back to article Hackers hit back at iPhone update

The war between Apple and the hackers is heating up, after a 'fix' for the recent iPhone update was posted online. Apple's recent update for the iPhone's firmware rendered unlocked iPhones - those that had been modified either through software or other means to work outside of AT&T's network - unusable, and the firm has so far …


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  1. Dave Edmondston

    After the cotract expires?

    What happens after the 2 year contract with AT&T expires? Surely then users can legally fix their device to work with any network, as they've fulfilled their obligation? Will Apple have to stop patch fixing the devices to AT&T at that point?

  2. Kevin Saunders

    I can't resist!!

    Dongme Li?? Sounds like the name of a pr0n star - and considering she's been shafted by Apple.......


  3. Neil


    "$200 only weeks after its release. New York woman Dongmei Li is looking for $1m in damages, "

    Y'what? Surely she should be asking for $200 in damages. I completely fail to see how a million dollars is justified.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why no fuss?

    Why is it that there has been so little coverage of this? If this had been Microsoft the press would be screaming blue bloody murder, the EU would be looking into it, the pope would have addressed the masses etc.

    It seems that Apple can screw whoever they like and the users just say "more please".

    The second to last paragraph says it all :

    "There are also rumours online of a class action suit against the firm due to the update. However, the suit may fail to materialise." Yeah, because it wasn't microsoft and Apple users are so into Apple that they don't mind the odd stiffing.

  5. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Was the update pushed unconditionally?

    Or did it require users' consent?

    I am amazed that iPhone lovers can tolerate such insulting behaviour from the manufacturer.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm still wondering how they can get around the EU issue. I was under the impression that you are legally entitled to request the operator, for a small fee, unlocks your phone for use on other networks once your contract is up. Furthermore you are allowed to buy yourself out of contract by paying the monthly fees up front so could easily have ask for an unlocked phone within a few days of purchase.

  7. censored

    The EU??

    It's illegal for a phone company to stop you unlocking your phone to go to another network.

    Where is the EU in punishing Apple?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it

    Why are people so p'd off at a manufacturer who is saying "hack your product to get more out of it than you paid for and we will make sure it doesn't work" - what is wrong with that?

    Let's say I bought a Citroen C1 (I know but it's better than a Nissan Micra. . . D'OH!) and then some hack said "If you download this hack, you can turn your C1 into a Cadillac SRX4" and you do it but the next automatic update from Citroen turns it back into a broken C0.75, you've only got yourself to blame as afar as I see it, you've broken the warranty.

  9. Mectron

    Apple criminal Record

    >>Y'what? Surely she should be asking for $200 in damages. I completely fail to see how a million dollars is justified.

    Bad company like the rottent apple need to be punish,

    >>It seems that Apple can screw whoever they like and the users just say "more please.

    Saddly most apple users a just brainwashed sheep. Such a nasty (criminal and illegal) move apple should be ground for a planet wide ban on all apple (inferior) product.

    >>I am amazed that iPhone lovers can tolerate such insulting behaviour from the manufacturer.

    simple: apple user = mindless drone

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surely a service contract can't oblige you to use that service? I can't remember amongst all the hype, but if it's not different to all other phone contracts, it's a 2 year contract to pay 02 money for providing a service. If you left the thing turned off in a drawer for 2 years, O2 would be delighted.

    Apple, with whom the user has no contract are acting to force people to use the O2 service so that they get their cut of call charges etc. They can't make (?enough?) money selling the stupid thing so they have to indulge in monopolistic practices (not that I'm saying they have anything resembling a real monopoly) to turn a profit.

  12. silverguy

    i get it

    So customer break the warranty that means Apple can break your phone.

    Makes total sense.

  13. Mike Smith


    > Where is the EU in punishing Apple

    Feeling insincerely sorry for fanboiz, I would guess. As the thing isn't officially for sale here until November, Apple haven't broken any EU laws.

    OTOH, when they do, I hope someone takes them to the cleaners. There would be a certain irony in us goddam foreign Yurrupeens having more freedom than Apple's home country :-)

  14. Matt MArtin

    The EU

    The iPhone has yet to be released in the EU so no law has yet been broken within their jurisdiction.

  15. Gareth

    @ Anonymous Vulture

    Excellent - an incomprehensible car analogy. And all is right with the world..

  16. Lozzyho

    You what?

    To whoever wrote:

    > Let's say I bought a Citroen C1 (I know but it's better than a Nissan Micra. . .

    > D'OH!) and then some hack said "If you download this hack, you can turn your

    > C1 into a Cadillac SRX4" and you do it but the next automatic update from

    > Citroen turns it back into a broken C0.75, you've only got yourself to blame as

    > afar as I see it, you've broken the warranty.

    Surely you're being sarcastic? Holy shit, you're not!

    If I "modified" my car in any way and took it to the dealer, they would be obliged to service it regardless. Sure I might void my warrantee, fair enough, but they would *NOT* be entitled to take a knife to the tyres and tell me it's my own fault for voiding the warrantee!

