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Apple will brick your unlocked iPhone on the next software update


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Apple will brick your unlocked iPhone on the next software update
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ghoti
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2007-09-24, 17:55

Jobs has said it: the upcoming software update will likely brick unlocked iPhones. It only makes sense, they have contracts with their carriers and have to make sure that the phones aren't used on different networks. It also cuts into Apple's own revenue (through the revenue sharing with AT&T and others). The reason they're making a big fuss now is certainly to scare people into not unlocking their phones and also to be able to say "we told you!" when the whining begins. I wouldn't be surprised if they had some additional warning pop up before you could apply the update to be absolutely sure.

So now you know. Don't unlock your phone or forever live on 1.0.2. We'll see how the unlocking utility makers react, but I'm sure they will have a hard time keeping their customers from bricking their phones and playing catch-up with Apple.
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sirnick4
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2007-09-24, 18:01

This whole thing is one big mess..

Lesson learned: Don't unlock your phone unless you enjoy dealing with all the shit that will come along with it.
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torifile
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2007-09-24, 18:03

Ouch. But the implication that the update is an intentional "bricking mechanism" on Apple's part is somewhat disingenuous. I don't know if that's intentional or accidental.
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ghoti
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2007-09-24, 18:09

What would be neat is this scenario:
* Apple releases update
* Update bricks unlocked iPhones
* Big whining, class action lawsuit threatened
* Apple says: Okay guys, but this was your last warning!
* Releases unbricking tool
* The whole world is united in peace forever
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MCQ
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2007-09-24, 18:54

Not surprising. I suppose the statement could be parsed to suggest that "some" of the unauthorized unlocking programs don't do irreparable damage, or that there is an "authorized" unlocking program.

Nah.

Unedited version of the press release (I don't see it on Apple's PR site):

http://prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/storie...4668880&EDATE=

Quote:
Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed. Apple plans to release the next iPhone software update, containing many new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store (http://www.itunes.com), later this week. Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone 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.
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Windowsrookie
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2007-09-24, 19:03

I'm sure they'll update the unlockers for the new firmware. So don't unlock your iPhone until you're satisfied with the firmware.
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kieran
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2007-09-24, 19:05

What's interesting about all of this is that the press release doesn't mention anything about programs like AppTap.

It just mentions unlocking programs.

I'm definitely going to wait a few days after the next iPhone update to see what happens when phones with AppTap are updated.

If they brick them, then I'll just restore my iPhone to default or I'll just stay where I'm at right now.
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sirnick4
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2007-09-24, 20:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by kieran23kk View Post
What's interesting about all of this is that the press release doesn't mention anything about programs like AppTap.

It just mentions unlocking programs.

I'm definitely going to wait a few days after the next iPhone update to see what happens when phones with AppTap are updated.

If they brick them, then I'll just restore my iPhone to default or I'll just stay where I'm at right now.
Same here. I'll let other people be the guinea pigs.
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scratt
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2007-09-24, 21:00

I think Gruber says it best..

Quote:
To be clear, it seems as though Apple is specifically talking about SIM unlocking — the hacks that allow iPhones to be used on networks other than AT&T’s — not iPhone hacking in general. Assuming some unlocked iPhones really will be rendered inoperable by the upcoming update, the innocent explanation is that the unlocking tools diddled where they ought not to have diddled and Apple isn’t going to, or isn’t able to, undo the damage while still closing the holes that allowed these unlocks to work. “Irreparable” is a strong word, though. What exactly is it that can’t be reset to factory conditions?
And Phil Schiller's comments just make him sound like a fat idiot..

Quote:
This has nothing to do with proactively disabling a phone that is unlocked or hacked,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in an interview. “It’s unfortunate that some of these programs have caused damage to the iPhone software, but Apple cannot be responsible for … those consequences.
!??!?! Bwuuuhaaahaaahaa.. Sounds like my Grandad talking about computers. 'Done something to the software'.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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BuonRotto
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2007-09-24, 21:54

Don't the unlocking methods mostly finagle with the firmware? In theory, all you have to do is 1. don't update the iPhone software, and/or 2. restore the firmware to it normal state pre-update. A complete restore should take care of anything, unless the unlocking methods somehow prevent the software restore mechanism from recognizing or communicating with the iPhone. They're clearly not going to say what exactly goes kaboom, thus lending a hand to the folks unlocking things.

