An upcoming firmware update to the iPhone could result in SIM-unlocked iPhones bring rendered inoperable or 'bricked.'
In an issued statement this afternoon:
Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed.
Apple further warns that "The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone's warranty." In fact, Apple CEO Steve Jobs just last week has reiterated that Apple will work against unlocked iPhones.
According to Ars Technica, the problem appears not so much a deliberate plot by Apple to thwart the iPhone unlocker than an inadvertent side-effect.
Sources familiar with the matter have told Ars that the company did not decide to cause such irreparable damage to the iPhone intentionally, however, and Apple's statement appears to confirm this as well.
Apple has always frowned upon these unlocking tools, stating that doing so not only violates the iPhone's software license agreements but also voids its warranties as well.
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.