from the August 2010 issue

Jailbreak woes coming?

Even though it is now OK to jailbreak your iPhone's software without legal push back from Apple (except a voided warranty), that doesn't mean the company is pleased if you unofficially alter its software. And it may start getting tougher on those who do.

Details of a patent application were released last week, and reported by, that "describes measures to identify 'particular activities that may indicate suspicious behavior,' so that 'safety measures' can be taken to restrict the device's functions. Those activities include the 'hacking, jailbreaking, unlocking, or removal of a SIM card," CNET reports, citing the patent application.

The intent of the patent appears to be wrapped as a security concern to protect devices if they are stolen or accessed by an unauthorized user. But, as CNET points out, "unauthorized users apparently applies to those who engage in jailbreaking."

Jailbreaking, of course, refers to putting software on your iPhone that is not authorized by Apple. It is believed that more than 2 million iPhones run some form of jailbroken software. These phones can be unlocked to operate on other wireless carriers, such as T-Mobile, or simply allow people to access software Apple doesn't offer at the App Store. One such jailbroken software store is called Cydia.The real bad news here: If Apple's patent is granted, and it runs the software, "sensitive information can be erased from the electronic device," according to the application. In a nutshell: Apple will have the power to remotely wipe your phone.

Let's hope that if Apple activates such a big-brotherly tool that it will be used for security, to protect an iPhone owner from theft. If it intends to use this tool to stop owners from jailbreaking, something the government said is OK, that would alienate millions of people already using an Apple product.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report August 2010

Click HERE to request further information.
Click HERE to go BACK.