    Shit a brick, you've clearly been listening to that polo-neck-wearing brainwashing Reverend Jobs too much.

  17. Bill Coleman

    @ Mectron

    > simple: apple user = mindless drone

    ...interesting premise. Based on your spelling and grammar you have the mindless part down. Furthermore, your ignorant assertion places you firmly in the it's-cool-to-hate-apple camp, making you a drone. Kudos! You have outdone yourself with irony. Please feel free to respond with "fanboi"/ "iDiot" rantings to further prove my point.

  18. Justin Stone

    RE: I don't get it

    "Let's say I bought a Citroen C1 (I know but it's better than a Nissan Micra. . . D'OH!) and then some hack said "If you download this hack, you can turn your C1 into a Cadillac SRX4" and you do it but the next automatic update from Citroen turns it back into a broken C0.75, you've only got yourself to blame as afar as I see it, you've broken the warranty."

    That's a bad example. It's more like your Citroen C1 only being able to run on a specific brand of petrol due to false restrictions put in place and you wanting to beable to use any brand of petrol with your car. I personally believe it's wrong to lock people into a specific contract when you buy a phone and not allow any way around it. Infact I believe it's against the law in the EU?

  19. sue

    You pays your money...

    You takes your chances.

    1: I have no sympathy to those who bought the thing day one and are now a bit peeved because the price went down a lot. Buying anything day one is merely a societal status purchase.

    2: A shifty unlock or not, when buying the phone, people had to sign a contract. Remember those days when signing a contract actually stood for something? Nowadays it seems that if you complain like a 3 year old having a tantrum, you expect to get out of a contract just like that with no penalties.

    3: I think Apple want a good kick up the backside off the edge of Beachyhead.

  20. leslie

    stop whining

    if you bought it on day 1 then the price dropped, tough, thats life, it happens to everything.

    If you 'flashed' it with a non manufacture approved firmware, then you did void your warranty etc, I'm sure you will find it in the small print you agreed to when you bought/registered it.

    If you then (stupidly) applied a manufacturers 'upgrade', when they had previously gone public and told you it would brick your now midified phone, then you are a total idiot !

    And as to car warranty's, here in the uk if you dont use an approved stealer, sorry dealer, to do the service's, you lose warranty, heaven forbid that you actually put oil in it yourself!

  21. Brian Milner

    I'm glad it's "heating up"

    FTA "The war between Apple and the hackers is heating up"

    Thank you so much for not saying 'hotting up'.

  22. Stephen

    $1m lmao

    I think this woman asking for a million bucks over this is a joke. They should sue her for wasting their time.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I signed what contract?

    I have an iPhone and I didn't sign any contract when I bought my iPhone.

    This is the problem with the iPhone sales model that Apple have devised... It is totally open to exploitation by hackers:

    To buy an iPhone, you walk into an Apple store, give them $200 plus local sales tax, and walk out with the Jebusphone in a nice white bag.

    You then unbox the thing (exclaiming "Oh Jesus!!" when you see it for the first time) and turn it on.

    It tells you to connect it to iTunes to activate it.

    You can't do anything with it at this point legitimately, but you've still not signed any contract, so you do what you want with it... In my case, I connected it to my Macbook and ran the independence application which fakes the iTunes activation process.

    This then gives you an iPod Touch (with email functionality and a better screen). This is how I've left mine for now, as I have a Three contract that doesn't end until year end and I can't use the USIM in the iPhone... But once that contract ends, I'll do the SIM unlock procedure on it which is as simple as installing a few more apps and clicking a few buttons.

    Anyway, my point is, that you can just buy the hardware, hack it and use it for whatever you want without signing up to anything...

    All mobile phones on contract that I've purchased since 1994 have required me to have a credit check and for me to sign a contract before I can walk out of the shop with the phone. Therefore, if I wanted to unlock the phone, I'd still be stuck with a 12 month contract, which doesn't make much sense. The iPhone doesn't follow this sales model, which is why people can buy the iPhone and never pay a penny to AT&T.

    I've heard that this sales model will be rolled out in the UK too, which just seems crazy to me.

    Long post. Sorry!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet someone tests this....

    Whilst I don't have the cash to waste doing it, I'm sure someone with money to burn and a curious nature will pay out for the full contract immediately and ask for the phone to be unlocked. Then we'll see just what the differences are, and how Apple propose to control the updates to legally unlocked phones. Or, more likely, Apple and O2 will be banking on noone doing this for 18 months, (by which time it'll be old hat anyway) and the story will kick up another big fuss. Go on someone, it'll be a laugh.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple have done ZERO wrong

    Apple sell a product, they clearly say "it does this and if you want it to do that you'll invalidate your warranty and we won't support it". User buys it anyway, hacks it (for hack read break), user then bitches about it. Err.. sorry, don't see where Apple went wrong on that.

