Phil Schiller Sounds Off on Unlocking, Toes the Party Line

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Apple's number two man, Phill Schiller, speaks out on unlocking and the unforeseen consequences preventing future firmware updates. As you might expect, Schiller's comments are little more than a reiteration of yesterday's press release, scolding users and threatening castration of warranty obligations. His most notable soundbite...

''This has nothing to do with proactively disabling a phone that is unlocked or hacked. It's unfortunate that some of these programs have caused damage to the iPhone software, but Apple cannot be responsible for ... those consequences.''

Translation: "Yeah, see the thing is, AT&T is really riding our ass to do something about all the iPhone unlocking going on. So we're issuing a press release to put the fear of Jobs God into users."

Folks, this is a scare tactic and nothing more. Any changes unlock scripts make to system files is reversible, and Apple knows that. Unlocking an iPhone is not equivalent to ripping the device open with a pry bar and hacking it with a soldering iron. Software is software, nothing a simple reflash can't undo.

This policy of "you use, you lose" is simply a way to appease AT&T. I can see Stan Sigman's feet sticking out from behind the curtain, holding his cue cards.

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Reader comments

Phil Schiller Sounds Off on Unlocking, Toes the Party Line

4 Comments

"Folks, this is a scare tactic and nothing more. Any changes unlock scripts make to system files is reversible, and Apple knows that."
So are you willing to back that statement up by guaranteeing that if I unlock my iPhone and it bricks after Apple sends out an update? Maybe buying a new iPhone to replace the bricked phone?
My understanding of what is going on to unlock the phone is that some software isn't being replaced, but reconfigured. A "reflash" isn't necessarily going to restore the configuration back to it's original values. I'm speaking of the Modem software that gets configured to work with other carriers.
That said, who's to say that Apple won't change it's software to make it so that it doesn't "replace" the software that was replaced to allow it to be unlocked.
I understand your feelings about the press release and other statements, but telling your readers to ignore those statements and unlock their phones without fear is not a very smart thing to do. I my opinion.

Actually I too believe that this is some kind of scare tactic. But what I too could think is that Apple is doing this as some kind of warning that the update will brick the iphone because of some new mechanism that will look for any simlock-break and maybe check the activation again. But what that means is that the iPhone-User who is using these hacks just has to wait until this or any other iphone-hacking-blog/site will say its safe. It would be very naive to just update the hacked iphone and think it will go without problems...
We'll see ...

Gotta agree with Kent... this is Apple covering their obligation to ATT, little more. Apple can't possible support or even passively ignore people mucking around with the iphone, especially where carrier service is concerned. They have a business partner, ATT, and as partners ATT and Apple are in bed with each other and have to protect each other's interests. And the result is scare tactics. Big whoop.

After reading a site that describes how to "restore" the modem changes, I can see that it's possible to "restore" the phone back to it's locked state for the upcoming update.
So my current thought on this issue is that Apple is telling consumers that if they want to buy an iPhone from someone that has "unlocked" it so that they can use it on another carrier, when Apple releases there updates, the possibility that their newly purchased unlocked iPhone will not work and Apple isn't going to support them.
There are a lot of people out there that want to use the iPhone but don't want to switch carriers or don't live in the US. I'm sure there are people or "fly by night" companies that are selling iPhones unlocked so that those people can use the phone. I suspect Apple's press release is a way of covering their behinds.
Let's face it. With all the lawsuits and class-action suits forming out there against Apple, they need to make things very clear before doing just about anything.