Jailbreaking your new iPhone?

The new iPhone 3GS and iPhone OS 3.0 are causing a huge amount of hype among users and the media, giving a lot of attention to Apple for their great products. Yes, it’s very exciting when you’re part of such a reliable, innovative brand and technology movement.

I was one of the people constantly checking the Apple.com iPhone page for the link to be posted June 17, and was definitely following the chaos on Twitter (actually pretty entertaining): “expected at 3PM EST today!” or “release delayed till tomorrow” or “Australia launch in 4 min” – but really, these people had NO idea when the software update would be released (for me, it was ready by the time I got home in the afternoon, and then tried installing it a few times as Apple’s server became overloaded).

However when talking about these updates with friends online, many of them brought up the issue of their iPhone being “jailbroken” and having to decide if it’s worth it to do the upgrade. Let me say that, YES, the update is worth it, but also add, WHY would you even jailbrake your iPhone in the first place?!

Clearly, you should not alter your iPhone illegally because your iPhone is then removed from all of Apple’s content and security controls. Once you jailbreak it, nothing prevents you from installing malware on the phone. This malware is capable of doing a lot of damage (some say it can even make phone calls – as if you’re bill isn’t high enough already)!

There are points from both perspectives, of course. By jailbreaking your iPhone, you apparently have access to a wider variety of games, and other applications (as if the App Store’s awared-winning selection isn’t enough). Also, you can download apps that can allow you to customize your iPhone completely (great…).

The cons, however, are much more significant! If your iPhone becomes damaged, broken or defective in any way, you can’t exchange it for a new one because jailbreaking it voids the warranty! Another con is that all of these modifications can slow your iPhone down. If you haven’t done so yet but want to jailbreak it, note that you have to restore your entire iPhone and will therefore have to re-download all music, photos, etc to the phone!

Despite this, by doing a simple Google Search on “jailbreak iPhone”, you can see that almost all results are sites that say why you should jailbreak your iPhone! Clearly I’m not inline with these users and have been enjoying my iPhone 3G since I signed my life away to Fido last fall.

So, why pay so much for a beautiful, successful phone, and then increase the risk of being left with issues that could have easily been taken care of for free by Apple? While I understand from reading some of the blogs why some people would do this, I am still not convinced.