The Forewarned iPhone Bricking Has Begun

Earlier this week Apple warned its customers that a update was going to render some modified handsets “permanently inoperable”.

How sweet. Well, it was true. iPhones are bricked. In fact, our sister-site Gizmodo has amended their review of the iPhone and are now recommending that you do not buy it due to the loss of cool third-party applications that will now no longer work on the updated iPhone.

(For the record, we always recommended that you not succumb to iPhone hype, and we even made the editor who loves Apple write a story about it. We’re so mean.)

From BBC News (emphasis ours):

That warning has now proved correct as many owners are reporting their phones no longer work following installation of the update.

Apple requires iPhone owners to take out a lengthy contract with AT&T in the United States but there are a number of programs on the net that unlock the device for use with other networks.

Some owners are reporting on technology blogs and Apple’s own forums that the update is deleting contacts information, as well as photos and music, on iPhones that have not been modified in any way.

Awesome. Good job, Apple. Here’s what one bricked iPhone user has to say:

Walked (well, more like ran) over to the nearest AT&T store. I told them my iPhone stopped working and that iTunes told me I needed a new SIM card (both true). The guy said no problem, and handed me a new SIM. He told me to install it, connect to iTunes, and activate the SIM with my existing account. Just got back, popped in the SIM, and no luck–getting the same errors.

Tell us all your iPhone bricking stories at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com.

Bricking my iPhone [Macworld]
Apple iPhone warning proves true [BBCNews] (Thanks, Papa Midnight!)
(Photo:Macworld)

Comments

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  1. noorct says:

    Wow. Good job Apple!

  2. NTidd says:

    Step 1. Purchase overpriced phone and modify it to work on different networks
    Step 2. Update phone
    Step 3. Profit (for Apple)

  3. Simpoleca says:

    /me smashes his head against his 24″iMac

  4. rbb says:

    The cynic in me says that Apple has a solution and the cost will be $100 – coincidentally the same amount Apple was pressured in to refunding to the iphone whiners ;)

  5. Erik_the_Awful says:

    Apple != “It Just Works.” Updated to “It Just Doesn’t Work.”

    Oh, and didn’t I see something about this being illegal? Hopefully those folks with bricked iPhones launch a class action.

  6. ry81984 says:

    Steve Jobs is a Hippocrite.

    Jobs helped raise funds to start Apple by selling those blue boxes that would hack ATT.

    Apple was started with hacker money.

  7. nweaver says:

    a: Nobody should have EVER counted on 3rd party apps continuing to work. Apple was VERY VERY VERY VERY clear about it. Anyone who bought an iPhone for 3rd party apps should not be suprised.

    b: The iPhone uses a sync model, are the contacts dissapearing from the host computer as well?

  8. chili_dog says:

    The simple fact that Apple entered int the ATT contract was enough for me to not get one. Not like I was going to anyway.

    But like the apple of yesteryear, the ability to really modify the products is no longer there,

  9. mandarin says:

    So it doesnt matter if you get a new SIM card right? Your iPhone still is bricked?

  10. 82300sd says:

    That was Apple’s plan all along, to sell you $500 paperweights.

  11. pjmudd says:

    Updated my iphone last night with no issues at all, nothing missing, everything works. However, I haven’t loaded any 3rd party apps on my phone.

  12. MissPinkKate says:

    Opening the phones to other networks is one thing, but I can’t see how it’s legal for Apple to prevent people from using third-party applications on phones they own.

  13. mandarin says:

    ha-ha!

  14. Why is it called “bricking”?

    Really, this is so stupid. Why should they care how the phone is used once it’s been paid for?

  15. XianZomby says:

    The iPhone is sold by Apple and AT&T as being usable only on AT&T’s network. Those purchased expecting to use the phone on AT&T’s network aren’t having problems. It’s those that bought the phone, and then went home and modified it are having the problems. World’s smallest violin here for those people. Cell phones should be unlocked for use on all networks, and it shouldn’t be illegal to unlock or hack a phone either, I agree with that. But unlocking it yourself is a modification, and that voids the warranty. By modifying the iPhone in ways that Apple doesn’t expect you to modify it, you change the way the phone is configured in ways Apple can’t account for when it designs software fixes or updates. So it’s entirely possible that updates, designed for a phone that is supposed to be configured by the manufacture as ABC, will cause problems on phones that have been modified by the consumer as XYZ. If I was Apple, I wouldn’t apologize or replace “bricked” iPhones. The nature of the hack is that it is an unpredictable workaround. People that pay to have the unlock done will likely be more offended by this than the guys that actually crafted the unlock in the first place. Those people know it’s a thrilling game of chance.

