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  • Jailbreakers Beware! Pirated iPhone/iPod Apps Produce Big Numbers and Big Attention

    We all know that the "black market" for apps is big business, but now we're starting to get a better understanding of the numbers associated with content piracy in the app world. Incredibly, the "business of pirated apps" is starting to rival that of pirated films and music at an accelerating pace - but Apple doesn't seem to be overly concerned, even in the wake of some pretty lofty numbers being floated in a new report, which was chronicled today by our friends at The Big Money.

    The financial blog 24/7 Wall Street had a detailed post calculating the amount that Apple (AAPL) and developers of paid apps are losing when copies of their wares are downloaded to jailbroken, or unlocked, iPhones. On some pirate hubs, you can download nearly 1,000 iPhone apps in a single click. Their conclusion? For every paid app downloaded in the App Store, three are distributed for free through means that Apple hasnít authorized.
    Although the battle between content pirates and major Hollywood film and recording studios hasn't subsided in the least, it's all but certain that application developers will soon join the battle to help curb the loss of potential revenue they're "bleeding." But, as the article notes, Apple doesn't seem to be making too big of a fuss about the problem. Why? It's pretty clear that as long as content is played via iTunes or on iPods and iPhones, Apple will still benefit, even if the content being used was obtained legally.

    Why isnít Apple protesting? For one thing, $140 million is less than 2 percent of the $7.8 billion revenue Apple is expected to see this fiscal year. 24/7 also notes that Apple didnít make a huge fuss over music piracy either, given that it was making more revenue from iPods and iPhones, including those that were playing pirated songs.
    Call me crazy, but it seems that unless Apple starts to care about this issue, very little will likely happen with regard to the financial losses of developers that result from jailbroken iPhones and the influx of apps that users obtain without having purchased them via the App Store - which, by the way, has still suffered financially from pirated content. According to some estimates, Apple has already lost upwards of $140 million. Considering Apple has only made approximately five times that from the App Store, this number is very, very significant.

    Developers, however, have lost even more. $310 million is the figure presented in the piece.

    Developers Neptune Interactive Inc and Smells Like Donkey Inc have reported piracy rates has high as 90% for their game $1.99 Tap-Fu, and claim that it was available in a pirated version within 40 minutes of its release on the App Store.
    Image via cellphones.ca
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Jailbreakers Beware! Pirated iPhone/iPod Apps Produce Big Numbers and Big Attention started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 79 Comments
    1. shadow25's Avatar
      shadow25 -

      who give a ****? People are going to bypass any protection (how many microsoft software was cracked within 24 hours of release?)

      I've used cracked apps before (gasp!), but I did it to try out some apps to see if they're worth the money. A couple weren't, so I didn't buy them, but I ended up spending $30+ on the app store. I wouldn't have bought them if I couldn't have tried them out.

      Reason why I don't use cracked apps isn't because I think its wrong. Its a pain in the ***. Same reason why I run 100% legit software on all my computers, because I don't have to worry about it auto updating and ******* me over.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      That is why Microsoft had an open beta for Windows 7. It gave users a cahnce to try it out before deciding if they wanted to get it. I think it was a great idea on their part.

      There was already pirate versions of the alpha and pre-public beta in the wild but the public beta gave them a chance to try it out without hastle and with a PR boost.
    1. mckaytayl0r's Avatar
      mckaytayl0r -
      I understand that cracked apps are wrong but sometimes I feel that's it's needed when there is a app that I want to try to see if it will work for me before I pay$$$$ to see that it doesn't such as slingbox a 30.00 app that was crap for me so I'm glad I didn't for out the money to find out that it sucked but ever since I got my newest 3gs I haven't cracked any apps because I can really see how to effects devs

      And what's up the smily faces i didn't put them in or swear or anything??!...
    1. Cstrife2's Avatar
      Cstrife2 -
      Personally, I purchase apps. However I would be lying if I said i have never downloaded an app without paying either.

      The difference is, if I choose to TRY an app that I would normally have to pay for AND LIKE IT, I will go to the app store any BUY IT.

      On the other hand I know that everyone out there has bought an app for .99 or for 1.99 and didnt like and thought to themself, "wow what a waste of money" I know I have.

      That were I believe it is okay and apple should give the ability to TRY an app before they buy it. However that is not the cause so to have the option to be able to try an app should be available.

      Its how you decide to use the tools that have been givin to you and what kind of morals you have.

      Bottom line, I do not believe you should be stealing these APPS from DEVS, they work hard to make their products for us to use.

      At the same time i do not believe in paying for an app that in the end I would not use and have it be a waste of money.
    1. zozodouce's Avatar
      zozodouce -
      you know there should a law against people that are liars,because most of us in here if not all have been stealing from apple from day one. when the first iphone came out. to sit in front of you computer and say that you have never install pirated apps and games on you mac or pc,or iphone is sad.i guess the world is a better place from the last time i check,and i checked about 15 minute before i left for mars.now i know this place is full of sisis that goes along with the most popular things that everybody else is saying that they dont steal pirated apps and games,well i'm man enough to say i have steal apps and music. is it a good thing to do no,but most of the stuff in the app store are garbage no one should pay for that kind of garbage.do i ever buy apps and software for my mac and pc yes,if they are good games and apps. lets face it the app store is full devs making garbage trying to get rich over night and if apple want people to stop stealing they shoud force them to make good apps and not the 1.99$ get rich apps that we all see on a daily basis in the app store. most of us here are not going to be fool by that whether or not you admitted.
    1. 1shuttle1's Avatar
      1shuttle1 -
      Bottom line is, do you want to make money from your app? Then make one worth paying for.[/QUOTE]

      You said it all in this one statement. You know if there were free trials, there would be so much less stealing going on. Of course you couldn't brag about your over 100,000 apps if 99% of them were never bought after their free trial was over. In my opinion most of the best apps are free all ready.
    1. davshirley's Avatar
      davshirley -
      I jailbreak my phone but I don't pirate apps. I want the apps that I need and use to work no matter if I lose the jailbreak or not.

