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iPhone App Store developers find ways to profit from pirates

post #1 of 139
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Faced with a large number of users stealing their applications, iPhone developers have found ways to earn money even from those who pirate App Store software.

Developers of popular iPhone and iPod touch applications Tap Tap Revenge and Shazam were a part of the MIDEM Music Conference in Cannes recently. According to Moconews.net, when Tap Tap Revenge garnered 2.5 million downloads in its first two months, a million were pirated copies.

But Tim O'Brien, head of business development with game maker Tapulous, said many of those pirates now buy legal music downloads from within the game. In the end, the developer is making a profit from many of those who initially stole their software.

"Weve started running ads to the pirate users more aggressively," O'Brien said. "Some of those users, because we sell virtual goods, have become high-volume users."

Sales from pirates have helped the company to earn nearly $1 million per month. The $0.99 rhythm game Tap Tap Revenge 3 has more than 25 million users and it is one of the most popular titles on the App Store. Tapulous has been profitable since June.

It's also helped Shazam, which sells songs through its music identifying software. Company officials said 13 percent of those who identify a song with their software buy it through an in-app purchase.

The ability to offer in-app purchases through free software was added in October. Prior to that, the iPhone OS 3.0 update gave the capability for paid applications. Developers praised the feature as an important revenue opportunity within the App Store.

This month, one analysis estimated the App Store has lost nearly $450 million in revenue due to software piracy. It said some apps have come with piracy rates as high as 90 percent. Software can be pirated through a process known as jailbreaking, which allows users to run unauthorized code on their handset. Apple and the hacking community have been in a long back-and-forth battle over running unsanctioned software on the iPhone.
post #2 of 139
Well that is why many companies create light or free versions of apps.
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post #3 of 139
The very fact that someone would bother to pirate a 99 cent or $1.99 app just illustrates what kind of mentality permeates consumer and geek culture. Further reinforces the notion of a "freemium" app being the best model.

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post #4 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Well that is why many companies create light or free versions of apps.

I think we just said the same thing.

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post #5 of 139
Way to play up the "jailbreaking is for piracy" line. That's just what Apple wants people to think. My phone is jailbroken mostly because the unlocking software also jailbreaks at the same time. All the apps I have that didn't come from the App Store are utilities that aren't on the App Store.
post #6 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

Way to play up the "jailbreaking is for piracy" line. That's just what Apple wants people to think. My phone is jailbroken mostly because the unlocking software also jailbreaks at the same time. All the apps I have that didn't come from the App Store are utilities that aren't on the App Store.

Jailbreaking isn't illegal, but it is the only way to run pirated apps. I believe that was the point.

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post #7 of 139
I'm really curious what they consider to be pirated.

Do they consider sharing an applications between my wife and myself to be pirating? Even if this is done within iTunes and the homesharing feature?

I wonder if they simply are counting the amount paid minus the amount downloaded... which may make me a "pirate" in this case...
post #8 of 139
I think some of this piracy can be combated by offering trial period apps over Lite versions with limited functionality. I have pirated apps, for instance the $99 TomTom app because I wasn’t willing to fork over that much to test an app’s usability. I didn’t like it so I deleted it. I can many people doing this for much cheaper apps but then not deleting them.

By making it convenient to try out the app and then continue the use after the trial period is over I suspect devs will profit more. I’d think leaving the duration of the trial period up to the developer. It’s not unprecedented with FairPlay as Apple’s movie rentals use exploding DRM that seems to work out quite well.
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post #9 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarina View Post

I'm really curious what they consider to be pirated.

Do they consider sharing an applications between my wife and myself to be pirating? Even if this is done within iTunes and the homesharing feature?

I wonder if they simply are counting the amount paid minus the amount downloaded... which may make me a "pirate" in this case...

If it's allowed from within iTunes, I don't think it's considered pirated... Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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post #10 of 139
The App Store: is there anything it can't do?
post #11 of 139
I bet about 95% of all jailbreaks are people who wanna run the phone on their own carrier of choice without paying the stupid unlock fee. Then the temptation of piracy is just a step away.
Apple could effectively stop mass jailbreaking if they wanted to, simply by offering the iPhone unlocked for all carriers at a decent price, not stupid premium pricing.
post #12 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

If it's allowed from within iTunes, I don't think it's considered pirated... Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?



You can download .ipa's anywhere , drag them into itunes, and sync them right up with a jailbroken phone plus appropriate software.
post #13 of 139
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Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The App Store: is there anything it can't do?

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post #14 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

I bet about 95% of all jailbreaks are people who wanna run the phone on their own carrier of choice without paying the stupid unlock fee. Then the temptation of piracy is just a step away.
Apple could effectively stop mass jailbreaking if they wanted to, simply by offering the iPhone unlocked for all carriers at a decent price, not stupid premium pricing.

I dont see what unlocking has to do with jailbreaking or how selling an unlocked iPhone would alter the price for all carriers since pretty much all feasible carriers already offer the iPhone. Care to clarify?
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post #15 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

If it's allowed from within iTunes, I don't think it's considered pirated... Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I think you can authenticate five machines per iTunes account. And any iPhone synced to these machines can run the apps, right? So family management is truly ok.
post #16 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The very fact that someone would bother to pirate a 99 cent or $1.99 app just illustrates what kind of mentality permeates consumer and geek culture....


I'm assuming the most jail broken and pirated apps occur in China, where street vendors compete with each other who has the most to offer.

A 20lb bag of rice that can make 1000 meals sells for $10 in the U.S. (less in China), works out to be about 1¢ a meal.

