iphone brick In the world of modding, a brick is used to describe something which has been modified and no longer works. It essentially becomes a paperweight, hence the name, a brick. Yesterday Apple warned that with an update for the iPhone on the way, there’s no guarantee that unlocked phones will continue to work. And of course once an iPhone is modified, it’s no longer covered by the warranty. Some are saying that Apple’s announcement is just a scare tactic and that everything that was done to unlock a phone is reversible, which is definitely possible.

Apple’s announcement talks about “irreparable damage” to the iPhone’s software, and “strongly” discourages people from installing unlocking programs on their phones.  The announcement reads:

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 (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.

This statement is not likely to scare those who have modified their phones because they knew what they were getting into before they did it, and they know that there are risks involved. There’s certainly a chance that the firmware update won’t turn the modded phones into a brick, but just in case, the iPhone Dev Team which released a version of iUnlock has said that they will provide a tool within the next week that would allow users to restore their unlocked phones to a “factory-like state.”

Sources: Beta News, TUAW

There Are 6 Comments

  1. Hey, is that really a problem? After all, even an iBrick from Apple would be more byootiful than the average brick! ;)

    Actually, this FUD tactic might backfire for Apple. It could draw in more business opportunities for modders to move to an ongoing service model instead of one-time hacks. That is, if they can keep one step ahead of Apple’s updates…

    Dan

    [metafacts.com]

  2. I’m actually pretty doubtful that the update will even cause problems. And if it does, I’d think there’d be some solution.

  3. But knowing Apple they will probably place a check in the update to see if the phone is unlocked is if so kill the phone. The one thing I don’t like about Apple is the Stalinistic Iron Curtain approach that they take with their products. With all of the bad things said about Microsoft, they are fairly libertarian toward the end users.

  4. Wouldn’t it just be possible to never update your software on the iPhone…?

  5. Michael wrote:
    But knowing Apple they will probably place a check in the update to see if the phone is unlocked is if so kill the phone.

    I did just see that someone is developing a relocker, so that might curb that problem. People would be able to relock their cellphone for the update, and then possibly be able to unlock it again after the unlocking software is updated.

    Andrew wrote:
    Wouldn’t it just be possible to never update your software on the iPhone…?

    I thought about that, too. I’m guessing that the updates are required to do things like connect to the iTunes store.

  6. Yes, if you want the iTunes store, you’d have to get the update… although I’m not sure if you’d be required to either way?

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