has published what it says is leaked information from an anonymous employee at Apple alleging that the new iOS will, among other things, detect whether an iPhone has been jailbroken and unlocked - then require that factory approved software be re-installed. Jailbroken phones that don't return to the fold will be shut off from receiving a signal from AT&T. Update: Upon further discussion, it's unclear whether the code in question will shut off all jailbroken phones or just those that have been unlocked from AT&T to run on T-Mobile.AddictiveTips, a tech blog with a small but growing profile online,
IPhone owners jailbreak their phones so they can run unauthorized software and access parts of device (which they bought) that Apple prohibits customer use of, including the ability to turn the iPhone into a wifi hotspot without paying an additional fee.
Though new versions of the OS regularly allow users to access functionality that required jailbreaking before, posts such as our nearly 2 year old Top 10 Apps Worth Jailbreaking Your iPhone to Get remain very, very popular. Jailbreaking advocates consider the tactic to be a matter of freedom, customer rights and tech innovation.
in the iOS4 there is a line of code we wrote that stands for OAU also known as "Over Air Updates". How it works is every 7 to 14 days We (Apple) and AT&T send a message to your iPhone that gathers some data from your iPhone without you knowing and we see what is running, baseband and firmware. We then send a following message. "There are optional updates for your iPhone, Would you like to install them now?" two options "Yes" or "Later". Those are what would would call "OPTIONAL UPDATES" Now there are things called "MANDATORY UPDATES". They tend to work the same way, grab data from the iPhones sends it to AT&T and us then back to your iPhone with the message, "Your iPhone (name of iphone) must be updated to the current AT&T standards to run", your only option is to "Accept" Now you can try to work your way around it until you get the second mandatory message again "You must plug iPhone into iTunes and update" If you don't do this you will then receive no Signal from the network anymore and your iPhone will potentially lock up with no signs of use until you update your iPhone via iTunes. You all agreed to this terms and condition when you installed iTunes 9.2 and then again once you updated to iOS4.
The article's source seems to indicate that this is not just about unlocking the iPhone from AT&T as a carrier, but also about the easier hack of jailbreaking it to run unauthorized software. Those two are on occasion confused, however.
Is This Credible?
It's not hard to believe that Apple would implement a technical step to back up the prohibition against jailbreaking that it has in its Terms of Service, but it's also not hard to believe that few enough people jailbreak their phones that it wouldn't really be worth the hassle.
Do you buy it? The source, Addicting Tips, is a small blog that doesn't appear to have a history of sensationalism. The site posts tips on things like how to remove background noise during VOIP calls in Skype and how to gain root access to various mobile devices. Previous posts have been linked-to by trusted bloggers like LifeHacker and SearchEngineWatch's Danny Sullivan.
Not everyone believes it, though. IPhone jailbreak software developer @musclenerd, of the hacking group iPhone Dev Team, said this afternoon, "So much of that article seems like nonsense. How would AT&T send an over-the-air lock command to an iPhone on T-Mobile's network?"
Others have said that any anti-jailbreaking steps Apple takes will simply fall in time to an arms race with jailbreaking hackers. Leading hacker George Hotz said at a conference in France this week that he has created an exploit that will "jailbreak for life" any iPhone, including one running the newest iOS.
What do you think?