to find a free ap that does everything i would have to pay for under ms

    apple fanboys should be used to having to deal with only what apple allows thats always how it has been

    if you want a truly good phone thats open with many more feature than the iphone and no network lock in wait for the openmoko neo due out in october

  6. Alex


    I wonder if the iPhone has any e-fuses in it ala Xbox360, just remember folks even though you have paid for the device, you use it regularly and the manufacturer only has limited reponsibilitys they are still allowed to break it should you not use it how they instruct you to!

    all very strange!

  7. Mo

    Re: Why can't they do it right?

    Apple's most unprofitable unsuccessful point is when they licensed the Mac OS to third parties, prior to bringing back Jobs.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple's "We know better than you do what you need"

    Apple seem to assume that all customers in the UK want to move to o2. Some, like me will have left o2 due to local coverage issues in o2's network or pi55 poor customer service (or both) in favour of rival operators. It would be interesting to know whether Apple give mobiles on o2 to their own staff in the UK or whether they have elected to retain the same choice of network they are now denying everyone else.

    The net result of this is that for people like me, Apple's decision to only supply phones on o2 simply means they are losing potential customers as well as generating bad-will towards their ill-conceived 'one size fits all' approach.

    I've enthusiastically used and recommended Apple products for about 6 years now - and have persuaded most of my friends / family to buy from Apple after they've had the chance to use my iPods and Mac Laptops.

    Not only will I not switch to o2 just to get an iPhone on some lameass talkplan that costs 3 times as much as the standard o2 plans and also can't be used in many of the places I go - I'll also be revising my previously favourable statements on Apple's customer focus with a catch all "They are now as bad as the rest".

  9. Ned Fowden

    does it really matter that much

    i mean really, does anyone honestly believe that this item will sell a fraction as many units as the hype suggests

    the arguments seen here are nothing more than the usually Apple goading rhetoric seen everyday.

    the simple fact is that the mobile market is too big for Apple to make any significant impact other than having a loud voice from marketing.

    the price and limitations of this phone will ensure that it is forever trailing the £50 phones that 99.9% of the market is actually using.

    the iphone is nothing more than a toy that would be best sold on IWOOT

  10. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)


    Whatever firmware updates, there's a distinct possibility some clever folk will work out how to unlock the phone afterward. It was always going to be the case that new firmware updates would re-lock the handset - that's been known since day one. The issue now is Apple's claim that applying an update will 'damage' the iPhone.

    Most updates are voluntary - you don't have to apply them. As such, there's no reason why an unlocked iPhone can't stay unlocked - just don't apply Firmware 1.1.1, or whatever.

    Or you relock the phone, update then apply the new unlock process once it's been worked out.

    The flaw here is the imposition of the firmware update. Can, or would, Apple force users to update their firmware?

    It's important not to get paranoid. Are there e-fuses in there? Is there some sort of timebomb in the software with a clock that can only be reset by regular firmware updates? Personally, I doubt it, but you never know.

    Bricking is always a risk with third-party modifications. If you can't risk losing your $400, don't apply the unlocking code.

  11. t3h

    Openmoko? Read this...

    >if you want a truly good phone thats open with many more feature than the iphone

    >and no network lock in wait for the openmoko neo due out in october

    Read this:

    Points of note:

    "OpenMoko therefore isn't a new “open phone,” it’s merely a version of Linux designed to run on a specific vendor's proprietary implementation of Windows Mobile. Buying an FIC phone to run OpenMoko is like buying a Dell Windows PC to run Linux. You're not changing the world, you're merely funding development of Microsoft's platform while giving yourself the opportunity to work with community software."

    "In contrast, Apple delivered the iPhone at the promised date, price, and feature set it advertised in January. The Neo1973 is 160% of the thickness of the iPhone and 136% of its weight. The iPhone has twice the system RAM, but more importantly has 4 or 8 GB or Flash, compared to the quarter GB of Flash in FIC's phone. Since the Neo1973 uses all its system RAM to run Linux, it has to run additional apps from separate Flash cards."

    "The FIC phone has no support for EDGE, so users will only have the much slower GPRS for data. All of the crying over the iPhone's lack of support for 3G data service will look like a party compared to the reaction of users to the glacial GPRS data service on the Neo1973. The existing model also lacks WiFi support, although it is promised to appear in a later hardware revision. The FIC phone also lacks a camera of any kind."

    " The FIC phone also uses a mobile mini-port audio jack rather than a standard audio headphone port, and uses USB 1.1 for syncing, ensuring that data sync and file transfers are as painfully slow as the 2001 Nomad audio players that were blown away by the speed of Apple's first generation of Firewire iPods. The iPhone uses USB 2.0, which is forty times faster than USB 1.1."

