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Jobs' Next Fight — Dealing With iPhone Hackers

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the or-you-could-just-open-it-up dept.

Hardware Hacking 341

An anonymous reader writes "With Steve Jobs' recent announcement of his intention to fight off the independent iPhone developers, the question worth asking is: How will Apple try to defeat the hackers: Software updates, or lawsuits? Will Apple risk losing its most frequently (ab)used legal tool, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in order to try and punish the developers of the iPhone unlocking tools? This CNET article explores the legal issues involved in this, which make it perfectly legal to reverse engineer your own iPhone, but illegal to share your circumventing source code with others."

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American-centric coverage (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670027)

CNET article explores the legal issues involved in this, which make it perfectly legal to reverse engineer your own iPhone, but illegal to share your circumventing source code with others."

The iPod is already available in countries without DMCA-style laws.

Re:American-centric coverage (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670065)

You didn't RTFA did you?
Hell, you didn't RTFS, RTFT or even RTFQ did you?

it is talking about the iPhone, not the iPod. Literacy is your friend, don't waste it.

Re:American-centric coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670141)

The iPhone can be taken to another country to be reverse engineered.

Re:American-centric coverage (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670195)

It was a typo. Yes, I know the article is about the iPhone, and my point still stands. From Hong Kong to Dubai, the iPhone is already widely available outside the U.S.

Re:American-centric coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670625)

Geepers, calm down, willya? Everything's going to be OK.

Re:American-centric coverage (2, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670225)

Apple is an American-based company, Slashdot is an American-based site and, last I heard, the majority of users were in America. Being American-centric makes sense in this case. However, Slashdot also covers other countries, as recently as the last Michael Geist column.

Re:American-centric coverage (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670629)

Jobs better start caring about its best customers first. The iPod game fiasco could cause a lot of customers to have a bad taste in their mouth. Espcially parants that will need to re-purchase the very same games they already bought for the same iPod platform. This is a bad precedent. See here: http://www.reelsmart.com/2007/09/18/apple-screws-customers-that-bought-games-for-ipod/ [reelsmart.com]

people who bought iphones (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670735)

already have a bad taste in their mouths. their butt hurts too.

Easy to pay! (5, Insightful)

cez (539085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670061)

TFA:


Other hacks, such as the much hyped iPhone Dev Team's anySIM unlocking tool, or the numerous free-ringtone tutorials that have been floating around the Net, can be more accurately described as a developer-lead attack upon Apple's revenue streams.


...ummm no, it means that people in a position too are trying to help others not get screwed by a vendor locked-in product that wants to charge you for a ringtone that you can make yourself. Instead of attacking developers who wish to enlighten a public entranced by Apple, perhaps they shouldn't base a revenue stream on vendor lockin and ripoff ringtones. If you ask me (flame on that noones asking), they should be the ones providing such a ringtone app. They are all about ease of use for the masses... oh wait, I forgot its easier for someone to pay them then do it themselves.

Re:Easy to pay! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670119)

it means that people in a position too are trying to help others not get screwed by a vendor locked-in product

I'm sorry, you were forced to purchase an iPhone by who?

Re:Easy to pay! (5, Insightful)

cez (539085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670347)

I didn't mention anything about being forced to buy an iphone....but if Apple had their way, they would force those that did buy it to buy ringtones from them as well, instead of making free ones which is their right. Hell even if it was a ringtone of their kid singing whatever it is that kids sing, should u not have a way to make that your ringtone without Apple crying foul?


on the other hand, it seems that they are trying to force someone who did buy the iphone and ATT package not to unlock the phone and goto another provider. Perhaps someone needs to move for work or goes over seas? Hell... they could pay their contract cancelation fee, but according to Apple, they shouldn't be able to open the phone and use another provider that has better service, or any service even, where they are.

Re:Easy to pay! (3, Informative)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20671115)

ATT Claims [usatoday.com] They will unlock the phone once your contract has been fulfilled. This may include paying a cancellation fee. here is the important excerpt:
  • Once a contract has been fulfilled, Cicconi says AT&T will "gladly unlock" a customer's phone, if requested
Perhaps that means canceling prior to the 15-day or whatnot window most contracts allow. At least they're talking the right talk, I'd love to hear someone who goes after AT&T to unlock the phones per their promise/assertion to the media, or allow them to face a lawsuit if they don't. I think it would be good for consumers overall, but then again such a small percentage of the US public leaves the US and would need to use a local SIM.

Re:Easy to pay! (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670193)

if you don't like the terms of the product, do not buy it. I don't like all manner of companies, so I do not purchase their products. it's a simple philosophy, but it makes me happy.

Re:Easy to pay! (1, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670231)

The problem here is that the product itself is desirable, for its features make it competitive, but the company that designed such a fine device is now trying to cripple it. Buy the product and resist the company's attempts to lock the features down. It's a simple philosophy, but it makes me happy.

Re:Easy to pay! (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670423)

The iPhone doesn't have "terms" - it is a physical device, not intellectual property. The hardware can be interesting enough to buy (and useful) all by itself. You own it, not Apple, and they cannot dictate what you do with it.

Re:Easy to pay! (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670745)

While I agree with you that it doesn't have "terms" in a traditional sense, it most certainly does have "terms" in a manner of speaking; namely, that it is understood to be locked to AT&T in the US. And if you figure out how to unlock it, great. But Apple is under no obligation to keep a particular set of conditions that enable unlocking in future firmware iterations, nor is it guaranteed that an unlocked phone will remain unlocked if, for example, the radio firmware gets updated by Apple and you choose to apply said firmware update. So while you can do with it what you will (within the law, which unlocking the handset as an end customer is), you must also understand the potential for hassles. I'd guess that most anyone hacking iPhones and unlocking them understands this.

Re:Easy to pay! (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670867)

Yeah, I guess "might not be able to use future versions of firmware" doesn't really seem like such a big deal to me. I mean, I've never updated the firmware on a phone that I've owned. I just did a quick Google for my phone (a V360) and it's not even clear that Motorola supports flashing your firmware at all - and I certainly couldn't find an "official" update. In that sense, the hacked iPhone is no less encumbered than any ol' Motorola handset... certainly nothing that would keep me from buying it - though I have to admit that I am not willing to spend so much on a phone anyway.

