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Apple posts iPhone update, bricks unlocked handsets

Minor update?

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Apple has posted the anticipated iPhone 1.1.1 update. The release, which adds support for the Wi-Fi connect iTunes Music Store, does indeed, as expected, returns unlocked handsets back to their AT&T-only status.

And then some: even re-inserted AT&T SIMs appear not to be accepted by an updated iPhone, preventing users accessing even the device's iPod features.

Not that this should surprise anyone. Apple said as much earlier this week, and even if it hadn't, so involved is the unlocking process, any firmware update was almost certainly going to re-lock the phone.

The new software not only adds the iTunes Music Store application, but incorporates a number of relatively minor tweaks. The big gain with iPhone 1.1.1 is support for output to TVs through the iPhone's dock, but Apple has also added the ability to disable Edge connectivity when you're roaming - handy if you want to avoid big phone bills.

Other tweaks include adjustments to the speaker volume; double-clicking the Home button can be see to take you to the Phone app's Favorites panel, or to the music controls; double-clicking the Space bar inserts a full stop and a space; Mail attachments can now be viewed in portrait and landscape modes; Stocks and Weather cities can be reordered; the Status Bar now gives a read-out of the battery charge on Apple's Bluetooth Headset; you can set Passcode lock time intervals; and the volume of alerts can now be adjusted.

Not a compelling upgrade, and owners of unlocked iPhones shouldn't feel particularly left out if they - sensibly - choose not to apply the update.

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