We get this question a lot here at iPhoneSpies. Is it illegal to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad?
I’ll start off by clarifying what jailbreaking is.
What is Jailbreaking?
So what is iPhone Jailbreaking? Jailbreaking is the process one goes through which allows the installation of unofficial third-party applications by gaining access to the “root” directories on your device.
These “unofficial” applications are usually much cooler and much more useful then the official Apple approved apps you will find in the Apple App Store.
These third-party apps do everything from changing the background of your iPhone, the app icon images, to letting you use the iPhones built-in camera to take video as well as pictures (who needs to wait for Apple to implement this?). Another popular type of unofficial third-party application is games.
You can find these games on most of the popular iPhone jailbreaking forums, games from all the classic Mario Brothers titles to almost all of the Nintendo and Super Nintendo game emulators. You would never see these games on the Apple App Store, and if you did expect to pay top dollar for them! When you jailbreak your iPhone or iPod touch you open it up to a whole other world of possibilities. To be honest, the iPhone and iPod touch’s capabilities are not really taken advantage of unless you jailbreak it.
Is jailbreaking your iPhone illegal?
So is jailbreaking the iPhone illegal? The short answer is no. You bought your iPhone so what you do with it is up to you. If something goes wrong with it and you bring it back to Apple and show them your jailbroken iPhone (which is a very stupid thing to do) they will most definitely void your warranty.
If you do go ahead and jailbreak your iPhone or iPod touch it is a good idea to create a backup through iTunes of how your iPhone was originally, just in case you ever have to bring it back to Apple. Many of the third-party applications out there are made by developers who don’t own the rights to the games they leak on the jailbreaking forums, if this ever becomes an issue, simply restore to your back-up.
There is a small chance of your iPhone or iPod touch turning into a brick (means freezes up), when your iPhone or iPod touch is unresponsive and useless. Just reset your iPhone by holding the home button and sleep button at the same time and reinstall the most current firmware update. I highly doubt Apple workers will ever come knocking on your door to see if you have a jailbroken iPhone or not, so don’t worry too much, go ahead and jailbreak away! Just be sure to have your iPhone backed up and be ready to reset it when visiting the Genius Bar.
Want to jailbreak your iPhone or learn more about jailbreaking the iPhone? Check out our iPhone jailbreak how-to.