Apple Closed Jailbreak Exploit Due to App Piracy?

Did Apple close the 24kpwn exploit in the latest shipments of the iPhone 3GS due to app piracy? MobileCrunch thinks it's certainly a factor:

While jailbreaking allows for countless wonderful (but otherwise disallowed) apps to run on the iPhone, it also allows cracked versions of paid applications to be installed. As a result, piracy is mind-blowingly, soul-crushingly rampant on the iPhone. Many iPhone developers – such as those behind the popular IM client, Beejive – are reporting that 80 percent of their users are pirates. Yep. For every 10 users on Beejive, 8 of them didn’t pay for it. I’m no saint myself, and all of us here fully understand that a download does not equal a lost sale – but when 80% of the people using your app (and in Beejive’s case, your servers) aren’t paying to keep the lights on, it’s likely seen as a big issue.

As Jeremy posted yesterday, Apple has begun shipping iPhone 3GS with new boot ROMs patched against the longstanding 24kpwn exploit commonly used to Jailbreak the devices. We also saw some reports on the state of app piracy from Pinch Media.

What do you think? Would Apple turn a blinder eye towards Jailbreaking if app piracy wasn't a factor? Or is Apple duty bound to patch known security exploi

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Apple Closed Jailbreak Exploit Due to App Piracy?

80 Comments

80% just isn't a believable number to me.. I'm calling shenanigans. (but if that is true, thats crazy.. but directly reflective of the high prices that beejive tries to get away with.. if people feel like you are stealing from them, they steal from you.. I'm sure there isn't many one, two or three dollar apps that have a % like this, if it is real)

I disagree, I believe that use the piracy argument is an excuse, they what don't want is people having more control than themselves on the devices.
iTunes is the big problem here, why are pirated apps so easily imported on it?

Considering how many people bellyached about spending any money on a great piece of software, I believe the 80% number. The thing that pisses me off about this is that these theiving jerks have now given Apple a legitimate excuse for blocking jailbreak, and now all of us who merely wanted to use jailbreak to /extend/ the capabilities of our devices will suffer for it.
Get a life and start paying for commercial apps, children.

Doesn't yesterday's report from Pinch Media contradict this?
"These analytics show roughly 4 million jailbreak devices, 38% of which are using pirated app(s) (aka cracked apps). In other words, most jailbreakers don’t steal apps."
I don't think piracy is a major issue but I'm sure it's at least one reason to close the exploit.
As for Beejive..I also don't believe that 80% of their users are pirates. They would have packed up and left a while ago if that were the case. Also, I happen to know there wasn't a working cracked version of their app until recently.

My last post may have given off the idea that I'm okay with these numbers.. I'm not.. I've jailbroken before and have never once used a cracked app. I also don't have beejive, as I have no use for that type of service.. but in reply to your question.. I do believe that it forces apples hand a little.. but not much.. its not as if they pay to much attention to what developers want.. I just wish they would open up the app store to things like backgrounder, catagories, sbsettings, googlevoice, and winterboard.. then, you wouldn't have nearly as many people jailbreaking.. I know I wouldn't need to.

RADEN is right...how can 38% of 8% (the ones that use jb) of the total iPhone/ipods be a HUGE problem for devs?? Is everyone insane?

I'm a bit skeptical about Pinch Media's report. I think their analysis is intentionally exaggerated. I tried to reply to their post, but they didn't approve my comment.
Some excerpts from what I tried to post:
“Of paid apps that use Pinch Media’s services, 60% have been pirated. Of those pirated apps, 34% of all installs are the pirated version.” This means that maybe only 20% of installs are pirated. Those numbers are actually really good for software.
Judging from Pinch Media's graph, it appears that roughly 10-15% of all iphones have been jailbroken. “About 38% [of jailbroken iphones] have used a pirated application.” “34% of all installs are cracked” This means that roughly 4-6% of iphone users have ever used a pirated application. And yet somehow, those 4-6% of iphones account for 34% of all installs? I’m a bit skeptical.

