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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Dealing with AppleCare for Hardware Defect With Jailbreak

Dealing with AppleCare for Hardware Defect With Jailbreak
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Clinically Insane
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Dec 2, 2011, 07:19 AM
 
The power button on my 3GS disappeared a couple of nights ago. At first I thought I was holding the phone upside down and feeling the dock connector because there was no button anymore. I had just used the button a half-hour before and it felt normal. I don't know if it fell off or inward; I can still press enough of the button to sleep it by using my finger nail. I did a quick search of the net and found I'm not the only one to experience this issue.

I'm still under warranty, but I'm also jailbroken. Since it's not a software problem, can I come in to a Genius Bar appointment with my phone pass code locked and just ask whether they can fix it or if it needs to be replaced? I guess the safest thing to do would be a restore (a DFU mode restore to be exact), but other than the power button I'm very happy with how I have my phone set up and don't want to lose it unnecessarily. I also don't want to upgrade to iOS 5 if I don't have to, but I'd have to do that if I were to go the restore route. Any suggestions from experience?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 07:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I'm still under warranty, but I'm also jailbroken. Since it's not a software problem, can I come in to a Genius Bar appointment with my phone pass code locked and just ask whether they can fix it or if it needs to be replaced?
Apple doesn't repair any iPhones at the customer level. It will be replaced, and they probably won't deal with it if it's jailbroken. Might as well restore since they're going to give you a different phone anyway.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Dec 2, 2011, 07:34 AM
 
Thank you, Chris. That's what I assumed. I have to figure out if it's worth the hassle, especially because if I end up getting a refurb or new 3GS, I'll be in a dilemma that I'll want to sell the 3GS and wait for the next major milestone iPhone with LTE. That means I'd sell the new 3GS and then be without a smartphone, which is unacceptable to me.

Darn control-freak Apple, why can't they just officially allow sideloading? I find some of my jailbreak add-ons to be indispensable.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 08:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Darn control-freak Apple, why can't they just officially allow sideloading?
Because their tight control is what actually sells their hardware.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Dec 2, 2011, 08:19 AM
 
So letting advanced users, after ample warning, choose an option to install Cydia (a very reliable environment based on everything I know about it and every experience I've had with it) would prevent Apple from selling iDevices? I'm skeptical about that claim.

People like the security of the Apple App Store. Great, if that's all they want, they don't have to enable any other option. But for those who want more device freedom, how is it hurting Apple to give it to them? Android devices taken as a whole are outselling iPhones, even though Android offers much greater software freedom. Obviously their sales haven't been undermined because there are extra options available. Don't consumers appreciate choice?
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 2, 2011 at 09:01 AM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 08:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
So letting advanced users, after ample warning, choose an option to install Cydia (a very reliable environment based on everything I know about it and every experience I've had with it) would prevent Apple from selling iDevices? I'm skeptical about that claim.
Advanced users are free to jailbreak their devices.

They just shouldn't expect Apple to waste their resources supporting them.

Duh.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Dec 2, 2011, 09:00 AM
 
Advanced users aren't really free to sideload because jailbreaking relies on the hacker community finding vulnerabilities in iDevices through which they can gain entry and install themselves. And Apple makes that progressively more difficult to accomplish as times goes on. If there were an Apple approved way to turn on sideloading, you'd be correct. But there isn't.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 09:05 AM
 
It is Apple's job to make the platform as secure as possible, and, above all, to maintain the public perception that the platform is as secure as possible.

That is a huge part of what makes the iOS platform successful, and it necessarily includes squashing all security holes (which are, by definition, what jailbreaks rely upon to crack the OS).

As you can see from the geolocation cache bullshit, the mainstream press will jump on any smidgen of (mis)information and unleash the full fury of ignorance upon the most prominent target around these days.

Sideloading *would* open the device up to malware, it would require the user himself to decide whether he's "advanced" or just stupid.

Uh-uh. Not gonna happen.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Dec 2, 2011, 09:17 AM
 
Good argument, but I still don't buy it. It's well known that jailbreaking exists. If that were a big minus, the platform never would have succeeded since we had Installer.app since nearly day one with the iPhone. Furthermore, I've never heard a single complaint from jailbroken iPhone owners that they downloaded malware from Cydia or other download repositories. With some past bugs jailbroken iPhones have even been more secure than unaltered iPhones. Cydia has a tremendous track record-try to find a bad thing someone has to say about it (other than Apple's propaganda). I bet many Apple employees jailbreak their iPhones.