      I know this reports puts a huge number on the revenue that was not received from stolen apps but I'll bet it doesn't factor in the "because I can" factor.

      In other words, Some of these clowns might be downloading 1000 apps in a single click but if you plugged up that hole, (jailbreaking) what percentage of those people would buy the app in the first place? I suspect that the VAST majority of them have those apps just BECAUSE THEY CAN and not because they have any real need/use for them. If jailbreaking went away, they never would purchase any of the apps that they have pirated.
    1. domenicp's Avatar
      domenicp -
      Quote Originally Posted by chupacabra314 View Post
      In many countries piracy thrives because people simply can not afford to pay the prices the "rich westerners" can afford.
      When you're talking about the iphone... If you can afford to buy the phone, then paying 99 cents for an app is likely not an issue There are plenty of free apps or lite versions of apps for people that do not want to pay for apps.

      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      I think Cydia should block these repos. By not doing so it has made it harder and harder for those of us who aren't thieves to enjoy something we bought. 'The man' isn't the problem here, it's people that use a system like Cydia to steal without Cydia being made for that purpose. Jay should simply block those repos as soon as they are found to be hosting stolen apps. That's the way to stop it.
      Agree 100%!
    1. samson_420's Avatar
      samson_420 -
      If I can get it for free, I will. . . . end of story.
    1. supreme-livin's Avatar
      supreme-livin -
      rrrrteeeeee maties
      keep the pirates alive!!
      there gona spends millions and millions to TRY and stop
      give up apple

      If I can get it for free, I will. . . . end of story.
      that about sums it up
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      I admit that I have downloaded a few cracked apps. I got doodlejump cracked but after playing it for 10 seconds I bought it from the AppStore. The iPhone web browser that I'm using to post this (perfect browser) is one of the VERY FEW apps that I have pirated. And the only reason I did was to see if it was even worth the money as so many browsers are not. A day or two more testing and I will probably buy it. But blocking the repo won't help. People can still download it online and use mobile terminal to install the app which shall not be named.
    1. Masterz1337's Avatar
      Masterz1337 -
      Blocking the repo would discourage it though to the causal pirates though.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Good point. It would help some.
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      Stop talking about it. Stop bringing it up in the news. Stop posting it on the front pages of websites, because then little Jimmy who just jailbroke his iPhone will start googling around, and sure enough, he finds out how to do it, and the process keeps repeating.
      For once I agree with you Rota
    1. Disciple Of MUSE's Avatar
      Disciple Of MUSE -
      Quote Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post
      To be honest, we as the Jailbreak community should be trying to do more to stop this. That certain app people use to pirate, why is that even listed in Cydia or Rock? It can't be that hard for someone to assist the owners of the stores to come up with a system to make sure no one can get "the app that will not be named" via the other stores.

      And i think the title of the article should be changed. Not all JBers are pirates and the association is insulting
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      I used my cousin's MBP for a week while I was visiting him in San Diego. It wasn't bad. I think hell is freezing over as we speak.
      LMAO, it is like a drug
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      I've actually bought more apps since I started to get them from pirated sources. For me it's more of a trial. Before it was hit or miss, with far more misses with just the app store. I'm not going to buy an app if I have no idea if it's worth even a buck. Since I've used pirated apps, I've bought dozens of apps, most more than five bucks. If ********** was to disappear I doubt I'd buy any more for fear of getting hosed with a crappy app.
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      Quote Originally Posted by GmAz View Post
      I've actually bought more apps since I started to get them from pirated sources. For me it's more of a trial. Before it was hit or miss, with far more misses with just the app store. I'm not going to buy an app if I have no idea if it's worth even a buck. Since I've used pirated apps, I've bought dozens of apps, most more than five bucks. If ********** was to disappear I doubt I'd buy any more for fear of getting hosed with a crappy app.
      I see your point but thats what demos/lite versions are for...
    1. frankenberrie's Avatar
      frankenberrie -
      I only jailbreak to customize my theme..
    1. dahmed's Avatar
      dahmed -
      Thats not true at all! They have not lost 310 million dollars. Why do you think people download(Cracked) apps for free? Because they dont want to pay for the apps. Take me for example, I would not pay for the apps (that I download for free). Even if there were no possibillities to download the app for free, i would not pay for it. Because I think it is unneccesary to waist money on a game. And I know that there are many other people that would do exactly the same thing if jailbreak didnt exist. Everyone wants many games on their device, and if you want many games and you want to pay for it, it would be really expensive. So the devs or who ever that calculated the large amount of money that the devs has "lost", has calculated wrong. There is even no way to calculate how much they have lost for real. Not even half of the people that download cracked apps would actually pay for them. I mean, if you compare a jailbroken iPhones game library with an original iPhone game library, then you would see that the jailbroken one has at least double or more games than the original. And many of the best games are the most expensive. Like "Gangstar" or "Need for speed", I would never pay for them. I have much more to say but this is to long I think....
      Anyway, just wanted to say that they would NEVER get their lost 310 million dollars even if we go back in time and remove jailbreak. They would not even get the half of it!