Apple has to close the holes. Businesses won't take the device seriously if they don't. Business accounts are worth more than individual accounts. (remember that they tested the app API with large corporations)
How many people have noticed that > 75% (rough #) of posts on this forums on this site relate to jailbreaking?
I'm with d.allen. There are two problem's Apple is facing. 1. The app store promotes cheap apps. When people can steal apps less developers will make apps that don't fit under item 1.
They need to open up the store more and make a framework for more user control. They could even sell themes. That's an entire market they could open up for artists to earn money like programmers do now. This is what I want to see in iphone 4.0

I hate the closed nature of iphone os. Windows desktop and mobile allow installation of third party paid and free apps. There will always be piracy. These measures makes it harder for rest of us to customize our phones legally.
These measures hinder creativity. Lets not forget that The app store idea has been barrowed from the jailbreak community.

@Wesley, iTunes will not install pirated software, in order for cracked app to be installed you need another applicaiton running on iPhone which would tell iTunes signing is ok, which if i am correct you can download from Cydia.
Until Jailbreak was just a way to extend functionality Apple didn't bother that much, but when you have expensive applications like Tomtom, CoPilot, iGo, Navigon etc available on torrents that's something else.
So if Jailbreak communitywould put NO to pirated applications and disallow apps on Appstore to be installed i think it would be fair.

zato - wtf are you even talking about?
anyway, i believe that there is rampant piracy of iphone apps, just like there is for damn near every other program that, god forbid, wants people to pay for it. whatever your excuse for pirating apps, it's stealing and it's wrong. in the case of iphone apps, they don't even cost that much in general. people are allowed to be compensated for their work. i'm sick of the "everything should be free" crap i see all the time. if you can't afford it, don't use it. you do not have the right to steal it.

Apple probably really cares very little about Jailbreaking. There will always be people trying to crack it open and do their own thing. App piracy is a huge deal. With all the debate on the app store right now about issues with reviews and not talking to developers they need to keep apps from being stolen.
Is there anyway to update old devices with this new boot ROM? I wonder if they will start taking devices they get back out of the channel instead of offering them as refurbs without this new boot ROM as well.

If Beejive knows that 80% of the users are pirates, then they obviously have identified which ones are and aren't. Just block the pirates from your server. Geez.

@Joe McG, @nic, the problem is that you don't know who is a pirate and who is not, because all you get from apple is number of units sold. so you can see how many you got paid for and how many are in use.
If there would be a link between a purchase and between developer, than you can protect your software better, but Apple doesn't give you this link that's why it is much easier to pirate on iPhone and in fact on Android as well.
Typically, when you buy software you come to shop and a seller knows who bought what and when, so you given a product key code as an example, if there is a problem you developer can always check his database and help you.
When it comes to iPhone, you don't know who bought your software and there is no really way of telling if you bought or not at all therefore there is very little you can do to protect it.

U can run but u can't hide apple. We will find a way.
I don't care for pirated apps too much but cydia apps and sbsettings are some of my favorite apps

If apple really wanted to stop JB they would give you 72 hours from the time the new update to come out or your phone would be useless. And everytime the dev team JBd the new software apple had a new release out 24 hours later and it would he a vicious cycle of updating. I JBd my old 3G for about a day. It was total garbage and I would never do it again. It was so unstable it was about worthless. Safari would crash apps would crash. Phone would freeze reboot at random. Totally worthless to me.

I bet one thing that BeeJive hasn't taken into consideration in estimating the piracy rate is that via the AppStore you can buy an app once and then have the right to use it on all devices in your household. Our family has 4 iPhones (2 active, 2 used as iPods). I can buy 1 copy of BeeJive IM and run it on all 4 devices. BeeJive would see 4 devices accessing their servers but know that they only sold 1 copy and infer a 75% piracy rate, when in this case no piracy had occurred. I'm not saying that piracy isn't rampant, just that BeeJive's numbers might be a bit off.

