Apple blocks Push on hacktivated iPhones

14 07 2009

Apple appear to be blocking Push Notification Service on purpose to fight users who break carrier monthly plan agreements and unofficially unlocking these subsidised devices to work with other carriers which Apple is not partnered with.

A Czech iPhone developer PoweryBase notes that Apple appears to be blocking Push Notifications on iPhones that have been unlocked for use on non-official operator networks. PoweryBase is the developer behind NotifyMe [App Store: Paid (£2.39), Free], a popular application that utilises push notifications to offer reminders and to-do alerts to users on the go.

According to PoweryBase, push-enabled iPhone applications contact Apple’s servers to request a unique ID to establish a link for Push Notifications, but Apple’s servers fail to respond to such requests when coming from unlocked iPhones.

PoweryBase received hundreds of support request in the last few days since NotifyMe appeared on the App Store. Unfortunately, about 80% of them are from the users with unlocked iPhones. They’ve bought the application and are mostly angry, sad or hopeless and the worst part is that they can’t really help them. Push simply does not work reliably or does not work at all on any unlocked device, no matter what Push application is used.

I understand that unlocked iPhones break Apple’s and operators’ business and there isn’t really a way to fight against it. I also understand that Apple has invested a lot of money, resources and time into developing the APNS infrastructure. But at the same time, if a user has bought the iPhone surely they should be allowed to do with it what they like? Even if they are with the official operator, and have just paid around £500 to upgrade to the 3GS. See Link

What also made me giggle is the fact that PoweryBase are apparently not happy with all the bad reviews they are getting due to this problem, and they frown at the jailbreak community. If that is the case then why did they include a screen shot of a hacked iPhone on their own site (and have submitted the same screenshot into iTunes). The screenshot shows the iPhone operator as Orange but the official operators in the Czech Republic are Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2. See their Blog post for their opinion.

Picture 21

http://www.powerybase.com/blog/post/2009/07/10/Apple-strikes-back-blocking-Push-on-unlocked-iPhones.aspx

http://www.apple.com/cz/iphone/

They also state that the app description in the app store explains to users that the app will not work on unlocked iPhones, I have just looked and can’t see any mention of it, appart from one line hiden in the copy “Due to Apple’s limitations, unoficially activated iPhones are not fully supported”

I don’t want to sound picky but how does that tell users that it doesn’t work on unlocked iPhones? it gives them false hope that it might work.

</rant over>