Wednesday, March 12, 2008

iPhone Firmware 2.0 Already Hacked. Apple, Give Up Control!

The iPhone Dev Team did it again. Using the iPhone SDK, they were able to hack into the included 2.0 version of the firmware and unlock it. It is completely jailbroken. And it ain't even public yet. Since the iPhone hacking community already has Apple by the, uh, stem, why doesn't Apple just give up and let them develop for the iPhone as they wish? Because, Steve Jobs, you've lost.

Seriously, Steve Jobs. You are never going to maintain control of the iPhone. Ever. You lost control of it on June 29, 2007. It belongs to the public now. As the continued ingenuity of the iPhone Dev Team has shown time and again, no matter how you attempt to lock down the iPhone, they are going to crack it back open. So why bother?

This means that anyone who might have been worried that they couldn't skirt Apple's controls three months from now when the firmware upgrade is made public no longer has anything to fear. Sure, Apple may rebuild it, install new deadbolts, and tack a chain across the firmware's doorjam. But none of that will matter. The collective power of the hacking community will just kick it all down with its size 14 boot.

Something else to consider. The SDK has been downloaded 100,000 times already. "Developer reaction to the iPhone SDK has been incredible with more than 100,000 downloads in the first four days," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

"The iPhone SDK gives us the toolswe need to create powerful iPhone applications and is an important part of our overall mobile strategy," said Rick Jensen, senior vice president, Small Business Group atIntuit (NSDQ: INTU). "We're excited that the iPhone expands the ways our customers can solve key financial tasks wherever they might be."

While Intuit and companies like it will probably follow the official avenues for created and disseminating iPhone applications. The fun stuff will be available from hackers.

Steve, give up. You've lost.

Thank you for providing a nifty hardware platform. Thank you for giving the hackers and developers the SDK, which they can use to innovate and develop for. Now it's time to let the hackers develop what they want, how they want, and let users put applications on their iPhones using, as they already have been for months.

Because that's how it is going to work anyway.


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