Jailbreaking Apple iPhone: Benefits & Disadvantages

jailbreaking Apple iPhoneYou may have come across great apps that you would love to install on your iPhone but you cannot since Apple hasn’t approved it. You have to jailbreak your iPhone before you can install such an app. Apple has stringent guidelines in place for including an app in its store. Getting Apple’s approval is a difficult process for app developers. Let’s look at why people jailbreak iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products.

In 2010 Apple went to court against jailbreaking iPhones. They argued that it was a direct violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However, the court ruled against it and made jailbreaking legal.

Unlocking vs. Jailbreaking

You have probably come across the term unlocking. It is the process of removing the control over the phone by telephone operator. If you unlock the iPhone, you will be able to have it work with any carrier out there. It is different from jailbreaking. When you jailbreak an iPhone, it is not unlocked, but in order to unlock a phone, you have to jailbreak it first.

To get an iPhone with contract, go to Best Buy or Apple directly. These phones are tied to a contract, and hence known as locked.

This might create confusion as to whether the unlocked phones you purchase are jailbroken already. The answer is no, they are not. The locked/unlocked iPhone you purchase are not jailbroken.

Why Jailbreak?

There are a few advantages of jailbreaking that we will look at now.

1. Installing Apps

Obviously the first and most important advantage of jailbreaking your iPhone is installing unapproved apps from different places. Check out Cydia, the unofficial Apple iPhone app store that constitutes the greatest inspiration for jailbreaking iPhones.

Here are certain apps€”the main reason why people love to jailbreak their iPhones.

SBSettings: Would you like to disable Wi-Fi and 3G on your iPhone? SBSettings app is a free app that gives you system settings control over your smartphone. From the status bar, you can invoke SBSettings and change several settings on or off.

Shrink: Have you wanted to use more icons on your iPhone? With Shrink app, you can reduce the size of each icon, allowing you to incorporate more icons on its screen.

IntelliscreenX: With this app, you can add widgets and apps on your lock screen and on the notification center.

MyWi: This app turns your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot, so that other systems in your home can access the Wi-Fi connection through your iPhone.

iFile: This app enhances the basic file access functions on iOS giving you the ability to view all types of files on your iPhone.

Besides these, there are many apps you can install on your phone in order to make it work much better.

2. FaceTime on 3G/4G

If your iPhone does not allow FaceTime communications (video-chatting) over your 3G/4G connection, it is reason enough to jailbreak it.

3. Unlocking

In order to use any mobile carrier, you have to first unlock your phone, and jailbreaking your iPhone is the first step to unlocking it. With this, you don’t have to be tied down to a single mobile operator.

4. It is Easy and Reversible

If you wonder if the process will kill your iPhone, there is no need to worry. In fact the latest tools to jailbreak iPhones do not cause issues and they are fast and easy to use. I have seen that the process is reversible as well. After you jailbreak your phone, if you install the latest firmware, it simply rewrites the system causing it to go back to normal.

The Process

In order to jailbreak an iPhone, you need certain things. You need the iPhone (obviously), your computer should run the latest version of Apple iTunes, and you need a jailbreaking program (such as JailBreakMe). JailBreakMe is a free software program that helps jailbreak an iPhone pretty fast. Also, you can find more information about jailbreaking at the BigBoss.

[Update: ]: One other option to go for is Evasion. All you need is five minutes and a computer with Windows or Mac, and the iOS device connected to it by USB. More information is in the website.

The Risks

Before you decide to jailbreak the iPhone, you should know the risks involved as well. It may not always be safe to do it, and you should be an expert to do it perfectly. Here are the main reasons why you should avoid it.

1. Security Issues

Do you know that the jailbreaking process inherently renders your phone to be used with any app developed for iPhone? This means, you no longer are tied to apps provided by the Apple app store. In app store, Apple has strict regulations in place and it does not allow apps that may cause security issues on your phone. When you download and install a third party app, you should be sure if it is safe or not. There are many insecure apps available to iPhone users.

2. iBrick

If you jailbreak your iPhone, be sure to follow instructions very carefully. Otherwise you will instead create what is called an Apple iBrick. This is one of the most expensive kind of brick available! (I had a dream once about a billionaire building a home with iPhone bricks!)

3. Warranty

You should understand the terms and conditions of Apple’s limited warranty for iPhone. It states clearly in Apple’s policy that the procedures like jailbreaking voids the phone’s warranty. According to Apple:

Apple strongly cautions against installing any software that hacks the iOS. It is also important to note that unauthorized modification of the iOS is a violation of the iPhone end-user license agreement and because of this, Apple may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.

However, in order to get warranty for your iPhone, you can approach the third party warranty provider, SquareTrade.

4. Battery & Data Usage

When you jailbreak an iPhone, it essentially comes out of all of its restrictions. You may be tempted to install some apps that take up battery on the phone. You may also incur higher data usage due to some of the extended capabilities of the phone (such as FaceTime communication over 4G and Wi-Fi tethering).

You should be sure about what you install and how you use the data plan on your phone to ensure minimum charges. When you go out of your data plan’s limit, the carrier usually charges much more than you expect, and that is why people are sometimes horrified by telephone bills.


Yes, you can jailbreak iPhones successfully. Apple may void your warranty and deny service due to you, and it may also cause security vulnerabilities. However, the major advantages of jailbreaking overshadow its disadvantages (also, it applies if you are an advanced user, of course). This is the reason why I recommend following instructions carefully in jailbreaking your iPhone.

Installing Incompatible Android Apps

[Image credit: AllthingsD, Apple]

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