iOS 6 jailbreak: Untethered iPhone 5 woes, iPad 4 illegal

By Alan Ng - Oct 26, 2012

The wait for an iOS 6 untethered jailbreak for the iPhone 5 just took on an interesting twist indeed, as new rulings by the DMCA may have explained why it has taken so long for an iPhone 5 jailbreak to release.

Earlier this week, we suggested that iOS hackers may be waiting for Apple to release an iOS 6.0.1 or iOS 6.1 update first, before going public with an untethered jailbreak download. While this may still be a viable option, it has emerged that while the process of jailbreaking an iPhone will remain legal, it will soon become illegal to jailbreak an iPad – essentially meaning no iPad 4 jailbreak.

Well known iOS hacker Musclenerd has sent out some alarming messages on his Twitter account within the last 24 hours, informing everyone that new measures introduced by the DMCA will ensure that jailbreaking iPads will be an illegal practice that Apple can persue legal damages against.

Another major change is that the unlocking of smartphones after January 2013 is also going to be illegal as well, unless there is permission from the respective carrier to do so. This means that consumers are going to be tied down to a particular carrier than ever before and it really could send consumers into a rage on regulations that are simply not reasonable for devices that they paid good money for.

Going back to the future status of an iOS 6 untethered jailbreak for the iPhone 5, it seems for the moment that developers won’t have to stop all progress made so far. In fact it may even elevate the speed of a public download appearing, as developers no longer have to ensure support for iPads or iPod Touch devices – since it will be illegal under the new rules. It means that they can now focus solely on the iPhone 5 jailbreak, but it still doesn’t answer the question on whether developers are waiting for Apple to make the first move on a new version of iOS 6 yet.

If you are interested to read through the whole thing, you can do so by viewing the official PDF file from the DMCA here. As a consumer who has previously pondered the idea of jailbreaking an iPad device – what are your thoughts and reaction to the fact that it will now be illegal to jailbreak an iPad in the future?

For now, you can kiss goodbye to any hopes of a swift iPad Mini jailbreak or iPad 4 jailbreak when both devices release on November 2nd. There will probably be cases where developers still attempt to unlock a new iPad device, but good luck if Apple’s team of lawyers manage to hunt them down.

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Also See: WWDC 2018 event dated early for iOS 12, new iPad Pro?

  • Joseph Crosse

    Literally… If I purchase a device it’s mine since obviously the ownership is paid for. I can mod it any way I feel comfortable with and should only be concerned with voiding a warranty if the process is not reversible. If I subsidize the device and pay fees on a commitment contract then maybe they can clip me as an individual for doing things that rob them of potential revenue by bypassing any carrier services. Or Apple can clip me if I do anything to steal revenue away from iTunes or Appstore purchases. But, my primary reason for jailbreaking is for total customization that is not available to me via the restrictive out the box OS. It only tweaks the device to fit my personal tastes and does not steal service from anyone to do so.

    I’ll use purchasing an automobile as an analogy. If I lease it… I can’t modify it since technically I don’t really own it. If I buy it then I can modify it all I want to my personal tastes. Knowing full well that it will either decrease the resale value for the average person or for people looking for what I did to it, it will increase in value. In the end as the owner I have every right to modify it however I want to. Even illegal modifications can be reversed or bypassed so I won’t fail an inspection. And the objective for any modifications is to improve performance and get better long term mileage out of it.

    Literally the same applies with any iDevice. If Apple doesn’t want people to modify it after “Buying” it. Then they can simply refuse to sell it. The perks of owning something is that its your to do with whatever you want. Use it as is, or make it better for yourself by modifying it. Either way, as the owner… Apple has very little say.

  • Xpp

    This only applies to contract devices if I understand correctly – if you buy upfront / sim free – you can do what ever you want as the device is your own.

  • EvilCh33z

    so… concerning smartphones (IPhone4-Owner Here) not illegal to jailbreak? only to unlock? also, paying customer of a few Cydia Apps I’d like to keep… What Happens there? And, I live in Canada, I pay for apps that are worth it, after trying them, and though these laws of urs (I’m pretty sure dont apply to me (yet, anyways)) I figured I’d ask, just in case…

  • DEV77

    Uh yea thats retarded , ill go spend my money else where then ! Watch Apple stocks drop and watch as people with lots of apple stock lose money very quick! Illegal to hack your iphone next year ! Really these company’s are worrying about smartphones being hacked instead of Terrorist trying to kill us ? How bout Bug off and worry bout your own damn phone ! I bought it legally im gonna legally do what i want with it ! whats next there gonna start hacking our phones an EZ dropping all our phone calls ! I hope ANON sees this ! Alert ANON !

