One of the challenges of ad-hoc open source development is that, sooner or later, disagreements arise. Personality conflicts generate friction (often exacerbated by the limits of online communication, and cultural or linguistic differences). Optimal technical solutions may be obscured by the rising heat of names called and accusations leveled.
This tension was bound to hit the iPhone developer community, and it seems like the time is now. The iPhone Dev Team, by most accounts an informal collection of hackers run pretty much on a meritocracy basis, is now being called on the carpet by a splinter group calling itself the iPhone "Elite" Team. The cause of the split is both technical and personal: personal, a hacker called Zibri was banned from the IDT irc channel; technical, the "Elite" Team is claiming on its Google Code wiki that the iUnlock and AnySIM unlocking utilities contained critical errors that led directly to the 1.1.1-related iPhone bricking problems.
We know that the combination of the unlocking utilities and the 1.1.1 firmware has been a poison pill for iPhones; however, with the substantial population of never-hacked, never-unlocked phones that have also suffered iBrickage, we can't exclude the likelihood that there are some dangerous bugs lurking in the firmware upgrade itself.
It would be nice if all the clever folk who have taken the time to explore the iPhone's inner workings could cooperate in the spirit of harmony and mutual support... but even in a world with something as cool as the iPhone, maybe it's too much to ask that everyone get along all the time.