Apple has always tried to stop jailbreaking, and they will do even if there's no piracy. They have deemed jailbreaking to be illegal, so it wouldn't make sense for them to allow it "as long as there's no piracy".
That said, piracy gives them even more reason to try to break jb, but don't think they'd let everyone jailbreak if there was no app piracy.

No, Jobs is a control freak... Can you imagine what he could do if he wasn't wasting time trying to control what users did with their phones? And instead spent the time making the iPhone that much better? I think trial apps that expired in 2 weeks or a month would do more to help prevent piracy. If you like it, push the buy now button. No one wants to take a $5 or $10 chance on a untested app. Face it there is a ton of junk apps out there. Also why would you spend $99 on an app when you can buy a stand alone device (gps for example) that can do a better job for the same price?

@rpv:
Quote:

"@Joe McG, @nic, the problem is that you don’t know who is a pirate and who is not, because all you get from apple is number of units sold. so you can see how many you got paid for and how many are in use.
If there would be a link between a purchase and between developer, than you can protect your software better, "

Its interesting you mention this. Beejive is one of the few apps that could actually work some of this kind of magic, where as your average game could not.
IM+ just yesterday added an in-app purchase capability for new functionality. (Voice to text for sending IMs).
Could this be a route for blocking cracked versions, OR obtaining a revenue stream inspite of the crack?
Who knows what is actually sent when you do an In-App purchase, or when your application calls home to the mother ship like Fring and Nimbus. Can they get the phone's serial number, or its GUID?
A game developer may not care, and may write piracy off as advertising. But once your app creeps over the $10 mark it A) becomes a target, and B) starts to hurt financially.

@Dyvim #20
Well Said. There are a lot of multi-iPhone household, and college dorms where simply syncing with your roomie's laptop gains you twice the music, twice the apps.
Then Apple added the Home-Sharing feature for music. What could Possibly Go Wrong(tm) with that in the dorm?

When media on iTunes used to have DRM, it didn't matter what device you were using or what were you trying to do with the file, it was a no go, you could not use the file. Couldn't Apple do the same with apps? I think I agree with Wesley. I tend to think this is an excuse to gain control over jailbreaking. I am completely against app piracy and I can say that I've never once used an pirated app. But I think that Apple could find a way to avoid piracy even on jailbroken iPhones.
Disclaimer: I know mp3 songs and Iphone apps are completely different things, but still I think there is an answer besides killing jailbrakes.

What are you guys crying about? We should ALL PAY for our apps, i'm sick of you free MP3 free movie Limewire types. it disgusts me.
Work on an application for months and have someone steal your work, go ahead.

Of f***ing course Apple have to do what they can to patch any security exploits that can be patched.
At the same time, they should look at why most people do jailbreak their devices and add core functionality to support their needs. Like allowing backgrounding of certain applications and more freedom to apply visual and sound themes.

@CJ
So people like you use this argument to justify piracy? lack of trials? nice one but there are tons of alternatives. Almost ever app with respectable title had been reviewed in depth if you know how to use Google.
At the end of the day, you are just a stinckin' thief trying to ruin jailbreak for the rest of us.

I totally agree with the piracy statement. It's ludicrous that people think they can get away with it, and it serves them right....but....
There's always a but :) Apple blocking a jailbreak would be like Windows shutting down a way to get on the Internet from their OS because a group of their users decided to pirate software. People still have a choice, and it's pirated owners that hold responsibility. You put something out publicly, and you give them the option to take it. That's how this whole electronic thing works. Instead of Apple breaking it, they should make Beejive fix their program (or servers for that matter) from allowing use of cracked items. There's ways of telling that, you know. Apple supplies the hardware and the OS. It's not their fault you as a developer didn't take precautions from hackers.

Programmers that produce junk apps disgust me. Stop writing garbage and go back to teaching junior high gym class where you belong. There are plenty of desktop apps that have died on the vine because they didn't have a trial version or were just poorly written. Anyone remember Anapod explorer?

