You paid good money for them, but Apple still wants to own your jailbroken iPhone, iPod touch and/or iPad. Aside from voiding warranties on jailbroken its popular iDevices, Apple is now looking to disable them, too. Steve Jobs & Co. have filed a patent that will allow Apple to identify and disable hardware that has been hacked, jailbroken or put to use in a manner which the company never intended. This effectively makes your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch the property of Apple and you, the customer who paid for the hardware and software, are just along for the ride.
Just because jailbreaking is now legal thanks to a recent DMCA ruling by the Library of Congress, it doesn’t mean that Apple is going to lie back and watch all its hard work go to pieces. The new patent filed by Apple seems to be designed to take a rather aggressive course of action as reported by Mashable:
However, the patent also covers methods for identifying devices that have been hacked, jailbroken, unlocked or had their SIM cards removed, such as monitoring sudden increases in memory usage that could “indicate that a hacking program is being run and that an unauthorized user may be using the electronic device.” Theoretically, Apple could then wipe personal data from these devices and then alert AT&T to “shutdown any telephone service to the electronic device, shutdown the electronic device itself, or otherwise suitably extract the functions of the electronic device.”
Of course, many of us believe that while Steve Jobs has done a fine job delivering an excellent user experience through his products, he and Apple have no right to tell us what to do with our iPhone handsets, iPad tablets or iPod touches once we’ve paid for it. Wipe personal data? Shut down telephone service or the device itself?! Yes, it’s all for our own good according to Jobs.
If you’re perfectly content with Apple products and software as they are out of the box, this may be of little or no concern to you. But if you like tweaking your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and loading up applications, approved by Apple or not, as you see fit, maybe it’s time to start looking toward Google and Android.