Apple today released the following statement:

Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed. Apple plans to release the next iPhone software update, containing many new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, later this week.

Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone’s warranty.

Source: Apple Inc.

Duncan Martell reports for Reuters, “‘We are not doing anything proactively to disable iPhones that have been hacked or unlocked,’ Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of worldwide product marking told Reuters. Asked how widespread the practice of downloading unlocking software, he replied, ‘We do not know.'”

Martell reports, “There are a number of unlocking software programs on the Internet, and, at least two of them, iUnlock and Anysim, can cause the iPhone to stop working once its software is updated, Schiller said. ‘There may be others, but we don’t know all of them,’ he said.”

Full article here.

In a related article from earlier today, MacFixIt reports, “According to the Apple reps we spoke with, the addition of third-party applications will fall under the ‘accidental damage’ clause, and hence phones that are brought in for service with evidence of third-party software modification may be denied service, and potentially have their warranties permanently voided, meaning that future service will not be delivered.”

MacFixIt reports, “However, the Apple rep we spoke with said that — though this is information he is generally ‘not supposed to share’ this common sense fact with customers — iPhones that have been ‘hacked’ (received third-party software modifications) then restored to an original factory state will certainly be eligible for service. In other words, if Apple can’t prove that you’ve made third-party software modifications to the iPhone, it will have no grounds to terminate the warranty; a fairly obvious fact.”

MacFixIt reports, “The moral of the story: Restore your iPhone before bringing it in for service. You can do so by connecting it to your computer, then in iTunes, selecting your iPhone and click the Restore button under the Summary tab.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: It follows logically that users who have modified their iPhones’ software should restore their iPhones before installing Apple-supplied iPhone software updates or risk bricking their iPhones and/or voiding their warranties. Hacks are never supported by manufacturers. Solder iron-wielding iPhone hardware modders are, as always, completely on their own.