@people whining about piraters
Oh please! Don't sit there and cry about somebody "stealing" from developers while you sit in your cushy house in the suburbs. The Pinch Media article showed that pirating was most rampant in Asia, where workers get paid next to nothing so you can have your precious iPhone for a few hundred bucks, and still complain about it.
Software pirating is common everywhere, not just on iPhones. You're never going to be able to stop it. If you don't like it, go build something "hard" for a living.
I'd say software piraters are pretty low on the todem pole compared to people who do fishing scams to steal your credit card numbers.

This is what happens when you set yourself up as the sole arbiter of what will and will not get loaded on an iPhone. Everybody's problem becomes your problem.
In a world with more than one channel for installation of application on iPhones, if a developer doesn't like the turn around time for approvals at one app store, he goes ot another, or maybe just puts it on the web in his own store. If piracy is a problem, its not something Apple fixes, you know, those crazy users just do what they want, what are you gonna do? If an app horks your iPhone, it ain't Apples fault.
But in a world with a single source Apple has to fix everything, usually at the expense of the customer.

apple closed jailbreak since apple protects has to to protect the copyright patent on there os.
if they do nothing they can void out the patent.
its only in apples best interest to close all forms of installing apps/movies/music only through itunes and there store.

100% it's due to piracy. The cr*p "I only jailbreak to get a weather icon on my homescreen" was always total BS!
Ever since 3.0 - jailbreaking existed primarily, to allow piracy on the iPhone.
Apple is right to go out of their way to block it, if piracy is so rampant.

@frog
I've had my phone jailbroken since 3.0, and have never installed anything but official apps and all of the apps from cydia that /enhance/ the phone. SBSettings, Backgrounder, winterboard... basically all of the shit that apple should have on their phone but haven't thought of yet, or are holding out as a 'marketing strategy' as i've heard some put it.
I'm with the nay sayers to the whiners of piracy. Get over it. You put something out to the public, get ready to be abused and misused a little, and maybe even start putting in a kill switch into your apps when they "phone home" and the UID of the phone or something doesn't match up with your numbers.

Trial periods for apps could be a good idea. Only problem is that can be broken too no? Bottom line is people seem to think that they are somehow entitled to things and they shoulnt have to pay. That's it. Pretty simple really. Nothing apple or the developers can do will change that. People are a bunch of whining babies.

@ Joe McG
" The Pinch Media article showed that pirating was most rampant in Asia, where workers get paid next to nothing so you can have your precious iPhone for a few hundred bucks, and still complain about it."
SO SO SO TRUE!!!! Thank you for bringing that out!!

Need to provide essencial apps for their users. Like tethering - I need it - but where is it? So I used pdanet on my windows mobile device - no issues. With iPhone I need to JB to install it. That's what I need to do to get the functionality I need. So iTunes put up pdanet and I will pay you for it without the JB. and how about a spellchecker. And any app should be free to try for at least an hour. Selling them without trying them out is robery as far as I am concerned. Please excuse my speelling errors. :)

@Micky 1701
why would you have a device that can't do something that is essesntial to you without having to jailbreak? Just asking.

@chrstphr.ross that's a pretty bad analogy. Iphone blocking a jailbreak would be nothing like windows blocking internet. I mean seeing as how accessing the internet is not illegal. Technically jailbreaking is illegal as of right now. So anyone who is complaining about ppl "breaking the law" by stealing apps you too are breaking the law.
I dont believe in stealing apps so I don't do it, though I will admit that its been pretty tempting considering there are so many apps out there that truly stink, and its an outrage that you pay for these things and have no way of getting your money back.
Bottom line is people will steal apps. It happens. People steal movies, people steal music, people steal software, People steal beer, food, money, cars, bikes, etc. The list goes on and on. If it exists someone will want to steal it. Everyone who is freaking out about how apple is making it harder to jailbreak should just relax the guys who create the JB software are on top of it and I'm sure you will still be able to jailbreak. It's ok. Relax.