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Why can't they do it right?

    "If they had allowed competition when they tried it in the 90s, we'd have all sorts of Mac designs to choose from."

    A major reason why Apple stopped licensing to clone manufacturers, was that it was losing money hand over fist at the time. Although it received licensing fees from these manufacturers, Apple was losing significant sales to them - the clones often had better performance for less cost.

    Another major reason, was that this licensing didn't have the result that was intended - i.e. increase Apple's market share/user base.

    BTW it's been claimed Jobs attempted to renegotiate the licensing contracts so that they made more business sense for Apple - no agreement could be reached, so end of the clones.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    02 ... Oh dear.

    Who in their right mind would voluntarily switch to O2 (who are the reincarnation of BT Cellnet after they went from being quite a decent provider to being a complete nightmare)? Are people not aware that this company offers their shoddy support(*) mostly online - with a 50p per minute backup support line if you can't solve your problem in their FAQs or an ignored e-ticket ... This is the company who Apple 'got married' to for the rollout of an unproven new-tech gadget. Nice one Steve-o.


    I should OI! Apple! NAaaaaaaooooo!


    (*) Just do a quick search for the complaint forums, you'll see what I mean...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An Apple Fan

    Oooooh so many points, head will explode.

    Seriously, I like apple kit, I am too lazy for linux (and capitials), however I am not a fanboy.

    I am unsure if apple screwed up the licnessing of the OS last time around, or if they screwed it, remember apple makes money on hardware too. Thing is, as I see it anyway, the apple hardware is of a high quality than your average PC. So apple is stuck, do we sell OSX and lose hardware sales and possible the image of Brand Apple, and have to support all those different manufactors or do they stay "niche"? Oh I agree they should have used BeOS, but then mr Job[s/bie] wouldnt have returned, you can argue if that is a good or bad thing, I dont care.

    The iPhone, a phone product that only works for two classes of people the mac fanboy/zealot and those in a country that dosnt have a massive 3G mobile network.

    Which brings us to why on earth O2 are offering it (to get the macboy pound).

    The shafting of the UK public, "Macs are more expensive here (UK) then else where due to the cost of doing business here" I dont think so! It will be interesting to know if O2 will be offering the iPhone at full price, AND charging a monthly line rental, further ripping off the macboy.

    Seems that all the major players are trying to make hardware like software in that it is licensed! I can understand a warrenty being void if you take something apart, but if a company dilibrately does something to damage something that belongs to you, isint it criminal damage?

    Reguardless of if you have modified the item in question, thats like Henry Ford going around ramming every model-T that wasnt black because somebody else figured out how to paint them.

    Rant over, back to work.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can have all that you want

    If you want a useful device, with push email, multi-carrier support, security galore, open platform to develop your own apps including all the security that you could want, you can get that all right now.

    The development tools are free and the currently installed base is over 6M devices. It supports multiple email servers and can even manage more than one mailbox.

    They are inexpensive, $50 - $600 depending on which model you buy, that's right, there is more than one. The manufacturer doesn't tell you how to use it or send veiled threats that if you mess with it, it might break, permanently.

    It's called a BlackBerry. Check it out...


  16. Steve Todd

    "Why can't they do it right?"

    @Micha Roon

    "If Apple had released the Mac OS to PCs in the early 90s, we'd have more than one OS to choose from for our PCs."

    Until OS X the Mac ran non-portable code (initialy 68K, then PowerPC). It would have been a major engineering effort to make it work on Intel at that point, and when Apple did try licensing to thrid party (PowerPC) manufacturers it was a disaster.

    "If they had allowed competition when they tried it in the 90s, we'd have all sorts of Mac designs to choose from."

    see above. They tried it, it didn't work out.

    "If they would sell the iPhone unlocked to third party software we'd have a beautyfull platform to develop mobile applications for."

    but they probably wouldn't be able to get it through FCC approval. The iPod Touch IS unlocked, because they don't need approval for that.

    "My point is that if they had done what the market wants to buy, they'd be in a much better position right now. Even though they are doing great."

    They appear to be doing what the market wants, which doesn't always equate to what techies want.

    "Competition is good. I take as proof the sorry state of the Windows OS."

    MS do seem to need a kick up the backside, but the problem is how do you get any other OS up to critical mass? People buy software not opperating systems. A PC + OS is just something that runs the software that they want (be it games, graphics, office or whatever). Developers write software to make money (mostly), so they write for the platform that has the most users, or at least enough users to make it worth while. With 90%+ of the market Windows is the obvious first choice.

