Friday, October 19, 2007

iPhone 1.1.1 : Not all are equal

After successfully reverting a 1.1.1 firmware to 1.0.2 for a friend, guess what happened? Other friends asking for the same service of course!

Since the previous hack (my very first ever) was done while watching "Desperate Housewives", I figured "how hard can it be to do it again?" and agreed.

When going to the process, I did notice some differences:

  • While rebooting the screen showed a vague "mirror image" of the main screen
  • Instead of a small "Connect to iTunes" activation message during the restore process, I saw a (fairly gay) depiction of (what I assume) to be the same message. This one showed a iPhone apparently eager to be connected to a white cable.
But the biggest difference was that the "same" 1.1.1 OS now refused to be flashed with another version, whereas the previous phone was way more willing. This surprised me, because I was using the exact same hardware as I did before, USB cable included.

Wait a minute... exact same setup, "exact same" OS version (both 1.1.1) on the phone...
When quizzing the owner of the iPhone, it turned out that he had recently updated his iTunes installation.

So it seems to me that Apple got wind of the "downgrade hack" and silently patched iTunes to patch the iPhone to prevent it. All without asking for permission!

Moral of the story:
If you plan on being able to run custom application, do the move now, before any more "updates" sneak onto your system.

Apple Store

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