Cydia Developer Releases Cydia Store; Paid App Store for Jailbreak Apps [Updated]

Cydia Store

Jay Freeman (aka Saurik), developer of Cydia, the application management/installation package for jailbreak apps has announced plans to launch a paid app store called Cydia Store for jailbreak apps to directly compete with Apple's highly successful App Store.

I was a little intrigued when Cydia was one of the names among heavyweights like Mozilla and Skype who had added their support behind EFF's push to get the U.S. Copyright Office to grant DMCA exception so users can jailbreak their iPhone without fear of copyright infringement penalties.

However, Freeman's announcement puts things into perspective. He believes that the commercial launch of Cydia Store will help the case against Apple.

If you have jailbroken your iPhone, you would probably know about Cydia as it allows you to install jailbreak apps on your hacked iPhone. Jay Freeman (Saurik), developer of Cydia has also developed popular iPhone apps such as Cycorder and Veency for the jailbroken iPhone.

Freeman plans to convert Cydia from a package repository to full-fledged app store with integrated payment system. Based on his Twitter updates,
Cydia Store will accept payments via Amazon Payments and add Paypal
support sometime next week. Freeman does not plan to charge more than
the 30% commission that Apple charges developers.

As per WSJ, Freeman decided to open Cydia Store so developers like himself have a way to make money from their efforts. Freeman says: "The overworking goal is to provide choice. It's understandable that [Apple] wants to control things, but it has been very limiting for developers and users."

Brokerage firm Piper Jaffray estimates that Apple generated about $150
million in sales last year from the App Store and projects total sales will grow to $800
million this year.

Though App Store might not make a significant contribution to Apple's revenues in relative terms, its of strategic importance to Apple as it ties users to the iPhone. So it will interesting to see how Apple reacts to the launch of Cydia Store. Apple had recently told the U.S. Copyright Office that it believes jailbreaking an iPhone is violation of the DMCA and infringes on its copyright. Apple had also informed the Copyright Office that the exception request by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) was unacceptable as the very act of jailbreaking the iPhone results in copyright infringement.

Aaron Perzanowski, professor at the University of California Berkeley School of Law who specializes in digital copyright law believes that developers of jailbreak apps have "a pretty good" defense under the DMCA if Apple claims what they're doing is illegal.

WSJ reports that Freeman, who has been on the lookout daily for email from Apple lawyers, isn't taking any chances and has lined up a lawyer in case Apple takes legal action.

Cydia Store is not the only unofficial App Store to be launched to rival Apple's App Store. A small startup plans to launch an App Store called "Rock Your Phone" for iPhone users who have not yet modified their iPhone to make it easier to download and buy unauthorized applications. Some folks are also developing an App store that specializes in selling adult games for the iPhone.

Freeman is expected to launch the Cydia Store today. 


Freeman has just released the new version of Cydia which
includes the Cydia Store feature (both the client and website have been upgraded to support payment processing). As of now only one jailbreak app called Cyntact is available for purchase on the Cydia Store. Freeman plans to add more packages and Paypal support soon.

He has provided the following info via Twitter:

  • Direct credit card processing in the future.
  • The purchase is tied to your Cydia account on the server, so even if you buy a new iPhone you will be able to install it on your new device.
  • Cyntact is DRM-free. Freeman plans to work with the existing commercial applications to handle their current DRM.

iPhone Hacks reader, Marcus, who bought Cyntact writes:

pretty cool allows you to put a picture next to your contacts so if you
gave your contacts a picture then that will show up next to their name
on your contacts list"

Folks at Modmyi have published a post describing their experience buying their first app on Cydia Store, follow this link for more details.

Thanks Marcus for the tip and feedback!!!

I will keep you posted on this developing story so stay tuned here at iPhone Hacks.

What do you think about Freeman's plans to launch the Cydia Store?

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  • ybt

    Cant wait to see the cydia store. Its the perfect idea, and just what we all need right now.

  • nour

    My iPhone is my property because I give 200 dollars to apple so why they want me to design my property the way they want!!!!!

