Jacqui Cheng’s article at Ars Technica points out the dilemma facing consumers who want to hack their iPhones so they are not tied to Apple’s exclusive service provider in the USA, AT&T. While hacks are available, they are quasi-legal at best. And, users who do it face the possibility that their $600/$400 iPhone could become an expensive brick when Apple next pushes updates to the phone.
While hack providers point out that recent amendments to the DMCA allow individual users to hack a phone to be put on any network, this exception was not intended for this particular situation. It’s supposed to be for people with older phones whose contracts are expired and/or can’t be used with their prior network because the company doesn’t exist anymore. It’s doubtful that this exemption will prevent Apple from going after the authors of these hacks, or allow Apple to be sympathetic to any users whose hacked phones become bricks.
As always… caveat emptor.