Want to get rich? There's a jailbreak for that!

Kevin Lee, a student at George Mason University, claims he has made over $50,000 in one calendar year just offering jailbreak services to people. It began when he helped his friends and family members Jailbreak. Then word of mouth started getting him over 30-40 clients a week. Believe it or not, some people really don't know they can just visit our TiPb jailbreak page or our TiPb Jailbreak forums and find guides and tutorials to help you do almost anything yourself (yes, that was a shameless plug).

Since the Library of Congress granted jailbreaking an exception and made it legal, it seems as if more users have been willing to give it a try. We also recently saw Toyota use jailbreak as a way to market their Scion brand. Jay Freeman (Saurik), creator of Cydia reportedly makes over $10M in annual revenue off the jailbreak community. As a hardcore advocate for jailbreak, I think it's great to see others wanting to learn about jailbreak. Technology is driven by innovation and I firmly believe that the jailbreak community keeps Apple on its toes.

I own a small business locally and we've recently been in talks about hosting jailbreak workshops and classes. I was incredibly surprised by the amount of people in our community that were interested. Any of you offer up your jailbreak skills for cash? Let us know in the comments!

Washington Post

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

More Posts



← Previously

Microsoft launches Bing for iPad

Next up →

Clorox bleaches BlackBerry, goes 92% iPhone

Reader comments

Want to get rich? There's a jailbreak for that!


The sentence is a bit misleading, but it does say 10 million REVENUE, not profit. it's probably referring to Cydia store revenue. The store (like Apple's app store) keeps only a percentage of store revenue, (the rest goes to the app developer), and then they must cover expenses such hosting, paying employees, running a company...

That's pretty interesting but not that surprising. Alot of people probably like the freedom jailbreaking offers but they don't have the technical ability to do it themselves. It seems like the hardest part of jailbreaking is the constant cat and mouse game with Apple over loosing your jailbreak. The constant threat if loosing it probably keeps some people from jailbreaking in the first place.

It's only a "cat and mouse game" if you feel the need to upgrade the OS every time Apple pushes out an update. I'm running 4.1 and am perfectly happy. They haven't offered anything in an update that I cared about and couldn't get through a jailbreak app.

$10m? Personally, Cydia is still way behind it's time with functionality. Unfortunately, there's no alternative. Well, actually there was - until Cydia "bought them". It's like replacing a jet engine of a 777 with a propeller. I miss Rock Your Phone.

I have been Pimping iPhones since they came out. I started with just selling my 4gb 2G iPhone on CL and that guy just happened to be the cousin of UFC Fighter Rashad Evens! From there i took off! charging at that time $400 per phone to add one of a kind at that time customization and unlocks for their T-Mobile SIM cards i was making bank. It lasted about a year. i did probably about 10 iPhone a week or more depending on who was in town for UFC and WEC Training at Jackson Gym. Then after that i met some hollywood stars then some sports celebs. Then the app store came out and business has slowed down to just a few a week now at $99. I tell people you can do it yourself that i only give the service if you don't know how or want to try. I make my own software one click process that i sell to cell phone shops. i get iPhone from wound the world. Its mostly due to my celeb clientele.

To all the haters, i do this as a service business. When you get a car and want to put rims and tires and a nice stereo in it do you do it all yourself???? yea some tech inclined people would and of course younger tinkerers but most people who get an iPhone are not techs, they are regular people. They want to coolness of the jailbreak stuff but are afraid of bricking their phone or just don't want to do it so they trust someone else to do it pay for the service. to just jailbreak a phone yea its worth what $10 for 5 min. But my service spend 4-5 hours sshing into the phone to upload hundreds of themes, 1000 ringtones, wallpaper, video ringtones, setting up bitesms, MyWi, Unlock it, etc. check my website. www.pimpyoiphone.com to see what i do . I don't just charge $99 for 2min of work. I spend hour going adding each repo, uploading all my content via ssh, creating my own custom ringtones and wallopers and themes, i am also an apple tech for 20 years and i am an app developer. I don't do this to rip people of i do it as a service just like changing oil or doing a tune up.

i see a lot of the complainers here in the comments are upset that some people charge to do this. I do this for a living. Ive done it 3 months after the 2g came out. I created my own custom process and have done almost 1000 iPhones to date. Each person leaves happy, does not think the price is too hi and he gets a lifetime warranty and lifetime of updates. My process is that, a process. I get haters or jealous people that never charged and kick themselves in their butt because others are making money off of a service. Im tired of hearing that people call me a slime ball because i thought of charging for a process that not to many people know how to do. Would i be a slim ball if i bought people how to jailbreak and unlock? is my time not worth anything? The haters are immature people that don't understand business and have hours of free time to jailbreak someones iPhone for free. Unfortunately people in the real world that have bills and over 20 years of technical experience can't do everything for free.

Dont listen to these people man. I own a cellphone shop and do the same thing. Every independent shop does this. I totally agree with you.

