Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Apple Warns Jailbreaking May Be Legal But It Still Violates Your TOS And Warranty

Following recent changes made to the 1998 DMCA by the Library of Congress that made it legal to Jailbreak and root smartphones Apple has found itself in a bit if a conundrum. What to do to keep control over the millions of user out there that currently own iPhones. Their response, remind users that even though its legal Jailbreaking still violates the iOS terms of service and voids the warranty on your iPhone.

Apple released for following statement to Cult of Mac:
Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.

Apple's approach is fairly short and sweet: Apple wants to control the iPhone. Sure they use the guise that by keeping things things simple and stable and not allowing every app out there to run on the iPhone they can provide a better end user experience. But it all really comes down to control.

They want to control your network, and keep their exclusivity with AT&T. They want to control how and where you buys apps, keeping the App Store intact (a major cash cow). If they lose that control they stand to lose millions in revenue and sites like Cydia, an underground app store specializing in safe unauthorized apps (such as tethering apps), has been picking up steam of late. The site is said to service millions of Jailbroken iPhones. The new Jailbreaking exemption could lead to a revolution of sorts with more and more users breaking away from Apple gripe. Something the company just doesn't want to see.

Now don't get me wrong here Jailbreaking does have it faults. Not all apps out there in the wild are perfect and yes in some instances Jailbreaking can open the door to software that can ruin a users experience (and maybe steal your identity or spread viruses). There is always a chance that you'll run into instability, disruption of services, and other issues. Lets not forget however that even Apple's own iTunes App store was recently hit with a few malicious apps and even more recently well respected Citigroup had to warn customers of a security flaw in its free iPhone app.

Given these issue, and of course the rise of similar attacks, it's hard to buy Apple's stance that Jailbroking iPhones makes them that much less secure than they already are! I say if you want to do it, do it. At the very least you should look into the pros and cons on either side before you jump in line and buy what Apple is saying.

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