Term Abuse: Brick

I grabbed an iPhone, and I’ve got a few unofficial third-party apps installed on it, so I’ve been watching the news surrounding the 1.1.1 firmware update to see how things are working out for hacked iPhones.

In the last few days there has been a HUGE issue of misinformation about the term Brick. It seems like most of the iPhone community is completely abusing the term, using it to describe any issue that the phone may have.

I read one poster stating that he had tried a few third party apps, and that they had “bricked” his phone. He had to do a restore from iTunes to get the phone working again. Technically, if all he had to do was restore the phone, that’s not a brick… that’s a crash, a corruption, a bug, whatever, but it is not a brick.

A brick is a device that has malfunctioned to the point that it cannot be recovered. Ever. Toss it in the recycle bin or use it to hold down a stack of papers, because it’s not going to be useful for anything else.

So why is this an issue? Because it’s like crying wolf. If someone ACTUALLY gets a bricked device, how can we tell the difference between someone who forgot to put the SIM card in their phone? When both situations are being called a “bricked” phone, it’s very hard to get a clear sense of what’s going on. So many people are stating that the 1.1.1 update has “bricked” their phone, but that Apple can restore it if you get lucky. Again, this isn’t a brick, and there are obviously methods of recovering the device.

If you want to know what a Brick really is, read the psp-hacks.com forums for a while. There is plenty of language there that can give you the true context of a brick.

/rant

Chris Owens