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iPhone Dev Team Releases Jailbreak Software

The hacker group's PwnageTool 2.0 software allows iPhone users to load non-Apple-approved applications on their handsets.
A group of hackers known as the iPhone Dev Team over the weekend released software that allows iPhone 3G users to install non-Apple-approved applications on their handsets.

The software, dubbed PwnageTool 2.0, lets a user jailbreak an iPhone or iPod Touch running firmware version 2.0. It removes Apple's software controls that prohibit users from installing independent applications, and the team said Apple-approved programs can be run side-by-side with ones that aren't available through Apple's App Store.

While the App Store has seen more than 10 million application downloads since its rollout earlier this month, some developers and customers may not like Apple's tight control over the environment. For example, Apple explicitly prohibits applications that run in the background, and it takes a 30% cut of any application that's sold in the store.

The original iPhone was incapable of running native applications. But an active community sought to run programs on it, and once the jailbreaking software became available, an active iPhone application developers community sprouted up.

Because the Pwnage software, or any unlocking software, is not approved by Apple, jailbreaking the touch-screen smartphone will void the warranty and could potentially disable the device. Many first-generation iPhone users found their unlocked or jailbroken devices "bricked" when Apple rolled out a firmware update last year.

The iPhone Dev Team said the latest Pwnage software also would unlock the original iPhone to operate on nonapproved networks.

This software release comes as a group in Brazil was the first to purportedly unlock the iPhone 3G last week. The Brazilian group modified the phone's SIM card to enable it to operate on almost any GSM carrier.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
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