  16. Critcol says:

    It’s called bricking because after you’re done, the nice, expensive piece of complex electronics is about as useful as a brick.

  17. enm4r says:

    @MissPinkKate: They aren’t preventing it. You can use and not update all you want, and no one would be the wiser. However, if you are going to use apps right now you’re essentially changing the bios, it’s not just “software” in the sense that it’s being used. Apple’s terms clearly state that once you start messing with boot sectors and bios (to use more common terms) that they don’t need to cover you under warranty. Any computer manufacturer would do the same.

  18. I’m just curious, does the iPhone force updates or do users need to update the firmware manually?

    If it’s the latter, then I’m sure most who read this story will probably ignore the update (similar to that which is done with the PSP), that is unless it is like the PSP in the respect that it will cease to operate at full functionality if one does not update its firmware.

    I wonder what will happen if all the persons whom own iPhones which were unlocked made the same outcry they did over the $200 price drop.

    I’m also curious to know what will happen if that bill which forces cell phones to be unlocked is passed. Only time will tell I guess.

    Thanks, Papa Midnight!)

    You’re quite welcome :)

  19. Caroofikus says:

    Seems to my that if you’ve modded your phone you just shouldn’t update it. It seems unlikely Apple would be able to force you to update, and if they could do it automatically, it seems that it could be grounds for some class action privacy suit.

  20. bravo369 says:

    Not that I want to stick up for apple in this but you gotta look at it from their point. The update is not bricking iphones using the outofbox specs. Apple can’t go out and get every variation of 3rd party app out there to make sure it works. That is why they issued their message that it may brick after update. I look at it that the people who learned how to unlock the iphone now have to go back to the drawing board and get THEIR software to work with the new Iphone and not the other way around.

  21. nequam says:

    The sarcastic “good job, Apple” sort of distorts the circumstances. Apple warned users, and then followed through. If this had come out of the blue, I could understand the sarcasm.

    NWEAVER’s point (b) in on the money. The purportedly “lost” contacts and files merely need to be resync’d from the host computer. Before we point up the problems people are reporting, we need to appreciate that many users are prone to run to the discussion boards without having tried the simple solution. The real issue is whether people are reporting unfixable problems. I haven’t seen any sich problems with unmodified iPhones.

  22. Buran says:

    So… you based your review on functions that the device wasn’t supposed to have in the first place? Real smart. Reviews should be based on using a device as intended, with a note at the bottom describing possible hacks, but without affecting the review.

    That said, this is why I told people who told me “just use ApolloIM” that I’m still waiting to buy one (I need IM, I’m hearing-impaired). I don’t want to have vital functionality regularly explode on me. Games, sure, something I need, no.

    C’mon, Apple. Every phone these days has instant messaging, why doesn’t yours?

  23. Major-General says:

    @Erik_the_Awful: Isn’t preventing users from unlocking illegal since the ruling from the Copyright Office that it is fair use under the DMCA?

    Or am I missing something. I know at least one cell phone company (CDMA with Cellular in the name) was pretty much going to ignore it, claiming that they had special software layouts for phones for their networks. Until a technician friend of mine working on a phone saw it turn on with the Verizon Wireless menus – in a non-Verizon market.

  24. Asterchild says:

    Before a TON of misinformation gets thrown out…PLEASE CHECK OUT ENGADGET:

    [www.engadget.com]

    The fact is that the update is also bricking VIRGIN iPhones that are fresh out of the box.

  25. MercuryPDX says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Because it renders your device as useful as a paperweight.

  26. Apple: Here’s this neat new device.

    Users: Cool! I want one!

    Apple: Just so you know, we don’t condone third-party software, and unlocking the device might cause problems down the road that we can’t fix with software.

    Users: Cool! I want one!