  • marcus

    cydia store is out and I have gotten the first app Cyntacts its pretty cool allows you to put a picture next to your contacts so if you gave your contacts a picture then that will show up next to their name on your contacts list

  • Pdext

    Did you make the iphone nour?

  • Hey marcus,

    Thanks for the tip, we have just updated the post.

    Thanks again!!!

  • AKW

    I just bought it it's really cool few steps involved to pay it, you can Sign in with facebook or gmail… Then you pay with amazon.

  • Rich

    You really want to give some kid, a hacker to boot, access to your personal information ? Set up an acount like he is a respected and established business like Apple ?

    Sorry I will pass and it looks like I will be unjailbreaking my iPhone today.

    What was great about Jailbreaking was 99.9% of everything was FREE. Soon EVERYTHING is going to be pay. Dont see the sense in doing it any more.

  • Pablo

    umm so now we have got to pay for cydia apps? WHAT?! Rich is right, if cydia is gonna become paid then the App Store is a better choice as it has a way better choice of apps which r garunted to work. if i had to choose between cydia store and app store. i'd choose app store…i mean, duh!….also, making cydia paid this means another team of hackers will try to crack it just like wat happened wid the app store..anyway..think twice b4 u turn everything else into paid

  • duluen

    all this dose is give developers a uniform easy way to get paid for thiere apps (that you would have had to pay for anyway). Its actually quite nice is you dont have to jump threw hoops to buy things anymore. I say HAZAAA!

    Cydia, and for that matter jailbreaking was never about getting everything for free. Its about takeing control of your device and doing what you want with it. Some of your more complex and usefull apps take time to write and its perfectly resonable to have to pay for it. Which we have been doing for quite a while 100 differnt ways depending on teh software.

    This just makes life easier. As for the comment about giveing your payment info to a "hacker", you are paying his account on amazon threw thier secure server… what do you not trust amazon now? geez

  • i agree 100 percent dude i think this is a bad idea and i dont trust buying anything from this store.

  • Hey,
    Most people think that the Cydia Store is going to turn all apps that are available to paid ones. They are not! Most of the apps will still be free. It's just the ones that have prety good features. There are some paid apps in Cydia all ready like Intelliscreen, iRealSMS etc. All these apps will now be transfered over to the Cydia Store. Before, the developers had their own way of payment, most of them were serial codes, but now Cydia Store takes care of it. The App Store is where you will be able to find games etc. Cydia Store will be where you can find apps that would never be allowed into the App Store. So apps that will modify official apps from Apple or applications that run along side the official Apple equivalent like the text app, iRealSMS and BiteSMS.
    Thanks George

  • Though I had mentioned that Cydia Store is being launched to rival Apple's App Store. They will not be competing against each other in the true sense.

    Let me explain:
    iPhone apps that are and will be distributed on Cydia are those which were or will not be approved by Apple.

    We are unlikely to see an iPhone developer to release an iPhone on Cydia when he could have released it on the App Store. We will definitely not see an iPhone app available on both the App Store and Cydia Store. So you really can't compare them side by side.

    As duluen and George (thanks folks) have rightly pointed out, by integrating payment processing in the new version of Cydia, Freeman is making it easier for users to buy apps which prior to this has been a hassle.

  • Hey Rich,

    Freeman has mentioned that he doesn't plan to sell apps like Cyntact in the future.

    By integrating payment processing in the new version of Cydia, he is making it easier for users to buy paid jailbreak apps.

    It would be foolish for developers to start selling all their iPhone apps because there is now an easy way to charge customers because at the end of the day, iPhone users will ultimately have the choice to decide if they want to buy it or not just like any other marketplace.

  • Some observations after buying Cyntact:

    It was much easier to buy the jaibreak app. Its not as easy as the App Store but a lot easier than earlier.

    Cydia Store has the same problem that the App Store has, it doesn't give iPhone users the ability to try the iPhone app before buying.

