In a recent PCWorld article, Jailbreaking an iPhone is a Snap Thanks to New Website – PCWorld, they share instructions on how to “jailbreak” an iPhone.  Jailbreaking a phone gives you an opportunity to switch carriers, or install non-vetted apps to your device outside of the authorized iTunes catalog and outside of the control of Steve Jobs.  The big question you have to ask yourself is, “why?”  From a business perspective, this makes absolutely no sense.

When purchasing an iPhone, you buy into the vision of Apple.  You get a comprehensive suite of software blended with  the “perfect” device that is designed to provide the ultimate mobile computing experience.  Proponents of the iPhone frequently boast the advantages of a closed eco-system.  Jailbreaking an iPhone goes against the comprehensive model of Apple.

Jailbreaking an iPhone creates additional risk for you and your customers.  To your business, you risk the reliability of an essential communications device.  Many businesses strive to build efficiencies into their business by integrating  mobile devices into their business operations.  Jailbreaking a phone voids your warranty and reduces the ability to obtain support and/or repairs.  Not something you want to do if you run your business through your mobile device.  You also run the risk of installing mis-behaving non-authorized applications that can impact performance of your mobile device or compromise security.  Neither of which will benefit your business.

Time is expensive.  Jailbreaking an iPhone may be an interesting experiment, but it is not the type of experiment that you want to do on the company dime.  A significant amount of time can be wasted jailbreaking a phone, testing applications, fixing problems, and possibly returning the phone to factory condition.  Do you really want to spend that time and money tinkering with your mobile device, or do you want to use that time building business?

My recommendation is to buy the technology that fits your business model today and has room to grow in the future.  The iPhone has thousands and thousands of apps with new apps being created every day.  There are plenty to get you moving on the path of mobile computing.  There is no need to install non-authorized apps to your iPhone. You are also paying for a robust, versatile, and reliable device.  You paid the premium for the device.  Take advantage of the A to Z engineering of the iPhone eco-system and focus on business success.

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