If that title sounds long, it’s similar to Apple’s new support article, which is long-ly titled Unauthorized modification of iPhone OS has been a major source of instability, disruption of services, and other issues.
So, we felt it would be a good idea to take Apple’s support article point-by-point.
Quote from Apple:
As designed by Apple, the iPhone OS ensures that the iPhone and iPod touch operate reliably. Some customers have not understood the risks of installing software that makes unauthorized modifications to the iPhone OS (“jailbreaking”) on their iPhone or iPod touch. Customers who have installed software that makes these modifications have encountered numerous problems in the operation of their hacked iPhone or iPod touch. Examples of issues caused by these unauthorized modifications to the iPhone OS have included the following:
All true, but Apple obfuscates the argument. For example, iPhone OS was designed by Apple to only be stable inside of Apple’s walled garden. However, iPhone OS is driven by Mac OS X. Mac OS X is supposed to be the world’s most secure operating system. It is used in millions of Macintosh systems daily, which run software that Apple doesn’t test and approve of.
So how do CoreServices stand to be so stable inside of the Macintosh environment, yet require such scrutiny as to run in a jailed/walled environment on iPhone? If a 233 MHz iMac runs Mac OS X just fine to this day… why does a 600 MHz iPhone, with arguably more power than a PowerPC G3, have such security issues?
The article then proceeds to go through all the issues with jailbreaking, that a user might encounter.
Quote from Apple:
1) Device and application instability: Â Frequent and unexpected crashes of the device, crashes and freezes of built-in apps and third-party apps, and loss of data.
2) Unreliable voice and data: Â Dropped calls, slow or unreliable data connections, and delayed or inaccurate location data.
3) Disruption of services: Â Services such as Visual Voicemail, YouTube, Weather, and Stocks have been disrupted or no longer work on the device. Additionally, third-party apps that use the Apple Push Notification Service have had difficulty receiving notifications or received notifications that were intended for a different hacked device. Other push-based services such as MobileMe and Exchange have experienced problems synchronizing data with their respective servers.
4) Compromised security: Â Security compromises have been introduced by these modifications that could allow hackers to steal personal information, damage the device, attack the wireless network, or introduce malware or viruses.
5) Shortened battery life: Â The hacked software has caused an accelerated battery drain that shortens the operation of an iPhone or iPod touch on a single battery charge.Â
6) Inability to apply future software updates: Â Some unauthorized modifications have caused damage to the iPhone OS that is not repairable. This can result in the hacked iPhone or iPod touch becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone OS update is installed.
Let’s dismiss point six right off the bat. Like unplugging an iPhone while it is receiving an Apple update, you can kill an iPhone the same way when you jailbreak. But no modern jailbreaking solution causes this problem. In fact, no jailbreaking solution has ever caused this problem. Only carrier subsidy unlocking (which is different from jailbreaking, and is only needed to run iPhone on T-Mobile or abroad) has had issues with this point.
So Apple is choosing to throw unlocking issues in with the jailbreaking crowd. Not reasonable in the slightest, especially considering we took Apple to the mat on their Catch-22 with AT&T. Thanks to PhoneNews.com, Apple had to confess to the FCC that they were the reason that customers could not get their iPhones unlocked, despite AT&T policy stating that a customer could get a free unlock code after 90 days of service.
Points one through five can be answered quite simply: Like a computer, iPhone is a personal computing device. The software you run on it will impact its performance, security, and compatibility. We should note that point three is particularly onerous for Apple to raise, since they designed the Push Notification Service to have issues with jailbroken devices. Unfortunately, for Apple, Push Notification Service has remained unpopular in the marketplace, especially with its technical complexity, as well better competing solutions (webOS, Android, Windows Mobile all support full background applications).
Quote from Apple:
Apple strongly cautions against installing any software that hacks the iPhone OS. It is also important to note that unauthorized modification of the iPhone OS is a violation of the iPhone end-user license agreement and because of this, Apple may deny service for an iPhone or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.
This is legally questionable, which is why the EFF has asked the US Copyright Office to issue a DMCA exemption to jailbreaking. Apple, of course, will argue even then that their SLA (Software License Agreement) overrides DMCA… Even though an iPhone can be activated and used without a user ever seeing a notice of a license agreement.
So long as jailbreaking does not damage a device, and an iPhone OS Restore removes the jailbreak, this appears to be a violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a point that PhoneNews.com has raised in the past…