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Latest iPhone update jailbroken before it hits the ground

Latest software update, timed to arrive with the European launches, has already been hacked to allow owners to install third-party applications.

Updated 4:20pm to include stats from German launch.

As expected, Apple released the OS X 1.1.2 update for the iPhone overnight to coincide with its debut in the U.K. and Germany. As not expected, it's been sprung from jail already.

Erica Sadun at The Unofficial Apple Weblog obtained jailbreaking code for the 1.1.2 update almost simultaneous with its release last night, and tests this morning confirm that it works for both the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The 1.1.2 update patched a flaw in the way OS X handles TIFF image processing, which was the way hackers gained access to the iPhone after the 1.1.1 update, and it also wiped out third-party applications just like before.

The latest iPhone update from Apple won't keep third-party applications of the home page. Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

But new code for the 1.1.2 update was released last night by the same people responsible for the JailBreakMe program. It's still pretty raw, which means it's not really meant for those of us who aren't familiar with the command line. The latest hack works by applying the code to an iPhone that's still running the 1.1.1 firmware, then installing the 1.1.2 update.

If you're unfamiliar with the iPhone jailbreaking saga, check out some of our past coverage. In short, "jailbreaking" your iPhone means that you're opening it up to third-party applications without Apple's authorization. Apple plans to release a software developer's kit in February that will let developers and users put authorized applications on their iPhones and iPod Touches.

It's not clear whether the 1.1.2 update disabled phones that had been unlocked to run on other mobile networks, as was the case the last time Apple released an iPhone update. The update has only been live for about 12 hours, and reports are still trickling in.

It's pretty clear the jailbreaking dance is going to go on right up until the day that third-party applications are officially released for the iPhone. And perhaps even past that point, since it's unlikely Apple's going to sanction unlocked iPhones until it decides it's ready or it's forced to by popular demand or changes in the law.

As for the European launches themselves, they appeared to go pretty smoothly despite pouring rain in the U.K. and freezing cold in Germany. Lines were definitely shorter in London and Berlin, however, than they were in San Francisco and New York, although braving the elements in November requires a bit more fortitude than doing so in June. As of this writing, the iPhone's only been on sale for an hour and a half in Germany, and 30 minutes in the U.K.

UPDATE: Reuters reported that a T-Mobile official in Germany said the company sold 10,000 iPhones during the first day.