    "And by the way, they should have built OS X on top of BeOS not BSD"

    They looked at BeOS, but NeXTSTEP interface on BSD beat it. BeOS was even more propriatry than OS X BTW.

  17. Peter Mc Aulay

    So what if they try to "secure" the firmware.

    It's software. All software can be cracked. Always.

  18. mahoney

    iPhones are like fat chicks

    Would an iPhone really be worth all the time/effort/money it took to unlock it? You're probably just setting yourself up for disappointment

    Sort of like when you first realize that your fat girlfriend doesn't ACTUALLY have a pretty face after she loses all the weight.

  19. adrian

    Apple iPhone

    I am an apple owner and fan for life.You can offer me 10billion dollars to use a microsoft runned computer and I will turn you down,for real.About the iPhone a lot of talk for nothing it is the greatest cell phone ever period.It is not perfect but I can't just wait for the next one to buy it.I dropped verizon after 10 years because of the iphone cancelled 2 cell phones paid the early termination fees,switched my landline also to att and I am beyond happy and I will never switch back.Do not underestimate the power of an apple even is missing a bite ....:) lol

    Verizon had the first choice and they said no :?How stupid arrogant and looser you can be ?Their lose is in zillioons and it is all because of an iPhone.Apple keep up the good work.I will always buy apples ...:)You can count on me for as long as I am on this planet.


  20. gareth



    i never said open moko was a phone i said the openmoko neo was a new phone and has been developed specifically for the openmoko platform and they are only developer versions avaliable at present i.e. so people who want to make software for the final release version can do so ahead of release

    it may be built on the same hardware as windows mobile smartphones but question how many people produce arm processors oh wait thats right intel

    so what if the usb port doubles as the audio port its such an inconeviance when the headphones it comes with are actually good and just like with other phones that use this making a converter is childs play

    with the current dirt cheap flash memory what a 4gb microsd card is like £40 the neo will cost half of what the iphone will soyou still make an apsolute killing

    what if the iphone has more ram it needs it run the bloated osx open moko is also running queit well on several smartphones try to find out about that

    so what if it uses usb1.1 for syncing only an idiot transfers large amounts of data to a card inside a phone anyone with sence would put it in a card reader im sure a few mbs of data on the phone (numbers emails etc) will take all of about oh 2 secs to transfer at 11mbps oh no its so slow dam why waste battery supporting usb2 when there is no reason to do it as the storage people will be using will be removable

    oh no it only hs gprs running at 80kbps because i want to watch video on a screen the size of a postage stamp oh no wait i don't thats what my pc is for

    and wait does the iphone have gps no the neo1973 can even replace you tomtom

    the person who wrote that article you posted is so ill informed its unbeleivable and he is comparing a developer edition with a full phone

    as for his idea that you have to rely on the community to secure the phone i will mention the rio empeg as an example of how long it will be supported (the empeg was made 10 years ago got shut down and the dev team are still release upgrades)

    as for his comments about oem vendors selling linux i think he needs to do a bit more research as last count dell sell linux pc's, hp do if you ask them and are looking at selling redhat pcs as standard oems. he is obviously an ill informed mac fanboy who needs to get off his high horse

  21. Stu


    This is utterly ridiculous,

    What would happen if Nokia stated that their whole phone range will only run on one network in every country (Orange in France, O2 in Britain, AT&T in the states etc)? ANY failure to abide by this nazi-ism tactic will result in the phone self destructing.

    They'd be laughed out of the industry.

    Its ESPECIALLY ridiculous because they're charging £900 all in for 18 months in the UK.

    And its extra specially ridiculous because it doesn't even support 3G (yet??).

    Its a strange PR move I think - on the one hand Apple have made a PR disaster (those in the know about its true cost and capabilities and can appreciate the effectiveness of custom firmware in reducing that cost), and on the other they've frightened the less informed into not going down the path of custom firmware or hacking, threatening them into paying out the full £900 and sticking to Apples master plan.

    Nice one Apple - burn in hell.

    This makes me appreciate platform hackers and custom firmware authors all the more, case in point - the Sony PSP.

    P.S. We should only ever use its all-in price of 900 because thats what it really is people! There is no cheaper option other than hacking it.

    If I had my way they'd be forced into advertising this price in huge bold letters (£900 not £269) everywhere it sold in the same way that Ferrari or Bugatti price their cars (running costs aside - because it doesnt cost 2x the price of the car to refuel it for 18 months, why should the iPhones tariff cost 2x more? They can 'at the bare minimum' put that price up front).

