New iPhone Already 'Jailbroken'

Dennis Faas's picture

The first man to "jailbreak" the original iPhone has done so again with the new 3GS model. Jailbreaking means users who install a piece of unauthorized software are then able to run any applications they like, not just those from the official App Store.

George Hotz cracked the security system on the 3GS in just two weeks, releasing a Windows version of his jailbreaking tool, dubbed purp1erain, on Friday. Yesterday afternoon he released a Mac edition of the same tool.

According to Hotz, his work was relatively easy. He took advantage of a security loophole discovered in the last new edition of the iPod touch and taunted Apple by saying "I imagine it must have been painful watching the devices roll by on the assembly line, knowing they all had a hole in them and you couldn't fix it." (Source:

Jailbreaking & Unlocking

It's important to note that jailbreaking is not the same as unlocking a phone. That involves altering its settings so that it can make calls on any network, rather than just the one it is officially tied to in a particular market. That's also bad news, as Apple relies on exclusive deals (such as the big one with AT&T in the United States) to offer the iPhone at mass-market prices while still taking in as much as $600 per handset thanks to network carrier subsidies.

However, it's said purp1erain is compatible with Ultrasn0w, a separate unofficial application which allows users to unlock their iPhones.

Cat & Mouse Game

Jailbreaking has become a game of cat and mouse between Apple and unofficial developers/hackers. The firm believes it has the right to control what applications people run as part of their service contract, which the hackers believe that once they buy a device it should be up to them how they use it. It often disables jailbreaking tools through updates to iTunes software, only to have hackers quickly restore the tools.

Despite these efforts, some insiders suggest that Apple doesn't go all-out to prevent jailbreaking.  Why not?  Simple: because it encourages more people to buy iPhones. (Source:

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