Do iPhone customers still have an incentive to jailbreak?

PC World is bringing up an interesting question when it comes to the iPhone. Does jailbreaking the device matter anymore?

Two years ago when Apple and AT&T first introduced the device, a bevy of iPhone hackers came out of the woodwork. They found ways to bypass software locks and upload unapproved applications onto the device.

Today, the iPhone 3GS also is vulnerable to hacking, according to the hack gurus at iPhone Dev Team, but the motivation to do so may be significantly less. PC World's David Murphy points out that the device's expanded feature set--such as video capture, cut, copy and paste and eventually tethering (if AT&T ever announces that official tethering app)--reduces many reasons to jailbreak the device.

But consumers are becoming keenly aware of the applications they can and cannot have, thanks in part to organizations like Free Press. For instance, the group made a stink earlier this month because AT&T is allowing Major League Baseball fans to stream live games onto their iPhones via 3G while restricting other video streaming services such as SlingMedia, which is only enabled via a WiFi connection.

And it seems like every day we are hearing about another application Apple has rejected. The most recent was its removal of the Hottest Girls app just hours after it appeared in the App Store. Apple claims the app's topless images were added after Apple accepted it.

The main complaint among app developers has been that Apple's App Store approval policy is a mystery. It seems to accept one application yet reject others that do the same thing. Last week, Apple rejected an application from Manomio that emulates classic video games available via the Commodore 64 home computer system, complete with a virtual joystick and keyboard, portrait and landscape gaming along with a fully-licensed C64 emulator code. Apple rejected the submission, citing an SDK clause prohibiting interpreted or executable code. But the company pointed out that the App Store includes a number of applications that essentially use those same types of codes.

With the iPhone high on the agenda of groups like Free Press and application developers making a stink about their rejected apps, consumers are continually reminded that they can't access everything they want on their iPhones. Who wants to be told no? --Lynnette

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