YES, APPLE DROPPED THE HAMMER, BUT WAS IT NECESSARY?
We all saw it coming. In what amounts to using the “nuclear option,” Steve Jobs made good on his on threat to brick any iPhone that has been unlocked and used outside of the AT&T service. Cupertino claims that unlocking your iPhone can cause it irreparable damage – and not the update that has probably created thousands of $700 paperweights. But is that really the case? The Giz certainly doesn’t think so. According to their investigation – including some choice words from Apple Development technicians – there were a myriad of ways to relock unlocked phones – even as easy as simply resetting certain values in the phone in the same manner that the hacker’s Sim programs have been setting them to open it up.
Then, the very same firmware update that lowered the hammer could’ve then have simply closed the loop hole permanently without bricking the phone. But, apparently, a statement needed to be made. A big one. One that puts fear in every cellphone user who loves the iPhone but hates AT&T. So the firmware update came out and those who weren’t prepared to deny it ended up with a very pretty glass brick. Now, there is a chance that the bricking isn’t permanent and that an Apple Genius can restore the phone good as new … maybe. But users will then have to sign up once again for the Death Star’s cell service and any third party applications are gone.
And is there any legal recourse? Maybe not. According to the Giz, Apple’s warranty is pretty ironclad … meaning that unlocking your phone voids the warranty and their fiduciary obligations to it. But what the warranty doesn’t cover is a legion of angry macHeads still fuming over the seeing a $200 price slash a few weeks after they paid full price for those pretty glass paper weights. And some tech sites on the verge of screaming BUY BUY BUY are now using certain four letter words to discourage their readers instead. Add in this unnecessary bricking issue and Cupertino may have cut off its nose to spite it’s hiTech face.
In a way, Cupertino had to do it. They have a revenue sharing contract with AT&T that needed protecting. Or did it?
Alienating customers to make a point. Now that’s thinking differently.