Apple said on Monday that unauthorized programs, or hacks, available though the internet that allow the phone to be used with unauthorized service providers could irreparably damage the device.

The phone maker said once an Apple-supplied software update is installed on the iPhone, it will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable.

We are not doing anything proactively to disable iPhones that have been hacked or unlocked, Phil Schiller, Apple's head of worldwide product marking told Reuters.

The Cupertino, California-based consumer electronics maker said that it will release a software update to its popular device, which can make calls, surf the internet, and serve as a media player.

Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones, the company said.

Since the iPhone's introduction at the end of June, Apple has said it expects to sell 1 million units by the end of this month. In the first two days it was on sale, Apple said it sold 270,000 of the gadgets.