Jailbreak and iOS developer Steven De Franco, also known as iH8sn0w, confirmed Wednesday that he was able to jailbreak the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) iPhone 4S, only days after an iOS 7.1 jailbreak surfaced for the older iPhone 4.

Many users of Apple iOS devices such as the iPad Air, iPhone 5S and iPod Touch quickly updated to iOS 7.1 earlier in March to experience the many bug fixes and tweaks in Apple’s latest version of iOS. However, others stayed on iOS versions 7.0.6 and below in order to preserve the jailbroken state of their iOS device. Since then, developer teams such as the Evad3rs team have said that they'll focus primarily on a jailbreak for iOS 8 instead of looking for additional exploits to jailbreak iOS 7.1.

Despite the lack of active group research, individual developers have been working in their spare time to discover new exploits and security holes in Apple iOS 7.1, which could be used for a potential jailbreak.

Unfortunately for most Apple iOS device users, the latest version of iOS 7 plugged several holes, including those used by the Evasi0n 7 jailbreak, a tool used to jailbreak iOS devices running iOS 7 through 7.0.6.

While a jailbreak has surfaced for the older iPhone 4 on iOS 7.1, jailbreaking iOS 7.1 on newer iOS devices is inherently more difficult due to the lack of hardware exploits at the bootrom level, which only are known to exist on the iPhone 4’s A4 system on a chip (SOC) processor.

De Franco was particularly candid about the existence of an iPhone 4S jailbreak on iOS 7.1 in a conversation on Twitter:



However, he followed up the tweet, explaining that despite the jailbroken state of his iPhone 4S on iOS 7.1, no public jailbreak currently exists.



As for whether or not a De Franco is working on a public jailbreak for iOS 7.1, De Franco said that he has no intentions of working on a jailbreak for iOS 7.1 or iOS 8 at the moment.



Individual developers such as De Franco have been successful in jailbreaking iOS on their own devices privately. However, many of the iOS jailbreaks discovered by developers cannot actually be publicly released due to many reasons, including software flaws, non-disclosure agreements and the use of copyrighted code. Over the years of iOS jailbreak development, such jailbreaks have become known as "failbreaks."

While De Franco doesn’t intend to develop or release a publicly available iOS 7.1 jailbreak, it’s possible that another independent developer may eventually find a way to jailbreak newer iOS devices running iOS 7.1. However, the difficulty of finding such software flaws to exploit will continue to become more difficult as Apple finds and patches the software flaws in iOS 7.1. In the meantime, iOS jailbreak users will have to stay on iOS 7.0.6 to retain their jailbreak.