Warning There are some reports that some folks are finding that the 1.1.1 firmware update for the iPhone has been pulled from Apple, and that the most recent version of iTunes is now reporting 1.0.2 as the most recent version. And if they haven't, maybe they should.

To say in the very least, the 1.1.1 version hasn't been popular with many folks. A lot of people think that Apple went over the line in bricking iPhones, but that opinion isn't shared by everybody. Rainer Brockenhoff, for example, doesn't think that the firmware update was malicious in nature, that it was technical in nature. Erica Sadun of TUAW agrees:

"If they wanted to brick hacked iPhones, they could have done a much better job of it."
Sadun, speaking in an interview with Wired, thinks that the iPhone 1.0 firmware was a rush job, something done to get it out the door in time for the deadline that Jobs imposed when he announced the iPhone in January. Wired speculates that the 1.1.1 firmware update is a "[from the] ground-up rewrite," with many security features like CRC checksums and new firmware encryption schemes.

And the 1.1.1 firmware hasn't been all roses. There are many reports of problems with the update (exhibits one, two, and three). Sadun goes as far to call it "messed-up" and "botched." Our own Dieter Bohn had a few agonizing hours trying to figure out how he destroyed the audio after the update. All of it makes this Jobs quote from the NY Times more awkward:

"You don't want your phone to be like a PC... The last thing you want is to have loaded three apps on your phone and then you go to make a call and it doesn't work anymore. These are more like iPods than they are like computers."
Similarly, you don't want to have hacked your iPhone and applied the update and then you go to make a call and it doesn't work anymore. And I think a lot of the people that bricked their iPhones won't be rushing out to buy another one in spite of this helpful spokesperson's advice:
"If the damage was due to use of an unauthorized software application, voiding their warranty, they should purchase a new iPhone."
It sounds like a lot of people may have applied the unlocks that are causing trouble with the 1.1.1 update. Apple risks losing a lot of the good will press that they've enjoyed so much of for free over the past few years, and I'm curious to see how they handle this current fiasco.


p> I'm speculating idly, but I wonder if Apple is looking to fix their mistake by posting another firmware update that fixes some of the repoted installation and sync problems, and de-bricks some of the unlocked iPhones. The last time they were getting negative press like this (the price cut), they posted their $100 early adopter bit, and they were pretty dang quick about it. How Apple ends up dealing with bricked iPhones could say alot about whether that price cut was a reaction to events or a carefully scripted set of events itself.