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iPhone 5 'jailbroken' ... before most fanbois even have it

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Hardware enthusiasts claim they have already figured out a way to jailbreak the iPhone 5.

Grant Paul, AKA chpwn, a veteran of the scene, posted a photo and screenshot of a jailbroken iPhone on Twitter which show it running Cydia, an unsanctioned app allowing access to the indie software shop of the same name – where you can download software that hasn't been sanctioned by Apple.

Paul has yet to explain how he pulled off the hack and we're even further away from an fanboi-friendly jailbreak utility for the iPhone 5. A lot more testing and refinement is probably needed to make the trick reliable. Paul is clear that the jailbroken iPhone is about as stable and reliable as Mario Balotelli's pals at a domestic fireworks demonstration.

Cydia is both the most popular repository for non-approved apps and the name of the app that allows access to this portal. Apple’s App store does not stock the Cydia app, so showing the app running on a device is as good a way as any of showing that an iGadget is jailbroken.

Past history suggests that it's only a matter of time before the iPhone 5 is jailbroken to allow apps unsanctioned by Apple to run on the device. Browser exploits of one type or another have been the staple of past attempts but this is not necessarily the case this time around.

Paul operates the JailbreaKr website which, as its name suggest, provides advice on jailbreaking smartphones and other devices.

The latest hack follows an exploit against iOS 6 demonstrated by two Dutch security researchers on an iPhone 4S at the EUSecWest security conference last week. The iPhone 5 runs iOS 6 natively but the mobile operating system can also be run on earlier iPhones and other iThings. The iPhone dev team has already developed jailbreaks for iOS 6 running on the iPhone 4 3GS and 4th-gen iPod touch.

Applying much the same approach to jailbreak the iPhone 5 (which is based on a faster core processor) was none too difficult, according to Paul.

"I started working on it the day before the iPhone 5 was released, and I had my iPhone 4S jailbroken on iOS 6 in a few hours," Paul told All Things D in an email. "Then, once I got an iPhone 5, it was even easier. It took just about half an hour from first turning it on to a jailbroken iPhone 5." ®

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