Re:Easy to pay! (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20671063)

You're right, of course...but the problem with the iPhone is that it's *easy* to update the firmware, and people will want to do so, because it will fix bugs and add new features, sometimes significant (like the iTunes WiFi Music Store, new apps, etc.) And these firmware updates, especially those that update the radio firmware, could at best re-lock or at worst break the phone, even if Apple doesn't intend that to be the case. And as Apple fixes issues in the software itself which were first used to enable unlocking, it may be a long search for the next vulnerability to enable unlocking the iPhone - the first one took months, and while we have a baseline level of knowledge, it might not suddenly mean that it's going to be easy or quick the next time around. So while you're right that unlocked iPhones will absolutely stay unlocked if left at the same firmware, the iPhone is a unique device in that such updates are easy and many people will WANT to do just that.

Re:Easy to pay! (1)

cez (539085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670447)

I agree with that statement and practice it myself. But what if you do like the product and not the "terms" which they try to hold you too. Its like buying a sleek new hybrid sports car and being told you can only put X brand's Y Octane into it. Sure, a lower octane might be bad for the engine, and someone else's high octane might be cheaper... so you use those. But now after plugging in your new hybrid sports car and it gets a firmware update, it won't run on the other brands gass...


damn, where's BadAnalogyGuy when you need him...

Re:Easy to pay! (1)

dstiggy (1145347) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670435)

...they should be the ones providing such a ringtone app.
I believe Apple's original intention was to release an app exactly like this. Unfortunately the pulled it back at the last min. most likely due to issues with copyright infringment and the RIAA. This is why they make users pay for it. I'm at work and don't have time to source a reference so someone else back me up here.

Re:Easy to pay! (1, Troll)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670653)

And you base this on ... exactly nothing. Oh, but maybe Apple can do no wrong? Is that what you think? Instead of being an idiot, perhaps you should ask yourself in whose interest it is that you have to buy your ringtones from ITMS instead of just putting an mp3 on your phone like you can do with almost any other modern phone. Oh yes, that must be the RIAA, not Apple, who make money from selling the ringtones. Frankly, this is absurd.

Re:Easy to pay! (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20671017)

" Instead of being an idiot, perhaps you should ask yourself in whose interest it is that you have to buy your ringtones from ITMS instead of just putting an mp3 on your phone like you can do with almost any other modern phone. "

I dunno if that is the best example you can give. From what I've seen, most other phone companies (Verizon, Sprint, etc) pretty much try to force you to pay for your ringtones too....mostly from them?

While there are phones out there that you can put your own ringtones on.....you usually have to hope you can find some kind of 3rd party app with will work with your phone, or jump through some hoops to figure out the format/extension, etc to get your own to work...IF you can transfer files via BT or cable...and that doesn't always work on all phones.

So, while I don't myself see why anyone would PAY more for a ringtone than the whole song (why pay at all I say), this isn't that big a deal that Apple is doing here with regards to ringtones. It isn't like they invented trying to force you to buy your phone media from them.....

Re:Easy to pay! (1, Interesting)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670685)

Interesting. I was under the impression that Steve Jobs thought Apple was a hardware company, if so, why would he care about something that could make him sell more hardware? Oh I see, they lure you in with the hardware and then lock you down with the software!

Arr! (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670063)

They be takin' on the Jolly Roger. I be thinkin' they be changin' the iPhone to detect meddlin' with their cabal. Add a checksum or something.

Lawsuits be expensive.

Re:Arr! (5, Interesting)

thornmaker (794873) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670237)

ironic, this coming from a man who 'went into business briefly in 1974 to build "blue boxes" that allowed illicit free long distance calls' (so says wikipedia)

Re:Arr! (1)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670529)

So says Woz, too, in his autobiography, yarr! The irony be not lost on me.

Re:Arr! (1)

UberHoser (868520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670603)

Harr, nothing be more annoying than a reformed pirate. It be kinda poetic justice that the swab Jobs is frothing at 'pirates', for hacking his product, yarrr.

Re:Arr! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20671033)

bemones to ye, me thinks today be National Talk Like a Pirate Day [reuters.com]

so shiver me timbers ab't t' speak.

iPhone... (3, Informative)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670069)

Totally missing the point (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670187)

Yes, it is. (And apparently you didn't read any of the linked articles, because there are a lot more issues here [slashdot.org] .)

But it the manufacturer doesn't have to allow or enable it. If you can figure it out, great. But if they also stop that same unlocking procedure in future software or hardware iterations of the phone, they can.

And I really don't think Apple will be "relocking" phones...they'll likely just be plugging the holes that allowed them to be unlocked in the first place in future firmware versions. That said, I guess I wouldn't be stunned if some unlocked phones broke, intentionally or otherwise. But all of this has NO BEARING on the DMCA exception. The vendor is under zero obligation to enable unlocking.

So it's not "too bad for Jobs" at all, unfortunately.

Re:Totally missing the point (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670465)

In the great Slashdot tradition you're right I didn't read any of the links - I went with a recollection of the legality fact and a quick google allowed me to make my post quickly. I believe the important thing about the exemption however is that although you must do it yourself, the instructions can be hosted overseas where they do not contravene the DMCA and people in the US can follow the instructions there while remaining within their legal rights in the US.
Please reply?

Re:Totally missing the point (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670575)

Sure, if the information and/or tools are out of reach of any US jurisdiction, e.g. overseas, absolutely people can download the tools or follow the instructions to unlock the handset. But your post made it sound like Apple MUST allow unlocking and/or not try to stop it, and they don't have to do anything of the sort.

The handset manufacturer is under no obligation to keep the same set of conditions whereby a particular tool or set of instructions works to unlock the phone. It can be argued that they also should not re-lock handsets if already unlocked. However, future firmware upgrades may possibly also break, overwrite, or otherwise undo things on handsets which are in an unexpected state (e.g., unlocked).