    I'll say this till I'm blue in the face... if they didn't want the product to do what it does they shouldn't have bought it. By making ANY purchase you agree to the terms and conditions, and in this they even signed a contract!!! You break it, you invalidate your right to complain, bitch and generally be a pain in the a$$ about it.

    Man walks into a chainsaw shop, shop owner sells him a chainsaw and says "I want you to sign a contract saying if you use it as a nailbrush and cut your hand off its not our fault".. man agrees, promptly uses it as a nailbrush and tries to sue, would you all be saying it was the shop owners fault??

    Idiots... smart a$$ idiots, serves them right.

  26. Alex

    Wrong analogy

    "If I "modified" my car in any way and took it to the dealer, they would be obliged to service it regardless. Sure I might void my warrantee, fair enough, but they would *NOT* be entitled to take a knife to the tyres and tell me it's my own fault for voiding the warrantee!"

    No, that's also a poor analogy. I believe the correct analogy is this: you take a screwdriver and soldering iron to your car and replace the ECU, engine, alternator, on-board computer and replace them with your own. Not only do your void your warranty but the garage won't even service it because the components are not made by the manufacturer. If they were to service it, they might damage your car, causing criminal damage.

  27. Vince

    O2 and phones in drawers...


    Surely a service contract can't oblige you to use that service? I can't remember amongst all the hype, but if it's not different to all other phone contracts, it's a 2 year contract to pay 02 money for providing a service. If you left the thing turned off in a drawer for 2 years, O2 would be delighted.


    Actually O2 would be almost certainly happier if you kept it on, but only made non-inclusive calls and received plenty of calls. Much more money there than a flat 0/0 usage.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple not ethical and incompetent

    1. I have updated the fimware on Sony Ericsson, Nokia & HTC phones (locked and unlocked) and I have never had one bricked, ever. Apple have even managed to brick unlocked iPhones!

    2. Apple announced the iPhone had a desktop level power OS and therefore raised expectations. But not only is the phone locked but also you cannot develop apps for it.

    3. By enforcing the phone locking aspect Apple is managing the whole supply chain and not allowing users/consumers to get even more value from the platform. They are also reducing all options for improved value for customers by removing all choices. Nokia etc phones can generally be purchased from many channels (SIM free & networks).

  29. adnim

    I find all this amusing

    Not being a consumer, not feeling the need to own the latest gadget. And not having the kind of personality that seeks succour in bragging rights. I actually find all this hilarious.

    Anyone who bought this over hyped over priced consumer trap get all they deserve. Sorry, but I cannot help laughing, neither can Apple I would imagine.

    Mobile video is pointless, for mobile music I have a 6 year old Sony minidisc walkman(awesome). My phone, a 4 year old Nokia does all sorts of things I don't want or need, fortunately it was free else wise I still would not have a mobile phone. FFS I get more cold sales calls and text adverts on it than I do legitimate calls.(slight exaggeration)

    Are Apple/Mac owners sheep? Some perhaps. But one who does conform, consume and obey truly is a sheep.

    Buying an iphone to me, seems pretty sheepish. Here's wishing you all get satisfaction out of them, even if the only satisfaction you get is whipping it out at a board meeting or in the pub.

    snigger ;-)

  30. Tony

    Car analogy, what on earth?

    I felt I had to register just to say WTF?

  31. Eric


    1. Apple warned everyone that the update may break the phone. What's the suprise when it did. No one was forced to update.

    2. Apple has been quietly supportive of external app development. They could have very easily locked the iPhone down completely and chose not to.

    3. Very few phones were actually "bricked."

    4. Apple stores have been quietly fixing the bricked phones. While it's not offically supported, go to an Apple store and ask. Ten minutes later you'll probably have a working phone again.

    The bottom line is that if you hacked your phone, you did so knowingly and accepted the risk. Don't turn this into an "Apple hates iPhone hackers" situation like the article suggests.

  32. Morely Dotes

    @ Mectron

    "Bad company like the rottent apple need to be punish,"

    "Saddly most apple users a just brainwashed sheep. Such a nasty (criminal and illegal) move apple should be ground for a planet wide ban on all apple (inferior) product."

    "simple: apple user = mindless drone"

    Amazingly, I find that rant to remain at least as apropos if one substitutes "Microsoft" every place one finds "apple."

    But then, my choice is for *open* standards, not proprietary standards.

  33. Andrew Tyler

    $1m lawsuit.

    I still think it's ridiculous, but the $1m could make sense if she bought a lot of them with the intention to resell. I don't know anything about these 'pricing laws' but I don't have much sympathy for her. It's the same reason it's hard to find a local screwdriver shop that sells higher-end video cards, if the price drops 50% before they sell them all, they're pretty screwed. (Haha- get it? Screwed... yeah, the coat thing.) Clearly, she was hoping to sell them for above MSRP on e-bay. She should have known what she was getting into- it's risky business even without the price-drop. Them's the breaks.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its not an update.....