I'm curious to see what the folks who are doing the unlocking have to say, if they know how or where it would be fubared, or if they just call Apple "another Microsoft" and avoid the immediate question.

[added]OK, it seems that, according to folks who presumably know a tad more about this on Ars, unlocking the iPhone (*not* jailbreaking) requires "flashing the baseband (modem)" and modifying it. Thus, as it makes sense to me, Apple assumes that the lowest level firmware is intact with this coming update. If it's not, then it's ix-nay for the one-phay.

As for whether this is nefarious by Apple, I would find it slightly mean if they did this deliberately, but I'm neither surprised nor do I feel that this is "pulling a Microsoft" on users who signed on to unlocking their iPhones. Clearly, and by all common sense, folks who did this were fully aware that they were breaking their user agreements both with AT&T and Apple, and that they did it at their own risk. But if the firmware/flashing thing is true, the damage is only irreparable once you try to update, not before. Theoretically, you could restore the official firmware back to the baseband beforehand and all should sail smoothly. Of course, then you'd have to re-unlock it, making sure not to fubar the thing again...

Now, if we could do something about these companies having a stick up their butt about selling.accepting unlocked phones to their networks... but that's another matter.

link

The good news: it looks like the iPhone 1.1 software update is coming on Friday.

Last edited by BuonRotto : 2007-09-24 at 22:13.
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thegelding
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2007-09-24, 23:55

mmmm....which programs are these...i'm on ATT so i haven't done that type of unlocking....but i used funtastic to change the ATT logo to iPhone and change my buttons and some other little things...should i erase all that and go with the standard iPhone setup...or am i safe?

g

crazy is not a rare human condition

everything is food if you chew hard enough
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InactionMan
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2007-09-25, 00:03

I think you're safe unless you did the hardcore sim unlock - which you didn't.

I assumed people that were doing the sim unlock had no intention of upgrading the software when Apple released it anyway. People can't really expect to be able to unlock a phone and then get fully functional system upgrades from the original manufacturer.
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Kickaha
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Join Date: May 2004
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2007-09-25, 00:05

Oh but they will.

And Apple will get soundly blamed for 'breaking' people's iPhones. Frigtards.
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InactionMan
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2007-09-25, 00:09

Idiots. It's going to be painful to read the drivel on just about every tech site on the intarwebs for the next few weeks. Why do they care about the software update anyway? Their freaking iPhones are unlocked and fully functional right now. Do they really need the WiFi iTunes store that badly?
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thegelding
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2007-09-25, 00:16

i probably won't upgrade anyways (haven't updated iTunes yet either)...

i like moving my buttons around and having my custom photos on the page...

will see...mostly i just want my phone to work...so i will probably undo the jailbreak

g

crazy is not a rare human condition

everything is food if you chew hard enough
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CitizenTony
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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2007-09-25, 00:33

Right, I unlocked my iPhone with the knowledge that Apple would likely try and break my phone in the future. I have no regrets even if I have to stick with version 1.0.2 for the rest of it's life. I'm happy with it now, and I will be in the future as well.

If the guys hacking the thing can figure out a way to let me update it, I will, but otherwise I won't be downloading the firmware updates when they come out.

I do really wish Apple hadn't gone with ATT. It would make my iLife so much easier but I just can't let myself support that company after the whole ATT is now Cingular, is now the new ATT. Ripping me off as they went.
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scratt
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2007-09-25, 01:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
Oh but they will.

And Apple will get soundly blamed for 'breaking' people's iPhones. Frigtards.
I just downloaded a leaked torrent of the new firmware..

Apple broke my iPhone! What do I do now...

ZOMGWTFROFLCOPTER!

