Though the US government has revisited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, also known as the DMCA, to make jailbreaking legal in the US, the process’ implications with Apple is still complicated. According to Apple, the iPhone was designed in such a way as to provide the optimal user experience and while the process is legal–meaning Cupertino’s lawyers cannot go after you now for hacking your phone–should something go wrong on a jailbroken iPhone, you may not be covered under Apple’s warranty, which is a 1-year standard warranty.
As the process of jailbreaking unlocks certain aspects of the phone to the users or will allow the users to use the iPhone in such a way that Apple didn’t intend the iPhone to be used, things can become unstable or wrong. Under Apple’s terms, this can be considered a misuse of the phone and would not be covered under warranty should there be any problems: Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.
While the DMCA is revised in the right direction today to give users more control over their purchased assets, it does not go far enough nor can the government mandate Apple to provide technical support for issues resulting from jailbreaking. Essentially, what I foresee is that the status quo will remain–those who already were jailbreaking will continue to do so and those who didn’t jailbreak will probably not due to the lack of support from Apple, the complicated process, or any degradation in battery life or performance as a result.