That said, I have no doubt people will continue to figure out how to unlock the iPhone under successive hardware/software iterations, and if there is a hobbyist/experimenter clientele out there who wants to deal with the continuing potential hassles, then more power to them. And yes, it is most certainly not illegal to unlock your GSM handset yourself (at least under the current DMCA exemption in the US) using whatever tools or instructions that may be available. But if someone offers that as a service, or makes tools available, etc., and are within reach of US jurisdiction, those kinds of operations may be shut down.

Newsflash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670725)

Johnny Appleseed has been added to the FBI's most wanted list.

Re:Totally missing the point (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670819)

Here's [arstechnica.com] a good article about the iPhone in specific over at ArsTechnica too.

Re:Totally missing the point (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670917)

Sure they are under no obligation to help you unlock your iPhone, but I would bet that if they unrecoverably brick all the unlocked iPhones with the next software push, that they could be looking at a class action lawsuit.

Re:Totally missing the point (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20671093)

A class action lawsuit for what?

Updating baseband radio firmware that is expected to be in a predictable state, which ends up unintentionally breaking because it has been hacked in a completely unsupported and unpredictable way by the customer?

No, I think not. But they can certainly try.

I think you expect Apple to maliciously brick or re-lock unlocked phones. That may be the end result, but it will likely be for technical or other unforeseen reasons, not intentional.

(That said, I think Apple will take the pragmatic path and try to not upset the apple cart, so to speak, of already-unlocked iPhones, and will simply close the holes that allow unlocking to happen in future firmware versions.)

Re:iPhone... (1)

JoelKatz (46478) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670743)

Even without this rule, it would be legal. Owners of physical devices aren't circumventing anything when they use the devices they own. It's well-settled law that you can't use copyright to cover "magic words" or purely functional mechanisms. See Chamberlain v. Skylink and Lexmark v. Static Controls.

You can use copyright to protect the actual thing you are copyrighting. But you can't use copyright as a lock out to secure a monopoly. You can't own "every way to make an iPhone work with another wireless company" through copyright, only through patent.

Really? (4, Insightful)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670079)

Does Apple truly have much to lose from iPhone hackery?

The only people this really harms is AT&T, and Jobs has never shown the slightest inclination before towards caring about a business partner getting fucked over. If it suits his needs, he'll probably want Apple to subtly encourage it.

I would.

Re:Really? (3, Interesting)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670161)

doesn't Apple get a share of the line charges from A&T?

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

click2005 (921437) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670217)

It might just be he has to show hes trying to stop the iphone hacking. Jobs isn't stupid. He knows stopping the hacking will be almost impossible. At least now AT&T cant sue Apple for their not taking action.

Re:Really? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670219)

The only people this really harms is AT&T, and Jobs has never shown the slightest inclination before towards caring about a business partner getting fucked over. If it suits his needs, he'll probably want Apple to subtly encourage it.
incorrect, as you may remember in previous slashdot postings, Apple makes quite a chunk of cash from their deal with AT&T otherwise it would be beyond foolish to lock the iPhone without some sort of financial incentive. That is, had it not been foolish to crush any attempts to avoid being locked to AT&T...

Yes. (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670337)

Does Apple truly have much to lose from iPhone hackery?

Yes. [thestreet.com]

To say nothing of other intangibles like wanting to guarantee a seamless user experience with iTunes, activation, the carrier partner, etc.

No (3, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670869)

If you actually read the link you provided, you will see that Apple gets the same amount of money from AT&T whether or not the phone is unlocked.

And AT&T doesn't even suffer, they get they subscription fee whether or not the customers use any of their service.

iPhone unlocking only have winners.

Wrong (3, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20671023)

While it says, "Apple is getting an unprecedented windfall on the sale of each new iPhone", the implicit assumption using any level of logic is that AT&T pays Apple based on activations, not on Apple simply giving them a report of the number of iPhones sold and AT&T anteing up without question. Further proof that it is based on activated phones on AT&T, and not just sold phones, and that there is an infrastructure to track and support this, is the fact that Apple is also getting a kickback on monthly service fees, to the tune of a rumored 3%/month for existing customers and a whopping 10%/month for new customers.

Even IF AT&T were just paying Apple for iPhones sold and not activated (which they're not, and which would be utterly stupid), Apple would still lose the monthly fee kickback, and AT&T would likely get very irritated at paying Apple for iPhones not activated on AT&T.

Your statement about AT&T not suffering in that scenario is remarkable, because they absolutely do not get the service fee if the phone is unlocked and not used on AT&T's network. Now if you're talking about people who ARE AT&T iPhone customers that simply choose to unlock their iPhone, I'd agree with you - to a point. But I'm talking about iPhones unlocked and never activated or used on AT&T, which is going to be an increasing number of iPhones. That's a much bigger market than you think it is.

Re:Really? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670555)

Does Apple truly have much to lose from iPhone hackery?

That is a very good question. For the life of me, I can't think of any sound reason why the answer would be "yes."

It seems that Jobs himself is still trapped in the must-have-the-whole-pie mindset that results in user frustration, smaller pies, and hacks. There really is no other motivation for this sort of arbitrary limitation on a technical product.

Incidentally, this is the reason I don't own an iPhone. Instead I bought an unlocked Nokia 5300 ExpressMusic. It has a USB port that allows me to transfer any files I want to and from any computer I want, without the need for special software, and it also lets me use any MP3 I get my hands on (by any means) as a ringtone (no fees, no limitations). Most importantly: I can write my own apps for the phone in Java, or download third-party apps.

My Nokia isn't as pretty as the iPhone, but it actually does what I want it to do, unlike the iPhone. If the iPhone was similarly open, I would have ponied up the dough for one.

Oh well. Eventually a sufficiently unburdened clone will be available and I will buy that (but probably not until my Nokia wears out).

Re:Really? (1)

IronWilliamCash (1078065) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670843)

Does Apple truly have much to lose from iPhone hackery?

doesn't Apple get a share of the line charges from A&T?

incorrect, as you may remember in previous slashdot postings, Apple makes quite a chunk of cash from their deal with AT&T otherwise it would be beyond foolish to lock the iPhone without some sort of financial incentive. That is, had it not been foolish to crush any attempts to avoid being locked to AT&T...
Did any of you even read the article before posting stupid questions??? Can't believe slashdot has so many people commenting stupidly on something they didn't even read.