Only kidding..
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Lyngo
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2007-09-25, 07:29

Is this going to effect people who have activated their phones, but do not have any service at all (i.e. T-mobile or AT&T)?

Thanks in advance.

- Jay
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chucker
 
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2007-09-25, 07:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyngo View Post
Is this going to effect people who have activated their phones, but do not have any service at all (i.e. T-mobile or AT&T)?


You activate it through a service, so you'd have one.

What do you mean?
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Eugene
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2007-09-25, 07:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post


You activate it through a service, so you'd have one.

What do you mean?
Not entirely true. If you have a SIM from T-Mobile, it's not like you do anything special on your iPhone to associate it with their brand of service. You just pop the SIM in after you've unlocked it, and you don't need to activate it with ATT or otherwise via iTunes or anything like that prior to the unlock. Stuff like iActivator and iNdependence will also spoof activation for you.

I'm fairly confident this threat is merely a scare tactic. I'll just restore the iPod to 'factory' settings and upload a pristine version of the 1.0.2 firmware before flashing.
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chucker
 
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2007-09-25, 07:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Not entirely true. If you have a SIM from T-Mobile, it's not like you do anything special on your iPhone to associate it with their brand of service. You just pop the SIM in after you've unlocked it, and you don't need to activate it with ATT or otherwise via iTunes or anything like that prior to the unlock. Stuff like iActivator and iNdependence will also spoof activation for you.
But he said he has it activated, which I took to mean he didn't spoof it.
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Eugene
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2007-09-25, 07:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
But he said he has it activated, which I took to mean he didn't spoof it.
Activate probably doesn't mean activating a service, it means allowing you to get out of the welcome screen with the "Emergency Dial" slider. An iPhone that isn't 'activated' would be pretty useless.
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chucker
 
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2007-09-25, 08:01

So, Lyngo is using the iPhone without, er, the phone*? In which case, no, I don't see any reason it would be bricked through the software update.

*) emergency numbers notwithstanding
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BuonRotto
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2007-09-25, 08:06

Eugene is right, and the unlocking sites have already given instructions on how to re-lock your iPhone and flash the original firmware back on it.

As for simple hacks like the replacing the AT&T in the top bar mentioned above, since that wouldn't do anything to the firmware, you're in all likelihood safe from this warning.
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Eugene
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2007-09-25, 08:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
So, Lyngo is using the iPhone without, er, the phone*? In which case, no, I don't see any reason it would be bricked through the software update.
Well the warning referred to software in general and not the SIM unlock specifically. Stuff like AppTapp's software repository has nothing to do with the phone portion.
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chucker
 
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2007-09-25, 08:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Well the warning referred to software in general and not the SIM unlock specifically.
As I understand it, the "irreparable damage" aspect does only refer to the SIM unlock. While your third-party apps may break, that won't damage the remainder of the device, and given time, people will figure out how to reinstall them.
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kieran
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2007-09-25, 08:17

I'm just going to wait and see how this all shakes out in the next week or two.

I'm not updating my iPhone until I know that I won't break it.
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2007-09-25, 09:57

I haven't hacked my iPhone in any way, but I may wait to update just the same as I'm interested in 3rd party apps and if the iPhone gets sealed as tight as the iPod Touch seems to be this update could eliminate non-Apple apps for some time.
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Taskiss
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2007-09-25, 10:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassplayinMacFiend View Post
I haven't hacked my iPhone in any way, but I may wait to update just the same as I'm interested in 3rd party apps and if the iPhone gets sealed as tight as the iPod Touch seems to be this update could eliminate non-Apple apps for some time.
I'm going to accept the update even though I don't care about the Starbucks deal. I want the latest and greatest OS on my phone just like I want it on my computer.

There won't be a lock that keeps the phone locked longer than a week or so.
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turtle
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2007-09-25, 10:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post
...

There won't be a lock that keeps the phone locked longer than a week or so.
Exactly. Someone will hack it like is always done. There won't be anything special in this to prevent it from happening again.
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