    There's open source phones out there that should give you some insight into how the phone works. Using the Trolltech Greenphone as a guide you see that the phone chipset is really just a peripheral, it works a bit like an old modem. The iPhone is probably different from the Greenphone, but the rules of software structure are the same. What this means is that if a software update -- any software update -- turns selected phones into bricks then either the original software was incredibly badly written or that the code update was malicious, it had no purpose but to deliberately disable -- even destroy -- the product.

    This -- being a technical website -- should be obvious to everyone. It doesn't matter about user agreements, who has the 'right' and so on -- the idea that a vendor can destroy product you've bought at their whim is something that needs to be stamped on hard by the user base.

    Personally, I won't touch the thing. I probably won't touch any more Apple products, ever, and I won't recommend them to OEMs. Apple have, IMO, blown it.

  35. Tim Lake

    @leslie: The fact you fail to grasp...

    Updating is not optional. Once the update is pushed onto iTunes you have to install it on the phone before you can use it to copy music again. Sure you could skip the update but you would be stuck with the same songs for evermore!

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

    Re. Car analogy

    Where does all this car nonsense come from?

    Here's how car warranties - like *every* other warranty for that matter - work:

    Something goes wrong during the warranty period. If the fault was due to bad manufacturing, it gets fixed for free. If it was due to wear and tear, you pay for it.

    Apply that to an unlocked iPhone. If a firmware update bricks it, Apple will give you a new one, or fix the original product. If you drop your iPhone and the screen breaks, or the handset is stolen, Apple is under no obligation to give you a new phone or fix the old one. It probably will, in the case of breakages, but that's because it's being nice, not because it's obliged to do so.

    If you modify a part of your car or introduce a new part that's not to the manufacturer's specification, the garage will simply say that part is not covered by the warranty and will tell you how much extra it's going to cost to fix the car. At that point it's your choice: pay to have it fixed or leave it as is.

    With an unlocked iPhone - ie. a device that's not to the manufacturer's specification - the repair shop - Apple itself, in this case - will refuse to do the work, just as a garage might. You're free to take it elsewhere to be fixed, if you can find one. The point is, Apple is under no obligation to do anything about the fault in this instance, and never was.

    Folk who've unlocked iPhones know this - or should have done - and live with it. It's the risk they took when they chose to unlock the handset. I did, and I also accept that risk. If my iPhone bricks or breaks, I have no comeback. That's $399 down the pan.

    It *is* a bugger for folk who chose not to unlock their iPhones but tried to sneak in a pre-pay deal even though Apple and AT&T don't officially offer one. But the pre-pay deal they uncovered by subterfuge was *not* part of the offered product, and while it's a bummer, they can't really complain. Like an unlocker, they did something beyond the remit of the iPhone's warranty. They should perhaps have read the small print.

    Now, I hope Apple cuts them some slack and provides either a software fix or new handsets. Opting for pre-pay isn't the cardinal sin of consumer electronics that hacking your newly bought phone is. Sign up properly this time and get a new iPhone - that's the deal I can see Apple proferring. I wouldn't like it if I'd gone the pre-pay route, but it's a way all sides can come out of it well.

    The unlock process, however, directly modifies the software Apple incorporated into the iPhone. It's not like unlocking any other handset, where you just punch in a few 'secret' codes, it's a direct software mod. Again, that takes the device beyond the terms of the warranty and - crucially - what Apple's legally obliged to cover through its warranty.

    That's why any class action will fail, though I can see lawyers doing very nicely out of the battle until a judge chucks the case out.

  37. David Wilkinson

    Not much sympathy

    Apple gave able warning, I am sure both in small print and in a press release.

    The people developing unlocking methods knew it would void the warranty and likely conflict with future updates.

    I am willing to bet that every unlocking kit includes dire warnings about the potential consequences.

    Don't get me wrong I am a big fan of people hacking their hardware, installing mod chips, flashing their firmware/BIOS with 3rd party code .... I am about to do the same thing to my wireless router.

    But only a moron would make explicitly prohibited modifications to a product and then think they have a right to sue the manufacturer.


  38. Svein Skogen

    I find it interesting

    I find it interesting that the ones defending Apple here, are the ones screaming loudest regarding Microsofts WGA. I actually find the WGA less damaging than Apples update.

    I will be in the market for a new mobile phone next year. Guess what: There is exactly zero chance that I'll buy any iPhone. Why? Two reasons: Apples contract policy, and the idiotic "you must activate using iTunes"-policy. Neighter the contract nor having iTunes installed is acceptable. (No, don't try selling me any sort of iPod eighter. See point two. Besides, I'm more than happy with my now ageing Vision:M).


  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't Worry Europeans...

    ... The Good Old EU Wont Allow This From Apple!

