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Apple warns iPhone OS users of jailbreaking risks

post #1 of 70
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Apple has posted a support document targeting iPhone jailbreaking, noting that "unauthorized modification of iPhone OS has been a major source of instability, disruption of services, and other issues," including compromised security.

The article addresses "adverse issues experienced by customers who have made unauthorized modifications to the iPhone OS (this hacking process is often called 'jailbreaking')."

The support note says, "as designed by Apple, the iPhone OS ensures that the iPhone, iPad, 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, iPad, or iPod touch. Customers who have installed software that makes these modifications have encountered numerous problems in the operation of their hacked iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Examples of issues caused by these unauthorized modifications to the iPhone OS have included the following:

Device and application instability: Frequent and unexpected crashes of the device, crashes and freezes of built-in apps and third-party apps, and loss of data.

Unreliable voice and data: Dropped calls, slow or unreliable data connections, and delayed or inaccurate location data.

Disruption of services: 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.

Compromised security: 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.

Shortened battery life: The hacked software has caused an accelerated battery drain that shortens the operation of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on a single battery charge.

Inability to apply future software updates: Some unauthorized modifications have caused damage to the iPhone OS that is not repairable. This can result in the hacked iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone OS update is installed.

"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, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software."

Apple fights for control of its App Store

Last year, Apple argued against claims filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation which proposed a legal exemption to the DMCA that could enable large scale commercial jailbreaking that could no longer be challenged under existing laws. The EFF argued such an exemption would allow more innovation and investment in creative works.

Apple argued that the "EFF apparently desires to use the rulemaking process to alter Apples business practices by negating DMCA protection for technologies that interfere with what EFF seems to assume would be a more socially desirable business model that is more 'open.' Specifically, it seeks through the proposed exemption to clear the path for those who would hack the iPhones operating system so that a proprietary mobile computing platform protected by copyright can be transformed into one on which any third party application can be run, without taking account of the undesirable consequences that would ensue from the transformation."

The company stated that its App Store market is a critical part of what has made the iPhone successful. "The platform provided by the OS has created positive feedback loops so that a large community of developers has been willing to invest in iPhone technologies, elevate the platform and the iPhone user experience, and benefit themselves, Apple and consumers alike." Apple also outlined the iPhone OS' security model as a potential casualty of any exemption.

It also cited the company's existing problems in dealing with millions of error reports from jailbroken phones, and cited the a variety of new issues it would have to deal with if the DMCA was relaxed to protect widespread commercial jailbreaking. Those factors included the unrestricted distribution of potentially harmful apps that could flood mobile networks, perform malicious actions, enable widespread piracy, and cause crashes or service degradation and stability problems.

The ruling on the DMCA exemption is still pending (and has been since late 2008). A ruling could be handed down at any time. However, any exemption granted would would only apply to the iPhone and not to the new iPad, since the EFF's original complaint did not anticipate its delivery when filing for an exemption to legally protect jailbreaking.

Apple has taken no legal action against individuals who jailbreak their iPhone OS devices, other than to issue warnings about potential problems this may cause and the possibility of a loss in warranty coverage that might result from software tampering.

The company's position against the EFF-proposed exemption appears to be targeted at preventing large scale commercial efforts to dismantle Apple's control over its own platform and replace it with a model more like Android Market, where there is less development, less commercial motivation to create apps, large security holes in how apps are installed, and no coherent strategy for progressively moving the platform ahead. The Android platform is in many respects similar to a jailbroken iPhone.
post #2 of 70
Hmmm. I haven't had any of these problems on my jailbroken iPhone.

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post #3 of 70
Can't say that I've run into any of those problems, and I've actually increased my battery life by having quick access to turn off power-robbing features like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and Location Services (GPS) when I don't need them.

But go ahead AI, keep spreading Apple's fear-mongering!! I'll stick to my jailbroken 3GS complete with tethering and UI modifications.

post #4 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Can't say that I've run into any of those problems, and I've actually increased my battery life by having quick access to turn off power-robbing features like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and Location Services (GPS) when I don't need them.

But go ahead AI, keep spreading Apple's fear-mongering!! I'll stick to my jailbroken 3GS complete with tethering and UI modifications.


Are there any third party apps that can turn off all wireless access except for GPS? Would be handy for taking my iPhone on camping trips, and using it instead of a handheld GPS.

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post #5 of 70
I'm glad that Apple didn't come right out and say "Don't do it" .

It seems like their viewpoint is "If you do it, and get hurt, don't come crying to us".

