iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users now have a chance to celebrate because jailbreaking these devices has been declared as legal and legitimate under the DMCA. Apple seems to practically defy any such rulings however, by continuing to keep the “jailbreak will void warranty” stance for all their devices.
Jailbreaking was declared legal yesterday in a ruling under the DMCA act. We don’t know whether the implication of this DMCA ruling will force Apple to offer warranties on jailbroken iDevices or not. Here is Apple’s official reaction to yesterday’s DMCA’s ruling:
Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.
This news will definitely be cheered in developer circles who got rejected by App Store and who might now try to launch their paid apps on jailbroken iDevice installers like Cydia, knowing that it isn’t illegal by law to do so.
Another aspect of this might be attached to the fact that Apple hasn’t ever prosecuted anyone making, authoring or marketing iOS hack and mod software. While they have never supported it officially or offered warranties on jailbroken devices, not pursuing them in court for doing so has been somewhat unexpectedly positive from Apple. However, that does not justify refusing to claim even hardware warranty on a jailbroken device.
Let’s hope this ruling makes it mandatory for Apple (and other manufacturers) to honor their product warranties for hardware defect regardless of what software modifications have been made on the device, the same way that PC manufacturers are bound to honor their warranties regardless of whether you are running Windows, Linux or any other operating system on your PC, and regardless of how modified that OS is.