Even though Apple has announced that it will allow iPhone owners to install third-party apps in the coming months, one report claims half of them have already started.

A study released on Tuesday by Rubicon Consulting reveals that nearly half of all US iPhone users have hacked their mobile phone and installed unauthorised third-party applications. Even worse for Apple, about 13 per cent of those respondents said that they have unlocked the device from their carrier, AT&T Wireless.

Four apps is average

During its survey of 460 people, Rubicon found that 50 per cent of respondents downloaded at least one third-party application on to their iPhone, while the average person added about four programs. Only 10 per cent said they have downloaded more than six applications.

Apple did not comment on the Rubicon study, but it does highlight one important factor that many have overlooked – people want to be able to do what they want with their iPhones whenever they see fit. Let's hope Apple sees the writing on the wall too.