iPhone firmware incites customer backlash

As you might have guessed, a number of folks were none too happy to find their iPhones unceremoniously bricked after installing last week’s 1.1.1 firmware update. These same folks were even more incensed after going to an Apple store for help, only to be told that Apple will not service any iPhones that have been altered using third party applications of any sort. A barrage of angry comments on blogs and forums of all stripes followed, with frustrated iPhone buyers complaining that their $600 phone was now little more than a paperweight.

A few days have passed since then and there are now a few new tidbits to report. First and foremost, hackers seem to have figured out a way to get at least some locked iPhones back up and partially running, by taking advantage of the device’s “restore mode” to induce a firmware downgrade.

Meanwhile, while the hackers of the world worked hard to devise a workaround, the Internet’s finest gadget scribes attempted to make sense of the whole debacle. Engadget Editor-in-Chief Ryan Block penned an open letter to both iPhone users and Apple, wherein he suggests that the bricking just might have been unintentional. “We’ve seen just as many reports of legitimate, ‘factory fresh’ users getting bricked iPhones as those who’ve just added apps, SIM unlocked their devices, or done both,” Block writes. “In an informal and totally unscientific poll here on Engadget, the number of iPhone users who had never hacked their device but wound up bricked was very similar to the number of users who did hack and brick their device–and that’s even with polls showing far more voting users hacked their phones than not.” Regardless, he really lets the company have it for generating so much consumer backlash, stating that “you’ve so seriously backed yourself into a corner on this one.”

Finally, for those folks who lack the skill to either hack the iPhone themselves or pen a slanderous diatribe, there’s always legal recourse. That’s apparently what a few users of Apple’s own iPhone subforum were thinking when they created a thread on Saturday calling for a class action lawsuit against the Cupertino company. The posts have since been taken down from Apple’s forums (natch), though it seems like it’s only a matter of time until someone tries this one out in a court of law.

– attempt to unlock a bricked iPhone using this guide from Gizmodo
– check out Ryan Block’s Engadget editorial
– and this InformationWeek article on the potential lawsuit

More stories about iPhone   Hacking   Apple   Gadgets  


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