    Apple: Here you go! And developers have the oficial line on how to create software for it.

    Users: Cool! Lemme see if I can unlock it with this hack!

    Apple: We told you not to try that. It messes with the security of the device and it might break later on when we fix security holes.

    Users: Whatever! iPhone is teh cool!

    Apple: Here’s your latest update…if you modified the firmware to unlock your phone, you’ll have problems.

    Users: WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

    Not sure where the outrage comes from here. Apple’s been warning people for months against modifying the phones. Now that they’ve applied updates to the phone to fix outstanding security issues (the same method that allows for unlocking could also be used maliciously, and anything that can be used maliciously also threatens ATT’s network and other customers) all the folks who thought they knew better than Apple are crying.

    But it’s popular to bash Apple, so go right ahead.

  27. HeySuburbia says:

    What I don’t understand is why people who had 3rd party apps installed and people who unlocked their iPhones installed the update to begin with. I have a ton of 3rd party apps installed on my iPhone and don’t plan to install the update at all because I’d rather continue to use 3rd party apps and create my own custom ringtones than install the update just so I can access itunes via wifi and buy songs.

  28. MissPinkKate says:

    @enm4r: I understand that Apple won’t cover a phone under warranty once people start messing it, but to send out an update that renders them completely useless? Seems to be taking it a step too far.

  29. kingoman says:

    I guarantee the day will come when they *will* prevent it. All they have to do is make some minor change to the authentication protocols and put that in an update. If you don’t update, your phone stops working. If you do update, your phone stops working. Voila.

  30. vincedotcom says:

    *Gasp* c a n ‘ t b r e a t h e

    Laughing too hard

    ahahahahahhaaaaa

  31. goodguy812 says:

    maybe they could sell me an igun so i can shoot myself in my ihead.

    apple once again steps on its own dick. who’s all for a good old fashioned boycott? nah too many people will become closet apple customers.

  32. Buran says:

    @MissPinkKate: Not really. They can’t test everything people might do, as that would be prohibitively expensive. They did warn you ahead of time, and yet people tried to update hacked phones. The phones function fine — if people don’t screw them up!

  33. Buran says:

    @goodguy812: For what? They sold a product that wasn’t advertised to be capable of the things people wanted it to do. They warned that modifying it could potentially cause problems. Whose fault is it but those of everyone who ignored the warnings and said “it won’t happen to me”?

    “It won’t happen to me” gets people killed when they think it’s OK to drink and drive, too. People just aren’t capable, apparently, of losing the “I’m invincible” attitude … and then they blame someone else when they fall flat on their faces (or worse).

  34. goodguy812 says:

    i heard the ipod touch is going to slash its price in a month. lol.

    why people buy a overpriced piece of crap, when their are cheaper alternatives that are more compatible.

    windows mobile products (pdas, phones, etc) are far better. they have better 3rd party programs and can open more types of files.

  35. goodguy812 says:

    buran dude calm down. besides if you buy something it becomes your right? so if you want to smash it into pieces you should be able to. and if your smart enough to get the f*ck off of at&t’s network, excellent! apple is only profiting off of idiots who buy things solely for the name brand.

  36. HeySuburbia says:

    @Buran Are you seriously comparing people that unlocked their iPhones to people that drink and drive?

    The fact is, Apple could have easily released an update that wouldn’t brick any phones at all and they didn’t. I can understand trying to block people from using the phone on other networks since they have a deal with AT&T, but messing up phones of people who simply installed 3rd party apps or custom ringtones is pretty ridiculous.

  37. goodguy812 says:

    i’m going to make an ipod for christians and call it the “igod”

    or a doggy cell phone and call it the “ibone”

    or and glasses phone called the “eyephone”

    or maybe a sex doll called the “imoan”

    or one for stoners called the “ipot”

    anyone else have a good iidea?

  38. goodguy812 says:

    a holiday version could be called the “inog”

    one strictly for men called the “guypod”

  39. TechnoDestructo says:

    @ry81984:

    STEVE JOBS CRITICIZES HIPPOS.

  40. goodguy812 says:

    ugh! i can’t see my posts!

