When speaking about jailbreaking or rooting a phone, a couple of obvious questions come to mind. Can?jailbreaking a phone void the warranty? Do the federal laws protect the consumer’s? right to jailbreak their handsets and keep the warranty?
Motherboard?s Jason Koebler has answers to all these questions. Technically, according to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, OEMs cannot void the hardware warranty because of the changes made to the software installed in the handset.
So as to void the warranty, the OEM has to prove that the changes (jailbreaking) made by you ?directly? affected the hardware components. However, practically speaking, it?s not that simple.
It goes without saying that OEMs, from across the globe, are not very kind when you root or jailbreak your phone. This is because jailbreaking alters the ecosystem and thereby, companies lose control over it.
To top it off, OEMs like?Apple and Samsung say a smartphone running custom software will affect the overall performance in more than one way. For instance, the battery life of the device might get shortened.
Custom firmware might break or alter the handset?s software features and thereby allowing the download and installation of pirated apps and copies. All these changes make the device vulnerable to attacks by compromising the security offered by OEMs.
However, legally, a consumer can alter his or her software and be covered under the warranty. But then, our OEMs are not the ones to give up. They are now finding different ways to tackle the legal mess around jailbreaking.
Take Apple, the official website says ?unauthorized modification of iOS is a violation of the iOS end-user software license agreement and because of this, Apple may deny service for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has installed any unauthorized software.?
If you observe carefully, Apple has used ?may deny service? instead of stating ?will void the warranty.?
Samsung, on the other hand, says ?defects or damage resulting from improper testing, operation, maintenance, installation, service, or adjustment not furnished or approved by SAMSUNG, including but not limited to installation of unauthorized software and unauthorized root access, both of which shall void this limited warranty.?
Samsung has clearly jotted down all the possible scenarios here. And, to top it off, it also uses the word ?void.? But the catch is that the company says it ?shall void? and not, ?will void.?
Why is this confusing? And what?s the conclusion? If an OEM says your device?s warranty is void because you installed a third-party custom OS, you can take them to court and handle them legally. This is the only solution.
Will the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) not help? As it turns out, FTC will apparently not interfere in petty issues like these. This means the only way is to go legal. But the problem here is the huge legal fees and the umpteen visits to the court house.
All these will make you wonder ? is it worth the time, money and energy spent in getting the warranty back? And this is precisely why many don?t opt for the legal route.
Will you take an OEM to court for voiding your warranty for jailbreaking the device? Feel free to leave a comment.