The Apple iPhone is a hot device right now. Its newest release, the iPhone 4, has sold 3 million units in just a few days after release. Apples PR people (and CEO, for that matter) say that they control the software that goes on the device in order to make certain that the user has the best possible experience; they produce a fast, stable system, and want to keep it that way. Others suggest that Apple maintains this control in order to maximize their own profits. No matter which assertion you accept, some dont want to live in Apples walled garden, even though they love the hardware the company has made.
For those people, there is the process called jailbreaking. Jailbreaking is the name of the process that opens up the iPhones OS so that the user can poke and prod around in it. This was widely considered illegal from the beginning, but the Library Of Congress recently declared an exception to the DMCA with regard to mobile phones. Now the process itself is legal; however, Apple has said that they will not honor the warranty of jailbroken devices.
The iPhone is a mobile device that is, in fact, a tiny computer. It has processing power that is greater than that of desktop computers from just a few years ago, and an incredible display. The basic operating system is derived from the Mac OSX operating system, with much of the same core. Its natural that some people might want to use it in ways Apple didnt think of, or to produce applications that dont meet Apples model. Jailbreaking is the process that can be used to accomplish this.
In addition, the apps available to jailbroken phones are not vetted by Apple at all. They appear to have no required standards, so there is much greater variance in quality. Some suggest a greater risk of malware or trojans for such applications.
If you identify a specific reason for jailbreaking thats important to you, its a legal, useful option – as long as youre willing to accept the possible consequences. If, however, youre not comfortable with the idea of living on the technological edge, live without the net of a warranty, you should probably stick with your phone the way Apple intended it.
What You need to know before you Jailbreak your iPhone
You want to jailbreak your iPhone?