  41. goodguy812 says:

    i going to make an ipod with optional switch blade and call it the “irob”

  42. goodguy812 says:

    maybe i’ll make one for all the crybabies who have their phones bricked and call it the “cryphone”

  43. enm4r says:

    @HeySuburbia: The fact is, Apple could have easily released an update that wouldn’t brick any phones at all and they didn’t.

    And you know this how?

    I do agree that this could have been prevented, it would not have been hard to include a check/compare with the values that are overwritten during the hack, and then changing them to default before updating. However, that is not their responsibility. The ideal solution would have been to update and then have a new in box state, but again, they don’t have to protect the people who installed 3rd party apps. We can say they chould have, but not that they should have.

  44. nequam says:

    @Asterchild: This is all the article says on that point: “and bricking seems to be just as common for a virgin iPhones as for jailbroken ones.” There’s no further explanation, not even anything anecdotal.

  45. notme93 says:

    As a software developer, I have to sympathize with Apple. If you have ever tried to push a patch to code that someone other then yourself or your company has written you would understand how difficult a situation like this can be. You simply don’t have enough time or resources to fix your code so it works with someone else’s code (especially if it is poorly written code). Apple is giving you exactly what they sold you, an iPhone that works with AT&T. Any changes to the code becomes your problem, and it is your problem to fix your code after updates.

    I don’t think its right that Apple locks the phone, but I don’t support people who hack their product and then ask the company to take responsibility for the user’s hacks.

  46. darkclawsofchaos says:

    at least you were warned, he could had let it be secretly done without warning, its like buying a xbox 360 despite being warned by reliable sources

  47. goodguy812 says:

    i hope sony does this for the psp, so all those damn hackers will hafta play fair!

  48. goodguy812 says:

    who could blame someone for wanting to use it on other better networks.

    its unfair to consumers to dictate what networks you can use.

    but then again, if they would have been on sprints network, i would have been one of the first people to get one, so its almost a blessing in disguise.

  49. Beerad says:

    Yeah, what everyone else said. If you bought an iPhone and chose to hack/unlock it because you didn’t want to follow the instructions then you can’t really blame Apple. As Buran pointed out, Apple rightfully isn’t required to make sure that every third-party application works fine with the iPhone, and it’s not realistic to expect them to, especially since they made it clear they wouldn’t.

    In light of the numerous announcements about possible bricking from the update (and even just from messing around with the firmware), anyone who had this problem had more than fair warning. What a surprise that if I tamper with my expensive toy in a way that the manufacturer specifically tells me not to, it might break.

    Anyway, see you all when v2 comes out – I’m glad I waited.

  50. HeySuburbia says:

    @enm4r: Pretty much by doing what you just described in your comment.

    The iPhone the purchase price isn’t at all lowered with the purchase of a two year contract like other phones are, so if someone is buying a phone outright and on top of that has to sign a two year contract then why shouldn’t they be able to do what they want with it, including installing 3rd party apps and custom ringtones? It’s completely obvious that Apple went out of their way to invalidate all the 3rd party iPhone tools, when instead they should be embracing them because it would help them sell tons more phones.

  51. DeeJayQueue says:

    someone brought up windows.

    Everyone who’s saying “They can’t test against everything everyone might do…” is absolutely right. That’s the reason that Apple resisted so hard against letting 3rd parties develop software and hardware for Macs. That’s the reason it was so hard to find a new hard drive or new sound card, and why developers won’t port games over. It’s gotten better over the years, as hardware standards have gotten a bit more stable and ubiquitous. Windows has always been buggy and unstable because they let any old joe schmoe write programs that hack registry keys, delete dll files, do all kinds of crazy unpredictable shit, with crazy unpredictable results.

    People like apple stuff because “it just works” and the reason it just works is because they don’t let bozos who only sorta know what they’re doing write code for the OS. They made a mistake not opening up the API so that anyone could develop for it. What we have now are a bunch of untested apps running code that may or may not work on patched or updated firmware. This isn’t even mentioning the people who actually hacked their phone to work on T-Mo. I haven’t got any sympathy for them, though I admire them for blazing the first trails.

    The way to fix this ultimately is to make the API public so that everyone can get a hold of the proper development tools and write apps that won’t brick phones under new firmware. This would still keep with what I believe the original philosophy of Apple was back when both Steves ran it.