Yeah, funny how the only jailbreakers on this forum are the "moral" ones who, despite all the evidence suggesting the do - would never, never, never pirate any apps.
Too proud to admitt it, or too embarrased to admitt they can't afford the apps!

There are two Main reasons apple breaks jailbreak:

  1. Pirates apps
  2. They are reying to compete with Blackberry for business customers and the hallmark of a bb for business users is it's secrity and havng an organzed commnity out there that not only circumvent the os's security but make it easier for the technolgically challenged to do it as well just highlites how insecure the iPhone os really is to ptential business users.

I don't believe 80 percent, everyone that I know that has beejive paid for it, I don't even know how to install cracked apps. I've even bought apps from the cydia store.

I really think in 1 year or so jailbreaking will be like Sasquatch stories of old. Lol do you remember redsn0w or quickpwn? Why that was years ago lol

When you introduce a single point of attack in security, especially in a lucrative environment like the App Store, exploits will be, well, exploited.
The problem is the developers have been relying on Apple to keep things on the up and up. Is this due to Apple's internal requirements, or is it due to laziness on the part of the developer? I don't know and I don't know the inner workings of the Apple App Store approval "process" [snicker].
It is easy to implement validation and security for an application, especially one li9ke Beejive. Yes, it takes some work to build an infrastructure the applicaiton can ping and check for a valid license during use, but the beneifts if the numbers are accurate will be readily apparent. Will Apple allow this?
Think about it: during a IM conversation, Beejive checks with an authentication server for a valid license and if pirated, it quits after sending a "SOFTWARE PIRACY IS A CRIME - THIS COPY OF BEEJIVE IS PIRATED" IM to all participants in the chat. End of piracy problem.
Quit relying on others to cover your a**.

@iBamse

... they should look at why most people do jailbreak their devices and add core functionality to support their needs.

The best point so far, IMO.
I don't really know why, or even if, Apple is blocking jailbreak... and I personally don't care. I have SBSettings, and Backgrounder — that's it. I don't even think they're considered apps, but rather just extensions or utilities, and I've never even bothered with anything else. Heck, I just jailbroke to see what all the fuss was about in the first place... not to steal apps or bandwidth.
Nevertheless, if or when the days of jailbreaking end, it won't be the end of the world (for me, anyway). I'd be just as happy with the iPhone un-jailbroken... but as long as I can, I will for those two measly little features that come in handy on rare occasion.

Incidentally, does anyone know if Apple can tell that Cydia is on an iPhone when sending them all the installed apps for Genius to work?

@ fastlane.
Bingo! iBlacklist (d*** telemarketers!) and Lockdown are two gotta-have apps for me. If Apple had these in the store, I wouldn't jailbreak my 3G.

Jailbreak does not equal piracy!
I've been Jailbroken since 2.0 and have NEVER pirated an app. I wouldn't even know how go about it.
I pay for the apps I want whether through the App store or Cydia. Most apps are ridiculously cheap already!
It's very unfortunate that pirates are giving the rest of the jailbreakers a bad name.

Again, piracy is rampant? So, roughly 8% of total ipod+iphone users jailbreak their devices, and not even half of them pirate apps, and this is considered a huge problem? Developers should be concerned about SELLING to the MASSIVE majority of users that don´t pirate apps

Re that Pinch Media report - remember that jail broken devices can turn off Pinch Media's tracking (PiraCy). So I wouldn't take those numbers as they are.
My 2c..

I've been jailbreaking since the 1.1.x days of the iPhone 2G. Initially it started so I could SSH ringtones into my phone before Apple gave up that functionality, but to this day, I can't even imagine not having the functionality that the JB provides. I'm a bit of a power user, so I have a terminal client along with SSH server/client package so I can access my phone from my laptop and vice versa. As was also mentioned further up, sbsettings, backgrounder, winterboard, and a whole host of other freely available Cydia apps are a mainstay on my phone. I don't see what the problem is with people wanting to use their phone to its full ability. With the iron hand that Apple uses to control applications on the app store, jailbreaking will never go away, regardless of what the "straight" community thinks. As for the piracy aspect, I did have appulous installed for a while, but never used it. I couldn't get over the idea of stealing someone else's work. However, that doesn't apply to jailbreaking, as I paid for the phone, and as long as I don't disrupt anyone else's service or use the added functionality to pirate commercial applications from the app store, I don't see what the big deal is.

