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Telecommunication carriers in Australia who are hopeful of winning the Apple iPhone business have been asked to not connect an Apple iPhone to their network, it has been revealed.

Earlier this week Apple has warned that anyone attempting to unlock their G2 iPhone to use with an unauthorised mobile network could find their phones irreparably damaged.

And in another move, the Managing Director of Telstra’s Bigpond Business Justin Milne has dismissed claims by Apple boss Steve Jobs that 3G phones have limited battery life. “This is not true” said Milne who was talking at the launch of a major upgrade to the Telstra Next G network which is the world’s fastest wireless broadband network in the world.

“When I moved from a 2G phone to a 3G phone I saw no noticeable difference in battery life,” said Milne. Another senior Telstra executive said, “I think this is more Steve Jobs and Apple pumping up 2G over 3G as this is all the iPhone is. We know that Apple is working on a 3G phone and I am confident that when this is launched next year the so called problem will mysteriously go away”.

 

Apple recently said that modified mobiles would become “permanently inoperable” once Apple updates were installed. It has also warned Australians that they will be unable to use the phone when the official Australian version of the iPhone is launched next year.

It follows a flurry of hacks claiming to unlock the iPhone, which is tied into the US AT&T network and O2 in the UK. Apple has denied that it is “doing anything proactively to disable iPhones that have been hacked or unlocked”. The warning will be seen as a pre-emptive strike by Apple in the ongoing battle with hackers who are increasingly making unlocking software available to iPhone users.

Unlocking the phone allows iPhone owners to use the phone with the network operator of their choice rather than the authorised ones chosen by Apple.

“Apple is saying that if you buy the iPhone and unlock it, you could preclude yourself from getting new features. Apple updates might not install properly and you could find that you own a $750 brick,” said Ben Wood, director of research firm CCS Insight.

 

At the launch of the iPhone in the UK, Apple boss Steve Jobs admitted that the firm was engaged in a “game of cat and mouse” with the hackers. He added jokingly: “We’re not sure if we are the cat or the mouse.”

Unlocking the phone has also created a growing market for unauthorised applications, including wallpaper and ringtones.

Mr Wood said he thought the way Apple was marketing the iPhone had made hacks inevitable.

“It set the challenge that the iPhone was unbreakable and the temptation was too much. A small army of hackers started work on this project as soon as it was launched,” he said.

 

The fact that the iPhone can be bought off the shelf without signing up to a mobile contract, coupled with the decision to launch it with a single operator in the US and the UK, have added to the reasons why hackers are keen to open the platform up, said Mr Wood.

Apple is planning to release its next software update – which will allow users to purchase music from the iTunes store via a button on the iPhone – next week.

It has said it wants to “continuously delight” users with new iPhone features.

Apple is planning to release its next software update – which will allow users to purchase music from the iTunes store via a button on the iPhone – next week.

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