updated 04:50 pm EDT, Mon September 24, 2007
Unlock may void warranty
Apple on Monday officially said that it will not cover under warranty iPhones that have been damaged due to circulating unlock hacks, but stopped short of voiding the warranty of all hacked phones -- including those that have third-party applications installed. The company said that unlocking an iPhone may render an iPhone useless after applying future software updates: "Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed."
Apple said plans to release the next iPhone software update, containing many new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store later this week.
"Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones," Apple said in a statement. "Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone's warranty."
Apple's stance on servicing iPhones that have been hacked to run third-party applications remains unclear as some stores contacted by MacNN insisted that phones would not be covered under Apple warranty even if the problems stemmed from a hardware (or un-related) device failure. Other stores report that hardware damage determined not to be caused by installation of third-party applications may be covered but would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Earlier this weekend, some users reported that hacked iPhones -- specifically those with third-party apps installed -- have been rejected for warranty service, but that after restoring the iPhones with the original software, they were successful in obtaining warranty service. Others reports claim that some stores have blacklisted their iPhones for service.