I'm a jailbreaker and a pirater and I can afford the apps but I'm not gonna pay for them because torrents are out there that make me not have to. Navigon is a fantastic app and free is better than $89.99 24.99 for the speech upgrade.
If you don't pirate apps, don't, but your faggoty opinion won't stop me, just Apple's BS eventually will. By then, if Cydia isn't a regular part of the Iphone, it won't be worth it anyway.

As a developer, I can tell you, Apple does NOT need to stop jailbreaking to stop piracy, and in fact, that's an uphill battle to go about it that way.
The better way would be to provide us developers with a means to verify an app purchase on iTunes' servers by deviceId. Each time you install an app through the app store, Apple would know your device ID, and could associate it with a transaction on their servers. Developers could then use their own server (or even in app) logic to communicate with apple's servers to acknowledge a deviceid should indeed have access to an app. Simple as that.
As it stands now, there is NO MECHANISM for developers to know if it's a legitimate purchase or not. There are a few tricks and hacks that expose cracked apps as being such, and I'd bet Beejive employs some of these to make it work, and probably has their own method that they'll keep secret to prevent hackers from circumventing it.
So, yes, Apple could stop the piracy, and they do not need to do it by stopping Jailbreaking. Many GOOD and GREAT things come from Jailbreaking. Piracy is a by-product of Jailbreaking, but only because Apple won't fix the root of the real problem properly, instead they use it as a blanket excuse.

I have all the navigation apps for free(€300 .worth) Why do I need all of them? I don't, I've got all them coz they were free lol! F.uck u Steve jobs for trying to stop jailbreaking!

App pirating isn't a huge problem for Apple or developers. They are simply using this as an excuse as they crack down on jailbreaking. It is obvious that jailbreaking doesnt hurt Apple or developers (and barely andybody pirates apps) they just want to control us

If Cydia even shows up in itunes app management, hell yeah, apple should have a way to know if they wanted to.

@Michael #49
"Technically jailbreaking is illegal as of right now."
Is it?
"Bottom line is people will steal apps. It happens. People steal movies, people steal music, people steal software, People steal beer, food, money, cars, bikes, etc. The list goes on and on. If it exists someone will want to steal it. Everyone who is freaking out about how apple is making it harder to jailbreak should just relax the guys who create the JB software are on top of it and I’m sure you will still be able to jailbreak. It’s ok. Relax."
That's a pretty cavalier attitude about stealing. Ever been mugged? Ever have your car stereo stolen? Ever put a lot of work into a project only to have someone else take the credit? The list goes on and on...
Stealing is okay unless it happens to you? When someone steals anything else (besides software), it is considered a crime and legal action will be taken. Why? Because this act affects the entire community. Why should software be any different? Piracy impacts all users with price increases and user restrictions, at the minimum.
Heck, if others wouldn't be so cavalier about stealing, I'd be able to purchase a pack of batteries or a DVD that does not involve negotiating titanium-strength plastic...(I mean really...what is that stuff???)
Yes, people steal. But are we just supposed to be okay with it? I think not.

No, jailbreaking is not illegal. Some believe it is because Apple filed papers stating their position that jailbreaking should not be a protected activity under the DMCA, but that is Apple's opinion, not law. The EFF, among others, have filed opposing comments, which also carries the same amount of legal force as Apple - none.
Until a) Apple actually formally pursues a party for jailbreaking, and b) the federal government sides with Apple after the inevitable DMCA counterclaim, jailbreaking is and remain perfectly legal.