    Look at how they fined Microsoft millions for forcing stuff on consumers, so if Apple think they can force people into not having their iphone unlocked they are seriously mistaken as they will be fined millions.

    EU law states clearly that phone providers must allow consumers to unlock a phone for a small fee should they wish too once the contract is expired. If you choose to pay O2 to pay off your contract then your legally entited to ask them to unblock it. Its that simple.

    Having said that if your buying your iphone outright as its suggested legally they should not be allowed to stop you from unblocking it. We should contact the EU for clarification so we know legally where we stand!!!!!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lots of uninformed comment from people who have yet to really see the iPhone

    Blah, blah, blah

    apple sucks, no microsoft sucks, you suck - great informed debate here

    I just traded my windows "smart" phone for an iPhone.

    Yes the contract is somewhat annoying (although less than the blackberry contract I had), and AT&T may be the worst of a very bad bunch of cell phone providers in the US, but I was stuck with AT&T due to company policy so I thought I'd give it a try - if I don't like 13 days later I return it, it would only cost me $40.

    So now I'm hooked and I bet that many if not most of you will be when you actually get a chance to use it. The interface is light years beyond anything else. The functionality is great and after the great 3G / edge debate I expected it to be slower than my "3G" windows phone but it's substantially faster. (Caution - I believe that what AT&T calls 3G is HSDPA - I don't know if that's the same animal as 3G in the rest of the world). Apple said battery life was the issue with 3G support and so far the battery life in the iPhone is 3-4 times better than the 3G Samsung Blackjack.

    This is my only phone and I'm on it 3-4 hours a day for work, so it works for me. I'm sure I don't need a $399 phone - I could have a free nokia whatever and that would work fine, but I am very impressed at the execution of this.

    And if you hacked it and a firmware update broke it, that's a chance you take. Don't like it, don't buy it.

    Yeah I know, I'm a fanboi, so go ahead and ignore me - but just wait till you actually get to use it and then tell me I'm wrong.


  41. Chad H.

    To those ealry people calling for an EU lawsuit against apple...

    I'd like to remind you folks that apple hasnt sold any iPhones in the EU.... So the EU cant take any action.

    Wait till november... Then you can scream for your lawsuits.

  42. heystoopid

    Most Interesting!

    Most interesting , me thinks the OZ Government Corporate Control lads will be frying their collective asses with an Oxygen Lance , if they try this stupidity down under in OZ !

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another reason...

    Yet another reason to tell Apple to stick this phone where the sun will never shine. Makes Microsoft look positively genial by comparison.

  44. Pecos Bill


    I laughed at the poster asking why the EU isn't punishing Apple for this. You'd think Apple already sells the iPhone in the EU (it doesn't). Once they do sell it in the EU, then the laws will apply.

    EVERYONE using an iPhone today clicked their agreement to the terms of service before they could even get the home page of the iPhone. Those terms stated that you would not modify the software (or similar). So, yes, Apple could do what they did. Should they have? Well, they are protecting their revenue stream as a portion of each iPhone payment to the AT&T carrier goes back to Apple. They are in business to make money. What has me enraged is they broke iToner. I expect to have my own ringtones for people and refuse to pay twice for it.

    No, Apple did not force the upgrade upon users AND they warned everyone in the update text that modified phones might be broken.

  45. yeah, right.

    Warranty vs Brick

    The car analogy used above really sucks, you know that?

    If a person decides to unlock the phone, they aren't breaking any agreements - because they haven't bloody signed anything yet. They bought a product at a store. That's it. Nothing is signed at the store. You take it, you buy it, you take it home. End of story.

    So unlocking it voids the warranty. Cool, some people can live with that. There is, however, a huge difference between "voiding the warranty" and "deliberately breaking the product that your customer paid way over the odds for".

    Returning to the car analogy, a better one might be if the car manufacturer forced you to use a particular radio in your car. That radio is a satelite radio that costs $$ per month and only comes with lousy speakers. If you replace the radio with one that works better or cheaper the vendor comes to your door and takes a pry bar to your engine electronics, rendering the car useless, not just the radio.

    That's what Apple has done with the iPhone. Sad part is, car manufacturers tried a similar trick (minus the satellite radio) many years ago, and they were soundly told off in court just for forcing people to use a particular radio in their cars.

    Of course, the Microsoft and Apple fanbois are too busy acting all superior at each other to realize that they're BOTH getting ripped off by a manufacturer.

  46. Seanie Ryan

    why cant common sense prevail??

    ok, car analogy aside, if you take ANY product and hack it to make it do what you want, the manufacturer does NOT have to make any update they issue compatible with your hack. Answer : DONT apply the update. they even warned you. i am not talking about modding (like a skin/wheels/stereo/headset) i mean _hacking_ . Chip & nitro your car and see what happens to your warranty...

    as for contract and 'forcing you'. You dont have to buy the product if you dont like the terms.. simple. i want a package holiday to spain, but they FORCED me to fly there? no. this is the offer. I have a brain. do i want the offer or not? i make a choice. i dont want an at&t /O2 contract, fine, go somewhere else.

