Apple may intentionally be blocking Push on unofficially activated iPhones, according to research by Czech-based firm PoweryBase. The company said that its database statistics show about five per cent of NotifyMe users were on hacktivated iPhones. Of those users, five per cent generated more than 80 per cent of customer support requests, claiming the NotifyMe application does not work as advertised.
NotifyMe is a simple Push based application available on the iTunes App Store which reminds users of personal tasks and appointments using the Apple Push Notification Service.
PoweryBase said its investigations showed that Apple may be blocking the Push Notification Service on purpose to fight users who unofficially unlocked these subsidised devices to work with other carriers which Apple is not partnered with.
"When the Push based application such as NotifyMe requests an ID from APNS, the server responds within a second and identifies the device with the unique token. From that point, the connection between APNS and user’s device is successfully established," said Pavel Serbajlo, PoweryBase’s lead developer.
"However, on an unofficially activated device, APNS keeps the application wait forever and does not provide any respond at all, keeping the user waiting infinitely or timing out the connection, if the target application is capable of timing out."
Serbajlo said that while not responding to a request if the client application is requesting unexpected data is common in small UDP based services, big infrastructures such as APNS usually respond with an error to let the users or 3rd party developers know what caused the connection to fail for further debugging.
He added that the described scenario might simply be an untested issue at Apple, or more possibly, the behaviour is intentional.
PoweryBase reports that it has managed to find a way to warn users with modified devices by running a process on a separate thread which monitors if the token was retrieved successfully.
If the token request was not filled within 20 seconds, NotifyMe user is encouraged to read frequently asked questions at PoweryBase’s website to possibly prevent bad rating reviews.
Serbajlo said he could not in good faith recommend those with unofficially activated devices to buy NotifyMe and possibly other Push based applications until there’s a modification in how APNS behave with these devices or how they respond to unexpected requests.