Apple Issues A Not-So-Veiled Threat About Unlocking the iPhone

Apple’s been silent to this point on how it feels about people unlocking the iPhone (as I did) so they can use it with the operator of their choice, rather than the operators the company inked exclusive deals with. But no longer: Apple says unlocking programs could break users’ devices when iPhone software updates are installed, and that unlocking an iPhone voids its warranty.

While the idea that unlocking the device could potentially harm it isn’t surprising, reading between the lines, this certainly sounds like the company’s saying “we’re going to break your phone with our software update.” Furthermore, it sounds like more doublespeak out of the company, with an exec saying that “It’s unfortunate that some of these [unlocking] programs have caused damage to the iPhone software.” It’s hard to know exactly what “damage” this is — whether it actually does something detrimental to the device (which seems unlikely, given that I’ve not really had any problems since I unlocked mine), or whether the damage refers to the fact that users have skirted Apple’s exclusive deal with AT&T.

What’s really unfortunate here is Apple’s choice of business model, but that’s for another post — in which I’ll explain how the iPhone really is little more than Apple sticking its middle finger up at the mobile industry and its customers.

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