According to an online community, the latest iPhone operating system 2.0 has been hacked less than a week after its release. The iPhone Dev Team, a portal for iPhone hacks, cracks and comments, announced in a blog entry that it had broken the code.
The group posted its PwnageTool 2.0.1 software on its site and noted that it works on the first-generation iPhone and iPod touch as well as the latest versions. Its "unofficial" blog reported that user response "brought down several of our servers, and some of them have yet to recover!"
One of the hackers noted, "We adapted our Pwnage technique to the 2.0 firmware, using a new, unreleased exploit that we'd been keeping to ourselves in the hope that Apple wouldn't patch it. This ... enable[s] you to run all the custom software and patches you please."
Demand to jailbreak the iPhones is huge, and non-Apple applications give customers utilities not otherwise available for the iPhone. Dozens of Internet sites host hundreds of these applications. Apple's official policy is that any hacking of the iPhone OS voids the warranty.
Earlier rumors suggested that the hack would also unlock the OS -- allowing users to connect the iPhone to carriers other than AT&T in the U.S. However, the blog clarified that the iPhone 3G is not unlocked because the new OS uses a different bootstrap loader. U.S. customers who don't want AT&T are out of luck, since Apple has an exclusive arrangement with AT&T through 2012.
However, there are reports that Russian Web sites are advertising unlocked iPhones at prices nearly triple those in the U.S. While the iPhone 3G has been released worldwide in more than 20 countries, Russia and China have not received allotments. Some Russian and Chinese dealers reportedly offer unlocking services so iPhone users can connect to local carriers.
Apple and AT&T were especially wary about unlocking the iPhone 3G. Before the device was released on July 11, the companies had said customers would have to activate the iPhone 3G in-store. If not activated within 30 days of purchase, AT&T said, customers would be subject to penalties.
First-generation iPhone purchasers were allowed to take their devices home and initialize them via iTunes. That became the case with the iPhone 3G as well when in-store activations brought iTunes to its knees.
As reported in a related story on this site, the iPhone is already out of stock in many locations.
Image credit: Product shots by Apple.