TPM in the 3G Apple iPhone?

Posted by Ken Y-N on July 14th, 2008 at 02:13pm

Since almost every blogger seems to be jumping onto the iPhone bandwagon, I thought I’d weigh in too with this rumour that the new 3G Apple iPhone has a TPM (Trusted Platform Module):

Word is going around that the iPhone 3G has a Trusted Computing chip to detect tampering and thus disabling jailbreaking and SIM unlocking.

Although I have no information one way or the other, Apple are not members of the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), and although early developer versions of the Intel-based Mac had TPMs on board (more by accident than design, I suspect!), I cannot really believe that they would have a TPM (or for that matter an MTM (Mobile Trusted Module)) as a stand-alone chip as I am sure their supplier and the TCG would have published a press release on the matter. As they appear to use an ARM chip and ARM has TrustZone technology, they can implement (and most likely have done so) some form of trusted execution model. I would like to believe that they have followed either the TPM or MTM specifications, but I think there are a lot of technical and legal issues that they would have to contend with first.

To summarise, I’d rate the possibility of the iPhone using ARM’s TrustZone as 95%, using the TPM or MTM specs as just 1%, and that’s being generous to Apple!

Catch the rumour-mongering on Wireless Forums here.

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