Coders start your iPhones: Re-lock them before the pending iPhone update

NikFTUAW’s code guru, Erica Sadun, shows readers a method that may well re-lock their phones to ensure the handsets are not bricked following the pending iPhone software update.[…] Thanks to NikF for providing this nice story on Digg.

What other users say about this:

batmant: The sim hacks are modifications to the modem’s firmware. Whether intentionally or not, they don’t want you returning your iPhone because 1.1.1 breaks it. This is CYA and nothing more. At least they announced the warning. That said, Apple (or any other company for that matter) doesn’t owe you sh1t. They sell you a product, you modify the product, voluntarily take an update and it breaks. How can you be upset at Apple for that? They’re not going to just absorb everyone’s support costs.

anarchytv: Someone taze Steve Jobs for doing what he has been doing forever, selling sexy Silicon Snake Oil. How do consumers keep falling for this stuff as sexy? (everyone chime in: marketing, marketing, marketing) The Apple II looked sexy when it came out, but it really was just junk. Same with the Mac SE. And those Powerbooks. Same with the iphone. More junk. Its all junk people.

defylogik: lol this is so funny. there is NO way that a company would “brick” an piece of hardware. even apple wouldnt do it. why is there so much HYPE surrounding this. that is bad business. unlocking your phones is legal. Apple would be slapped with a class action so fast it would make their head spin. they arent idiots.

synagence: Why should apple not update the baseband of the phone …. its the method by which it communicates … they may find compatibility issues or just software bugs
Also, even if the next firmware update simply reflashes the firmware and baseband with a newer version it WILL in principal block unlocking …. until the hackers figure a way around this next code…. if apple want to play hardball, they can include subtle changes in the baseband code with any other fix and play the cat and mouse game
Depends on how much effort they wish to go to and how much backlash surfaces.
This is basically why i waited to get an iphone …. just to see how the game progresses

synagence: You pays your money …. u takes your chances .
I’m guessing 99% of unlocked owners will wait for the inevitable digg story to surface which says update either:
1. Bricks iphone unlocked
2. Renders soft-unlock useless until new jailbreak is developed
3. Works a-ok for certain types of unlock

Seems like coders have so far failed to jailbreak ipod touch so i’m guessing that apple will implement whatever they did there with iphone.
But yes…in certain countries you are legally entitled to unlock phone so how this all pans out will be interesting

clyde2801: Glad I didn’t buy an iPhone, glad I didn’t get a iPod touch or classic and stayed with my 5.5 80gig. I think I’m about ready to pass on my second glass of kool aid, thanks.

If iPhones get bricked from an update, there will be one hell of a media and consumer backlash. I predict it may slow future sales of the phone.

HappyScrappy: Folks, if you relock your phone, changes are you will never get it unlocked again under the new software, because Apple has said they are trying to prevent it (cat and mouse, remember?).

If you like your phone with this stuff, don’t update it. That’s your only choice.

benn600: In response to how an update could brick the phone. Generally, firmware updates are very dangerous because the firmware is the essence of the product. Its ability to connect to your computer and itunes, for example, depends on the firmware being able to run. Now there is often a separate firmware area that just stores the USB stuff or at least some separation for errors–power outages during update, etc., but if the update doesn’t succeed it can easily brick your phone. I bricked a Linksys router because their instructions were not clear and part way through the update it lost its connection (changed IP address).

Also, remember how the updates always verify the existing software? Perhaps that step will fail on its own. I haven’t made a single modification to my iPhone even though I love customizing my gear. I just didn’t want to put my $500 investment (8GB) in peril no matter the benefits or non-risks. It isn’t worth the risk to me. It has all the features that I need personally. I think the email is great–especially because it handles IMAP so well with folder access, etc…it ties in perfectly with my SSL IMAP server I run for my family.

superkendall: It’s rediculous to think Apple is going to brick any phone, unlocked or no – nothing would be beyond a simple restore.

edwardcompton: Good thing I postponed getting the iPhone. Getting one is looking more undesirable every day.

belvedere: So when does the Apple boycott start?

FknGoAway: What I don’t understand is why anyone would get an iPhone with the hopes that someone else will make it do what you want. Why not just get a phone that has the features you wanted in the first place.

spargett: Its going to be funny when then the update doesn’t do anything… but fix bugs.

Maybe not.

Vektuz: Bad idea … here’s whats REALLY going to happen
1. Everyone relocks their phone “to be safe”
2. Everyone updates
3. The update closes any holes that the phone had that the unlockers use, and it can no longer be unlocked.

Phlosten: Here is hoping that the update turns a crapload of them into useless bricks and people can see these lockins for what they really are.


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