    And there is NOTHING new here. loads of handsets are only available through one operator. its only highlighted now because the product is so desirable by the masses.

    and apple screwed no-one.. offered a product, people bought. no stealing, got what you thought you would get. Update brick your phone? I know of people who got a replacement, but apple can refuse if you hacked it. Show me one report of someone with an genuine one, that was bricked and then refused service..please.

    and before the fanboi flames start, yes i use apple products, but i also think apple have messed up with the iphone. Wrong business model. And guess what? MY mind says that even though i want it and want it open, it isnt, so i wont buy it.

    Brains , people, use them.... now repeat after me.. "We are ALL individuals"

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple sure knows how to make microsoft look great!

    I purchased my iphone at the applestore and was never given a contract to sign. I used a unlocking program which bypassed any electronic agreement, never even saw one. I understand that I voided warranty.I will refuse to update my phone till there is a work around fo it.I do have a problem with apple possibly destroying the phone. apple also made a change in the dock connector. it looks the same as the older ones but some of the older accessories won't work.Apple wants you to buy a new one. Example it works but with errors with my 2 month old alpine car stereo, and not with my home dock av hook up. Just when I thought I would switch over to apple I learned that they were no better than Big bad microsoft. I guess microsoft is not that bad , thanks apple. Atleast microsoft lets me modify its products that I bu from them, I can always upgrade a pc and swap parts not apple they want you to throw it away and buy a new one.

  48. Robert Hill

    Don't like Apple's policy???

    Then don't expect to get a cheap iPhone. Factoring the price of the design and software, I don't see how Apple is making that much money per handset - UNLESS they are getting a cut of the carrier's action. And if Apple is getting a cut of the action, then they certainly have the right to limit you to THAT network if they sell you a subsidized phone.

    Suppose Apple hadn't locked the handset, but had instead built that profit into the phone purchase price - and set it at $1200+ per handset. Then you would all scream about how poorly Apple had set the pricing, how they had missed their core markets, blah blah blah. Apple has spared you the embarassment of not being able to affort the entire cost upfront, and has spread it to time payments...and all you can do is scream about how they lock you in to do so.

    That's the problem with the world today, everyone expects something for nothing...grow up.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hit them in their pockets

    It's simple!

    Don't buy it, vote with your feet and hit them in their pockets.

    I was going to buy this phone on release with T-Mobile or O2 but the fact it's severely locked down means I won't now and some other phone manufacturer will get my money.

    It's no good buying one, unlocking it then whioning it won't work after an update - they want to restrict their phones and not allow them to be unlocked then fine it's their choice and their product just as my money is mine and I will choose where to spend it.

    If no one buys their fancy looking underperforming and limited features set phone then they will have to re-think it won't they.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pay up or piss off

    The problem with all the whining maggots that want to use the iPhone unlocked is they want an iPhone at a massive discount and then they want to stick in a SIM from Joe Smoke Mobile and pay the very least they can get away with. In other words, a lot of cheap eBay-grazing bastards want a very expensive phone for nothing. This is the same streak-of-piss logic from the same people that want all their music and movies for free or for 1 penny a century or something like that. Look, you're a consumer and you exist for other people to exploit. Just get used to that.

    First the iPhone exists to make money. Second, unlocked phones and all that bullshit are just pushing up the prices for everyone else because people are getting massively subsidised phones on deals they know they're going to defraud. Third, the iPhone absolutely defines that vacant consumer greed of people having demands they have no means of paying for.

    All this crybaby horseshit of wanting the EU to step in to get you a cheap iPhone is an utter perversion of justice, the law and democracy. These forums and institutions are not designed to subsidise your fucking lifestyle because you want something that fundamentally you can't afford. I can't believe how you think it's the job of the law to reduce prices on some yuppie knick-knack that only benefits a tiny minority. Be honest with yourself, you want this as a status symbol, you want it to impress your mates with and you want it to help pretend that you're something you aren't. You aren't Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, you work on a helpdesk for Christ's sake.

    The fucking sheep people strike again.

  51. Paddy79

    reminds me of the dct-3 nokias

    To re: Anonymous Vulture/censored

    How is it illegal? Some network still sell phones that can only work on a couple of networks (not locked, just single band), and i've even seen one in the past couple of years that has epoxy'd in the sim card.

    Going back a few year this reminds me of the first way to unlock a nokia DCT3 (3310's etc) with these you could either pay the network for the code (that you entered into your phone which then changed some flags in the eeprom) or by flashing part of the phone with hacked firmware.

    If you later firmware upgraded the nokia phones that had been unlocked by flashing hacked firmware to the phone then then it would either trash the phone, or re-lock it as the new firmware would overwrite the hacked firmware; the phones that were unlocked using a code from the operators were fine as the fireware on the device had not been messed with just the locks released in the eeprom. So really it's nothing new.