I think it's closer to the truth to say that Apple disapproves of jailbreaking not because of potential threats users may encounter but rather because it breaks part of Apple's intricate walled garden. Apple doesn't like the competition.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 09:40 AM
 
That is an interesting point, but given that Apple's Walled Garden exists solely to sell the hardware (it's not geared to ever make real money for Apple, compared to sales of actual devices), I don't think it's a valid point.
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Good argument, but I still don't buy it. It's well known that jailbreaking exists. If that were a big minus, the platform never would have succeeded since we had Installer.app since nearly day one with the iPhone. Furthermore, I've never heard a single complaint from jailbroken iPhone owners that they downloaded malware from Cydia or other download repositories. With some past bugs jailbroken iPhones have even been more secure than unaltered iPhones. Cydia has a tremendous track record-try to find a bad thing someone has to say about it (other than Apple's propaganda). I bet many Apple employees jailbreak their iPhones.

I think it's closer to the truth to say that Apple disapproves of jailbreaking not because of potential threats users may encounter but rather because it breaks part of Apple's intricate walled garden. Apple doesn't like the competition.
Without necessarily taking a side in this discussion, I want to point out some flaws in this reasoning.

The public knowledge about jail-breaking likely includes the notion that it's difficult to do. As such, anyone undertaking it is usually self-selected due to their willingness to undertake a risky, difficult operation as being somewhat capable and prudent with respect to security. So anecdotally not hearing of any malware complaints isn't surprising and it's certainly not evidence that lowering the barrier to jail-breaking won't make malware more likely.

As to Apple employees jail-breaking their own iPhones, I understand that the justification for jail-breaking is to provide utility that otherwise wouldn't exist. If that is the only justification, then *any* Apple employee who jail-breaks his iPhone is not doing his job (exception, those jail-breaking for research purposes) since, as an employee, she/he would be actively deciding that they don't want increased utility for their own product. Maybe that happens, but if so, you need to provide some semblance of why it would make sense for Apple to act against their own interests in maximizing the utility of their own product. Or maybe there's some justification other than utility that would apply to said Apple employee.

That done, one more thought regarding your conclusion.

I believe Apple's experience with cloned hardware together with their security concerns is a motivator behind the creation of their "walled garden" as you put it - because they want to own the responsibility for the full user experience and to not be blamed for the results of someone else's actions. Also, I think that Apple embraces competition because without competition the only ideas that might improve the user experience come from within and Apple has a *very* long history of noticing good ideas from others and then improving on them.
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 04:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
The power button on my 3GS disappeared a couple of nights ago. [snip] other than the power button I'm very happy with how I have my phone set up and don't want to lose it unnecessarily. I also don't want to upgrade to iOS 5 if I don't have to, but I'd have to do that if I were to go the restore route. Any suggestions from experience?
If the Apple Store genius detects that your iPhone is jailbroken, s/he'll refuse to have anything to do with it, so a restore would be in order. However, as you note, the restore is problematic because even if you have saved the SSH blobs so that you can restore to 4.3.3 or whatever (it doesn't sound like you did), you'll have no control over what version of iOS is on the replacement phone. I think there's still a good chance that a replacement 3GS will have 4.3.5 on it.

After having used jailbroken/Ultrasn0w unlocked iPhones for almost 4 years, I've come to the conclusion that it just isn't worth the hassle. Previously, I needed jailbreaking in order to unlock my iPhones, but it's no longer necessary given that Apple now sells unlocked phones.
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 04:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post
Apple doesn't repair any iPhones at the customer level.
This is untrue. I had a problem with the camera in an iPhone 4, and the camera module was replaced by the genius at an Apple Store in Austin, TX.
     
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Dec 2, 2011, 05:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
After having used jailbroken/Ultrasn0w unlocked iPhones for almost 4 years, I've come to the conclusion that it just isn't worth the hassle. Previously, I needed jailbreaking in order to unlock my iPhones, but it's no longer necessary given that Apple now sells unlocked phones.
Same here. The later unlocks seemed to be a bit of a burden resource-wise too. I don't need an unlocked phone at all any more, I get one via work.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 3, 2011, 11:23 AM
 
If you get a developer account, you can sideload all open source apps to your heart content. Just use git to download the source code and let Xcode compile and upload to your iPhone.
     
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Dec 3, 2011, 11:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It is Apple's job to make the platform as secure as possible, and, above all, to maintain the public perception that the platform is as secure as possible.
Very true, and I don't fault Apple for not embracing the Jailbreak community. I also haven't jailbroken since buying my iPhone unlocked.

I do, however, wish they would allow apps to have a deeper level of access:
- SBSettings alone is almost worth jailbreaking for (almost ... the only reason I've ever jailbroken for was to carrier unlock the phone). Being able to turn on/off Bluetooth and WiFi and change Brightness with only two taps from anywhere is very nice. Also awesome is the ability to see which apps are chewing up too much memory and CPU and to Force Quit them.

- removing the Camera+ App because they used the Volume Up button to trigger the shutter is another example of tight control that has no impact on security (especially after Apple implemented the *exact* same functionality).
     
   
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