Monday, September 03, 2007

iPhone crack: Apple, AT&T and was it deliberate?

I was just reading about the iPhone crack and The Inquirers update that the Apple / AT&T deal was toast because of it.

Let's get a little sideways on this.

Apple is smart.
They know that for every software action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
If you put a lock on, someone, somewhere will find a way to take it off.
If you put DRM on, someone will find away to take it off.

In the UK, phones tend to ship unlocked. I can use my RAZR or N95 on Vodafone one day and then use it with, say, Orange the very next day. If your phone is locked you can get it unlocked on the street corner for about £3.

Now, I'm Apple and I want a quick and easy way through the FCC to get the iPhone approved. Might be best to partner with someone who knows e.g. AT&T?

AT&T need a reason to help. Revenue is as good a reason as any. Apple suggest sharing the revenue.. AT&T likes this idea.

As things progress AT&T wants protection. They want the phone locked to their network. Apple doesn't like this but agrees as it keeps AT&T happy.

However - and this is the kicker - Apple knows that the "DRM" they put on the phone, to lock it into AT&T can be cracked. All DRM can be cracked - it's not a question of if just when.

The iPhone is released - AT&T get lots of conversions to their network and then the crackers and hackers get to work and - bingo - it's unlocked in multiple ways within a few weeks of launch.

AT&T get all crusty about it but inwardly Apple are **DELIGHTED**. Apple doesn't need AT&T anymore - what they now want is for the iPhone to work with more networks. And guess what? The crack means their phone can work with any network. They Will Sell More Phones. Apple Get That DRM Sucks.

AT&T will now start lurching around, throwing their weight about suing people. Standard big company reaction. Apple, I beleive will be strangely quiet on the whole issue. Sure, they'll "support" AT&T and make statements about the phone not being supported off AT&T's tariffs - but the average pro-sumer won't care. Not even a little bit.

My take is that Apple KNEW this would happen. They knew that the lock would be picked. If you;ve been in software since Day 1 you can't NOT know the possibilities.

Game over AT&T. Apple wins.

1 comment:

  1. Nurburgring19859:29 pm

    I agree %100, been saying this to myself for weeks now! Very nice way of putting it. The fact that I owe at&t money from a few years back and they make a slip up like this, due to their shortsighted stupidity, makes me grin :)