Not only are certain Apple stores voiding the warranty on hacked and unlocked iPhones, Apple's just released a statement saying the unlock process coupled with a future iPhone update may make your phones a useless brick. Apple "strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs," because the "permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone's warranty." Our advice to users: wait until Firmware version 1.1 is out later this week before you decide to unlock your iPhone. If you've already unlocked your phone, don't update until you know it's safe. Full release after the jump.
UPDATE: But first, the bricking. Was this done on purpose? Lam doesn't think so. Jacqui at Ars believes that the firmware was completed weeks ago, and the bricking is unintentional. It doesn't matter what the intent was: They didn't go out of their way to stop it, which is almost as uncool. Principles aside, this situation won't affect lots of us, since the majority of us don't have a reason to unlock. But bricking it entirely is something they should work really really hard to avoid, even if it costs them some revenue share from AT&T. My main concern is for the safe development of Apps that so far have done nothing but made the iPhone better. "Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software licence agreement and void their warranty." That photo above is what Lam's iPhone looks like now. Does this mean Lam's warranty is in the shitter? Because he didn't unlock my iPhone and nothing he did can't be fixed with a system restore. Going after the hacks, which have changed the iPhone from a good product to a great phone? That's idiotic.
There is a good side to all this, provided we can get Apple to make firmware that doesn't brick iPhones. The press release also mentions the feature updates via the firmware, like the Wi-Fi Music store. This is historically how the PSP firmware updates were made as "must haves" for owners. Unlocking an iPhone isn't nearly as appealing if it means you don't get the benefit of new features. So, if anything, the unlocking cat and mouse game should push Apple to make a lot more innovation, and quicker. A good thing, when you consider that the best iPhone innovations in the last few months are not the web apps or official Apple updates, but the third party hacks.
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 licence 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.