  • Thats why they have lite versions of apps. iPhone hacks just think about it: If everyone had the ability to try out a full app before they buy it, then some hackers will figure out how to extend that time frame so it could be used forever. Their is no point of trying to make a new system if its just going to get worked around. Take pwning the iphone for example: In every update, they make it harder to hack the iphone but the dev team still pull it off. Catch my drift?

  • Hey Egypt,

    You can't have lite version for all iPhone apps, a good example is apps like
    Frenzic. Developing a lite version of the iPhone app has its own overheads,
    I would prefer to see developers spending that time developing better apps.

  • i agree with you man i think its stupid too and im not gonna buy one thing through this untrusted service.

  • Hack apps are hack apps

    I just unjialbroke my iPhone. Cydia has offered no support, and no response when I had a problem. The problem was with a photography app which screwed up my iPhone so I couldn't delete photos I took from my camera roll, and I couldn't add any photos either taken with the iPhone or captured from a website.

    Sure, I want a bunch of people I never heard of who have no security getting access to my iPhone and then planting code that I can't work around without a complete restore.

  • MP

    Greedy Greedy Greedy! Its interesting how the hackers ideals have turned around so quickly. Once it used to be about freeing the digital world, but I guess money can change minds! This whole Cydia Store is no different to pirates selling counterfeit DVD's and CD's, except its not pop media anymore which streams in the curency, its access to the punters who will trickle their pounds and pennies for mindless, useless software!


  • Seriously, Are you guys paid by Apple or something?

  • kenshin

    Lol! The ignorance! Im of course talking about some of the posters above me that donĀ“t see the point of the cydia store. The point is NOT to rip anyone off nor is it to pirate stuff, all cydia store apps will be exclusive to the cydia store, like they have always be. they will have features that are restricted by apple so that these kind of apps will never appear in their official store, like camera apps, apps that run in background and combine functionality in new and unrestricted ways. They will not be "pirated" but exclusively developed for the iphone by serious developers that are tired of apples limitations, that want to offer something extra. Ant to allow these apps to be available and spread in a legal and efficient way, while at the same time making a bit of profit (to increase the incentive to actually put in the effort). Also the point is since this is clearly a legal and commercial idea, to put that extra bit of pressure on apple to either allow these kind of apps on their app store, or to loose profit due to their restrictions. Also to aid the EFF push with something commercially acceptable backing their argument that you should be able to do whatever you want with your own property without someone telling you its illegal!

  • Andrew

    This is an ok idea that will never become commercially viable. Most jailbroken apps are like 10$ or higher, like mewseek pro and others. While I suppo developers, they just seem too greedy thinking we have to pay since there's no other option. So while I agree we should help, honestly lower prices like the app store and we'll pay. But 6.99 to 10.00$ per app? Forget that.

  • I actually don't mind that Cydia will now start to have it's own store.

    I think many people should be grateful of what Saurik has done for the Iphone users. For now he has been one of the programmers for some of the best applications created. Just one examble – cycorder. And all of the stuff he has created has been for free. I'm really not bothered by he want's to earn some money for all the work he is doing. And since he says that a lot of the stuff still will remain for free I don't think it's fare to blame the guy for trying to earn a living. After all if he works in… like in a Wallmart store then all of us will just have to wait for his vacation to start – and that can take some time.

  • Burnok

    Rich.. you're right..

    it is like … buying a $2000 guitar.. and I put custom pick-ups on it, custom paint, whatever knick knack that i like…

    Gibson or Fender does not tell you that it is illegal to put kluson tuning knobs on their guitar..? Or my own home made pick-ups…? So why will apple will say it is illegal for you to jailbreak your iphone..

    Then now.. cydia is no longer free …? what is the reason jailbraking your iphone in the first place..? to get out of the "ball & chain" by apple…

    come on !! if you developers would like to be paid.. go to itunes instead…


  • MA

    Doesn't he make money by the paid advertisers in the cydia store? I wouldn't mind paying either , but $2.00 would be the MAX I would ever think about paying on an app!

  • Ed


    The best