Apple is playing hardball with the unlocked iPhone movement.
In a terse statement, Apple said "many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed."
Apple also said that it "has discovered" the irreparable damage. Gee, think AT&T asked Apple to nuke these renegade programs?
The company added that it will release its next iPhone software update later this week. In other words, if your iPhone is set up for automatic updates it will become an iBrick. Apple's take:
Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone's warranty.
In other words, if you unlock the iPhone you are iScrewed. See Jason O'Grady's unlocking iPhone chronicles.