July 29, 2010
This week the US government made an announcement that the practice referred to as “jailbreaking” is now legal. Name not so fitting anymore, huh? This is one of the newexemptions from a 1998 law that “prohibits people from bypassing technical measures that companies put on their products to prevent unauthorized use of copyright-protected material”- Associated Press.
What does this mean for consumers? iPhone owners will now be able to unlock their devices and run software applications from anywhere, legally. Although according to Apple, any iPhone that has been “jailbroken” will automatically void the warranty. Is jailbreaking worth it? That’s up to you.
What does this mean for developers? They can choose to not go through the Apple iTunes store and instead run on an independent app store like Cydia. So what’s the hype about all these jailbroken apps? Big Boss, whose apps run only on jailbroken devices explains, “the majority of the attraction to Cydia are things that arent your typical gaming apps. Cydia apps allow you to own the system and modify it heavily. Basically, developers are patching usability holes in Apple’s OS. Every aspect of the device is able to be themed from icons to UI artwork.”
And what does this mean for developers looking to monetize? Because jailbreaking is now considered “acceptable”, developers may potentially have more marketplace options. Where do your download dollars go? Apple? Cydia? Or do you monetize apps through in-app advertising? In fact, we’re starting to see many ad networks run ad buys targeted at jailbroken apps specifically. The options for developers looking to make money with their apps are widening and 3rd party stores, like Cydia, are just another way for devs to do it. Although it’s a smaller community there’s still user presence and according to Zodttd, another developer of jailbroken apps, “By clearing up this issue, it makes this community I’m a part of less of a ‘grey market’ and will bring in a larger user base.”
Only time will tell. What are your thoughts?