Hackers jailbreak iPhone SDK

There'll be no end to the cat-and-mouse game being played by Apple and 'unofficial' iPhone developers

Hackers have successfully unlocked version 2.0 of the iPhone's firmware, three months ahead of its official launch to the public. The jailbreak is thanks in part to Apple's own Software Development Kit (SDK) for the iPhone, which was only released last Friday.

The iPhone Dev Team claimed victory late yesterday, proving that there'll be no end to the cat-and-mouse game being played by Apple and 'unofficial' iPhone developers - something the SDK was supposed to prevent.

The hackers unlocked firmware version 1.2 - it'll be called version 2.0 on its public release - which was contained within the iPhone SDK. This will enable users to install unapproved third-party apps on their iPhones - something people have been doing ever since the iPhone was launched last June.

Is iPhone SDK 'crippled'?

The problem, according to some iPhone developers, is that there are still enough restrictions in the iPhone SDK to make unofficial development for the iPhone attractive.

One developer says the iPhone SDK has been 'crippled' by Apple, effectively preventing end users from running third-party apps in the background. This stands in stark contrast to Apple's own iPhone applications - such as Mail - which are allowed to run in the background.

Apple counters this argument by saying that it's in users' interests for apps to run in a stable and secure manner that won't compromise either the integrity of the iPhone, or the end user experience. But Apple looks to be on shaky ground - it's already been forced to compromise by the hackers in allowing the development of third-party apps in the first place.

The arrival in future of more powerful iPhones can only lead for more calls from developers - official or not - for the ability to work on a more level playing field.