Space Ramblings

Steve Jobs Vows to Protect Apple Crippleware, AT&T

After over a week when iPhone hacks ruled Digg and sizable chunks of the web, the machine formerly known as Steve Jobs finally issued a statement,

Jobs responded to a question about whether Apple would put a stop to the unlocking hacks that have mushroomed recently. “It’s a cat-and-mouse game,” said Jobs. “We try to stay ahead. People will try to break in, and it’s our job to stop them breaking in.”

Keeping unlocking hacks completely at bay, though, will probably be impossible, something Jobs tacitly acknowledged when he said that while it was a cat-and-mouse game between Apple and hackers, “I’m not sure if we are the cat or the mouse.”

Jobs as usual manages to be both. It’s telling that Steve Jobs did not make his statement until this late in the game. Obviously part of it is the public appearance but also that the hacks have moved from freeing up the iPhone from AT&T, a company Steve Jobs does not exactly love, to jailbreaking the iPhone and now the iPod Touch itself. The former lets Apple cash in on hardware sales which are its big ticket item while still pumping AT&T dry, the latter threatens the obsessive control Jobs and Apple exercise over their products and users and raise the possibility that the iPhone and iPod will become hardware platforms rather than devices.

And of course Steve Jobs Master of Hype is well aware that any publicity can be good and that if people are talking about jailbreaking the iPhone, it’s a way to keep iPhone in the headlines long after its sell by PR date.

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