Jailbreaking 1, smartphone makers 0
According to the US copyright office, unlocking your smartphone is no longer illegal. The office granted the practice, known as jailbreaking, an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
As you can predict, Apple is not amused.
But the ruling, in reality, means very little. It may have it’s exemption in the US but Apple will still void the warranty if you tinker with their software.
In the US, only AT&T provide the iPhone, but over here, O2, Vodafone and Three Ireland will all be selling the iPhone 4. And back in March, O2 said it would begin unlocking iPhones for customers who fit certain criteria.
Jailbreaking would allow you to run Apple unapproved software, but it also has other effects, like disabling push notifications. Fixable, but a bit of a pain.
Apple’s line is that it can “severely degrade the experience” of the iPhone, violates the warranty and could make the iPhone unstable. Plus there’s also the security aspects of it, and the danger that you may be excluded from upgrading to the next version of the operating system.
If unlocking and getting access to different software is worth the risk, it’s relatively easy to do for the tech-savvy.
In other Apple-related news, Three Ireland has unveiled its iPhone 4 pricing and plans. The handset will cost you anything from €319 to €69 for the 32gb version and between €219 and €19 for the 16GB version depending on price plan – which run from €40 to €95. More details here