  52. andrewufl2 says:

    September 28, 2007

    I had purchased an 8GB iPhone on the first day they were available for sale, and was extremely excited about the device.

    A month later, I used a ringtone program to allow me to use ringtones on my phone, as Apple had not yet released any software supporting this feature.

    I have had no problems with my phone, and had actually restored the phone to remove the conflicting ringtone software.

    On September 27th, I updated to Apple’s 1.1.1 iPhone firmware, which then proceeded to make my iPhone inoperable.

    The phone displays an ‘Incorrect SIM Error’ and asks for a new unlocked ATT Sim card. I have been to AT&T and have tried 3 different new sim cards, all to no avail.

    I called Apple support on 9/28/2007 and spoke with “James”, case #84820480, and he told me that I had broken my phone using the ringtone software and the phone was no longer usable, not for AT&T, Pre-paid AT&T, T-mobile, nothing.

    I then asked to speak to James’ supervisor, and spoke to “John”. John was very helpful and set up an opportunity for me to return my phone, and transferred me to Apple iPhone Support.

    I then spoke with “Scott Simmons” who proceeded to ask me for my IMEI information, my Serial Number, and after an hour of waiting, he got back to me and told me I had voided the warranty on my phone and they would not be able to service the phone for me.

    I asked Scott to explain my situation, and here are his words, paraphrased, “your phone was working on September 26th when the ‘software modification’ had previously been applied, and on September 27th, after installing firmware 1.1.1, your phone was inoperable. The firmware from Apple did not cause the phone to be inoperable, but rather the ‘software modification’ did.”

    Even though the phone was completely operable prior to this update, it was not the 1.1.1 firmware that resulted in my phone becoming inoperable.

    I have been a loyal Apple customer, only becoming the first iMac owner last June. I have since owned a White Macbook, Black Macbook, and now own a 15.4″ Macbook Pro, iMac G5 20″, Apple Extreme Wireless, iPhone, iPod Shuffle, and have purchased over 50 macbooks for my company and clients.

    After Apple graciously offered a $100 credit to early iPhone owners, this is a most grievous error on Apple’s part, and my confidence in their business has been seriously shaken.

    I would like for Apple to do the following:

    1. Offer me an ability to use my phone on AT&T per my purchasing of the phone
    * Whether this involves fixing, replacing, my phone I do not care; I understand if they do not want to issue me a new phone, I am perfectly happy with my scratched model

    2. Please explain to me why their firmware caused my perfectly working phone to become inoperable. After discovering that there would be a possibility phones would become inoperable (Sept. 24th announcement), Apple should have considered a plan allowing users to undo this inoperable change.

    3. Explain to me why the iPhone is not able to be unlocked; According to a recent federal law, after 90 days, the carrier must unlock all handsets, does this action by Apple fly counter to this law?

    I respectfully await a response. I was very happy with the service received by John, however, Scott and James were very unhelpful, and basically told me I have no recourse after spending $536 on a phone, which was made inoperable by the very software released by Apple.

    Respectfully,

    Andrew

  53. bradanomics says:

    I thought that unlocking a cell phone was protected under the DMCA for fair use. Just as long as you are using it for personal use, it should not be an issue. Why does Apple hate America?

  54. mdot says:

    I’m so glad I grew out of my “early adopter” stage.

    So let me get this straight, people stand in line for hours to BEG Apple and (even worse) AT&T to take their money and be locked in to AT&T’s network (screw job #1).

    A few weeks later the price gets lowered $200 and Apple gives the same people $100 credit in the Apple Store. Translation: “Go pound salt!” (screw job #2)

    These same people then violate their warranty by “hacking” the internal software of the phone and are warned, in advance, that if they update their phone it will be rendered unusable…but they update anyway?? Where they not expecting screw job #3?

    Talk about catching the wrong side of the “bleeding edge”. These people are collectively suffering from battered wife syndrome.

    Listen, cut your losses…don’t think for one minute that as long as AT&T and Apple are in bed together that screw job #4 and #5, etc aren’t coming…

    He doesn’t love you, if he did he wouldn’t beat you!!