A Company (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670087)

I think at times we forget at times Apple is a company and they are in it to make money. What happens if someone creates an application for the Iphone and apple was on its way to making an application like that but for charge. Apple has just waisted its time and could be open to lawsuits.

Re:A Company (3, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670289)

I think at times we forget at times Apple is a company and they are in it to make money.

I thought Apple was a religion.

But then most religions exist to make money/fleece the err customers.

Re:A Company (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670665)

Apple has just waisted its time and could be open to lawsuits.

Oh, puh-leeze. I guess Apple wasted its time with iWork, too, since MS Office was available for the Mac beforehand. Write good apps, and people will use them!

Re:A Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670707)

"I think at times we forget at times Apple is a company and they are in it to make money. "

Geeze, it's telling you have to point out the glaringly obvious - shows the loony mentality of Apple fanboi loons.

A few issues (5, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670089)

For the record, I will be surprised if Apple actively tries to re-lock already-unlocked phones, but I would not be surprised if they try to prevent unlocking in future firmware updates, considering the current unlock mechanism uses an overflow condition that will likely be, well, fixed in future updates (should Apple not fix a potentially exploitable buffer overflow on the iPhone?). Then, someone will find some other exploitable condition to unlock the iPhone, and the game continues.

Every GSM handset under the sun has been unlocked. The main difference with iPhone is that people are more likely to do regular full firmware updates with the iPhone due to the kind of product it is and the ease of doing so via iTunes, as opposed to other GSM handsets. But I can't see Apple relocking already-unlocked phones.

That said, while an explicit exemption [arstechnica.com] exists that allows end customers to legally unlock GSM handsets in the US, no such requirement exists for a vendor to allow it, document it, or provide such a capability to the customer (see also "DMCA Exemption Attorney Weighs in on iPhone Unlocking" [ipodobserver.com] .

Further, requirements in various jurisdictions that the carrier provide a means to unlock the handset after the contract term, i.e., after the subsidy is paid, MAY NOT at all apply to the iPhone, since the iPhone is technically unsubsidized. Apple appears to be negotiating backchannel subsidies and unprecedented monthly kickbacks [thestreet.com] from carriers...but the iPhone itself still isn't subsidized under the traditional subsidy model: you can buy an iPhone, walk out, and NEVER activate it, and the phone is yours to keep. However, this may also mean that no carrier is ever obligated to unlock it for you.

Also, Apple is depending on the expected profits from AT&T kickbacks for AT&T activations...that's how the iPhone price is structured. Now, if you can figure out how to unlock your phone and use it on another carrier, great. But also don't cry if Apple throws roadblocks in the way. You can argue that "it's only good for Apple" if people get to use unlocked iPhones, but that's not your decision to make, unfortunately - it's Apple's. Don't get me wrong: YOU can decide it's good for YOU. But you don't get to decide that it's good for Apple, or anyone else. And with things like seamless activation via iTunes, Visual Voicemail, and all the tight integration that requires enormous amounts of backend cooperation with the carrier partner (think about how iPhone activation works and how it must have been to pull something like that off), is it any surprise Apple wants to keep the iPhone experience with the carrier partner?

And think of all the other ways iPhone is unique: you get to walk out of the store with it sealed in a box, it can be easily bought as a gift, the customer does activation themselves in the comfort of their own homes with a pleasant interface, and so on.

So if people can figure out how to unlock the phone, great. But don't expect Apple to not fix actual bugs like buffer overflows in the phone that are coincidentally used to enable unlocking, and don't assume that ANYONE will ever be "required" to unlock iPhones, unless it is simply flat out illegal to have a SIMlocked phone in a particular jurisdiction, in which case Apple would probably elect to skip that market entirely.

This is a lot like the Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware arguments. People always say it's "better for Apple" or "free advertising for Apple". No. Pirating the OS is not good for Apple. And even if you say "but I'd buy it for $129!" that also doesn't solve it...the $129 price is predicated on the fact that there is Apple hardware that goes along with it. So then you say, "Well, I'd even pay $250 or more! Would that fix it?" No, because part of the Apple experience is the seamless integration and things "just working" (yeah, yeah, yeah, insert Apple horror story about something not "just working" here...), and that is extremely important to Apple. And considering that Apple is the one that put billions of dollars of R&D and tens of thousands of manhours into product development, they are going to use legal frameworks such as copyright in various jurisdictions to their advantage where applicable.

You can make as many philosophical arguments as you want, and frankly what YOU do in YOUR house with YOUR product is YOUR business. But when there are cottage industries that spring up around iPhone unlocking and letting Mac OS X run on non-Apple hardware, Apple will try to prevent that from continuing. And then the hackers will find a way around it again...Apple KNOWS this. That's not, however, the point. There are legal, contractual, economic, and myriad other concerns when it comes to DRM on music, iPhones being tied to a carrier, and so on.

Re:A few issues (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670411)

Also, Apple is depending on the expected profits from AT&T kickbacks for AT&T activations...that's how the iPhone price is structured.
Really? Given that the price of the iphone is in line with the non-subsidized prices of most other GSM phones of similar complexity, it seems like Apple is doing something wrong if what you say is true.

PS, posting anon because there are just too many apple flametards out there. Go ahead and burn your mod points on me anyway please!

Re:A few issues (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670837)

Really? Given that the price of the iphone is in line with the non-subsidized prices of most other GSM phones of similar complexity, it seems like Apple is doing something wrong if what you say is true.

Yes, "really". Whether Apple is losing money or making $150 on each handset sold pre-activation, the price is still inherently structured to depend on AT&T kickbacks. If they weren't getting $150-$200 and 3%/month for existing customers and 10%/month for new customers on each iPhone activation from AT&T, do you think they wouldn't miss that money? The price is ABSOLUTELY structured depending on that money from AT how could it not be?

And how is Apple "doing something wrong"? You don't think it's okay to build a profit structure into a product? And you likely underestimate the amount of R&D in terms of both sheer money and manpower that went into the iPhone. If you think the iPhone is really fundamentally basically the same thing as numerous other smartphone-type devices, we'd probably disagree on that.