    More often I see these companies try to work their way up to the Ferrari prestige factor without having that prestige in the first place - they instead instill dirty tactics and threaten the public.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @An Apple Fan

    "Reguardless of if you have modified the item in question, thats like Henry Ford going around ramming every model-T that wasnt black because somebody else figured out how to paint them"

    err, the rest of your comment is invalidated by repeating this tired old chestnut. Model T Fords didn't come in black. Thats because Mr Ford was a racist (and anti-semitic as well) git.

  23. Lewa


    Good to hear from the 'rabid fanboy' point of view. Now improve your spelling, punctuation and grammar, and someone might listen to you. Come on, kid. "Microsoft 'runned'"?

  24. Bill Coleman

    sad day


    I've lost a lot of respect for apple today. up until now i've defended their decisions - they've been fighting drm since itunes came out and their locked-box policies are for quality control and seem to do the job... let's face it , macs boot faster, run smoother and have an amazingly simple and effective operating environment by comparison to the competition ...but this is just wrong - threatening your customers that if you don't use their own toys in the matter dictated that they will break them. wtf?

    i understand that their defence in this case would appear to the the assertion that they have not taken deliberate measures to stop hackers, but they cant guarantee the quality of hackers work and that firmware updates may inadvertently cause problems - fair enough - but i dont believe that is is the real policy, or will be true in the future. otherwise, why the "cat and mouse" quote?

    i also understand the fcc approval requires tight control on the use of frequency bandwidth. but blackberry seem to have gotten around this somehow - why not apple? why couldnt they issue a sdk with restricted access to low level telephonic components?

    I'm really not getting this. my best hunch is that there are factors not being disclosed here, relating to deals with the networks and such... I'm sure they wouldnt bee too happy when someone uses the sdk to create a skype ap for example! Really, apple needs to be transparent about its motives, because it is losing support very very fast.

    ...actually, i dont get why they dont just sell the thing sim free and unlocked with a full sdk - solve everyones problems. people would pay a premium for that.


  25. yeah, right.

    Apple sucks

    Great product, the iPhone. Lovely interface, excellent idea, blah blah blah.

    They want to charge me HOW much for a *tied* phone?

    I've been using Macs since the first one came out in 1984. They really screwed up in the 90's, but they've more than made up for that with MacOSX and their current line of machines. But what kind of antedeluvian shit-for-brains came out with the idea that it would be better for them to tie their phone to sub-standard network operators than to just sell them as untied phones?

    I hope the unlockers continue winning the battles, because I'm probably going to be getting myself an iPhone pretty soon. Why? Because it is the only device currently existing that almost completely fulfills the very long requirements list I've been creating for the last 6 years since I purchased my last phone and PDA.

  26. Valan Chan

    What's the fuss?

    Although I can understand that Apples behaviour is unheard of in the mobile phone business, and seems ridiculous, I do think that it was needed in order to give us a decent smart phone.

    Before the iPhone was released people were saying that it would not be supported since the carriers are so used to dictating the features and functions on phones made by Nokia, Palm, Blackberry, Sony Ericsson and Motorola.

    Maybe that is why these smartphones are so underused.

    People bitch about Apple when they should be bitching to their own carriers for not offering to carry the iPhone.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Barely over 90 minutes, The Tripper feels a bloated, unwieldy feature that feels longer than it’s 93 minute duration.

    "This is utterly ridiculous"

    Why? I know you've given reasons but they just don’t cut it: 'This company is behaving in a way that I think is stupid, I think it should be doing something else' well, boo-hoo - don't like it, don't buy into it.

    One MacRumors forum poster has a sig that I especially like, which goes something like this: ' Apple is a company, it's not your friend, your mom or partner.'

    The impassioned way some people are commenting (“Nice one Apple - burn in hell.”), makes me wonder if they’re overlooking this fact. The name of the game is making money. If you managed to do this by making great products in an ethical way, great – but if a company thinks it’ll make more by locking consumers in a way like this, they will.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: @An Apple Fan

    "Model T Fords didn't come in black."

    Erm, yes they did.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Adrian

    "I am an apple owner and fan for life.You can offer me 10billion dollars to use a microsoft runned computer and I will turn you down,for real."

    You're a bloody idiot then.

    "About the iPhone a lot of talk for nothing it is the greatest cell phone ever period"

    The Nokia 8310 was the greatest phone ever invented, period.

    Fair enough if you enjoy the phone, that's your perogative to do so, but you can't take the high horse on a crusade to convert everyone to the phone. It's poor value for money, the feature set is lacking, and in six months time when every other mobile phone maker has taken what the iphone has brought to the table and improved it then you'll start to see some real class act devices.