I wonder if this will have any effect on the cat and mouse game the hackers and Apple have been playing. This almost seems like Apple throwing in the towel and giving up. Maybe they consider it waste of resources having to run and block whatever means the hackers are exploiting in order to jailbreak the devices.
post #6 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

Are there any third party apps that can turn off all wireless access except for GPS? Would be handy for taking my iPhone on camping trips, and using it instead of a handheld GPS.

SBSettings will allow you to turn everything off one-by-one individually with a swipe and a few taps.

post #7 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

SBSettings will allow you to turn everything off one-by-one individually with a swipe and a few taps.

Hot, TYVM

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post #8 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by marik View Post

I'm glad that Apple didn't come right out and say "Don't do it" .

It seems like their viewpoint is "If you do it, and get hurt, don't come crying to us".

I wonder if this will have any effect on the cat and mouse game the hackers and Apple have been playing. This almost seems like Apple throwing in the towel and giving up. Maybe they consider it waste of resources having to run and block whatever means the hackers are exploiting in order to jailbreak the devices.

That's funny -- I had the opposite thought. I wonder if this is a sign that Apple plans to be more aggressive in trying to shut down jail-breaking, and this is their shot across the pirates' bow.
post #9 of 70
Any person who jailbreaks a phone knows the risks. Nothing to see here, just Apple covering their ass.
post #10 of 70
I am sure a significant percentage of people jailbreak their phones just so they can free themselves from AT&T.

I pretty much had to jailbreak my phone because AT&T was unacceptably bad in my area. Slow data network, no coverage where I work, the list goes on. I am now on T-Mobile with my 2G and have good coverage everywhere I need to have coverage. Love it.

If Apple was really and truly concerned about jailbroken phones and the risk they pose, they would enable the option that exists in iTunes to unlock phones (at the very least when your 2 year contract is up). They'd give customers a choice of provider, and they would fix a major reason why people jailbreak.

If you look at other reasons why people jailbreak, like tethering...it's yet another feature that could be added but is inexplicably forbidden.
post #11 of 70
1984
1984
1984
post #12 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

Hmmm. I haven't had any of these problems on my jailbroken iPhone.

My 3G isn't jailbroken but I definitely experience "Unreliable voice and data: Dropped calls, slow or unreliable data connections".
post #13 of 70
Shortened battery life: The hacked software has caused an accelerated battery drain that shortens the operation of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on a single battery charge.

Confirmed. Whenever I use MyWi my battery life suffers. it's worth it to be able to wirelessly tether.
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post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Any person who jailbreaks a phone knows the risks. Nothing to see here, just Apple covering their ass.

I'm not so sure that anyone who does it understands the risks. That might have been true initially, but as the process becomes easier, some users might wind up getting in over their heads and run crying to Apple when it blows up in their face.

I think the message from Apple is really "we don't like jailbreaking, and we plan to crush it at some point, once we get around to it, so don't say we didn't warn you"
post #15 of 70
In my opinion unlocking iPhone OS is very very very stupid

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post #16 of 70
I probably would not JB my phone if I could legally unlock it for travel oversees. You probably all heard about very costly "unexpected" roaming charges when you forget to turn the data service off, even in Canada. By having the phone unlocked legally I would still pay the AT&T bills here in US but also make use of the phone in other countries by getting prepaid SIMs. Everyone would be happy. As it stand right now the fear of loosing the warranty...? Well my original iPhone got water damage, and the replacement phone came with much shorter warranty which now expired... so no, loosing warranty is not a deterrent for me.
Peace
post #17 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by giosaccone View Post

In my opinion unlocking iPhone OS is very very very stupid

I wouldn't say that it's stupid, but it's becoming less relevant with each and every new iPhone OS release.

Apps
Copy/Paste
Multitasking
Changeable backgrounds
Tethering
Bluetooth keyboard support
etc.

These are all features that were brought to the iPhone platform before Apple got around to doing it with iPhone OS 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0.

So I'll repeat, jailbreaking will become more irrelevant once Apple releases new features, but until official tethering is supported by Apple/AT&T and multiple carriers are supported, the jailbreaking community will still be alive.
post #18 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

Shortened battery life: The hacked software has caused an accelerated battery drain that shortens the operation of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch on a single battery charge.

Confirmed. Whenever I use MyWi my battery life suffers. it's worth it to be able to wirelessly tether.

Yeah, non-hacked software such as games seem to have that effect too. I wonder if its a defect.

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post #19 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

I am sure a significant percentage of people jailbreak their phones just so they can free themselves from AT&T.

I pretty much had to jailbreak my phone because AT&T was unacceptably bad in my area. Slow data network, no coverage where I work, the list goes on. I am now on T-Mobile with my 2G and have good coverage everywhere I need to have coverage. Love it.