Whose job is it, Jobs? (4, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670095)

Jobs said, "It's a constant cat and mouse game," according to ComputerWorld's account of the discussion. "We try to stay ahead. People will try to break in, and it's our job to stop them breaking in."

Mr. Jobs, can you tell us why it's your job to do that? You sell hardware. We are the customer. Is AT&T paying you to keep that exclusivity by all technical means? Oh, wait, I see. We are the consumer, not the customer. See, whenever industry uses the word consumer, it means there's someone else (such as another company) who is actually the customer. "The customer is always right" doesn't apply if we're just sheeple consumers.

Correction. (4, Insightful)

juuri (7678) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670493)

Mr. Jobs, can you tell us why it's your job to do that? You sell hardware. We are the customer.

People often get this wrong on Apple, like them or not, they don't sell hardware... or really software (much). Apple sells you a solution, an experience, a total package. Their focus and developments are all based on expected hardware and software components being in a certain order or place to ensure they can provide a specific experience to the end user.

In this case the contracts with the carriers probably have explicit clauses saying they will fight to combat unlocks in the same way they fix their aac every quarter or so to try and appease the music companies.

Re:Correction. (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670905)

If Ford sells me an "experience" like a Mustang, and I decide to rip out the Ford stock stereo or take off the Ford street tires and replace it with an aftermarket stereo or racing whitewalls, that's my decision, not Ford's. And court precedent bears this out. Apple wants to explain that this is somehow different, but it's not. I'm the customer. I decide what "experience" to have with the product, after they've sold me the goods.

I'm not arguing their ability to put junk I don't want in there. I'm arguing that unless there's nefarious anti-consumer contracts with carriers, they have no right to "fix my experience" away from the configuration I choose. A patch to re-lock SIMs to a sole vendor is explicitly against the legal and moral arguments that define SIM transferrability. And if they do have those contracts, like Ford with Firestone or Ford with Panasonic, I say this is unconscionable and such contracts should be made void.

Re:Whose job is it, Jobs? (1)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670757)

It is Apple's job to work against people "breaking in" to their stuff for the same reason it's Microsoft's job to stop people from "breaking in" to their stuff, IBM's job to .... you get the picture.

So you wanted to give off a rant on "consumerism". Fine. But at least do it on an article that is about consumerism. Of course, the only difference between a consumer and a customer in a business sense is .... well how it is spelled. Jobs spoke of customers and you go off on a rant about consumers. Kinda undermines your credibility in such an argument/discussion.

Re:Whose job is it, Jobs? (1)

Paperweight (865007) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670783)

Apple should realize that they have much more to gain by embracing hackers than by fighting them. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em - Didn't they learn anything from looney tunes?

Unlocking is specifically allowed by DMCA (5, Informative)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670117)

Exemptions are allowed for 1) the educational library of a university's media studies department, in order to watch film clips in class; 2) using computer software that requires the original disks or hardware in order to run; 3) dongle-protected computer programs, if the the dongle no longer functions and a replacement cannot be found; 4) protected e-books, in order to use screen-reader software; 5) cell phone firmware that ties a phone to a specific wireless network; and 6) DRM software included on audio CDs, but only when such software creates security vulnerabilities on personal computers.
This was an exemption introduced last year by the Register of Copyrights. Linky [arstechnica.com]

Re:Unlocking is specifically allowed by DMCA (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670251)

Doesn't matter.

If the customer can figure out how to unlock it, great.

But the vendor is under no obligation to document it or otherwise allow it. It's just that if you figure out how to unlock your handset, it is exempted from DMCA provisions. In no way does this mean that being able to unlock is somehow mandatory or required. Just that it's legal, and only if you can figure it out. Other business profiting from it, services that unlock for you for money, and even free applications that unlock all have questionable legal status.

Here's the word from the attorney who architected the DMCA exemption. [ipodobserver.com]

I can't believe how much garbage information is in the comments for this article already... :-/

asswipes (5, Insightful)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670125)

I love how companies don't deny your right to fair use, they just put restrictions around the device that make it illegal to even access fair use. That's like saying, "You have the right to free speech, but only at this designated microphone that can be found inside the 4th underground level at Area 51."

Re:asswipes (1)

jkerman (74317) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670809)

I take it you havent ever seen a "free speech zone" before? That is the state this country is in im sad to say.

Wear an anti-bush t-shirt to a bush speech someday. youll get a fantastic lesson in the current state of free speech.

hell, at this point, i WISH we got a microphone

Re:asswipes (2, Interesting)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670985)

Wear an anti-bush t-shirt to a bush speech someday
What happened to you when you did it?

iPhone - good idea... but it's from Apple! (1, Insightful)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670169)

I like the idea of iphone and it's interface and what it's supposed to do. However, because it's from Apple it will be a rocky ride and not an easy product to use or operate on world level. I live in USA and travel frequently to other countries.

Since it's from Apple, the product will be ridden by lock downs, law suites, harassment of people who create addons etc. Just like every other Apple product and which is why I have always stayed clear of Apple.

Correct (1, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670271)

So it's obviously not for you. Good luck with whatever you end up buying/using.

Thats what the business world calls... (3, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670189)

Lip service. There is very little interest for Apple to stop people modifying their products because their current business model focuses on hardware sales. The problem is, though, if they are not looked upon by their content partners as working very hard to protect their content, then there will not be anything to put on that hardware... So, the end result is a constant stream of weak patches and allot of talk. (The recent iPhone ringtones "patch" is a great example of this) At the end of the day, though, nothing will change...

Re:Thats what the business world calls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670377)

I certainly hope so. Apple has (mostly) stayed on the side of the consumers as opposed to corporate interests in the past. The day Apple starts going against that principle is when a lot of us will part ways with them to a significant extent. They have nothing to lose and a lot to gain if they leave the iPhone easy to unlock.

Now, if they'll only do a software update to activate the w (wait) part of the phone number behave like other phones (e.g., Motorola V3), I'd be happier.

"Independent Developers" are Apple's Best Friends (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670253)

Apple does not seem to know who its friends are. People are taking a great hardware design (for which Apple is justifiably famous), and improving its functionality through improved or additional software. Everybody wins!

