AAPL Stock: 110.26 ( + 0.76 )

Printed from

Apple warns users against jailbreaking iPhone

updated 11:55 pm EDT, Thu July 30, 2009

Apple hacked devices

Apple has posted an support document that details problems encountered with jailbroken iPhone and iPod touch devices. The company believes the hacking process is "a major source of instability, disruption of services, and other issues." The support article is intended to better explain the risks of installing software that modifies the iPhone OS, and discourages doing so. Problems common with jailbroken iPhones include device and application instability that causes unexpected device crashes, loss of data, and crashes of applications.

The article also believes modifications to the OS can cause dropped phone calls, slow or sparse data connections, and delayed or inaccurate location data, as well as accelerate battery drain. Jailbreaking an iPhone or iPod touch can also be the source of service disruptions such as visual voicemail, YouTube, Weather, Stocks, push-notifications, and problems syncing with MobileMe and Exchange.

Apple support also suggests the process causes security compromises that can allow hackers to steal personal information, damage the device attack the wireless network, or introduce malware and viruses. Some modifications can cause damage to the OS that is not reparable and prevents the device from being updated.

Unauthorized modifications of the iPhone OS is a violation of the iPhone end-user license agreement, and Apple says it will refuse to service the device.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How convenient

    AT&T has plenty of dropped calls without any help from jailbraking, now Apple and AT&T jointly have found a perfect excuse.


  1. Nemco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Convenient indeed

    Wow, that's a lot of symptoms for a jailbroken phone and how very convenient that most of the common problems are attributable to it. A bit too convenient if you ask me. This whole article sounds like a bunch of FUD from the Apple marketing department.

    Perhaps Apple should stop fighting the symptoms and look at why people are jailbreaking their phones, they might actually learn something that way.

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    this tech note

    is disingenuous. Basically, what it really means is, if you want to jailbreak your iPhone to run other applications, these are the problems WE WILL FORCE YOU TO LIVE WITH. These problems are only present because Apple put them in there as road blocks to jailbreaking.

  1. bauhaus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Unbroken iPhones here and I've suffered all of those problems (worse with different OS versions, but the current v3 is on the worse side at the moment.)

    Also, the last statement on OS modification is incorrect as written into federal law (there's an exception for specifically doing this in RE: mobile phones) and support has to be provided in many states (these are 2 different issues - "violating" the EULA & support for modified phones.)

    In CA, it's the company's responsibility to show proof that the modifications are the reason for any faults -- not the consumer -- otherwise they can't deny warranty/support. If you can reset the phone to the original OS before sending it in to be serviced, there's nothing Apple can do (they can't blacklist "known" jailbroken phones.)

    Lots of FUD in this tech note.

  1. ajhoughton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "The article believes"

    Wow! You've discovered the world's first sentient document…

    …or perhaps this article needed the attention of a competent editor before publication.

  1. ajhoughton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Reaction from commenters

    The reaction from the commenters above is particularly interesting, I think.

    It is undoubtedly the case that hacking the software on an iPhone could cause all of the problems Apple lists. And there are reports on the 'Net of problems in many of these areas that are clearly specific to hacked phones.

    So why then is this article labelled as FUD? Because the commenters above don't like its conclusions, that's why.

    I imagine not a single one of the commenters above can actually describe exactly how the jailbreaking process works or what it does on their phone. And that's why Apple needs to warn people, frankly. While it is clearly in Apple's interest to discourage jailbreaking, I don't see any disingenuous remarks in that support article. It's just warning you that you may well break your phone if you do it, and listing some of the things that have gone wrong for other people after jailbreaking.

  1. tonewheel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I Agree with AJHoughton

    Every comment prior to yours is from someone who has jailbroken their phone. And based upon tier comments, they must all be genius Apple engineers. Oh, wait...

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Without unlocking...

    ...I simply would never have bought a phone - or the apps & accessories I subsequently bought from the Apple store - anyone else? I simply couldn't justify or use the mandatory cell plans that are offered nor did I feel like spending over $1k/year for such. It seems like a win-win if you ask me - would Apple prefer I buy that TREO in the window instead ?

  1. Parky

    Joined: Dec 1969



    People who jailbreak and then moan really should just stop using an iPhone and go away. You knew the rules and still you bought the device. Apple are within their rights, you are not within yours. Grow up and live in the REAL world.

  1. infowarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iphone aapl = no trust

    While I can sort of understand and perhaps agree with the first part of this paragraph, the second sentence is a doozie --- even if
    you have a proggie that does nothing more than display a pic of your favorite cartoon character, if Apple "doesn't like it" or deems it "unauthorized" you are not able to use it on YOUR device, even if you never use it on a network or it never hacks the OS.

    More draconian talk from Apple, and reason enough for me to continue avoiding the
    iPhone. I don't trust the device, and I don't trust Apple.

    Anyone know if the same provisions apply on the iPod touch?

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Polk Hinge Wireless headphones

Polk, a company well-established in the audio market, recently released a new set of headphones aimed at the lifestyle market. The Hin ...

Blue Yeti Studio

Despite being very familiar with Blue Microphones' lower-end products -- we've long recommended the company's Snowball line of mics ...

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector

Home theaters are becoming more and more accessible these days, but maybe you've been a bit wary about buying a home projector. And h ...


Most Commented