Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.’s CEO, announced that Apple will attempt to block and stay ahead of attempts by hackers to unlock its iPhone. The iPhone will be launched in Europe on November 9th, along with mobile partner O2, and there has been considerable speculation about it.
Initially, rumors were circulating that the European version of the iPod was going to use the faster 3G data network that is common in Europe; however, it now appears that the UK version of the iPhone will be released with the EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) network when the iPhone is outside the range of a Wi-Fi hot spot, just as in the U.S.
Unlike the U.S., however, the O2 network will only have EDGE coverage available in about 30% of its calling area by the time the iPhone is available for purchase.
To plug the data coverage gap, O2 announced that it is partnering with Wi-Fi provider, The Cloud, The Cloud reportedly will provide unlimited free access to 7,500 public access points in November debut for a monthly rate of $13.95.
Steve Jobs indicated that the 3G data network required a huge battery drain and that at this time that was a major concern for the life of the iPhone battery, given that consumers will be using the iPhone for music, gaming and other interactive media beyond cell phone use.
Jobs did not specifically indicate just how Apple would prevent iPhone hacks, but presumably the process would involve firmware updates to the iPhone as done previously, delivered via Apple’s iTunes software. Previous firmware updates to the iPhone have required users of the hacks to restore their iPhone back from its original state.
While attempting to keep pace with hackers who are determined to defeat upgrades, Jobs agreed it is a difficult “cat and mouse” game and that the roles can be interchangeable during the process.
Even hackers have indicated that they are not offering any guarantees for the programs they are offering – it is only a one time hack.