Except when some company becomes egomaniacal and starts trying to grab it all for itself. Even Microsoft did not go so far as to actually try to block "independent developers" outright.

Re:"Independent Developers" are Apple's Best Frien (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670511)

Even Microsoft did not go so far as to actually try to block "independent developers" outright.

Have you tried writing an app to run on the Xbox without paying licensing fees/royalties to Microsoft?

-jcr

Re:"Independent Developers" are Apple's Best Frien (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20671113)

That is the console development world, not Microsoft alone.

"Have you tried writing an (native) app to run on the (Xbox,NES,SNES,N64,Wii,SMS,Genesis,Dreamcast,NEOGEO,Playstation,PS2,PS3) without paying licensing fees/royalties to (Microsoft,Nintendo,Sega,SNK,Sony)?"

Re:"Independent Developers" are Apple's Best Frien (2, Insightful)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670717)

Cheers! The iPhone has a beautiful UI and is a really neat piece of hardware. But a lot of functionality (IM, decent SMS client able to even save drafts or SMS multiple people, etc, so forth) is missing out of the box. The iPhone is a beta device, still, and 3rd party developers increase Apple's development team about tenfold. Apple should leap for joy and even offer to buy some third-party applications rather than complaining.

Note that I'm not talking about SIM unlocking, which is a seperate issue. Apple should simply offer SIM-unlocked phones for a higher price to make up for the lack of AT&T subsidy.

-b.

Re:"Independent Developers" are Apple's Best Frien (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670761)

Unlock != Jailbreak. TFA focuses specifically on the applications being developed that *unlock* the phone - i.e. allow SIMs from other telephone service providers to work in the iPhone - the process to do this exploits a buffer overflow vulnerability in the software, which, IIRC is not required to install custom software on the phone. I don't think Jobs has any problem with developers creating their own third party applications for the phone, but he (quite reasonably) doesn't want to a) advertise that particular feature and b) deal with the inevitable support headaches that would arise as a result of broken third party apps.

lip service more than anything (5, Insightful)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670265)

I think Mr. Jobs is required to say things like this. How would it look to his big (and only) US carrier partner locked in for 5 years or whatever it is, if he said "We condone the hackers and their unlocking software". What they actually do about it will really tell the story, and that's a wait and see game, so no use speculating.

Re:lip service more than anything (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670935)

Not to mention, if they condone the hackers then they are obligated to support the iPhone under such hacked circumstances, etc.

This is actually a great business strategy.
1. Release a locked device that's pretty cool, but not TOO flexible
2. People unlock it to do fun things
3. Consequentailly, their warranties are voided... boo hoo :'(

Learn from RIAA woes (3, Insightful)

Falcon_Delta00 (1156119) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670339)

Ultimately, if there is enough motivation in the tech community to hack products then they will be hacked. Look at the RIAA and music files, P2P file sharing and hacking is prolific even after years of intense legal battles. But let's look at what's happening here. Not all hacking is for evil and malicious ends, often times hacking products or developing new programs for them is a way to improve a product. If there is enough interest to crack the iphone and generate a lot of 3rd party apps, then maybe apple isn't doing enough to deliver a product that consumers really want. Finally, look at a company like Sony. They were very draconian about DRM, proprietary formats, and not letting their devices be tweaked and they've had a lot of lost market share and failed products. Does anyone remember the MiniDisc player? Letting the community be involved in a product, whether through 3rd party apps etc. helps generate users, as well as keeps people interested in the product.

I fail to see what the point is... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670343)

if the unlocked iPhone can work with ANY carrier, doesn't that mean that other carriers besides Ma Bell will be interested in your products? If someone can explain this to me, I'd be grateful.

(Interesting note: The captcha for this post is "perish". Are you sure these captchas aren't generated with an AI or something?)

He's Talking to AT&T (5, Insightful)

chowhound (136628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670381)

I believe that statement was for the benefit of AT&T and future partners. The fact of the matter is that since June 30th, Apple has released only two updates to the iPhone software. Is this the action of a company desperate to keep people out? Jobs is not concerned with hackers playing around with iPhones. Presumably they bought them, Apple got paid.

Re:He's Talking to AT&T (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670749)

. The fact of the matter is that since June 30th, Apple has released only two updates to the iPhone software. Is this the action of a company desperate to keep people out? Jobs is not concerned with hackers playing around with iPhones.

Put a strong lock on the front door to appease your wife (AT&T) and keep the back porch door unlocked so that your friends can come in, drink, and play cards late at night. This strategy has been going on since time immemorial and kudos to Apple for making the iPhone easy to hack.

-b.

Re:He's Talking to AT&T (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670999)

Microsoft: We're going to actively persue hackers who mod the XBox 360 to play game backups Slashdot Reaction: They are hellspawn demons from the 5th level of hell. Microsoft should be punished. Apple: We're going to actively persue hackers who unlock iPhones Slashdot Reaction: Steve would never do this to us! He's saying it because he has to! ... Wake ... up. Steve is not your friend. He's not someone who has your best interests at heart. He's not a philanthropic man with a vision of peace and harmony. He's in business to make money, and this is a profit driven statement. I'm not against you guys loving Apple and their products, but really. You don't get much more blatant than Jobs was in this article. Business is not about the short term - selling an iPhone is great for them. Yes, they got paid, but how long do you think they'll have their carrier agreement if Apple does not try to make it hard, if not impossible, for people to flee to other carriers?

Misplaced Optimism (2, Insightful)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670389)

Remember when all the fanboys were soapboxing that the iPhone was going to revolutionize the cell phone market and make it more open? Misinterpreting the fact that the phone wasn't going to be subsidized by AT&T as a sign that there would be no carrier lock-in? Those cynics among us - which oddly were in the minority - predicted that no subsidy meant you're simply paying more for a device that STILL requires a two-year contract, and that Apple's attitude toward developers and users was going to be exactly like every product they sell. Tightly controlled hardware and software. The braying of the faithful never ceases to amaze me. When people started circumventing the iPhone's locks, they claimed that Jobs *intentionally* made it easy to hack the iPhone. Now this... Wait for the OpenMoko, kids.

