1 October 2007 @ 10:39Open Letter to iPhone Hackers
There is the ever popular argument, “I bought it. It’s mine. I can do what I want with it.”
Upon hearing news (engadget, InformationWeek) of some iPhone customers considering a class action lawsuit over Apple’s iPhone v1.1.1 update, I became very disheartened at the apparent “endangered” status of common sense in today’s world.
Let’s break down the argument, “I bought it. It’s mine. I can do what I want with it.”
“I bought it.” Yes you did. Some might even say that you bought Apple’s marketing hype, but that is another issue. You apparently felt like whatever price you paid for the iPhone was reasonable and that you were making a wise transaction. Nobody grabbed your wallet, took hundreds of dollars from it, and gave you an iPhone in exchange.
“It’s mine. I can do what I want with it.” Yes, it is yours. Yes, you can do whatever you want with it. This includes hacking your iPhone, installing third party applications, freeing your iPhone from the constraints of AT&T. Modifying your iPhone to your heart’s content. Apple has warned you that the modifications to your iPhone are unsupported and that future updates could leave your modified iPhone in an unusable state. Once you start the hacking process, remember that at this point Apple washes its hands of you and your iPhone. You have gone beyond the bounds of your user agreement with Apple, and Apple is no longer responsible for your actions. If you break it, it is your problem. If it breaks after an update, it is your problem.
Once you have taken that leap into the wonderful world of hacking, you have essentially said, “I know better than Apple about what I want my iPhone to be capable of.” You should at this point begin to write your own operating system for the iPhone and free yourself of Apple’s grasp, otherwise you are a hypocrite. You said that you know better than Apple what you want your iPhone to do, yet you are still relying on Apple for software updates to obtain additional features and bugfixes. Do you see the hypocrisy there?
If writing an operating system is beyond your capabilities, yet you feel the need to modify your iPhone in any way, please understand that Apple is not responsible for your actions. You are more than welcome to disregard the v1.1.1 update and leave your functional iPhone in its current state. The same fiend that did not force you to buy an iPhone also did not force you to apply the software update.
You should remember that many of the iPhone unlocking utilities exploited a security hole to unlock the iPhone. Of course Apple is going to make every attempt to close this hole, or otherwise risk a backlash from users and security firms alike. Keep in mind that Apple is only interested in their own iPhone OS, and they do not have to take into consideration any modifications to the iPhone OS “experimental branch” that you should be in the process of writing at this moment.
But wait. In regard to unlocking, you say that unlocking a phone is perfectly legal? Being “legal” does not mean that Apple has to support or enable you in your unlocking endeavors. You still have taken on the responsibilities of your actions, should they not turn out how you planned.
My only hope is that people will start taking responsibility for their own actions, and stop using lawsuits and the like as a safety net for the risks that they decide to take.