Could Apple brick the hacked phones. . .?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by acrafton, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. acrafton macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2006
    So, the wife has an IPhone on AT&T which is fine (I don't want to hack hers. . .she gets support for the Apple store). But for me, it is appealing to get one and use my tmobile SIM (month to month), etc. But couldn't apple just release an update and 'undo' all of the hacks and make it a brick again?

    Certainly if this happens the hackers would work around it in a month or so so but then another Apple IPhone update comes out that bricks it all over. . .Technically is this reasonably easy for Apple to do?

    I don't think they could permanently brick it but if they come out with an update every few months that takes the hacked IPhones offline for a few weeks it would be very frustrating. Obviously you could just not get updates but some you may want (new apps, functions, etc.).

  2. Speedracer04 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    Yes, Apple can do this. That is why all of these unlocking programs come with the disclaimer: "May not work after future updates" No one knows if apple is planning on updating the firmware so that the unlocking programs do not work.

    and Yes, all mods/hacking/w.e can be stopped by apple as well. With the realease of iTunes 7.4, it took the AppTapp team 1 day to modify the code to work again, it could take this long or longer next time. No one knows.

    However, the good thing is (if your ATT of course) you will still be able to use your iPhone perfectly (aka not bricking it) fine by doing a restore before installing any updates. Simple as that.
  3. Telp macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2007
  4. pixlnet macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2006
    Yea, is there a way Apple could install a patch without our consent? I'm seriously thinking about getting out of my AT&T contract and going with t-mobile. It's cheaper, but the big thing for me is I'm hearing EDGE speeds are faster with them. If they were the exact same I would just stay on AT&T and pay a lil more. The other thing I don't care for with AT&T is the amount of "call faileds" I get. Really annoying.

    But if I go with t-mobile I guess I can just lag behind on updates until a new workaround is underway right?
  5. shakastange macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2007
    Shouldn't that be illegal? This s a piece of hardware were talking about not software.
  6. tashafa macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2007
    yup... just dont update until its confirmed that new update will not unlock the iphone (1.2 update didnt lock the 1.1)... if the new update does. just wait a week or two and a new workaround to the update will be available. there are smart people on the internet working hard to make sure your iphone is network free and im 99% sure apple doesnt mind people hacking the iphone as long as they dont have to support it.

    besides the hacked iphone with third party native apps like summerboard (alternative to springboard(home screen)) is better than a non-hacked iphone IMO... it the way the iphone is supposed to be.... also install rSBT to rearrange the icons on the home screen (with or without summerboard)
  7. toomer macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2007
    I don't think there's any way they could actually forcibly update without your consent. But what I could see them doing is tying future iTunes updates, to minimum iPhone firmware revision numbers.

    i.e.: If you want to install iTunes 7.5, your iPhone must be at firmware v1.1.1, or else you will not get any sync capabilities.

    So they can't make you, IMO ... but they don't need to keep supporting your back-rev'd iPhone in iTunes if they don't want to.
  8. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Apple could and it is very likely they will. AT&T could be none to happy about these hacks.
  9. megfilmworks macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    Not only Apple, but your carrier can fry your sim instantly. And they may. I read a post on another forum where the iPhone user casually mentioned to his carrier (T-mobile in a call about his service) that he had an iPhone and it was off within the hour. The iPhone is too high profile. Alternate carriers don't want any trouble with att or apple because of an unauthorized use of the iPhone.
  10. decadentdave macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2007
    I still have not been able to get Apptapp version 2 to work after upgrading to itunes 7.4 and firmware 1.0.2. Keep getting bootstrap failed errors and stuck in recovery mode and have to restore. Some people apparently have gotten it to work but others have not. I just want to play my NES games.
  11. CBJammin103 macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2007
    Louisiana, United States
    While Apple could theoretically brick or incapacitate an iPhone that's not running legit firmware / software, I doubt that they would. Modified firmware really isn't hurting Apple so far as I can tell.

    HOWEVER, ATT would most likely not be happy at all about unlocked phones, and, as such, other cell phone companies that discover that iPhones are on their network will almost definitely shut down the SIM as quickly as possible. They story above is a good example. It's not worth the trouble for them. It's actually probably possible for them to see that an iPhone is in use - even without asking - just based on information the phone reports to the network.

    Personally, I find it to be thoroughly unintelligent to spend the money on an iPhone and then to turn around and use modified firmware or risk using it on a different network. I suspect that Apple will address many complaints about the iPhone relatively soon, making hacked firmware useful for nothing more than pretty icons, which the iPhone isn't lacking anyway.

    In short, yes, using hacked firmware or using the iPhone on a different network is a big risk that I don't personally see as being particularly beneficial or safe in the long run.

    Additionally, I can't see Apple being too happy if you need AppleCare service and they receive from you an unlocked iPhone to be replaced/repaired. It may even void your warranty completely, I don't really know offhand.
  12. ldhilljr macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2007
    I had a lovely conversation with T-Mobile about my iPhone and they didn't seem to mind one bit. I seriously, seriously doubt T-Mobile is concerned in any way, shape or form about some of its customers using an iPhone on their network, and the idea that my use of the iPhone is "unauthorized" is plain silly.
  13. ldhilljr macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2007
    I utterly fail to see why T-Mobile would care whether ATT is happy or not about its customers using the iPhone on the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile has no contract or agreement with ATT requiring them to bar the use of the iPhone on its network. It doesn't even owe a duty of care to ATT that could give rise to a negligence action. And a tortious interference with contractual relations claim would also fall flat on its face.

