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After losing a battle on Monday with the EFF over jailbreaking iPhones, which the U.S. Copyright Office clarified as legal, Apple decided it wanted to win the war. The company reminded customers that jailbreaking voids their warranty. What it didn't remind folks is how easy it is to un-jailbreak a device.

Apple's official (yet unofficial) statement is:
“Apple’s goal has always been to insure (sic) that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. 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.”
It's in fact true that jailbreaking your iPhone will void your warranty. That's been known for years, and is old news.

Of course, Apple needs to be able to detect that you have jailbroken the device. What Apple didn't mention is that all that is needed is to restore your iPhone to a factory state. Let's assume you want to take your iPhone in to the Apple Genius Bar, in which case you want it totally clean. To do this:
  • Delete your backups from iTunes. Your device does not need to be connected.
  • Follow the instructions here to Restore your iPhone (do not create a backup). iTunes will download the latest official firmware for your device.
  • Of course, activate your iPhone through iTunes.
  • Follow the instructions here to do a factory reset of the phone (which will delete any residual jailbreak files).
You should be "safe" to take it in to Apple, given all that. This, of course, assumes that attempting to jailbreak the device didn't brick it, or that somehow the jailbreak prevents a factory restore as above. It's a small possibility, but it does exist.

That said, there are numerous programs for the iPhone that exist only for jailbroken devices, and many of them are so useful that once jailbroken folks can't resist doing it over and over again. Indeed, that's the biggest issue: each time a ROM comes out, you generally have to wait for hackers to generate a new jailbreak.
  •  acarzt
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That's right.... stick it to the man!

  •  AKwyn
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I bet Apple is already implementing technology that checks whether a phone is jailbroken or not so they can prevent the whole "not getting caught' thing from happening.


You're probably right Taylor. Whatever they can do to track all of the evil ones down and squash the warranty protection that they paid for, they will gladly do.


Except that they can not void your entire warranty because you jailbroke your phone. There is a little law in the US that says they have to prove your modification is what caused the failure.


what exactly does the warranty say that makes it void your idevice?

But, ya i can see apple making a update very soon that will detected edited files or jailbreakon files from itunes... this will be the best way to do it i guess.

  •  acarzt
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This is true... but how many people do you think actually know that? They're probabl banking on most of their customers not knowing that and will probably turn away a lot of people.


I haven't jailbroken my iPod Touch, partly because I don't trust people whose names are "mAcAcRaCkA" et al.; but mostly because it hasn't been demonstrated to me that it's all that useful.

We've been shown (in a previous HH article) one app which allows display of upcoming calendar events on the unlock screen. Huzzah, three cheers, release the doves and all that. I have the impression that jailbreaking is mostly for hardcore Unix geeks, and there's no reason for a human being to do it.

So perhaps someone can tell me of these "numerous programs ... that are so useful" which would require me to void my warranty, so that I can make an informed decision whether or not to go through the whole process? (Note; If you are a hardcore Unix geek, please reply in real words. Thank you.)


I say what clem said. Many people have asked if my iphone is jailbroken, then i go At this point they go "but why not? it has lots of cool future!". I would be like "Really? what is so cool about it?"... Now they say " FREE stuff man!" and i would say "Really? FREE stuff? and say i'll do it right now" and stop the convo... Most of the apps in there have no use to me and just a waste of time doing it.