  • Evilshooter

    I find apple to be completely out of touch with their customers, I think it’s a shame that Apple keeps trying to thwart what seems to be a common interest shared by a majority of its users. I’m personally at a point where if Apple make Jailbreaking illegal I will almost certainly boycott spending another cent with them. Listen to your customers or risk losing them!

  • Jay

    Dam..Looks like ill be on this firmware for a while then..Haha..!!!

  • Pod2g

    Sorry guys there will be no jb for ios 6 on A5 devices. It is hopeless. Go buy yourself a S3. Apple has made jailbreak illegal.

  • John

    The iPad is useless without jb. Time to get windows 8 tablet.

  • Ashutosh

    No problem in India!

  • Leland

    You idiots completely misread the meaning of the message. != means NOT EQUAL. They said no exemption doesn’t mean its illegal. SMH.

  • Barney

    We suggest except for US, other country should pay a minimum fees to dev for JB software to other countries except US. Imagine sales for Apple product dropped by 70%, would US congress lose out if Apple pay less taxes to them?

    I wonder will they allowed jailbreak then?

    Think of what the dev have help your family to save so much while you still supporting a US born product. Apple is so successful today because they have a good product but the economy isn’t good hence by jailbreaking, it help people to feel good for what they have bought!

    Of course the rich can afford, what about mid-range and the lower ones?

    Imagine if everyone in the world is holding apple? Do you support US product or Korea product? US congress is just being greedy and naive!

    Are they trying to kill their country for their own pocket? Either that apple is getting more greedy? God knows!

    Jobs once said everyone will go someday, please don’t overcook – tim cook


  • Joeavg

    One pays good money for their apple hardware – screw ’em. Samsung S3 is the way to go; no JB needed to get the same effect.

  • Tushar

    frankly…id sell my ipad..and go with android…i think apple is losing it….Jailbreak=Ipad sales…Jailbreak illegal=I d sell my ipad and go with android…

  • Kassy Smith

    Apple are no longer the company they once where. they suck and are losing support from google.

  • Gangster

    I’m going to pay 4 my jailbreak

  • Gangster

    Come dev team

  • Gangster

    Bring the jailbreak out why r we waiting

  • Gangster


  • The tweet referenced in the article says no exemption != illegal. “!+” means “does not =”. While there will not be an exemption, jailbreaking your iPad will not immediately mean you broke the law. Legality would be based on a case by case basis, and as someone else said; it really just needs a better definition of tablet to be included in the exemption.

  • Taitertot

    What a b^tch move . Just saying

  • Gangster

    We want jailbreak

  • angryguy

    the ipad is just a useless but nice display without jailbreak enabling to install XMBC

    wouldn’t be a problem if Apple would support more, much more things..

  • After 4 years of loyalty to apple, if i am being censored as to what to do with MY bought device then in future i hope you choke on your own noose. Never again will i purchase an iDevice or use iTunes.

  • Stop cell phone carrier abuse

    Well The reason they’re doing this is because people are using unapproved tethering That they should be paying for. Now I’m not against this I’m a proponent for I’m paying for data plan I should be able to use it anyway I like. So the way to stop this is to start a class action lawsuit against carriers they were advertising unlimited data plans but sitting all kinds of restrictions on the Peponita you can use

    • Xpl

      I agrees. But if you buy a android phone – you can install 3rd party software and tether as much as you like and the network operator won’t know. Apple and the operators have developed a nice scheme so that you HAVE to pay for tethering..

  • Rawdeal

    It seems the only reason the exemption for iPads didn’t pass is that the proponents (i.e., those in favor of jailbreaking) failed to adequately provide the definition of a
    “tablet” computer. Understandably, the rule-makers didn’t want to
    create an overly broad exemption that might apply to anything that could conceivably
    be labeled a “tablet.” C’mon attorneys, pull your head out of your
    a** and do your job. How difficult can drafting a definition be?

    As the rule-makers suggest, it is likely only a matter of time, before someone
    provides a tenable definition of “tablet,” thereby providing grounds
    to reinstate the exemption allowing iPads to be jailbroken once again.