  30. Richard

    Get over it

    People just get over it. All Apple are saying is that they cannot be held responsible for someone voiding their warranty by cracking the phone open, okay so its not physically undoing the case or breaking any sticky or painted seals but its voiding the warranty offered by them; this point might not standup in court but then it has not yet been tested and judging by past behaviour Mr Classaction Consumer will probably sue because they can. Corporate FUD is another form of marketing (albeit negative spin) but I think Apple are trying to actually warn users to be fully aware of any future, possible, downsides. ( "well we did tell you it might happen" )

    It might all just be software BUT if you screw the bootstrapping code then without taking the iPhone apart and maybe using a JTAG or non-public interface, you may end up with a Brick that only an electronic engineer can undo ... hey there might even be some money in providing an iPhone unbricking service 8-)

    I probably won't buy an iPhone because it is currently too expensive to run, as with all tech it will come down in price and as with all mobile phones it will eventually be made available on cheaper tariffs and by other networks. Early adoptors of virtually all technology (Nokia N95's and N770's included 8-) suffer the cost.

    I tried out an iPod Touch in Sheffield last weekend and it does appear to be the best iPod created; good size for video (nano is too small for my old eyes), very responsive to use and intuitive interface. If it had working Bluetooth (anymore on the rumours it has the hardware in there?) then it would be fine to use with a standard phone and the iPhone lock in issue goes away and you get better battery life ! Apple just need to make it work with the BBC website video for it to be perfect for me. Maybe version 1.1 will be perfect 8-)

  31. Frank Bough


    "their ill-conceived 'one size fits all' approach."

    The approach is actually 'one size fits most'. If you're not part of the most, Apple couldn't care a shit about you.

    "Not only will I not switch to o2 just to get an iPhone on some lameass talkplan that costs 3 times as much as the standard o2 plans"

    Look at the cost of the iPhone tariffs - they're actually only a tenner a month more than the standard tariffs EXCEPT they give you unlimited data too. No the world's best deal, but not out of line at all. My problem with O2 is any residual BT scum that might still infect the company - hopefully they'll all be gone by the time I sign up with them - I understand that the Telefonica T/O pretty much cleared out those civil-servant-style lifers.

  32. Matt White

    Revenue, revenue, revenue...

    Apple is reportedly getting 40% of the revenue O2 makes from the customer, and between $3 and $8 per month from AT&T dependant on if the customer's new to the carrier. I guess it's similar in Germany and France. This is a massive revenue stream for them with little in the way of additional work.

    Is it really surprising that they would want to make sure people stay locked in to those carriers? The original cost of the handset is only part of the revenue that Apple is planning on making, and these locks are the way they can work to ensure it. Don't think of them as just like Nokia/Samsung/etc in this case, they've got the same interests as the carriers.

  33. Gleb

    A Question

    If I flash my iPhone and brick it, how would apple know? I could just claim that i was using it to download the latest nelly album, and blamo - the thing goes black on me. I can even explain the waterdamage - those are my tears, now Pretty please, give me a new one, or I'll sue you.

    Finally, this could probably be done at least once. Why am I wrong, or why should anyone care about what apples said?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The iPhone's a Fiasco

    Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple and loyal Mac fan, had a lot to say about this whole issue. He said the price cut was "too soon, too harsh" and wanted to know "Why don't you just take my receipt and give me the money back? And of course it always comes back to Apple Store credit." He also made a point that "Now we (at Apple) are a monopoly as much as Microsoft. If you're going to buy a Macintosh you're going to buy a Macintosh and we don't need quality to sell." Ouch!

    Mac Fan and developer Wil Shipley isn't happy with Apple either, saying that "we [customers] get screwed so Apple can make more money. It's that simple."

    Disability advocates are upset with the iPhone as well, saying it's not compatible with hearing aids and similar devices.

    Online retailer has had some fun with Apple as well on this whole iPhone price reduction issue, offering Microsoft Zune purchasers a credit on a future purchase.

    And in spite of the media's continued hyping of the iPhone and Apple, customers are finding a lot of shortcomings and problems in the device, including screen problems. I'm sure Apple will do better in a future iPhone iteration, but I wouldn't touch this one at half its CURRENT price.

    Links to the articles referenced above can be found at:

    (which isn't a site for the Mac Faithful as it's all about platform neutrality and Apple myth-smashing)

  35. Andy Bright

    Apple won't bother to reverse unlocking

    At least not on purpose, unless AT&T demand they do to maintain the exclusive rights they've bought for the phone.

