Apple Partners Expect iPhone Jailbreaking To Continue

Copyright jailbreaking iPhones doesn't violate

Several Apple resellers told CRN that even if this comes to pass, iPhone users are still going to jailbreak their devices, both for the freedoms it gives them and for a chance to show their disdain for Apple's locked down philosophy with the iPhone platform.

"The more Apple tries to hold things down, the more people are going to do it," says Marc A. Wolfe, CEO of Proactive, an Apple specialist in Oakland, N.J. "People that jailbreak are more technically advanced and have less fear of tinkering. For them, jailbreaking is like a badge of honor."

Although the U.S. Copyright Office described jailbreaking iPhones as "innocuous at worst and beneficial at best", Apple's view is that it opens the door to all kinds of unsavory scenarios.

"Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience," Apple told the Cult Of Mac blog earlier this week. "As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably."

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Nick Gold, director of business development for Baltimore, Md.-based Apple VAR Chesapeake Systems, says the fervor around jailbreaking stems from the do-it-yourself ethical subculture that has existed since the dawn of technology. This group has always sought deep level access to tech products, and the fact that mobile devices are now on par with PCs in terms of computing power makes them irresistible targets.

"The desire to jailbreak iPhones and iPads is purely a reaction to Apple's decision not to open these platforms. Apple goes out of its way to keep things closed, and this reinforces their desire to do it, because this group thinks these platforms should be open," Gold said.

The urge to defeat technological locking measures certainly isn't confined to Apple products. When it recently became apparent that Motorola had added anti-tampering technology to the Droid X that would brick the device if attempts were made to unlock it, Motorola was vilified, and the phone ended up getting rooted anyway.

Michael Oh, founder and CEO of Boston-based Apple reseller Tech Superpowers, believes Apple should embrace the curious crowd and accept the fact that there are always going to be people that want to figure out the potential of the iPhone beyond what Apple provides.

"If Apple were more open, they could get some really great stories out there," says Oh. "The iPhone 4 has a gyroscope and an accelerometer, and people could come up with some interesting ideas. But obviously, that's not what Steve [Jobs] wants. "