04:47 PM

Google Wins Patent For Data Center In A Box

CMP Information Week
InformationWeek Daily - Thursday, Oct 11, 2007

Editor's Note

iPhone Bricking Aftermath: Techies Will Tinker, No Matter What

The hue and cry over iPhone bricking is deafening. That's why the following findings from a survey of readers might comes as a surprise: very few individuals have modified their iPhones in ways that should have voided their warranties; also, very few of those individuals have actually been bricked. Further, Apple's policies were fairly well understood.

So why all the backlash?

It can be summed up in this response to our survey: more than one in three -- or 36% (of 902 responses) -- readers say they typically modify their hardware, software or consumer electronics products and an overwhelming majority -- 92% -- of those individuals do so even if the warranty says they can't do so and retain their warranty. And 78% said they expect manufacturers will stand behind their policies of not supporting altered products.

Here's the gist of what readers are saying:
It's my stinking product, I paid for it, and I'm going to tweak it as I see fit. Warranties, policies, and Apple's vaunted product integrity be damned.

Extending the conversation to Apple, the highest percentage of survey respondents -- 48% -- say Apple does NOT have the right to void warranties or disable phones for unlocking them or adding unauthorized software. A close second -- 45% -- say it does have that right.

Interestingly, 65% of survey respondents feel manufacturers have the right to void warranties for failing to follow their policies. In Apple's case, apparently, consumers disagree with taking that policy a step further and actually disabling the device.

But there was little ambiguity about Apple's policy: 64% of respondents -- many of whom don't own iPhones -- say they were aware of Apple's restrictions.

A small percentage of users acted on their predisposition toward product modification: 18% of those with iPhones have modified them and 18% of those who've made modifications have been bricked. But Apple's approach to carrying out its policy is angering customers: 44% of readers say they are proponents of legal action against Apple, while 42% aren't.

The iPhone warranty issue has been beaten to death. The tinkering question, though, won't ever go away. What about you: Do you do full-blown software and hardware upgrades? And what are your thoughts about how companies should respond in the (hopefully rare) cases when you mess up? What do you think?

Tom Smith

Quote of The Day

"The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided." -- Casey Stengel

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