Apple released the following statement yesterday:

“Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone’s software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed. Apple plans to release the next iPhone software update, containing many new features including the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store (www.itunes.com), later this week. Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone’s warranty.”

This doesn’t surprise me at all, I figured Apple was going to do something about the hacking and apparently this is it. Now it seems that only SIM unlocked iPhones are affected but I’m assuming that no one really wants to take any chances so here is a guide from TUAW telling you how to “relock” your iPhone before the update comes.

Apple’s Phil Schiller was quoted by an Associated Press article saying:

”This has nothing to do with proactively disabling a phone that is unlocked or hacked,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in an interview. ”It’s unfortunate that some of these programs have caused damage to the iPhone software, but Apple cannot be responsible for … those consequences.”

At least we know that Apple wasn’t trying to make these hacked phones break, which is not at all what I was expecting. Before reading this my best guess was to say that there were many people proactively creating updates that would break hacks, it does make me happy that this is not true.

I guess for now all of you hackers will just have to restore your iPhone using the tutorial mentioned above, at least until after the firmware update comes out and a week or so goes by at which point solutions will most likely be made available to re-hack your phone.

Apple Press Release

UPDATE:
A spokesman from the iPhone Dev Team issued a statement about Apple’s recent Press release saying:

“Based on download numbers, the iPhone Dev Team believes that, worldwide, several hundred thousand people have unlocked their iPhones. That number continues growing every day. The removal of the lock, a bug, was a major step forward in the iPhone development. It made the iPhone free and useful to anyone, not only to those in certain countries.

Apple now announces that the next firmware update, expected later this week, will possibly break the handset of all of us free users in the World. It speaks of “damage” done to the firmware and “unauthorized access” to our own property, The removal of those firmware problems, which were built in in favor for AT&T, does not cause “damage” as they want to make us believe.

We will provide you with a tool in the next week which will be able to recover your nck counter and seczones and even enables you to restore your phone to a Factory-like state.

In the meantime we advise you not to update your free iPhone with the upcoming firmware. Wait for the next version to be fixed to work properly with your carrier and not break your phone.” –TUAW

This is a very bold statement but one that did have to be made, I do agree that it does seem a bit fishy that it would “damage” the phone’s software but at the same time I don’t think that Apple is really in the habit of lying to their customers. All I’m going to say is, I’m glad that I didn’t hack my phone and I’m very curious to see what features are added to the iPhone in the next firmware update (AND WHERE IS IT? I CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER!).