Mr. Jobs... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670439)

...this is defiantly not an "insanely great" idea.

We take off and nuke them from orbit... (4, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670463)

How will Apple try to defeat the hackers?
"We take off and nuke them from orbit; it's the only way to be sure."

Forget the Happy Shiny Evil Little Empire (2, Interesting)

christian.einfeldt (874074) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670473)

I have always wondered why there are so many FOSS advocates who put up with Apple's DRM'd little empire. Somehow, if Apple does the same thing that Microsoft does, Apple gets a pass, but why? And perhaps, more important, what can the FOSS community do to move Apple in a more Free and open source direction.

Are people really happy with Apple's contributions to BSD and Konqueror code?

If people are willing to put up with lock down just because Apple products are slick, I have to ask, are Apple products really that much more slick than Compiz? Is slick performance alone enough of a difference that people will give a pass to Apple?

I am not someone who believes everyone must use gNewSense and use only Free Software, because that is inconvenient for most users. But can't we make a little more effort to support vendors such as HP, Dell, Zareason [zareason.com] , TechCollective.com [techcollective.com] , Emperor Linux [emperorlinux.com] , and other similar vendors who offer decent hardware with a better balance of Free to non-Free software?

IMHO, desktop Linux is good enough that we should try to encourage people to give it a shot, rather than just putting up with tyrannical insistence on having everything his own way, including his own little DRM'd desktop. Why put up with a company that would resort to the DMCA to attack its own customers? I understand that there is a lot about the iPhone that is cool, and yes it is a nice platform to hack, but why go to such lengths to hack it when you can't share your hacks?

I have my Christmas Gift eyes on you Jobs, behave (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670535)

I'm planning on buying two iPhones for my wife and I for Christmas. One of the iPhones most appealing characteristics for me is how accommodating its been for developers of 3rd party applications. I've no intention of unlocking the phone and going over to t-mobile, I don't have a problem with AT&T (I want visual voice mail too). But I will reconsider if Apple starts going after developers. Whether it's lawsuits or updates that constantly ruin apps, it's my dollars that are at issue here and I plan on making the best decision for me. Now, if there's an occasional update that breaks something, that's not too much of an issue. After all, I don't expect Apple to start supporting 3rd party apps. But there is a point in my mind, that if Apple crosses and makes things too "locked in", sorry Apple, taking my ball/dollars and going home. The iPhone is at a real crossroads here and Christmas may be what makes or breaks it. I know the phone has been successful, but not as successful as many had hoped. With the negative press the sudden price breaks caused (how price breaks gets bad press is beyond me), Apple should be trying to appear as accommodating as possible between now and February.

Re:I have my Christmas Gift eyes on you Jobs, beha (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670801)

One of the iPhones most appealing characteristics for me is how accommodating its been for developers of 3rd party applications. I've no intention of unlocking the phone and going over to t-mobile, I don't have a problem with AT&T (I want visual voice mail too). But I will reconsider if Apple starts going after developers.

I think part of the reason is that the iPhone OS is pretty insecure by default -- everything seems to run with root privs, so you should be careful what you install. Contrast this with the latest BB which has options for what applications can access what resources.

As far as updates, you can always just not update from 1.0.2 if it becomes a problem and use STRICTLY 3rd party applications. (Probably will end up being better than a lot of Apple's applets!)

-b.

Will I be the first.....? (4, Informative)

/.Rooster (54989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670541)

... To say roll on OpenMoko http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Main_Page [openmoko.org]

I know which way I will go and Jobs can stick his iTunes et al. Free your phone!! What more is there to say :)

Too bad for Apple... (1)

Dast (10275) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670549)

They do this to their own detriment (if true). Look at the way Microsoft rose to power: coddling developers. Don't fight off fans of your hardware (ie the true hackers)--embrace them. More unlocked iPhones == more sold iPhones. I'm sure not switching to AT&T for some iPhone device. *shrug*

Let them do it. Watch their market share.

Copyright vs. contract law (1)

j_w_d (114171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670567)

I don't see how the the DMCA is useful to Apple here. Nothing they may have copyrighted is being copied. Quite the contrary. So, not even the anticircumvention elements of the DMCA should be relevant. About the only thing that looks likely to be a useful legal took is contract law.

I don't get why ... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670617)

the hackers are made to be the bad guys when it's apple and AT&T who are engaging in anti-competitive behaviour. Clearly the iPhone has no technological reason to be locked to AT&T, and even if it were, why shouldn't they be allowed to modify their own damn phone.

This is like blaming the victim when they don't pay protection money. "Your store wouldn't have gotten broken into, if you had just paid them off!"

Re:I don't get why ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670799)

Not strictly speaking true. The voice mail is entirely dependent upon AT&T's system and EDGE. If you can figure out how to use an iPhone on another carrier, you have to use conventional voice mail with it.

Think about Apple's business model (1)

qweqwe321 (1097441) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670695)

Apple is fundamentally a hardware company, not a software company, and their job is to get you to buy physical devices, not to sell you services. I doubt they'll care about iPhone unlocking for the same reason they encourage putting Windows on a Mac-- it encourages sales.

Re:Think about Apple's business model (1, Insightful)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670949)

Let's examine this (the notion that Apple is primarily a hardware company)?

I can buy a Mac computer, but I don't see anny way of "unbundling" OS X. (trust me, I'd love that option; a Mac Mini without OS X, or any of its built-in applications, without the Apple keyboard, mouse, or display -- something I would actually buy quite a lot of!).

I can buy OS X, without a computer (but it won't run on much other that a Mac).

I can't buy an iPhone without software.

The only "official" way to update an iPod is to use an Apple software "client". The iPod is worthless without this (or hackers to figure out what the software/firmware is doing). Compare and contrast against most other mp3 players, where the device simply appears as a disk.

Even back in the days of the Apple ][, the system was distinguished from its competition by the provided software (on that machine, its ROM).

Maybe you want to say "Apple is primarily a SYSTEMS company, not a software company".

=== Now that I have completed a post that may be construed as slightly critical of Apple, its products, or its philosophy, I expect to be modded (as usual) into oblivion. As a pre-emptive strike, let me say that I find most Apple users to be so offensive to me that I find myself prejudiced against all Apple users. Go ahead, and PLEASE make me your foe.

