iOS 4.1 jailbroken already, days before official release - Apple

A group of software developers called the iPhone Dev Team have announced that they have jailbroken the as yet unreleased iOS 4.1 update, which is set to anger Jobs, who considers jailbreaking a mortal sin.

There's still a few days to go before the new iOS update is rolled out on the 8th of September, but the iPhone Dev Team has already gotten its hands on it and freed it from its walled garden, with plans to release the jailbreak to the public on launch day.

The jailbreak was made after the developers discovered two loopholes in iOS 4.1, one which involves an exploit within iOS itself, and the other which involves the boot ROM of the iPhone. The former may be easier for Apple to fix, as it will simply involve a software update, but the latter, which require a more complex method of jailbreaking, will be a much harder thing to stop. 

It is not certain if this hardware exploit will work for the iPad and iPod, which will also receive the updated operating system, but if not it's only a matter of time before a similar exploit is found.

In July it was made legal to jailbreak your phone in the US, despite Apple's claims that jailbreakers were breaking the law. Apple has claimed that jailbreaking your phone helps hackers, crime gangs, drug lords, and terrorists, along with condemning your soul to eternal damnation and torment. 

Apple has tried to stop jailbreaking by fixing the exploits that hackers use to break down the Berlin Wall of iOS, but that has not stopped the iPhone Dev Team from consistently finding a new way to unlock Apple devices. As soon as one hole is mended, developers find another which they can utilise.

Apple has also tried a number of other measures to keep its phones imprisoned, including sending out updates that will brick jailbroken phones. It even filed for a patent that would allow it to monitor the memory usage of people's devices and if it sees a spike in usage, which it thinks might be the sign of it being jailbroken, it will wipe the device's data and ask the telephone carrier to block its signal. How nice of it. Of course, the lack of a signal might be because it's an iPhone 4 in the first place.

The iPhone Dev Team said that it is not working on jailbreaks for iOS 4.0.2 or 3.2.2, stating that “if the cat and mouse game escalates too quick ... nobody but Apple benefits.” However, it did hint that future jailbreaks of iOS 4.1x may be backwards compatible with older iOS versions.