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Who broke up with who now?

iPhone hacking.

Ooh, dear, the air is rife with silliness over the iPhone update. Take ZDNet's Larry Dignan for example.

Apple is clearly in a war with hackers over the iPhone and its most loyal fans could take a few hits. How Apple performs through these battles will determine the company's overall reputation going forward.

Wow! Current acts may determine the future? Who knew?!

Today’s angst over iPhones becoming iBricks because they were modified is really just the beginning. There are a few reports of non-hacked iPhones going dark following Apple’s latest firmware update. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes and others note that Apple has a PR problem on its hands.

And it also looks like many of the unlocked phones aren't bricked at all, they just no longer work with other carriers' SIMs. And the majority of phones that were just hacked to add applications -- not to switch carriers -- took the update just fine, even if it removed the hacked in capabilities.

It also appears that at least in some cases Apple geniuses are fixing unlocked iPhones that were bricked.

But shhh. Larry's on a roll.

Sorry, Larry. Please continue about how horrible Apple is.

Apple even starts to look like a bully?even to large media players that merely want to try different pricing schemes on iTunes.

Ah! You mean "different higher pricing schemes". And "different pricing schemes that force you to buy lousy shows you don't want to watch to get the show you do want to watch". Those kinds of "different pricing schemes". Gotcha.

If Steve really cared about you perhaps Apple would have made you better than whole, say a $250 credit.

And if Steve really, really cared about you, he'd come over to your house and give you a full body massage.

But let the Macalope get this straight, Larry. You're asking Apple to refund early adopters more than the price drop? That's um, well, nuts is what that is. The Macalope didn't think it was possible but you may have out-Enderled Rob Enderle. There's a feather in your cap.

The iPhone sticks you with one carrier-AT&T-that few people want. Why?

Define "few" in this context. Because the iPhone's selling pretty well and most users are not hacking their phones to use with other carriers. Would it be nice to use the iPhone with whatever carrier you want? Sure!

But let's go through this again and this time the Macalope will type really slowly so there won't be any confusion.

Apple partnered with AT&T because it was getting into an entirely new market. Picking one carrier simplified the process and ensured Apple got it right right out of the gate. Apple picked AT&T because Stan Sigman was such a charismatic public speaker it had the largest network in the U.S. (and it didn't hurt that Apple's corporate plan was already with AT&T -- forcing all its employees to switch carriers would have been an additional cost).

So, if you still want to bitch about AT&T being the only U.S. carrier nine months after the deal was announced then you have to at least address these arguments.

Apple has the best tech support in the business and could put it at risk over the iPhone. ... One theory behind Apple's score: Apple owners are an elite?some would say elitist?club. These folks will get whatever Apple pumps out of the product pipeline.

It's been a while since we've seen our good friend Artie MacStrawman! Apple users will buy anything! They're stupid! It's a cult! Ha-ha!

Yes, well, as charming as that argument is every time the Macalope hears it, it's still a lazy dodge. Apple's customer satisfaction numbers are high because its customers are part of the club! Why are they "part of the club"? Uh, well, it must be because they're zombie drones that Steve Jobs has turned to his will with the powers of voodoo!

It couldn't be because the company makes good products.

With the iPhone Apple is going mass market scores for Apple are only going to decline based on the laws of large numbers.

You mean this law of large numbers? Wow! Good news, technology companies! Larry Dignan has declared that there's no need to work on the quality of your products or services anymore because customer satisfaction survey responses are a random variable!

Wow. That really takes the pressure off.

Unfortunately, Dignan's really got nothing to back up his assertion that the iPhone will drag down Apple's customer satisfaction. Quite the contrary, the pointy one thinks it'll actually pull it up.

But the Macalope wants to say a few words about iPhone hacking.

Apple has a both a financial and a fiduciary interest in making sure you don't use another carrier. It loses its shared revenue if you use another service and the terms of its agreement with AT&T almost certainly dictate that it has to try to keep people from using the iPhone with anybody else.

But more than that, what you've done in unlocking your phone is violated your user agreement. Now that's OK. You can do that. In fact, many people should do that or have to do that to even use the phone.

Here's the thing, and the horny one can't state this emphatically enough:

You can't violate your user agreement and expect Apple to continue to provide you new features and bug fixes.

Remember, you don't have to apply these updates to your phone. iTunes will let you skip them. You can happily continue to use your unlocked phone. And it's simply unreasonable to pretend to continue to be in a relationship with Apple when it's you -- not Apple -- who's already ended it.

So don't come crying to the Macalope that Apple is somehow screwing its customers. When you bought and activated your iPhone, you entered into an agreement. When you hacked it, you ended that agreement. Don't try to crawl back into bed and attempt to spoon Steve Jobs just because you want the iTunes WiFi Store to work on your unlocked iPhone.