    Even so it won't matter, every time Apple reverse the unlocking process, modders will just reverse the reverse.

    People have faith in the modding/hacking community because they've proven themselves to be reliable when it comes to unlocking firmware.

    It was done with DVD drives, disabling macrovision and region coding. Even improving the performance of some.

    It was done with the PSP, and continues to be done despite the re-locking Sony does with every update.

    It was done with the XBox and PS2 to allow Linux installs (and of course copied games).

    Basically there are coders out there that love to fuck with things, and you gotta love them for it.

    The risks are minimal and the benefits many (for those that want an iPhone). Apple fulfill their obligations with AT&T by issuing a warning and occasionally re-locking the phone, meanwhile they surreptitiously allow modders to unlock the phone at will. I don't have problem with that, and I think nor do most of the people here.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The obvious answer is not to buy an iPhone. There are plenty of nice looking uncomplicated unlocked GSM phones that work in Europe as well as the US. Of course there is a price to pay if you have to have the latest gadget on the market – BUT, do you really need it – especially if you don’t want to work with AT&T Cingular

  37. Frank Bough



    (which isn't a site for the Mac Faithful as it's all about platform neutrality and Apple myth-smashing)"

    A site called "themacsucks" is all about PLATFORM NEUTRALITY? Actually, it's an anti-Apple 'blog. There's nothing wrong with having an anti-Apple 'blog, of course, but don't pretend it's something else.

    Also, if the iPhone's a fiasco, that's EXACTLY the kind of fiasco I've been trying to achieve in my business for years.

  38. Kevin Reilly


    Could somebody who has ordered an iPhone pop it down to Tesco & see if a Tesco mobile prepay (02 really) sim will work with it. that would be really going downmarket.

  39. Keith Doyle

    One size fits most?

    I guess that's why there's more computers running OS-X than Windows, eh?

    No, with Apple, YOU have to conform to IT. Many other product vendors see the value in allowing you to adjust IT to conform to you. Only if you are too clueless to have any idea what it is you want to do with a computer does Apple offer any value-- if you know what you want to do with a computer, don't buy an Apple, as you can't do it your way...

    The problem Apple has is newbies don't stay newbies forever. Eventually, they start getting their own ideas about how they want to use a computer, and then the Apple "features" become limitations.

  40. Alan McConnell

    Quit moaning

    There seems to be an awful lot of people out there getting worked up over a product they have no intention of buying.

    I don't use a Windows OS and have no intention of doing so, but I don't feel the need to go Microsoft bashing on a forum.

    I drive a Ford, but don't constantly complain about BMW's technical specifications and pricing policies.

    Apple has produced a product and has, after much consideration and projection, priced it so as to maximize their returns on it. They are a business. They're in the game to make money. Get over it.

    Basically it comes down to:

    1. You want an iPhone and can afford one - Good on you, go and enjoy it.

    2. You want an iPhone and can't afford one - Unlucky but move on and don't moan. I'd love a Ferrari but don't moan about their pricing just because I can't afford one.

    3. You want an iPhone but won't pay the price - Fine, your choice. Just don't complain because Apple want to make money.

    4. You don't want an iPhone - No problem. Now why the hell are you whinging about something you don't even want.

    Personally, I'll be waiting until January when my current O2 contract is up and then have a play with one to see if it's any good before making an informed decision.

  41. Kevin Reilly

    re One size fits most

    "Only if you are too clueless to have any idea what it is you want to do with a computer does Apple offer any value-- if you know what you want to do with a computer, don't buy an Apple, as you can't do it your way..."

    Really! :o)

  42. Jeff


    Alan, you're what's known as a boring late adopter, if we were all like you our mobiles really would be bricks - attached by pieces of string. This blog is really for people who like bashing macs and those masochists that buy them and like defending them. Its funny i was going to slate the iPhone, but you've reminded me that actually i dislike boring sods like you more...

  43. Me

    import from the US

    I had a play with one my mate unlocked a week or so ago, loved it - when I saw what a shitty plan the UK one will be on i ordered a couple via family in the US - it's cost me $900 all in for two - one for me, one for the wife. My mate will unlock it for me job done, she's on a £11.99 tariff with 400 free texts a month - i'll just switch updating off so we won't get it bricked - who ever heard of updating a phone anyway?

    Job done, nice phone, great mp3 player and a really nice web surfer for just over £200 each.

  44. Jeff

    @By Me

    Yeah, if i wanted to buy one i would take your good advice, but my current phone is better (stereo bluetooth for example) bar the swish interface, cost me nothing on my contract, i have more than double free minutes and texts than your wife (ner ;p), 3G speeds routable to my laptop and i had it last year.... Job already done mate!