Wow! Can't believe you get better T-Mobile 2G coverage than even AT&T's 2G coverage.
post #20 of 70
i am happy with my jailbrocken iphone :d thanks for the infor Apple !! but no thanks
post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by giosaccone View Post

In my opinion unlocking iPhone OS is very very very stupid

In my opinion taking everything Apple says as gospel is very very very stupid
post #22 of 70
Chill out folks. Apple's performing a public service here and covering their ass. It's expected. You're essentially hacking your phone with unauthorized and unsupported software. OBVIOUSLY they're going to put out a little notice about it.

Whether YOU have experienced it is beside the point. Try thinking outside of your little personal space.

LOL @ people screaming "1984!"
post #23 of 70
It is, worse even is that not only is the jail break awesome, its beneficial to Apple, when I first got my iPhone I didnt even know that I could JB it, when I did, I loved it even more, so ill now be a repeat customer iffff I can JB the next iPhone, if not, then ill probably go blackberry.
post #24 of 70
Deep down inside, Apple is only concerned with its AppStore security. I'm sure they spy 3rd part apps and jailbreak technologies to perfect their own proprietary ideas.

I bet Apple DOES have a spy team consisting of some of the top unix reversers

Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

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Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

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post #25 of 70
Just thinking out loud here...

I know that iPhone OS 4.0 has been JailBroken...

But, I wonder if there is something in the A4 chip on the iPad and whatever chip Apple uses on the next iPhone and iPad Touch that will deter or prevent running a JailBroken OS....

...Possible?

.
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post #26 of 70
That article was posted a long time ago on Apple's site. I think they just updated it to include iPad in the "Products affected" line. I remember reading it after having bought a new 3G and was thinking about jailbreaking.
post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Can't say that I've run into any of those problems, and I've actually increased my battery life by having quick access to turn off power-robbing features like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and Location Services (GPS) when I don't need them.

These observations may be true, but still anecdotal. Your experiences may be because you have the technical knowhow to navigate the potential pitfalls, and know how to deal with the repercussions, if something goes awry.

As far as I m concerned, users like myself, who are not tech-savvy enough have no business tinkering the innards of complex electronic gadgets.

But, consider the scenario involving clueless users who jailbreak and actually "break" their phones, for one reason or another. Are these possible? Can they happen? You can safely bet they can and do happen.

Then the clueless users complain to Apple, about their phone not working, being sluggish or whatever.

Should Apple be obligated to fix such jailbroken phones that malfuntioned at no cost to the culprit?

If you honestly can say NO, Apple is not obligated, then there is no issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

But go ahead AI, keep spreading Apple's fear-mongering!!

Is there any solid evidence to suggest that all these potential consequences of "jailbreaking" are "Apple's fear-mongering"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I'll stick to my jailbroken 3GS complete with tethering and UI modifications.

Provided users take the consequences of your action, there should be no problem.


CGC
post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Wow! Can't believe you get better T-Mobile 2G coverage than even AT&T's 2G coverage.

Same with me. AT&T can't get a signal here. Meanwhile T-Mobile coverage is rock solid.
post #29 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

Hmmm. I haven't had any of these problems on my jailbroken iPhone.

Funny, neither have I. If Apple and AT&T would live up to their promises, such as tethering, then I wouldn't feel the need to jailbreak. But the fact that neither company will live up to their advertising promises tends to promote jailbreaking. Jailbreaking does none of the things Apple is warning people of. Some apps may indeed cause some instability, but none of the apps I have downloaded from Cydia have caused any instability, etc. Jailbreakers do need to change the default SSH password. Once you do this, the jailbroken iPhone is just as secure as a non-jailbroken one.
post #30 of 70
Yes! #3 you are totally right! My battery life has increased and crashing apps? My in-laws don't believe in jailbreaking and they have had MORE app crashes than I ever have!
post #31 of 70
I am probably in the minority, but I did start to have problems with my jailbroken phone that caused me to revert back to normal.
At first I figured it was just ATT being screwy, but my phone started missing calls, not ringing or even giving a missed call message at all, sometimes going straight to voice mail, some texts not being sent.. It had never happened in the year and a half since I got the phone, and then started happening all of a sudden for a few weeks until i got rid of the jailbreak. And since then I've had no problems.
post #32 of 70
I'm happyily jailbroken and obviously smart about what I've installed.

Was anything that Apple just said not true though, NO.

To deny that there are, can be or has been issues with some jailbroken apps is foolish because we all know it has happened. Whether we are experiencing them now, the odds of problems caused by modify core system files, or private APIs is higher. Its just come sense.

Now some of us are willing to take that chance because the benefits outweigh the possible costs and/or we are willing to work through those issues.

