iPhone Unbricked, But Apple Still Locked - InformationWeek

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10/12/2007
12:12 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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iPhone Unbricked, But Apple Still Locked

The penultimate chapter in Apple's sad iBricking saga has begun, with news that "good" hacker Erica Sadun has led a team that's come up with a way to have your iPhone cake and eat it, too. Their "jailbreak" procedure lets users unlock their phone and download third-party apps, without getting bricked. (The final chapter will be written if, and only if, Apple opens the iPhone. Don't hold your bre

The penultimate chapter in Apple's sad iBricking saga has begun, with news that "good" hacker Erica Sadun has led a team that's come up with a way to have your iPhone cake and eat it, too. Their "jailbreak" procedure lets users unlock their phone and download third-party apps, without getting bricked. (The final chapter will be written if, and only if, Apple opens the iPhone. Don't hold your breath.)Meanwhile, the smartest comment on the whole saga comes from the 654th person to post a comment to my original blog post of a week ago, entitled "Apple Users Talking Class-Action Lawsuit Over iPhone Locking."

I can't give the person full credit, since he or she identified themselves only as "Guest." Here's what they wrote:

"How soon Apple forgets. Jobs and Wozniak came to prominence only because the Apple-II they designed back in the mid-'70s was an open platform. The entire PC industry that followed the Apple II came to exist only because the IBM PC was an open platform.

So, now Grandpa Jobs wants a closed iPhone, and he has his company spending considerable resources fending off the hackers who open it up in a futile battle. In offense/defense, the offense has always had the advantage as it only needs to find a single remaining weakness to exploit, whereas the defense has to protect from all possible vulnerabilities.

Soon enough, Jobs will throw in the towel and so will AT&T. The iPhone will be open and, amusingly, it will sell much more than it does now, precisely because it will be open. But that, too, will be in the short term. For the same reason that Apple lost to the PC world, namely, price and open architecture, the iPhone will lose to the open architecture world of the mighty competition (Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, LG, etc.) which already is coming up with iPhone look-alikes that have much more functionality and are open architectures. And soon the iPhone will be of historical only interest.

And those who write sanctimonious prose here about the virtues of 'using the iPhone the way Apple intended it and worshiping at the altar of the EULA' will be the fools that have been left holding the bag and no money in their pockets."

Nokia is already touting its openness as an alternative to Apple's control-freak business model. And Verizon has introduced a bunch of iPhone lookalikes, made by LG.



Nokia touts the openness of its Symbian-based platform in a Web ad aimed at Apple. (Click picture to enlarge.)

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