  45. Richard

    @One size fits most?

    Keith, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about, OS X has an underlying Unix subsystem and Mach kernel, runs loads of open source software (its POSIX and supports X11 etc) and is easily customizable (See ISBNs for examples: 0596004605, 1597490407, 0764543512, 0321278542). Sure the Aqua user interface is pretty and the Display Postscript based graphics are stunning but it is all built on a solid foundation.

    I've been building, hacking/programming and using computers for 27 years, have two computing degrees and work in IT security and Apple hardware and Mac OS X is my platform of choice. Its just great to use a system that no only "just works" but can be easily extended. Windows is positively opaque in comparison.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple is the new Microsoft

    Some big EU think-tank has just said that all computers should be sold without OSs to encourage free market competition... doesn't this go for the iPhone as well? After all, the phone is really a computer and the phone network is sort of an on-line operating system (epsecially if updating the phone ties you to one network).

    Huge profit margins, giant mark-ups, an obsession with DRM, increasingly anti-competitive behaviour... all sounds very familiar.

  47. Adam T

    Cry me a river

    Surely, if you muck around with your OS system files you'll likely break any sort of automatic update feature, and possibly find your OS stops working if you try to apply one (an update) - same with any application if you muck around with it. I also expect if you removed your liver, you wouldn't live very long.


    "Are people not aware that this company [O2] offers their shoddy support(*) mostly online"

    Is it not the case that all support is provided by Apple? (I'm sure I read this is the case in the U.S.)

  48. Graham Lockley

    Love it !

    Seems that there are two things that will fill El Reg's postbag. Stories about Christianity and stories about Apple/iPhone etc.

    Maybe the hacks at Vulture Central could invent a piece about Jobs offering an iPhone to God (as one deity to another).

    Now the reactions to that would be fun to watch :)

  49. Jason Hall


    Just a thought... if a firmware update actually did brick your pride-and-joy... then a mistake a friend of mine made might be able to sort it for you.

    My friend bought an old gaming pc from one of his other friends... but they had wired-up the internal firewire ports back to front... the resulting 'poof' of grey smoke that came out from the ipod (version 3) was nasty to watch.

    PC World (spit) had to replace their brand-new ipod due to faulty hardware :-)

    Now - i'm not for one second advising anyone to do something like that... BUT it could be seen as a solution.

  50. heystoopid

    Wankers and wowsers

    Wankers and wowsers they will always remain !

    Me , I would rather buy an open source equivalent any day , rather then put up with the crap that overpriced control freak product rubbish Apple puts out every day of the week !

    For me , god is not "Steve Jobs" period !

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Disclaimer : adrian the Apple fanboy is not me!

    Discuss : average age of fanboyz (win/apple/linux/other)

    other being eg. "cobol is the best damn language ever, by codd" *

    * not my personal opinion. i'd (almost) rather be an apple fanboi.

    ** great beds of cobol were laid down in the paleolithic, and can be mined to this day.


  52. Frank Bough

    Graham Lockley

    "Maybe the hacks at Vulture Central could invent a piece about Jobs offering an iPhone to God (as one deity to another)."

    The difference between Steve Jobs and God? Steve Jobs exists.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Graham Lockley

    "Maybe the hacks at Vulture Central could invent a piece about "

    Torvalds ports Vista to the iPhone, denounces linux as 'a student project that got away'


  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    walled garden

    the only reason iphone is locked 2a network is so apple can earn annuity on rev share ... what apple and carriers fail 2appreci8 is users h8 being walled in

    also visual voicemail. what an mbarassment ... all that reengineering because the usa is stuck in the vmail era. the world moved on 2sms.

    thats text 4u usa :)

  55. Nick Ryan Silver badge


    "I am an apple owner and fan for life."

    This is the kind of dumb, blind comment that marketing departments and politicians LOVE to read. Congratulations Sir, your full frontal lobotomy was a resounding success!

    Me? I'll use whatever tool is most appropriate for the job. I'll use whatever XYZ branded (or unbranded) product fits the requirements - if an Apple product happens to be the best tool for the job, I'll use it. I really can't be bothered these days to start dick waving and screaming that "my tech is better than your tech because it has this brand name/logo on it" - I grew out of that when I was a teenager.

    For a perfect example of form over function, look at the "Prada" phones - the most important point on these is that the word "Prada" is clearly visible both on the faux-leather case and is visible on the phone when the phone is in the case. As a phone, camera and SMS tool, it's utterly awful almost to the point of being useless. However folk still buy it because it has the *name *on it.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re The iPhone's a Fiasco

    Oh, so that's who Steve Wozniak is! I don't suppose you could also explain who Charles Moore or Paul Allen is?