Re:Think about Apple's business model (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670959)

Apple gets a share of the monthly bill of the iPhone customer. Some sources peg it at $9/month. So they indeed care about unlocking.

The good news (2)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670729)

Yes, Apple has officially made their position against unlocking hacks. (Is this a surprise to anyone?). But on a happier note, they have taken a "neutral" stance towards third-party applications. From an interview with Apple's Greg Joswiak [gearlog.com] :

He said Apple doesn't oppose native application development, which was new to me. Rather, Apple takes a neutral stance - they're not going to stop anyone from writing apps, and they're not going to maliciously design software updates to break the native apps, but they're not going to care if their software updates accidentally break the native apps either. He very carefully left the door open to a further change in this policy, too, saying that Apple is always re-examining its perspective on these sorts of things.

At the UK iPhone launch Steve basically reiterated this stance: [appleinsider.com]

Meanwhile, Jobs acknowledged that third-party developers have started to produce several intriguing, yet unofficial iPhone applications. He said Apple is looking at some of them closely, especially those that don't require a connection to the Internet. It's likely that those applications would be the first of any to receive an official endorsement from Apple, according to Jobs' comments, as those that require Internet access could threaten the 'high standard' of experience customers have come to expect with the iPhone.

I unlocked my Palm... (4, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670747)

Oh, wait - it's not locked in the first place. It does everything the iPhone does, except calls, and cost $300 less. Actually, it does more - I can run whatever code I please, and even write my own programs on the Palm. iPhone owners share the dubious distinction of owning a computer they aren't legally allowed to program.

I'd like to own an iPhone. Honestly, I would. But, though I can pay for the phone, only AT&T can own it. Jobs, Apple, and AT&T want it that way, and if you've paid for an iPhone, you've essentially told them that they can have your cake and eat it too.

The very thing which makes the computer such an enabling device is that it can be reprogrammed to perform almost any task. Unlike the single function devices of the past - such as a calculator, which performs at most one function - a computer is a totally open piece of hardware. The task which it can be programmed to do are limited only by the ingenuity and creativity of the programmer/user.

Until now. With the advent of cellphones, especially locked ones, we are seeing a new trend in computers. Rather than expanding the functionality of computers, they seek to limit it, in order to serve the greed of Corporate America. A device which formerly could be repurposed for any task the owner thought fit is now restricted to performing only the functions which make the manufacturer money. Consumer benefit beyond the original purpose of the device is explicitly and legally forbidden.

And here ends the computer revolution. A formerly beautiful piece of machinery, capable of solving almost any problem, is reduced to serving the utilitarian greed of corporations, in effect, an intellectual slave of the willfully ignorant.

How long before the same happens to the PC? When a PC can only be bought in conjunction with an internet service, and users are legally prevented from installing their own software?

I hope those who buy the iPhone are prepared to deal with a future in which everything they possess is owned and licensed by a corporation. Because they're paving the way for the increased use of restricted, defective by design, hardware.

Re:I unlocked my Palm... (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20671055)

It does everything the iPhone does, except calls

Oh yeah, that's like, totally a secondary feature anyway, I'm certainly not missing it. Who uses the iPhone as a phone?

I'd like to own an iPhone. Honestly, I would. But, though I can pay for the phone, only AT&T can own it. Jobs, Apple, and AT&T want it that way, and if you've paid for an iPhone, you've essentially told them that they can have your cake and eat it too.

Funny, as a Canadian I've never paid a penny to AT&T, and my iPhone works fine. While I would like a factory unlocked phone as much as the next guy, there are plenty of ways for us technically adept people to have OUR cake and eat it too.

The task which it can be programmed to do are limited only by the ingenuity and creativity of the programmer/user.

You're right. In fact this morning the beta for a cell-tower-triangulation tool that integrates with Google Maps just came out. iPhone development is chugging right along, and many tools are already very mature and usable.

Consumer benefit beyond the original purpose of the device is explicitly and legally forbidden.

FUD. I have every legal right in both the US and Canada to unlock my phone and install whatever the hell I want on it. Apple may not like it, and may even do pitifully ineffectual things to stop me, but the law is on MY side.

I hope those who buy the iPhone are prepared to deal with a future in which everything they possess is owned and licensed by a corporation.

What part of ownership do you not understand? Neither AT&T nor Apple own my iPhone, I do, in EVERY sense of the law. Apple has chosen to cripple the device, I have chosen to un-cripple it. They don't own anything of mine.

breaking out (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670855)

Jobs said:

People will try to break in, and it's our job to stop them breaking in.
Oops, a speak-o. Let me fix that for you:

People will try to break out, and it's our job to stop them breaking out.
There we go. Hope This Helps.

Re-locking would be treading very thin ice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20670895)

OK, Let's say I buy an iPhone. I reference various unlocking instructions, but I do not follow any 1 set of instructions to the letter. I use different tools, improvise here and there. I do not publish anything about the way I did things. According to TFA, I now have a 100% legal, unlocked iPhone, that I unlocked based on my personal knowledge, and research I did. I have modified system files, added apps, personal data, contacts, etc., but only to my own iPhone. Now Apple comes and releases an update that re-locks my phone, and makes it so that installed (native) apps stop working. Unless Apple is very clear about the effects of the update, and the update is NOT required for me to continue using my iPhone, Apple is in effect deleting my personal data on my computer without my consent. I don't think they want to go there.

Forget lawsuits, dmca, software updates etc (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20670983)

If ever jobs/apple goes on to these people, the publicity and reputation they will be losing is going to be phenomenonal. No amount of money can buy that much publicity back in short notice. Id advise against it.

choose the IBM way. Do what they did with IBM PC. Support 3rd party developers. If you go that way, in 10 years time youll see that ipod "compatibles" becomes the dominant standard in mobile devices.

The Circle of Life (1)

j33pn (1049772) | more than 6 years ago | (#20671091)

Jobs' Next Fight -- Dealing With iPhone Hackers Now that's irony, and so we can see that in the circle of life, the hacker will eventually become the hackee.
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