Jailbreaking Has Been Important To Android and Even More so For iPhone
Android isn't open. Let's put that issue to bed. What is awesome about Android is that programmers have access to the various builds that allow the community to build on top of it or, in some instances, stripping away skins that are for the most part, unwanted and give users something to rail about on their blogs or in forums.
Once stripped, the native OS became more useful, faster, and took up smaller amounts of foot print. Take my G1, it's running a customized Android 2.2. This is a device that was left for dead by Google and T-Mobile. This is the maiden device that introduced the world to all that is cool and great about Android.
And jailbreaking or rooting isn't just Android. iPhone unlocking and jailbreaking is fast becoming an American geek past-time and, for a while, turned into a must-see cat-and-mouse game between Apple and a few determined hackers that are determined to pry open the walled garden.
And though Apple would never admit it, I think more than a few at Apple are happy that the home team lost. This is especially evident in the iOS 5 where a couple of keep features like notifications came through as a JB feature.
And then take WhiteD00r. Those are zeros, no "o". After Apple has abandoned the iPhone 2G and iPhone 3G, this group of hardworking folks has found a way to give these older but still awesome iPhones new life – multitasking and folders quickly comes to mind but with also many missing features enjoyed by only by the latest and greatest, the iPhone 4.
If I'm Apple, I would hire this group of programmers in a heart beat.
So as much as the carriers and device makers want to pretend these under-the-radar don't exist, they cannot ignore the impact that they have had on their mobile platforms. And, I cannot wait until Honeycomb and iOS 5 gets their turn.