Apple is warning would-be hackers that the unauthorized programs being used to unlock iPhones from reliance on the AT&T network are causing irreparable damage to the iPhone's internal software.

According to a statement from Apple, said measures can result in the phone becoming permanently inoperable when software upgrades are issued (this is an opportune warning; the next upgrade is scheduled for later this week). Additionally, those hacking into the iPhone void any warranty on the device.

Apple's senior vice president for world-wide product market, Philip Schiller, would not provide further detail as to the specific potential problems, but he did note that Apple was not proactively trying to disable an iPhone that has been hacked or unlocked by software.

In theory, users with a hacked-into iPhone could avoid the risk by just opting not to participate in the software upgrades. While these users would conceivably be able to continue using their iPhone on their network of choice, they would miss out on any new features from Apple. This week's new update includes the iTunes Wi-Fi music feature, which provides the capability to wirelessly download song selections from the iTunes stores.