  52. Clovis

    "I never signed a contract or accepted a licensing agreement...

    ... because I bought my iPhone off the shelf in an Apple store and waded straight in and unlocked it without going through the normal implementation procedure. So I can sue Apple for bricking my phone or insist they fix it?"

    Nope. You broke the product yourself. Deliberately. Your fault. You'll notice the guide in the box which explains what you have to do to make the iPhone work? Which you ignored?

    Warning: bad car analogy approaching! Do not proceed if you find bad car analogies distressing!

    I bought a car. I took it home and removed the sump plug and then drove it... ten meters before the engine seized up. Surely someone else must be to blame, and must owe me a new engine?

    Nope. I failed to follow the simple, straightforward instructions for safe and reliable use. On the contrary, I deliberately broke the product. My problem, not the suppliers.

    Confession: Clovis much prefers his G4 powerbook to any other computers he has ever used in his twenty year career. Perhaps he is a sheep? Perhaps, though you'll notice that he can use a mac even with cloven hooves and a brain designed solely for eating grass and reproducing. Try using a windows machine with those limitations and see how far you get. Oh, and Clovis uses a £25 Samsung mobile which does phone calls and text messages - a radical approach to mobile telephony which is very popular with sheep.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Iphone Update Sucks

    If you have a copy of shifty Windows XP installed on your machine, M$ does not turn around and say right with this upgrade we'll make your machine unusable, they just deny any dodgy copies of their OS the ability to upgrade.

    Fair and non-vindictive. Why is it so hard for Apple to learn anything positive from their bigest rival? Why brick the phones when you can simple deny any unlocked phone the ability to upgrade to a new patch level and hence access to new and shiny features?

    Just my 2p....

  54. Julian Cook

    did apple not break the law

    Is it me ore did apple break the law with the update, I know that if I download some software and it was to render my pc inoperable then I would be suing someone very quickly. If Microsoft took this heavy handed approach then the preverbal would of hit the fan. Come on Apple grow up and stop being greedy gits

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A much better car analogy

    A far better example of a car analogy would be for you to buy a car with an electronic engine management system (EMS). You want better performance from your car so you decide to install a performance chip in the engine management system instead. All works fine, your car is quicker off the mark and you are happy.

    You now takle your car in for a service and as part of that service the dealership has to ensure that your emmisions are correct and it just so happens that the manufacturer has an upgrade that has to be flashed onto the engine management system to fix minor bugs and maybe add a little extra functionality.

    The Dealership flashes the EMS and shock horror because you have a modified chip in there, the car either will not start or runs badly. The Dealership is within its rights to either charge you to replace the custom chip with a new manufacturers specification original or take no responsibility for the problem and advise that either you update your custom chip with the latest flash from the chip manufacturer or you insert the original chip that you took out. Both will resolve the issue.

    Now in the world of cars it is common for an owner with a chipped EMS in their car to replace the chip with the original when they take it in for serviceing or emmisions test (I have a performance chipped 7 series BMW and must do this otherwise it hasnt a hope in hell of passing the UK MOT emmissions test) To do otherwise is asking for trouble and I can not blame BMW if modifications advised as part of the manufacturers service schedule or regulations in line with emmisions legislation is not compatable with my performance modifications.

    These people knew what the deal was when they bought it. In the US you buy an iPhone, you use AT&T. Apple is under no obligatrion to consider any other service providers as the deal is not buy an iPhone and use it with any service provider it is for use exclusively with AT&T. Going back to cars again its like buying a diesel car and then relising that diesel costs more than petrol and the performance is crap. If I put petrol in my diesel car and it blows up (which it will) I should not expect sympathy from the manufacturer.

    Fanbois, consider what you are buying before you buy it rather than part with a substancial wedge of cash, complain the thing you bought isnt what you want, try to change it into what you wanted in the first place (which was available cheeper elsewhere) and then complain when the manufacturer upgradeds that product and yours breaks because you made changes to it.

    The US iphone was sold to be used on AT&T and nothing else. Now deal with it.

  56. t3h

    $1m damages because the price went down by $200?

    >Apple, meanwhile, is facing another legal action, from a woman who is angry that

    > the firm slashed the iPhone's price by $200 only weeks after its release. New

    > York woman Dongmei Li is looking for $1m in damages, claiming Apple broke

    > pricing laws, and saying in court that early purchasers are suffering as a result of

    > the cut because they can't gain the same profits when reselling the iPhones as

    > later purchasers. Apple offered early adopters in-store credit as compensation.

    Hmm, both my Palms went down by about $50 after I bought them.

    So did my phone... and a ton of other stuff. Any lawyers in the house?

    "can't gain the same profits when reselling"? Get over it - Apple didn't make the phone for you to resell... and how the hell is it worth $1m damage? For that, she would have to have bought 5000 iPhones. And I'm sure she didn't.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg's beer budget

    When the Jesus phone is released in the EU I do hope that El Reg will use up a small part of its ample beer budget to buy one, pay off the contract and request that it is unlocked for use on any network.

