The battle between the iPhone hackers and Apple is now out in the open and seems to getting more interesting. After approximately three months of uneasy silence Apple had yesterday finally released an official statement warning users that "unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs" could cause "irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software". But the folks at iPhone Dev team who developed the free GUI based iPhone unlock tool have issued a statement today condemning Apple and promising a tool soon which will restore your iPhone to factory-settings.
In the last three months since iPhone’s launch, we have seen many iPhone hacks to customize iPhone, native iPhone applications (no SDK from Apple no problem) and unauthorized iPhone unlock programs to achieve freedom from AT&T.
I don’t think anyone would be surprised with Apple’s press release, in fact we have been expecting it quite sometime back. As per the official statement they have warned users that "unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs" could cause "irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software" and that these applications could result in the handset becoming "permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed".
They have also gone further to say that "unauthorized modifications to the iPhone’s software" violates the iPhone software license agreement and "voids the warranty." with the intention to prevent iPhone owners from using those iPhone hacks.
Apple’s official statement below compiled from MacNN (as I could not find a link to the official press release on Apple’s website):
"Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed.
Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones, users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone’s warranty."
A spokesman for the iPhone Dev Team, the group that developed the free GUI based iPhone SIM unlock tool is come out strongly against the press release condemning Apple and is also promising a tool in the next week which will restore your iPhone to factory settings so there is no trace that your iPhone was unlocked in case you hit a problem with the iPhone and need to take it to the Apple store for repair or replacement.
Below is the statement from the iPhone Dev Team courtesy Tuaw:
"Based on download numbers, the iPhone Dev Team believes that, worldwide, several hundred thousand people have unlocked their iPhones. That number continues growing every day. The removal of the lock, a bug, was a major step forward in the iPhone development. It made the iPhone free and useful to anyone, not only to those in certain countries.
Apple now announces that the next firmware update, expected later this week, will possibly break the handset of all of us free users in the World. It speaks of "damage" done to the firmware and "unauthorized access" to our own property, The removal of those firmware problems, which were built in in favor for AT&T, does not cause "damage" as they want to make us believe.
We will provide you with a tool in the next week which will be able to recover your nck counter and seczones and even enables you to restore your phone to a Factory-like state.
In the meantime we advise you not to update your free iPhone with the upcoming firmware. Wait for the next version to be fixed to work properly with your carrier and not break your phone."
The timing of the Apple’s official release is quite interesting as we are expecting a firmware update later this week which is expected to turn on the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, lets hope it is more to do with unlocking new features and applications for the iPhone to further improve the user experience on this revolutionary gadget rather than locking down on iPhone hacks or unlocked iPhones.
A good time to take a poll and maybe our way to tell Apple what we think about their press release: