While jailbreaking (a.k.a. hacking or unlocking) your iPhone can be a tempting prospect, given the additional access to unlicensed software apps it allows, realize: From now on, Apple may ban you from the App Store for doing so.
Case in point: Two prominent hackers – including Sherif Hashim, who discovered a hack for latest iPhone OS 3.1.3, and iH8Snow, the individual behind the Sn0wbreeze iPhone 3G and 3G S jailbreaking tool – recently discovered that their Apple IDs were blocked and accounts suspended for “security reasons” upon attempting to access the Apple Store.
Insiders fear that these actions may point towards a larger move on Apple’s part to crack down on unauthorized use of the handset and prevent users with jailbroken iPhone models from accessing the App Store. The move has further prompted some experts to speculate that later disciplinary actions may include banning entire devices – not just single accounts. Still, concerns would appear to be largely moot at this point. Bans have thus far been limited to known hackers, and preventing access to the App Store on thousands of handsets would actually cost Apple, as it makes money on every transaction that passes through the online storefront.
As of now, such actions would seem to be a preventative measure on Apple’s part designed to plant seeds of worry amongst everyday end users who may be tempted to jailbreak their devices. But until there’s a real cost attached to doing so for those of us content to simply use, not design, such exploits, fear not – a wealth of illicit material (OK, mostly harmless, but still cool and thrillingly unofficial apps) awaits.
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