    There has got to be a good story in there; and it isn't like El Reg is in Apple's good books anyway so there is no need for you to suck up to his most worshipfulness in order to get invited to product launches!

  58. Andy


    Does anyone actually know for a fact that it's not possible to unlock the phone using a simple system of 'secret codes' like normal phones? I mean...people seem to be assuming that this phone is locked to AT&T (or whichever other provider) forever and the only way round it is by hacking about its software or hardware internals.

    So the question of 'what happens once the contract is up?' comes up. I suspect we shall find out when it happens. I would go so far as to suggest that all mention of Apple's evil intentions is simply pointless conjecture which serves only as a self-sustaining debate between fanboys of the various factions involved in IT.

    As a non-fanboy myself, perfectly capable of using whichever tool will best accomplish the task in hand (sometimes it's windows, sometimes it's linux, sometimes it's a creative zen, sometimes it's an ipod, sometimes it's even a large rubber mallet), I find it all rather tiresome. No one would have this problem if they just stuck to Nokias which, any normal person will tell you, are the only decent phones worth considering.

  59. Darrell

    C1 Hack

    Where can I download the Citron C1 to Cadillac SRX4 Hack?

    I don't mind about it invalidating my warranty as I plan to apply it to a cheap second hand model.

    Also is anyone working on a C3 to Hummer Hack?

    That would be cool!

  60. Scott Mckenzie

    At last, some sense...

    Good to see Tony posting the sense and facts missing from this!

    As for the one post above, if you get your car serviced in the Uk outside of the main dealer network the warranty is still perfectly valid - it is getting harder to this now though in the onset of everything being electronic!

  61. George Marian

    Car Analogy, done correctly

    If I make some after market modification(s) to my car and the manufacturer comes along and bricks it, for whatever reason, I sure am going to be unhappy -- to put it mildly.

    *That* is the issue. Not the warranty.

  62. Rebecca Corder

    RE: Warranty vs Brick

    >> If a person decides to unlock the phone, they aren't breaking any agreements - because they haven't bloody signed anything yet. They bought a product at a store. That's it. Nothing is signed at the store. You take it, you buy it, you take it home. End of story.

    Not true. Apple made sure that people who bought the iPhone contracted with AT&T. You could not buy the iPhone without a contract. So you do have to sign something at the store.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who needs iphone anyway?

    Oh Dear! Anyone who has bought an iphone has bought a brick unlocked or not!

    2MP Camera?

    No Video?

    No 3G?

    The iphone is 3 years out of date!!!!

    Apple suck! Over priced junk!

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    apple story = 1million comments

    Also its interesting to note here that the mobile phone market in the UK is way ahead of the US where lockin contracts and non-removable sims are still the norm.

    Free market my arse.

    Also when the eyefone comes over here, then we might see some interesting law suits... right now given that it is only US and the US defend business above all else, seems to me any idiot who actually bought one of these is fairly screwed.

  65. Gordon

    Stick to the contract.

    Never mind spurious analogies and mindless "XYZ suck" arguments. I wouldn't buy the iPhone because I don't like the contract. It just seems you pay one hell of a lot for what, get this, just a bloody mobile (at the end of the day!). I don't want to surf (I have a PC at work and home for that). I just want the bloody thing to sent texts, make calls and maybe act as an occasional "candid camera".

    It's probably really GOOD at what it does. It just isn't what I want. But i'll say this. If you buy something and then modify it against the manufacturers advice, don't be surprised if it then behaves unpredictably. Apple warned you this would happen. The phone is subsidised through the call plan, so you can't be too surprised if they don't want you to hack it about to escape this.

    Maybe Apple suck, maybe they don't who gives a sh1t - at the end of the day buying an iPhone is a free decision to buy the product they're selling If you don't like it, don't buy it. But don't buy it, modify it against advice and then whine when that they WARNED you would happen... inexplicably... happened......

  66. Ray

    subsidised? Nah

    "The phone is subsidised through the call plan"

    I don't think you can get a subsidised iPhone, and I think Apple insists operators do not subsidise the iPhone. If the handsets are not subsidised, then surely it's wrong for them to be locked to any network. Like you buy a new desktop computer at full price, not subsidised, but you are only allowed to use a specific ISP for your internet connection - now how is that ok?

    It's funny how fanboys suggest people who don't want the iPhone must not have seen one yet... I've played with one and - shock - I still don't want it as my main phone and definitely am not paying for one. I don't want a heavy, touch screen, 2.5G phone that cannot use 3rd party apps, that I will worry about dropping or scratching every time I take it out. Network locked or not. On the other hand... I like the idea of the Touch... if it can run 3rd party apps.

    As for the $1m damages suit, I reckon it's just a publicity stunt.

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