Jailbreaking is a term used by the iPhone hacking community that refers to the process of unlocking the iPhone’s firmware, allowing third-party applications to run on the device. This should not be confused with the process of unlocking the SIM card to allow the iPhone to run on other wireless carriers.
The iPhone Dev Team claims that they have succeeded in jailbreaking the new iPhone software, apparently after having the software for only one day.
This could have far reaching consequences for Apple. During the unveiling of the new software, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that if developers wanted to distribute their applications, they would need to go through the App Store, a new service launched by Apple.
The App Store gives Apple control over the sale and distribution of all iPhone software created by independent developers. It also gives Apple a 30 percent cut of all software sold through the store.
Jobs said their will be limitations on what Apple will allow to be published through the App Store. Apple executives specifically cited porn, privacy-breaching tools, bandwidth-hogging apps, and anything illegal as an example of the restrictions. The slide in Jobs’ keynote presentation also listed “unforeseen,” leaving open the possibility that Apple could redefine what’s acceptable in an iPhone app at a later date.
However, with a jailbroken phone it is conceivable that developers will find a way around the App Store and allow users to install whatever applications they want.