  55. Huntergreene says:

    Forgive my ignorance as in Canada we can’t get iPhones yet, but, they did say that the update would do this. Could one not have restored the phone back to firmware defaults, undoing the unlock, before updating?

  56. In fact, the phones aren’t being rendered useless – they’re simply reverting back to the factory-spec ATT-only state. Additionally, third-party software never intended for use (and a possible security hole) has been prevented from working on the iPhone with the latest update – which is purely optional.

    The affected, unlocked iPhones are not “bricked” at all, unless you’re trying to use them with another carrier than ATT, specifically violating the terms of use.

    Consumerist got it wrong – wonder if they’ll do the research required and post a correction?

  57. Buran says:

    @DeeJayQueue: “why developers won’t port games over”

    Not quite right on that one — anyone can write a game for Macs. There is demand. The computers can do it, the programmers just won’t do it. Apple can’t really be blamed here.

  58. UpsetPanda says:

    If Apple can find some way of fixing this, probably with a software upgrade they make their consumers pay for, they should call it iY2K. This whole debacle reminds me of the panic.

  59. enm4r says:

    @HeySuburbia: I guess we just disagree that the warning was enough. Apple said it wouldn’t work, they warned that the OPTIONAL update might brick the phone, and then users, having been completely warned by Apple, decided to update anyway. I have to fault individual users.

    It is the same with any hacked phone, I wouldn’t take my hacked Krzr back to Verizon, I wouldn’t update the firmware, TIVO, PSP, any computer unofficial bios, etc etc. This is a simple known risk you take when you hack your purchase. My thought is that this will be such an issue because the iPhone caused more casual/non tech savvy people to hack their phones, so there wasn’t the same familiarity. But that really isn’t an excuse. They warned you before you bought it, their stance never changed, they warned you before the update, and then it bricked…it’s hard to have sympathy.

  60. ooolam says:

    I bet someone will be able to Un-Brick the iPhone in a week or so.

  61. Buran says:

    @bradanomics: Disregarding your ridiculous “hate America” comment — private parties can do whatever they like. Has the federal government levied a court order against you barring you from unlocking your phone or imposing a penalty for having done so or charged/convicted you of a crime here?

  62. Jerim says:

    @MissPinkKate:

    The concept has been moving steadily toward selling services instead of products. A product is a one-off charge, but a service is a recurring monthly charge. In order to do this, there is usually some wording in the agreement that Apple maintains ownership of your product from a legal standpoint and can do with it as they will. Even though you buy the physical piece of hardware, Apple maintains control over any and all software on the device as well as what the device is used for. It is a sneaky, controlling method that the entire industry is moving toward. Imagine buying a car, and have the manufacturer deciding what brand of gas you can buy, what roads you can drive on, and what accessories you can have installed. The tech industry is moving in that direction.

  63. MissPinkKate says:

    @Buran: Ah. That makes sense, I guess.

  64. K-Bo says:

    @goodguy812: besides if you buy something it becomes your right? so if you want to smash it into pieces you should be able to.

    Yeah, but you shouldn’t be able to sue for it not working after you do.

  65. Instigator says:

    @ry81984: I’m in complete agreement with you. Jobs is a typical hypocritical Baby Boomer!

  66. The Walking Eye says:

    @andrewufl2: Why should Apple do anything for you? That third party software could have changed something w/o your knowledge in the phone. That’s not Apple’s problem, just like it’s not Microsoft’s problem when you install some random program that you found on the internet. I’ve hacked my Razr, and I know if it bricks it’s my own damn fault, not Verizon’s or Motorola’s.

  67. bradanomics says:

    @Buran: No, but if Apple is intentionally breaking perfectly good working products with a software update, it will very quickly become a class action lawsuit due to people not getting what they are permitted to do by law.

  68. phildeaux says:

    Sweet. Hopefully this pisses off the FCC enough that they step in and stop this whole practice of restricting equipment. Paging Michael Powell.

    There is a reason why consumers in South Korea, Japan, and now China have access to better cell phone equipment than U.S. consumers, and this whole debacle typifies it.

  69. RumorsDaily says:

    In answer to a few people above:

    The DMCA does not prevent Apple from doing this.* The recent minor alteration to the DMCA (via the Library of Congress) stated that users of cellphones were permitted to find ways around the technology that locked phones to a single carrier. This was (arguably) previously illegal in the United States.