Joe public gets his/her iPhone jailbroken and has problems isn't gonna say, damn app X from Cydia. They're gonna just blame the iPhone and Apple.

Nothing wrong with Apple making the GP aware of this.
post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Any person who jailbreaks a phone knows the risks. Nothing to see here, just Apple covering their ass.

Actually I know that's not true. I've been in the Apple Store on more than one occasion when someone brought in a jailbroken phone trying to get it fixed. It's funny to watch the look of disbelief on the genius folk's faces when the person hands it over. They sort of do a double take & you can tell they are thinking, "are you serious, you really think we don't recognize jailbreaking when we see it?" I got a lot of respect for them, they are always very polite as they calmly explain that jailbreaking is not supported nor allowed by Apple & that doing so voids the warranty. Funny but the person bringing it in always acts irate, like they didn't see that coming?!

Some people.
post #34 of 70
Quote:
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, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.

Its funny how some people think a company can't cover their ass because users think its okay to violent the terms of service. I don't care how controlling Apple is over their own hardware. Jailbreaking obviously has its consequences. Denying that it does is just foolish.

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post #35 of 70
it is weird though that when I spoke to some upper level Apple helpdesk people in both the Netherlands and the US last week (trying to get my ATT iPhone that I paid $700 for unlocked for use in Europe) that they both told me to Jailbreak my iPhone to be able to use it with other carriers.
post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Can't say that I've run into any of those problems, and I've actually increased my battery life by having quick access to turn off power-robbing features like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, and Location Services (GPS) when I don't need them.

But go ahead AI, keep spreading Apple's fear-mongering!! I'll stick to my jailbroken 3GS complete with tethering and UI modifications.

Its not fear-mongering: its true.

Jailbreaking CAN be harmless, but it also CAN cause problems. Running more stuff at once (even Springboard mods) is typically going to use more RAM (and sometimes more power). Theres no free lunch. And RAM is tight (VERY tight prior to the 3GS) in iPhone OS, which does not page to virtual memory.

Weve all seen apps suddenly exit due to low RAM. Modding your system makes that more likely UNLESS your mods dont use any RAM (which is probably not the case!) or unless you simply dont run apps that gobble RAM. YMMV... many games are RAM hogs, for example. Or, if you manually manage your RAM (which you may, but not everyone does) then that helps.

The worst is what Ive heard from developers of apps/games that really need RAM: jailbreakers (maybe not all of them, maybe not you personally) have lower RAM and see crashes as a result. They then rate the app lower and write bad reviews. All the while THEY caused the problem, not the developer, and the developer has no way to respond! Sounds pretty frustrating. I bet some of those developers will gladlyand quite truthfullypoint to this tech note.

So yes, jailbreaking CAN be harmless. But you simply cant pretend its always harmless. Nor is it Apples job to figure out just how to make sure jailbreaking IS harmless. So they issue this legitimate warning. Now, Apple has many other motives too, Im sure, but that doesnt change the problems jailbreakers truly do experience.
post #37 of 70
Maybe I should have said any informed person....
post #38 of 70
The only true 'risks' involved in jailbreaking one's iPhone/iDevice is the risks of lost Apple revenue from people not buying from/being locked into the iTunes ecosystem.

I say if you bought the phone, it's yours to do with as you see fit... all else is essentially MOOT.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

The only true 'risks' involved in jailbreaking one's iPhone/iDevice is the risks of lost Apple revenue from people not buying from/being locked into the iTunes ecosystem.

Umm, Apple makes very little money off of the iTunes and App Store. Most of it comes from their hardware if you've ever kept track of their finical reports. So, yeah, no loss.

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post #40 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pOps View Post

it is weird though that when I spoke to some upper level Apple helpdesk people in both the Netherlands and the US last week (trying to get my ATT iPhone that I paid $700 for unlocked for use in Europe) that they both told me to Jailbreak my iPhone to be able to use it with other carriers.

When I had to return to the UK after just 1 year of my 2 year contract with AT&T, I couldn't get them to unlock my iPhone 3G - they just stonewalled with 'our agreement with Apple doesn't allow us to do that'.

Despite pointing out that I had paid my early cancellation fee, and that UK operators were unlocking iPhones for a small fee when contracts had finished, I just got a stonewall response again.

I even wrote to the FCC about it, who 'investigated' my complaint and just parroted back the same 'the business agreement between AT&T and Apple does not allow unlocking'.

So faced with the choice of operating my iPhone as a 'WiFi only iPod Touch imitator', or jailbreaking it to use my UK SIM card in it, unsurprisingly I chose to take the risk and actually be able to make use of a phone I had paid for.
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