As promised, Apple update disables unlocked iPhones

“Don’t say you weren’t warned. After cautioning customers earlier this week that unlocked iPhones may be disabled when installing future Apple software updates, the company on Thursday made good on its warning,” Jim Dalrymple reports for Macworld.

“Two iPhones in the Macworld offices that had the SIM hacks applied to them were disabled after installing iPhone Update 1.1.1,” Dalrymple reports.

According to Dalrymple, users “could not navigate through the iPhone’s menu” and “the ‘Slide for Emergency’ slider is the only thing available after installing the update. This allows customers to make emergency calls only.”

More in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “NeverFade” for the heads up.]


  1. You guys do know what the word “brick” in reference to electronic devices means right?
    Because it doesn’t seem like many of you do. Like, at all.

    When a device is “bricked”, Apple or otherwise. That device is dead, done for, no longer usable. Not amount of hacking or fiddling or tweaking or updating or flashing or restoring or re-imaging or anything will bring it to life. Nothing. It is useless, essentially it is has died. And useless as a…….you guessed it – brick!

    Now I admit I haven’t read every forum, or webpage, or blog post since Apple released today’s update, but of the ones I have read (which includes a 19 page forum thread over at MacRumors) no one had had their iPhone “bricked” due to this update. In other words Apple did not intentionally kill anyone’s iPhone because they “hacked” or “modded” their iPhone.

    Are phones that were unlocked before the update no longer unlocked after the update was applied? Yes
    Are people who were happily running unauthorized 3rd party apps before the update no longer running unauthorized 3rd party apps after the update? Yes, in fact I am one of them (I was well aware I would be giving up once I updated, and did so with no hesitation).

    Are either of these two groups of people (of which I am a part) in possession of $600 (or less depending on model and when you bought) “bricks”? Nope. We all have fully functioning iPhones in terms of Apple prescribed use. No bricks. I no longer have Tap Tap Revolution on my iPhone but it still works. No bricks here. And people who had an unlocked iPhone, still have a fully functioning iPhone (that is once they pop in an approved AT&T;SIM and activate an account with the same). No bricks there either.

    So do everyone a favor, stop sounding like the idiot commenters on sites like Engadget. Learn exactly what they mean before you start throwing out terms you read on some other techie website. K?

    It’s not hard to do, I am sure you can all handle it.
    Oh and throwing an “i” in front of any word you can think of is neither witty nor an acceptable excuse to haphazardly apply random terms to things that they don’t belong to.

  2. I’m not whining, I am here in Mexico , and need an unlocked iPhone (or want to keep one real bad). I know the deal, I will not update the software, until the simfree guys figure out what to do. I guess will have to relock, up date then simm free again. Yes , its a hassle, but I get tired of hearing people in the States, preaching , if you don’t want ATT, don’t buy one,

    I am sure the VAST majority of us “dumber than a clod of dirt!” iPhone unlockers, do not have access to ATT, or an iPhone option in our Country any time soon, like our friends in Canada, \

    so f**K off

    If we choose to do what we can to have access to the iPhone, we should be admired as diehard Apple fanatics who will risk $400.00 for it, (hell, I spend that in a Saturday night)

    and I guess I am wrong in having someone buy Leopard for me in the States, instead of waiting till it gets here in 2008, and by the way, you don’t like glossy screen’s??, come on down , all we have are the old matte iMacs, even the 17″ one, for $1,600usd

  3. @I wonder

    Those who had UNLOCKED their iPhones from AT&T;have, after the update, had their iPhones go to an emergency state where all they can do is use the phone to dial 911. It’s unclear if they can re-activate if they use an AT&T;SIM card, but we’ll know soon enough.

    Those who have HACKED but not UNLOCKED their iPhones have, as you said, just lost the added apps and changes.

    My guess is that most of the hostile whineys are probably newcomers from the Linux/Open source world. Most of them walk around with just that mindset.

  4. Everyone needs to remember that Apple gets a chunk of EVERY iPhone service contract from AT&T;…. THAT is why they don’t want you jumping ship with “their” iPhone. That was the deal breaker for Verizon.

    So, in essence you are stealing from Apple… at least in Apple’s eyes.

    The Dude abides.

  5. Apple sux ass whenit comes to the iPhone and you cool-aid drinkers are as bad. Don’t get me wrong. i absolutely love my Mac and OSX but as far as iPhone. Screw em. They should never have sold the damn thing linked to ATT only and then charge full price. They want to charge full price then the phone should be unlocked. Go buy another phone where you are linked to service plan and the carrier subsidizes the cost of phone. Pay full price for phone and you can use it on multiple carriers. Also ATT isn’t everywhere in the Ol’ USofA. Many people have to rely on other smaller carriers etc. for cell service and they are locked out of even being able to buy an iPhone. Try living somewher in the upper midwest like N. Dakota etc. and you’ll see. Apple and ATT are showing greed. So when the imitations come out and they will. I might buy one of them. Apple makes good stuff but the phone industry isn’t the PC industry. Nokia, Samsung, etc. are also good companies. They can take a good idea (iPhone) and run with it. Apple should have made it as universally usable as possible and sold even more units and at the initial price. So yes, the iPhone is cool on its own part, but Apple isn’t because of the way it was marketed.

  6. I’ll bet that none of the original people who figured out how to hack thier iPhones are surprised or worried. They live for this kind of thing, now they get to start all over figure out what Apple did and get their phones working again.

    Now most the other people who just copied what the OG’s did are all pissed because their phones won’t work and now they have to relie on the OG’s to get their iPhones working, hopefully again.

    If your going to hack get used to it, ask the OG’s if they didn’t expect this kind of thing to happen, I bet they say yes. The OG’s want the challenge and now everyone else is in way over their heads.

    Most of us are just users if you decide you want to hack you have to jump in with both feet and spend the reat of your life learning, tinkering, programming, Hardware, electronics ETC…

    I’m sure you will get your phones up and running again but now you have to decide which way you want to go. Use what you bought or mod it and restore it and mod it and restore it cause that will never end for you if thats the route you decide to take.

    Now man up and accept responsibility for what you did. there are no free rides and you know it.

  7. Mark,

    It stands to reason that if in fact you can make any calls at all, emergency or otherwise, the iPhone still functions. Therefore, based on the slang definition of “brick” brought about in the tech world, the iPhone is not “bricked”.
    “brick – . (generally) to fail; (of an electronic device) to be rendered useless. “

    You may think so, but technically speaking even only being able to dial 911 is not in and of itself “useless”.

    As others have stated, it is in Apple’s best financial interest for consumers to activate their iPhone with AT&T;, as they collect a monthly fee from AT&T;for every iPhone user on their network. So do you think Apple intentionally “bricked”/broke/killed/destroyed the iPhones of people who tried to get around the system? Or do you think perhaps they just released some lines of code to bring these rogue users back in line? This is a logic question, its answer is pretty simple and straight forward. Not even mentioning that the idea that Apple would release code to let phones dial 911 but NOT be later put on AT&T;network seems ridiculously asinine and considering Apple’s ability to turn a profit and garner some revenue on just about EVRYTHING is highly doubtful.

    Which brings me back to my original point. The iPhones in question are not useless or broken and therefore not “bricks” or “iBricks” (for the truly witty among you, BTW – Engadget called and they are worried sick wondering when you are coming back).

    That was, and still is, the point I was trying to make.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.