    No, ATT would be out of luck with respect to us happy T-Mobile users.

    And I absolutely take issue with the idea that I (or others) are taking a big risk by unlocking or hacking the iPhone. As I've said before, the iPhone was meant to fly freely far and wide, and not be chained to a halfwit carrier like ATT. There is no question in my mind that my hacked iPhone (with alternative and additional software and applications) is much more valuable and useful than the stock factory model.
  14. pdpfilms macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
    When setting up my data plan, they asked the phone model... i happily told the CSR it was an iPhone and he was impressed. Definitely didn't show any hostility towards the practice.
  15. ldhilljr macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2007
    This was the exact same experience I had -- I got my wife an iPhone (she was so happy she forget to get angry with me for spending so much money) and needed to add a data plan to her line. The CSR was very interested to hear that we had gotten the iPhone to work and had taken such trouble to stay on T-Mobile. I think he may have even giggled.
  16. carfac macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    I call BS on this. First, the ONLY way Apple could do anything is if YOU upgrade your phone. So, Apple *MAY* lock a phone with future upgrades, but Apple cannot do anything else, or anything mysterious or secret.

    Further, I have spoken to a couple TMo CSRs and a Sup, all have said "Go for it, here is what we can offer you." As stated above, ATT and TMo are COMPETITORS, and TMo has no contractual obligations to do ANYTHING for ATT, especially cutting off their OWN customers because ATT may be mad.

    Additionally, now that I do have an unlocked phone, I have been INTO a TMo Corp store. They saw the whole thing, right there, and we discussed how I did it. They took my number so they could casually have other interested people call me. They OKed my use of TZones on iPhone, and made a note on my account to that effect.

    TMo wins big with this.

    If your friend got his phone canceled, perhaps he should consider paying his bill.
  17. megfilmworks macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    Not sure what friend you mean..this story was from an OP on this site. And it's naive to think Apple can't turn off your phone by just sending a message to it. Remember the "send to web gallery button"? What a $9 an hour operator tells you does not reflect company policy, which is still probably being decided. Tmobile can't okay use of something they have no control over. Apple has been very aggressive on issues like this historically.
    It's really their call with some input from att. If your phone stays on, its because Apple has decided to not pursue the matter, maybe because of the extremely small demo involved. I wouldn't advertise to everyone how easy it is, less publicity less chance of bricksville.
    By the way, Tmobile and Att are in bed together anyway. This will be decided by these corporate honchos, not supervisors for local service.
  18. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    Isn't it obvious why the current update is being delayed and delayed? It's obvious it should have been released by now. And with more and more reports from Jobs / Apple talking about hacking and stuff, i wouldn't be surprised if they do something to stop it.

    Now, i wouldn't say they would brick them, but rather reset the iPhone, to pre-activation.
  19. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Oh yeah, you can just imagine what great PR it would be if it leaked out that there was a way to send a message and turn off people's iPhones.

    So, no, I doubt there's any such thing ;)
  20. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
    But how would anyone know? It could have been something in 1.0.2 or 1.0.1 that was finally activated.
  21. megfilmworks macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    You may be right, but Apple is closely tied with Att and Tmobile and the telecoms could use their ability to deauthorize your sim. We all know that is done every day when a phone is stolen. Not sure if it was done right it would be bad publicity. Although we are talking about such a small percentage that, it may just not be worth it. Do you think if the three get together and say they don't want unauthorized, hacked iPhones being used that the few customers they are making money from will matter to the telecoms? One thing is for sure, it is not in our hands, what will be will be and until then it is just rumor.
  22. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    I doubt they care, really.

    It can't be too hard to compare total iPhones sold to total activations with AT&T to know exactly how many people have iPhones and are using them with some other wireless provider.

    Well maybe they wouldn't know for sure you were using another provider, but they would know if you weren't using AT&T quite easily, and for their purposes the two are pretty much the same thing.

    On macrumors I would think you'd see a population slanted much more towards the tech-savvy hacker type which is probably quite out of sync with the normal distribution of iPhone users.

    If it were a real problem cutting into their revenue, I would expect to see more aggressive updates forcing people to use AT&T somehow, but we just don't see it.
  23. megfilmworks macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    I think you're right, its not at a level that is serious enough to waste too much energy on it.
  24. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    I believe the opposite. Apple and ATT are going to try hard to stop the unlocking. If they didn't care, the iPhone wouldn't be just available through ATT in the first place. Same as just throwing any sim card in the iPhone, and it can make calls. That's not how Apple wanted it to be, but they knew something like this was bound to happen.

    I'll keep saying this. The update was delayed purely due to this fact. Apple has been scrounging to find a solution to stop this, and possibly de activate all phones that aren't on the ATT network.

    My 2 cents.
  25. Kchino macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2007
    T-Mobile will totally support your unlocked iPhone if you choose to use it with them. They have no obligation not to. If Apple was genuinely opposed to unlocked iPhones they would have signed up with a CDMA carrier like verizon or sprint which would make it physically impossible to activate phones whose IMEI's weren't registered to the network. Go for it, T-Mobile CSR's have been trained and are knowledgeable about what they can offer you. T-Mobile is carrying the iPhone albeit in Germany. Don't forget T-Mobile is a German owned LLC. This is getting so ridiculous.

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