In Defense of iPhone Hackery

by alphamonkey on October 5, 2007 · 2 comments

in Uncategorized

Slate’s Tim Wu has delivered the single most lucid and passionate non-tech explanation for encouraging developers to skirt around Apple’s notoriously tight fisted control over the iPhone, all in the space of describing why unlocked his own iPhone.

Personally, I find the revelations that Apple intends to use its software upgrades as a means of bricking unlocked iPhones to be beyond abhorrent. To my mind, their stance is no less defensible than any company that attempts to control consumer choices. I’ve of the mind that spending $500 dollars on a phone should pretty much guarantee you get to do whatever the fuck you wish with it, even if it means using it in a manner that doesn’t benefit it’s producer.

For all my normal anti-Apple bias, I’d personally like an iPhone (if for no other reason than more pocket space), but there’s not a chance in hell I’ll be getting one with the intention of using AT&T’s notoriously awful service. A bit of a moot point really, since spending that kind of money on a phone is a complete non-starter for me, anyway, but you see my point.

So I ask you, my dear internet friends, at what point do we, as consumers, earn the right to tell a company ‘Up yours, I’ll use it how/when I want to’? without having to suffer retribution Microsoft? You might pay attention to this as well. There’s no forgivable excuse for you not allowing to me re-install XP on any machine I own. After all, would you buy God of War 2 if you could only play on a single registered PS2? Of course you wouldn’t.

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  • Gorlam

    Regarding the last line, this is similar to why PC owners of Bioshock were more then a little bit pissed off. Basically PC users who buy the game have to activate the game (single player only) through an online connection, furthermore, PC users can install the game a limited number of times. Although supposedly you get your limit reset each time you uninstall the game there have been reports of users not being able to get some of their installs back.

  • Alan

    Surely once you’ve bought a product it’s up to you what you do with it. If you want to dismantle your iPhone and get it to run on another network provider then it is no different to me converting my Land Rover to run on LPG.

    As consumers in the developed world we have gotten so used to having so much choice in nearly every aspect of our life. New Zealand Lamb is massively popular in the UK, yet it has literally been flown half way round the world to be in the shops. British Lamb then gets loaded onto planes and flown all over the place. It is ridiculous.

    The only way companies will stop selling $500 phones that only work on one crappy network is when people stop queuing for three days to buy one.

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