Thanks bro for your support. Check out my website and see my celeb promo video. I am in need of others in different areas for work. I would like to team up with others in this business. my contact info is on my site. BTW i made that site, I'm also a web dev...

How can anyone who owns an iPhone not have the technical know-how to jailbreak? The onscreen program tells you EXACTLY what to do! I personally think he is a slime ball for overcharging/charging people to do something that takes little to no time at all. He should just help people out and teach them. I get it's "business" but come on!

Oh and yes I've helped co-workers with the JB process before and NEVER thought to screw them by charging them for something so easy.

It clearly stated in the article he was setting up free tethering and switching carriers for people. I admit I'm throwing "Illegal" around fairly lightly …under normal circumstances these things are better described as "contract breaching", but he's not just doing it for himself …he's made it into a business.
Go put up a billboard telling people you can get them free premium cable and see how that goes…

Where have you been?
JBing is no longer considered illegal according to the law, but Apple will void your warranty.

Good for you bro.
Im always looking for new talent. check my website for more info or contact me.
What we do is a service. Jiffy lube posts on their sign Oil Change 19.99 but when its all done and over the bill is $72.00. Jailbreaking,
Pimping an iPhone is a service. Not everyone wants to change their own oil nor do they want to replace a flat tire, or even drive them selves to dinner. There a services for that. it just ticks me off that haters say hurtful things about someone just because they provide a service that MOST people don't want to do or down know how to do. Or even have done it and bricked their phone.
Take a look on the internet and pretend your a noob, try to find the exact jailbreak unlock solution for your iPhone and its firmware and baseband. There are literally thousands of pages on how to unlock and jailbreak an iPhone.

If your surprised by this Ally, then as a so called business owner you clearly don't have a full understanding of your market.

Or maybe you don't understand MY market.
I live in a smaller town. Not a large demographic of users that wanted to know or had a need for that stuff until very recently. Do not assume you know me or anything about what I do. It was not a service we offered because the interest was not there for a long time. We still make more on device repairs, development, and mac based consulting.

Hey I go to George Mason! It's crazy how successful you can be with programs/apps, either in the App Store or on Cydia.

I applaud Saurik for his great idea known as Cydia and hope he has made millions. Capitalism is boss! Screw the haters who are jealous of those who create a successful product or service!

Some people were advertising on Kijiji that they'd JB iPhones for a price so I posted an ad stating I'd do it for free. I literally jailbroke hundreds of iPhones in a two week span. From there, I started giving away free ebook tutorials complete with pictures and 'Idiot' style step by step instructions. I must have given out a couple thousand of those.
Why didn't I charge? In the end, just to prove that there is still the odd person out there who isn't out to make a quick buck. Annnnnd it blew the other guys out of the water. JB ads ceased on my local Kijiji for months. Hard to beat FREE.
Of course, I'm sure folks still went to them as they felt FREE was too good to be true. Power to them. And power to anyone who makes their living doing this. :)

I'm new to iOS, about a year ago, then I learn a lot of stuff, those Apple stuff.
Then suddenly I became popular of gadget boy in my school then I get a lot of jailbreak request to jailbreak their iOS device. I've been done that for a numerous time which I already lost count.
The thing is, I never do it for money, I do it for the sake of Apple it self (even though the App Developer not happy). If their iDevice jail-broken, means they have more power to use for his/her iDevice, making them know the true power that hidden behind the beautiful OS, speed, and stability.
I love Apple, and here in Jakarta, Indonesia people are just hate Apple for their too-expensiveness, they don't think about the great service, fast updates, speed, stability, and security that Apple offer.
I just want to make Apple to be more famous here, and hoping those massive user of Blackberry devices through out the country change their mind to go to iPhones.

I do not reccomend jailbreaking, because that defeats the purpose of Apple's ecosystem. Many people complain about the limitations, but if you can live within them, you'll have the best technologyical experience ever.

Maybe some of these jailbreak profiteers should have stayed in school. Their grammar is laughable. Are they all the same person?

A wide range of Australian made UGG Boots and sheepskin leather products. Supra Shoes on hot sale now,we carry a large inventory from Supra Footwear, Including Supra Shoes,Supra Skytop And Supra Avenger,Supra Bandit,Supra Bullet.Huge Range, all with Fast, Free Delivery.
Bryant, the gap in the purchase price of shoes in kobeshoes.cc! Zoom discounts and cheap to buy the lowest price every day Kobe Shoes.Huge Puma Trainers Range at LQshoes Massive Sale Now On. Free Delivery to UK USA Canada... Buy Cheap Puma Shoes at Puma Shoes Online Store Now!Wholesale Authentic NFL Jerseys,Contain mens,womens and youths Cheap NFL Jerseys,Welcome to buy.Inc sell cheap Sunglasses,is a Oakley Sunglasses reseller store, Oakley NFL eyeglasses are sold as a cheap price.!NFL Cap.