    The new rule DOES NOT REQUIRE Apple or any other cell phone provider to aid you in this process. You’re allowed to do it on your own, or with the help of others. Nobody is required to help you. If they’re able to make it technically impossible for you to switch carriers, they have every legal right to do so.

    Now, actually damaging your phone in retaliation for switching carriers is another issue and seems very questionable to me. I don’t think that would be challengable under the DMCA however.

    * Unless maybe you added your own DRM to the phone and Apple somehow circumvented that in order to brick it. That’s an unlikely scenario.

  70. Buran says:

    @nequam: If it was brand-new and broken and they won’t exchange it, good cause for a chargeback.

  71. PseudoKiller says:

    So I install some 3rd party app that isn’t approved by Apple and they issue an update to MY cell phone and they have the right (warning or not) to deny me my purchased hardware. Seems to me that if a company wants to issue an update why doesn’t it just set it to factory defaults. I cant believe that there isn’t more of a power struggle to keep anyone from “modifying” a purchase.
    If I were to upgrade my Dell with a new video card does that mean Dell has the right to brick my computer??
    So I am not allowed to use a 3rd party app that may work better or is proprietary and they can destroy my phone if they want and just say you voided a warranty??
    Seems Apple wants to go to the dark side and came up with their own take on WGA…
    Thumbs up Apple welcome to the club

    Thank god I have a BlackBerry

  72. Buran says:

    @bradanomics: Where did you get the notion that that’s what it is? “We can’t guarantee this will work if you modify it” is not the same as their doing it on purpose. In fact, the exact opposite has been publicly stated.

  73. Jean Naimard says:

    Apple and AT&T are so much the antithesis of either, it’s like having Mother Teresa show up at the Folsom Street fair in San-Francisco…

    If the RIAA pulled such a stunt, there would be outrage, but Apple can get away with it, with the people clamouring for more…

  74. dasunst3r says:

    It really is schadenfreude to me indeed. When I pay for something, it’s mine — I do not answer to anybody about what I do with it. When I pay for something, it had better meet my needs or be adaptable to my needs. Anything that actively prevents me from doing so is anti-consumer, anti-innovation, and sure as hell defective by design.

    When I drive my not-so-defective by design Windows Mobile-based phone into the ground, I’m getting the FIC Neo1973.

    Oh, yeah… can I throw out that locked phones are also bad for the environment? It sucks throwing away a perfectly good phone just to switch carriers.

  75. RapperMC says:

    @The Walking Eye: I feel like you kind of nailed it, saying that you’d blame yourself, not Motorola, for a bricked RAZR. There’s some sense of entitlement consumers have when it involves Apple, and I’m guilty myself. I expect them to fix crazy crap on my MacBook when it goes wrong.

    I don’t think it’s because of the money we spend on it, because buying a Dell laptop is expensive too, but I don’t often hear of people expecting handouts from Dell. It’s almost like, because we’ve heard about what terrific customer service Apple has, we expect to be treated the same.

    Ultimately, I think the people who pay for backlash like this are all of us who buy their products. This sense of entitlement (and the subsequent meeting of those demands) yields $500 telephones.

  76. Parting says:

    Please, Apple warned everybody this would happen.

    So if you’re not with AT&T, just buy a normal phone and a iPod Touch. Same thing, less trouble.

    (Or you can wait a year or two for CDMA iPhone)

  77. Trai_Dep says:

    To the guy that wrong the loooooong comment about how he loaded a ringtone hack to his iPhone, then de-installed it, taking the author dude’s word for it that it *totally* changed everything back to tabula rosa? He lied.

    Whine to him, not to Apple. Or whine in the mirror.

    If I slap an after-market NOS turbocharger on my car engine and as a result, end up with a slag of melted aluminum under my hood, the only reason I’d bring it up to the Acura dealership is because I love to be ridiculed. Which I don’t, so I won’t.

  78. MystiMel says:

    Don’t try to update and you won’t get a brick. You screwed with it, and now you can’t update. It isn’t apple’s fault. Plus, they warned you people who bricked it that it would do exactly what it did if you installed the update.