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Apple bans iPhone hackers from App Store

And stay out!

Apple has banned at least two prominent iPhone hackers from accessing its App Store.

Sherif Hashim, an iPhone developer who developed a hack for the latest iPhone OS 3.1.3, and iH8Sn0w, who developed the XEMN tool designed to unlock iPhone 3.1.3 radio baseband for the 3G and 3GS, found that their Apple IDs were blocked and accounts deactivated when they tried to access the app store of Monday. Their respective reactions can be found in Twitter posts here and here.

The move sparked concerns that Apple might ban all jailbroken iPhones was accessing the App Store. However, such a move would prevent Apple's application developers from selling to the millions of users of jailbroken devices and would be especially bad politics following the launch of the Wholesale Applications Community at the Mobile World Congress conference earlier this week.

Apple has apparently limited itself to blocking exploit hunting hackers in a bid to frustrate the development of unlocking and jailbreaking tools that undermine its exclusive relationship with carriers and control over the delivery of apps. The move may also be aimed at piracy prevention as well as locking out, or at least frustrating, exploit creation and device hacking.

However, developers smart enough to figure out how to unlock iPhones are unlikely to be inconvenienced for too long by a ban on their current Apple IDs. ®

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