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Apple: jailbreaking iPhone is legal but still voids warranty

updated 11:20 pm EDT, Mon July 26, 2010

Apple says stance on jailbreaking not changing

Apple tonight made clear its stance on the Library of Congress' decision to legally sanction jailbreaking under the DMCA. The company didn't contest the legality itself but said it would still break the warranty by going beyond what Apple can support. It also stressed that it saw the experience as hurting the experience for some by taking away the speed and reliability they may have expected.

"Apple's goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone," the Cult of Mac was told by a spokeswoman. "And we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience."

The representative wouldn't directly confront the question of whether Apple would try to sue anyone who would sell jailbreaking tools, but she emphasized Apple's history and that it hadn't done so before.

Monday's Library ruling doesn't require that Apple or other companies must allow third-party apps in their code but also prevents these firms from legally challenging any jailbreak developed for the purposes of running an app or for unlocking access to other customers. It's unclear whether the new exemptions would allow commercial development of jailbreaking apps; such software would be designed for a profit, but it it would still be used for individual purposes in most cases.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nothing changes...

    People have been pontificating on Mac sites that this ruling will force Apple to facilitate jailbreaking, unlocking, and honor the warranty of a hacked device. No such luck. All that changes is the legal status of the act itself. Apple will still take every action it deems necessary to thwart hacking. Apple will still refuse to honor the warranty of the hacked device. Apple won't be forced to sell unlocked iPhones in the U.S. (which wouldn't work on Verizon anyway).

    In short, nothing really changes.

  1. facebook_Aaron

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2010


    Haha wut?

    "And we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience."

    Oh really? I had no idea that was why people jailbroke their phones

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes. Oh really.

    I jailbreaked my 3GS, and I did notice what Apple likes to call a "severe degradation of the experience". It hung, it crashed, it got slow. Did a full restore, no more jailbreak, and things are peachy. Sure I'd love to be able to put info like unread mails etc. on my lock screen, but I prefer a working phone.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So the Librarian of Congress has decided that jail-breaking is okay? Is it ironic that one of the things that jail-breaking facilitates is piracy? Intellectual property just got sold down the river.

  1. gplawhorn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Users choice

    Is what jail breaking is all about. I would gladly use a non-hacked iPhone, IF AT&T would provide coverage where I live. They don't, so I bought an iPhone 3GS on ebay, jailbroke it, unlocked it, and use it with Viaero. It's the best phone that I've ever used, and I certainly don't notice any problems or slowdowns.

  1. Norrin Radd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I love Apple, but....

    If speed and the user experience was their ultimate goal, they would not have allowed iOS 4 to be installed on anything less than the the 4. My 3GS has noticeable slowdown. I wish there were a way to install the old OS back on it. Anyone?

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can you jailbreak

    A 3GS running iOS4?

    If so, how?

  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Let the cat and mouse game continue..

  1. missne

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To the Viaero user

    I am looking to unlock my sisters 2g iphone to use on the viaero network. Did you have any problems getting the phone to work? Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!!

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