However, this proved to be quite limiting, and resourceful iPhone owners eventually found ways to exploit security holes Apple was unaware of to get the device to run 3rd party code. Of course Apple never made any secret of their intent to close security holes, undo hacks, and relock the unlocked phones. Each new firmware update forced users to play the cat and mouse game, iPhone developers would successfully hack into the new firmware, get applications running and even unlock the phone from AT&T, only to have Apple respond by rolling back their efforts with the next version of the iPhone software. Quite literally iPhone owners were forced to hack into their own devices to run the programs they wanted.
All of this attention focused on the iPhone and its security mechanisms out in the open has spawned an entire community focused on opening up the phone and returning it to the control of the owner. Each new firmware released has been successfully hacked to allow the installation of new applications. There can be no question that the people involved in working on the iPhone and devoting large amounts of time to running 3rd party code on the device are extremely talented.