@Fassy: If I remember right, it was the EFF filing for a DMCA exception for Jailbreaking that prompted a response from Apple, not the other way around?
Gamble on the EFF's part if the exception isn't granted. Apple's likely legally/contractually bound to file in opposition to protect their copyrights and deals with exclusive carriers like AT&T.

@Rene
You are completely misreading what I wrote. I never said Apple filed first, just that their are filings on both sides, and all filings carry the same legal weight: squat.
As tempting as it also might be to blame AT&T and exonerate Apple, if Apple has any clause in a carrier contract specifying they have to file DMCA opposition to a concept, but not charges against violators, then they have the most incompetent legal team on the planet. I do not believe any corner of Apple is stupid, much less that stupid.
As for a gamble, no -- there is no gamble at all on the EFF's side, because they have nothing to lose. The EFF simply did what they do, filing publicly to put a company (Apple, in this case) on notice-- "if you pursue jailbreakers, we will stand with them in court."
Apple has nothing to lose with a filing, either, but they have plenty to lose if they take the proper next logical step and file a complaint against a specific jailbreaker/dev team, which is why they have never done so.
The DMCA, unlike 99.9% of US law, presumes the target of a complaint is guilty until innocence or an exception is granted. However, if an exception is filed for, the government is bound to rule and set a precedent. As you point out, if that precedent favors Apple, they are in great shape, and can cheerily prosecute jailbreakers to their heart's content. That Apple has never filed a complaint, despite the presence of millions of jailbreakers, indicates one or both of the following:
1) That Apple tacitly approves of jailbreaking, and does not believe it to be illegal at all, but is filing a motion to keep its future options open.
2) That Apple believes that the current copyright office would rule in favor of the jailbreaker/EFF, and does not want to risk jailbreaking being officially codified as an exemption.
Either way, jailbreaking is and will remain legal.

This is why I decided I'm not going to get an iPhone, it has a lot of problems but if you fix these it's awesome, same as the Pre but apple just killed jailbreaking so I guess Palm Pre is for me. Palm support openess and keesp piracy down at the same time.

App store prices are very-reasonable, especially compared to what I used to pay for Windows Mobile apps.
What bugs me is what is MISSING, that I could (but haven't) jailbroken in order to obtain:
- Useful lock-screen info
- Better home screens/organization
- Background apps
- Bluetooth Keyboard support (ok, even jailbreak won't deliver that, but I still miss it daily from WM)
Still, there's SO MUCH more available app-wise for the iPhone than for any of my prior phones that I'll suffer and wait.

the numbers are most likely fudged. Statistics these days are more political than true. Its not abotu the data as much as the propaganda. If 1% of iphone users represent terrorist, the number would, by an unsaid rule or corporate greed, jump to more liek 10%. Btw i bought beejiveIM and im trying to jb my ipod touch 3rd gen right now. Im also a developer, it my experience that if you have something good and you are fair, it pays off well. For example, some company can make an app store to sell apps on behalf of others who need the help, but if they allowed all apps and did not dicriminate, im sure more people woudl drop the androids and come back to the fruit basket. If i pirate, it just to test functionality, nothin worse than getting something you didnt realize didnt work liek you thought. The only real issue i see here is cyndia apps from my best guess , are not loaded with stupid ads that are way out of place.
I want to see MS make and IE app, be real interesting how apple does that. Do the walk the anti-trust line or give in so they are not in court liek ms over ie>netscape back in the day. Does apples closed device policy give them more monopoly protection? I doubt it.
Im sure everyone can see the greedy apple now limiting their hardware just to make a buck off of something that shoudl have been includd from the start. That is just sick and and pure greed. But why would apple care about us lower peasants who keep them alive with sales and the update tax ($5 to upgrade to full potential)?