  • Been too long


  • bob

    they should be able to jailbreak the ipad 4 fairly easy since it has an a5 just like the iphone 4s does

    • Ninja

      iPad 4 has an A6X chip in it your thinking of the iPad minis A5

  • john m

    apple can kiss my ass, if i buy an ipad 4 and jailbreak it, its mine not theirs.

  • darkroman

    this means im not buying the ipad 4 bad move apple and etheir way people will still find a way to jailbreak ipad 4

  • Ben S

    Since this is only effective on jailbreaking iPads purchased January 2013 or later, or unlocking iPhones purchased January 2013 or later, this is of little significance. The bill says nothing of the *development* of jailbreaking tools, hence their distribution should remain visible and legal, and their usage will be ‘use at own risk’. For anyone who buys an iPad mini/iPad 4 prior to January, jailbreaking will be legal for them. For anyone who buys an iPad mini/iPad 4 in January or later – really – will it stop the hackers from hacking?

  • ATWCorp

    I’m thinking. A open source from scratch. Operating system with full compatibility for AppStore apps and flash all we need to do is ask apple for them to create a app to buy
    To boot device to a other OS (leaving apples iOS intact just not used unless elected from boot

  • Johnny

    Agreed, stupid move by apple. I just switched from android to apple too. Not sure if I’ll go back or not. Still trying to decide which one is best for me.

  • LEY

    Lucky for people in the EU… it is sill allowed to jailbreak. This is because in the ECOHR (European Court of Human Rights) They claim that if you have bought a product you can do what you want.

  • Other…

    Is this junk written by a 12 year old? Apple mobile devices are popular all over the world, not just the good ‘ol USA & DCMA territory.

  • Gangster

    Pod 2g we want jailbreak soon plz come on why are we waiting

    • yodaddy

      dude your really fuckin annoying if you really need the jailbreak use redsnow tethered and be done with or please refrain from posting the same motherfuckin thing phrased differently every two hours

      my ten year old son has more patience than you

      educate yourself enough to be able to run a tethered device and please just stop whining like a little girl

  • iRob

    Apple will lose a lot of money…

  • bob

    Its really simple then, without Jailbreak I wont be buying Apple products. Screw them. I can spend money elsewhere.

  • Danny Dodge

    It’s legal to jb an iPhone “because you have every right to run whatever software you want on your device that you paid for as long as it isn’t pirated”, same goes git playstation (geohot case) so whyyyyy the hell would it be illegal to jb your iPad???? Surely it’s the same concept?

    Also I would like to know how this affects UK- best guess- it doesn’t.

  • Hack

    Big losses to apple..if no jailbreak.go to android.

  • Rob

    Will still be legal in uk so no effect to us

  • Gangster

    I’m not waiting I’m going to get iPad mini jailbreak it when it comes out

    • Danny Dodge

      Get an android tablet- better specs and can do all an iPad, jail broken iPad and an android phone can do and more… Legally. And if its running jelly bean (4.1 or up) its as smooth and big free as iOS, infant I find it cleaner and smoother than ios6 (I use both daily)

      • thatoneguy

        droid os is garbage it gets bogged down and full of virus

        • Danny Dodge

          “Full of virus” not true – you can get a virus if you go around downloading rubbish off the net instead of through the market store, if you are stupid enough to do it at your own risk.

          “gets bogged down” – android versions 1-3 did. Android 4.1 doesn’t. This is like saying “iphones cant copy and paste” just because ios 1 and 2 couldnt lol

  • Finster

    Wow is all I have to say you can’t unlock your own phone which you purchased without the carriers permission?!!! BullShit!!’n

  • Gangster

    We want jailbreak soon no waiting plz

  • Heather Carrington

    *sigh* it was illegal before to jailbreak iPhones & iPod touches back in 2008 & 2009, now it’s supposed to be a big deal? People are going to keep jailbreaking no matter what you say. They don’t care what you think. Im still going to jailbreak if I get an iPad 4 or iPhone 5…

    • iRob

      It’s not the person who wrote this page who says its illegal smart one, it was U.S. Congress.

    • UmOuch-XBMCHUB.COM

      Not to mention… If it is illegal, and apple plans to peruse charges, you will see less dev support, and less people willing to risk it. Apple can tell if you re jail broken via the cloud… There would be no hiding it!

    • Tushar

      yea…but we dont know if devteam are going to support ipads in the next version of release…..

    • diamondtiger

      yeah but the difference now is they can sick there lawyers on you it was illegal before but nothing happened now apple has the right to sue you