    I thank the Lord that he's put you on the Earth to state the bleeding obvious.

    So you're claiming a site with headings like 'Apple at the Crossroads Between Good and Evil?' is non-partisan?

    Using emotive terminology and believing Apple is more like a person than an corporation, ain't the best best way of dispassionately analysing the company's actions or history.

    Personally, I've often found books by _professional_ writers, such as Michael Malone's Inifinite Loop, to be worth a read... but you do need an attention span that enables you to do this - for those who don't, there are always sites that will tell you what exactly what you want to hear, whether that's Apple is great or Apple is rotten.

  57. sleepy

    it's the future, stupid

    the reason that Apple locks the phone to a single carrier and extracts a revenue share is not actually for the revenue share, it's to force the carriers to support the phone even though it will over the next few years be leading a transition that destroys the carrier's business model.

    (posted from unlocked iPhone)

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ""OpenMoko therefore isn't a new “open phone,” it’s merely a version of Linux designed to run on a specific vendor's proprietary implementation of Windows Mobile."

    The openmoko platform runs on a samsung system on a chip embedded computer, that can run windows, linux and any other os (even your own, if you know how to write one). This is like if someone uses intel chips in their computers (like apple does), they are running their macos-x on windows hardware. It's just a good example of how unintelligent apple users are, but it's ok because if you design a device that a fool could use, only fools will use it.

    The linked aritcle is just plain wrong. Connecting a proprietary gprs capable gsm modem to a serial port doesn't make the whole computer proprietary, the user can always swap the modem to a 3g or 4g version. Swapping anything in an apple 2g phone is seriously not supported by apple. The article goes on saying that the whole memory is used by linux and apps have to be run from memory cards. First, there is no such thing as a single linux binary. It consists of several programs, much like other unix based oses like bsd unix, irix, solaris or macos-x. The only difference is that you can add whatever you want, while for the iphone you can't even add memory if you want to. Btw, if you buy a moko, you could add new components if you really want to or have it factory modded. Doing the same level of modification for an iphone is nearly impossible. One of the nice possibilities is the double sim add-on, sold on the website.

    Thinking seriously, what would stop anyone who can install linux from using a creditcard sized via pc from connecting it to small gps and gsm modules, plugging in one or two small smt camera modules and an lcd with built-in touchscreen, adding a flash disk, and a battery and putting it into a nice box and calling it a mobile phone? The resulting system could even run windows and connect to standard monitors, tv-s or 5.1 sound systems. It would be closer to being a full featured pc but it's size would still be around a thicker credit card, limited only by the size of the screen and the connectors one wants to use. (I would certainly put at least a vga port on my phone.)

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    @Bill Coleman: "I've lost a lot of respect for apple today."

    I lost respect for apple when they ditched PowerPC for Intel. I was never a big fan of Intel, particularly after they introduced the Processor ID thing.

    @Anonymous: "You're a bloody idiot then."

    Agreed. I would take the 10 million, then diss the product while making an anonymous revelation that the company is astroturfing and running to an unnamed paradise resort.

    @yeah, right: "They want to charge me HOW much for a *tied* phone?"

    At the price they're going, I'd much rather buy something else, preferably one that has a qwerty keyboard (old fashioned? try composing an e-mail with graffiti or jot. I'm not going to spend half my day writing an e-mail).

  60. Ivan Headache

    re The iPhone's a Fiasco

    If the iPhone's a fiasco then how come Apple reached their sell a million units target a month early?

    Remember, Joe Public does not go around adding this that and the other to their phones. If Joe public can work out how to make a phone call on a modern cell phone he (or she) is doing pretty well. Joe public is not downloading spreadsheets or writing dissertations.

    A while ago (well probably about 2 months back) the BBC did a comparison piece about using the iphone against using a prada phone and another phone that uses touch screen tech (I can't remember what it was) The review concluded that two were form over function and that the other was the best "phone" that the reviewers had ever used. (although they did think it was a little expensive)

    Have I got an iPhone? No. I've a crappy (but good looking) Nokia something or other that I got as a free upgrade. It has all sorts of bells and whistles on it. What do I actually use on it? the phone, the text and ..err that's it.

  61. amanfromAlphaCentauri


    Shut up.

    That is all.

  62. CommanderJameson

    Shurely illegal?

    I might be talking out of the nether here, but I thought it was a little-known legal requirement that, at the end of the contract term, a network provider had to unlock a handset if so requested by the customer?

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