After the release of the iPhone, there was some consternation over the non-release of the iPhone outside the United States; it was speculated that hacked copies of the iPhone would be available outside the United States and that this was a natural occurrence. Apple would not be able to do anything about this. Well, looks like the design of Apple's engineers had actually planned for this. So, the latest firmware update to the iPhone has actually disabled the iPhone, apparently permanently for those people who have hacked iPhones. But is this the last statement on this matter ?
The iPhone 1.1.1 update, released Thursday, breaks phones that have been hacked so that they work with providers other than AT&T Inc., the only U.S. provider Apple has allowed to carry its mobile phones. Apple has said that it would fight any attempts to unlock the iPhone. Earlier this week the company released a warning that unlocked iPhones "will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed."
The new software is Apple's biggest iPhone update to date, and it fixes a number of security flaws in the mobile phone's browser, mail client and Bluetooth networking server. The majority of the flaws do not appear to be critical, but the update fixes a larger number of bugs than the first iPhone update, released July 31.
Mobile phone users typically cannot update their own software, but Apple introduced this capability in the iPhone, which uses the update mechanism in the phone's iTunes music player. iTunes checks for these updates once per week, so it may take up to seven days for all iPhone users to see these updates. Apple advises users to install the update immediately.
Now, while this patch fixes bugs in the iPhone and should be installed by users, it is unlikely that the hacker community will accept this matter as a fait accompli. It's a gauntlet that Apple has thrown to the hacker community, and with the hacks spawning a new business, there is a major commercial angle to it. Thus, it is likely that hackers will now start to put their creative thoughts on how to defeat this latest attempt by Apple.