I think that Apple has to do is anyway because they have more than one point. If Apple does not consent the apps to be widely published and available for install on the device, there must be reasons. Because they don't want "unsuitable" software on the device, whether it be for violation af app backrounding, springboard interaction, or material or truly illiegal things, such as ID Anonymity towards your electronic identity or any thing else similar to this. So that anything that might put the "safe platform" at risk is not published universally to the platform for public download. But I have to also say that the idea of customizing a great device OS UI is a great idea. But not at the risk of messing around with the phone's roms. I hope to see that in the future, Apple decides to have a little more open-midedness about what's inbetween flexibility and guidlines.

I haven't JB my 3G yet, but very much considering it. Not to pirate apps, but to get so much other apps not available thru Apple store. More importantly, I want to unlock my iPhone because it is my right to change provider, but damned stupid Apple locked my freedom to do so, and to unlock I need to JB first.

I'm not a pirate, i pay for everything including cydiastore apps or rockapps. I have a highly stable jailbroken phone. I know Apple can't be seen to be supporting this community as they would lose a whole heap of integrity and would lose alot of a investments, however i think they have hit a happy balance of allowing it to happen, while being seen to be attempting to fix exploits, releasing media speeches etc.. They could as people have mentioned before there are ways apple could really make it tough for jailbreakers, but all they do is fix one exploit to save face, and leave another open for someone to find.
I remember the JB community saying if you havent saved a hash of your old 4.26 baseband, you may NEVER be able to jailbreak again, days later, the JB was out, and only a couple months later, an ultrasn0w it out for it as well.
It's unacceptable to allow carriers to charge for tethering, to restrict ringtones, and have such harsh conditions on applications, but it is understandable why they do so, by allowing the jailbreak community to function, they are effectively having their cake and eat it too, users can have all the phone they ever want, without apple being obliged to support them under warranty for it, and if an application while useful may contain unknown risks or side effects, apple cant be blamed for it as they didnt approve it.
What's great is even that the non-jailbroken average joe user has a reliable phone with many great features and access to the appstore. For people like me however, my productivity increases 10 fold being able to tether on a network that doesnt support tethering, having SBsettings for quick access to brightness and other tweaks, being able to put custom themes and ringtones on the device, and being allowed to run things like backgrounder and instantly switch between apps that dont close every time to hit the home button, show the available RAM usage up on the taskbar. Not to mention having filesystem access to use it as a storage device, tweaks that allow you to download mail attachments or from the web, and email the file to someone, instant respring, amongst many other invaluable tools.
If apple supported this community more, there would major problems as people would find it too easy to jailbreak and instead of the people that know how to learn and take advantage of this and understand the risks, you would have every day teens trying to do it wrecking their phone and causing other problems. Even with GUI's like pwnage tool, the process is still a very intricate process of matching up the right tutorials, with the right currency, with the right firmware files, the right settings, and the right previous phone version, and using the right technique to jailbreak. It's difficult for an amateur user to really successfully jailbreak and understand everyday instructions in the hacking world.
I think it will continue to be just the way it is... A good phone, which will always be open for the enthusiasts to use to its max, while apple can maintain its integrity, reputation, reliability, and continue making money and new products.
Case in point - Why does the 3GS have 128MB more RAM when the OS does not allow multitasking. It runs standard OS not much better than the original 3G, but it doesnt slow down when you JB it and load it up and run backgrounder.
I find it very hard to believe that apple isnt happy about jailbreakers. Everyone who knows how to write exploits understands that Apple has many resources available to them to completely stop jailbreaking if they really wanted to. But they have done a great job in building a phone with two levels of use and keeping everyone in the industry happy and satisfied that they are doing their best to protect against it. Meanwhile it remains relatively tricky to do keeping its use to those few that understand what they are doing (kinda)

Guys i know all about old 3gs and new 3gs they are still able to be jailbroken and u can install cracked apps and use it as always.. just et the newest blackrain and jailbreak, when it'll say connect to itunes, do it again and u're good.. if you have to restart your phone just connect it to comp and use blackra1n.. Apple is the ones who made iphone have all the features that are available on it, dev team just provies all ppl with it

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.