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