It's quite alright for a company or service provider to protect their product, but to try and maintain a strangle hold over their own monopoly is a little excessive.
A statement from give by Apple this afternoon hints that their next iPhone software update could render all hacked iPhones useless. To put it bluntly; your $400 buck iPhone becomes a paper weight if it was hacked to run on any network other than AT&T.
As most will have heard, early adopter of the iPhone became quite interested in unlocking the iPhone so they could use their own service provider and no be locked into the AT&T network woes. Many people of course suspected that Apple would issue some software update to prevent this unlocking, but disabling the phone completely seems a little excessive.
"Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed," Apple had said in a statement. "Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone's warranty."
There is of course ways to restore the iPhone to its 'Factory Default Settings' should Apple's supposed update cause any damage, then allowing the iPhone to be flashed to the latest software version. This latest version of the the iPhone OS allows users to access the iPhone Wi-Fi Music Store which was launched earlier this month. Look for (or avoid) this update which is scheduled for sometime later this week.
But of course, it is quite certain that hackers will find some way around this implied software nightmare. And Apple will likely respond by disabling hacked iPhones with every subsequent software update for the next couple of years, or at least until their partnership will AT&T is over.