Ever since the iPhone hit the market in June, fans have been trying to unlock it (enabling its use on networks other than the official one) and use it before it is officially available in India in 2008.
However, according to the
New York Times
, the latest software update from Apple is turning unlocked phones into ‘iBricks’ — phones that are as useful as bricks.
On September 24, Apple warned users that unlocking the phone with a service other than AT&T’s (the official provider in the US) would damage the software. And with the new update, which adds Apple’s latest improvements, including better iTunes support, users run the risk of their iPhone becoming “permanently inoperable”.
But iPhone fans are unfazed and users are simply avoiding the update. Tech forums that were buzzing with queries about the availability of unlocked iPhones are still alive.
Mumbai-based jeweller Tannu Jain, who bought an unlocked iPhone for Rs 58,000, is thrilled that he can use the phone with his Airtel number. He said: “It’s a beauty. It doesn’t need a stylus and the wi-fi is mind-blowing.”
But what about Apple’s claim that unlocking the iPhone damages the software? “There are a few bugs, but they don’t matter given the features I can still use,” Jain said.
Isn’t he afraid that the update will render his investment useless? “Not at all. I’ve disabled automatic updates. The phone wasn’t unlocked by Apple, so I would be stupid to install an update and risk damaging it,” he said.