One bad Apple

While we in Canada wait with bated breath for Apple to bestow upon us the privilege of owning an iPhone, developments south of here might tarnish the World’s Coolest Phone’s hitherto unblemished reputation.

Apple’s software update has “bricked” (as in, rendered about as useful as a) iPhones hacked to work on networks other than AT&T’s in the States. Phones with third-party software freeze. Oh, and there have been some feature upgrades, but they seem to be quite beside the point.

Apple claims it wasn’t its intention to disable hacked phones, and it warned users in advance that the upgrade would make the altered phones “permanently inoperable.” It takes a more credulous person than me to believe there’s anything accidental about it.

Yes, tampering with the phone’s software is a violation of the licence agreement. Yes, Apple is entitled to control the use of its intellectual property. But releasing an update to brick a $600 phone, shortly after slashing the price of the iPhone so early adopters had to suck up a $200 beating, after shamelessly torquing the hype engine in the first place, smacks of arrogance. Owning an iPhone isn’t a status symbol anymore, it’s an acknowledgment of indentiture to Apple.

And it makes me a lot less inclined to pick up one of those shiny new iMacs.

Am I overreacting?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.

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