99¢ = 99 meals in China. Meat and veggies are a compliment to rice, perhaps only eaten once per day.

So to a average American, 99¢ might not mean too much.

They do tend to save up to get a jail broken iPhone, so they can get online and talk free over wifi.
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post #17 of 139
I'd say not, pirating is jailbreaking an iPhone then sourcing a file containing 800 pirated Apps including all the high priced navigation Apps, games etc.

A friend who just bought an iPhone was asking me for advice regarding this and people who bring their iPhone's into the phone store I work at also ask about it.

You see Cydia and I guarantee that they also have the pirated software App store, which I won't name.

No jailbreaking equals no piracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarina View Post

I'm really curious what they consider to be pirated.

Do they consider sharing an applications between my wife and myself to be pirating? Even if this is done within iTunes and the homesharing feature?

I wonder if they simply are counting the amount paid minus the amount downloaded... which may make me a "pirate" in this case...
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post #18 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

I think you can authenticate five machines per iTunes account. And any iPhone synced to these machines can run the apps, right? So family management is truly ok.

Yes and no. My wife and I use different iTunes accounts because it worked better for something. Goofy stuff like that can push people to pirate a copy of software. There are a few paid apps both of us bought, but when you hit a certain price point it is a bit of an insult.
post #19 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

If it's allowed from within iTunes, I don't think it's considered pirated... Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

We have one iTunes account and four devices. When I bought a game and recommended it to my wife she, using the same account, got a message saying she already had the app and therefore she didn't have to pay - or words to that effect. Are we pirates? ARRRR!
post #20 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Yes and no. My wife and I use different iTunes accounts because it worked better for something. Goofy stuff like that can push people to pirate a copy of software. There are a few paid apps both of us bought, but when you hit a certain price point it is a bit of an insult.

Me and my wife both have different iTunes accounts and we can share apps. We even use Home Sharing to transfer apps between our Macs. All you need is to authorize each iTunes to use the other person account.
post #21 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

If it's allowed from within iTunes, I don't think it's considered pirated... Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

i believe the terms and conditions for itunes state that you can use any materials on unlimited devices, so you would be fine.

Also there's really no 'back and forth' on the issue. Apple has made it clear that if you jailbreak and/or unlock you are on your own. they will refuse service if they find evidence of either.

so do it if you wish, but you better hope you've got a perfect phone that never breaks down etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

I bet about 95% of all jailbreaks are people who wanna run the phone on their own carrier of choice without paying the stupid unlock fee.

two different games. not everyone that does one does the other.

also, at least in the US there's not unlock fee. You can't unlock under the terms. there's a blackmarket for unlocking and some folks will do it for a price. but you can not,for example,go to ATT with your iphone and say 'okay so I did my two years, unlock it' at any price at this point in time

Quote:
Apple could effectively stop mass jailbreaking if they wanted to, simply by offering the iPhone unlocked for all carriers at a decent price, not stupid premium pricing.

again, jailbreaking is not the same as unlocking.

to your other comment. the prices are what they are due to the carrier subsidies. you can bet if Apple goes and unlocks for all carriers with the right tech, you'll be paying full retail from Apple (currently $499-699) or less if you agree to a contract with your carrier in exchange for a subsidy. same as now

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post #22 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


You see Cydia and I guarantee that they also have the pirated software App store, which I won't name.

No jailbreaking equals no piracy.

Please don't paint all jailbreakers as pirates. I use a jailbroken device but I don't pirate any apps. I buy my apps from the Apple App Store and I use free and paid apps from Cydia.
post #23 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Yes and no. My wife and I use different iTunes accounts because it worked better for something. Goofy stuff like that can push people to pirate a copy of software. There are a few paid apps both of us bought, but when you hit a certain price point it is a bit of an insult.

Actually my wife and I have different accounts as well. But so long as both are authenticated to each others accounts (computers that is) and you choose a "main" one for homesharing, it makes moving the iTunes content between each very very simple.
post #24 of 139
How is it that Apple, armed with what are probably billions of bright engineers, isn't able to create a "jail" that can't be broken in to?

Can't they use NSA-level encryption to secure whatever it is hackers need to jailbreak them? I suppose the adage "Anything is possible" is possible in these situations, but what makes it more miraculous is the fact that these jailbreaks occur days after an update is released, which supposedly has Apple's latest "jail keys."

Unless someone from inside Apple releases those keys?
post #25 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

Please don't paint all jailbreakers as pirates. I use a jailbroken device but I don't pirate any apps. I buy my apps from the Apple App Store and I use free and paid apps from Cydia.

Actually Cydia itself is far from pirating apps, its more about giving the user the apps that dont get blocked by politics and rules (AT&T's mostly)... last time I looked, you won't find pirated apps on Cydia... the tools to get you there, yes.
post #26 of 139
So some are suggesting that anyone who jailbreaks for multitasking or more commonly for unlocking the phone to use for example on T-Mobile is a pirate?

I don't have one pirate App Store application on my iPhone, but it is jailbroken on the T-Mobile network.

In addition, how are they counting what constitutes as a pirate copy? The fact that the software runs on a jailbroken iPhone? (I imagine some software can tell??). The fact that the software has only been paid for 5x but runs on 10 iPhones? Um, ask Apple about that because if I own 2 iPhones (or even one iPhone and an iPod Touch) I can sync my one purchase of the App to both devices. I am also not allowed to buy two copies for my one account.

While I'm sure there is piracy, I think as always the software companies overinflate it. I would love to know how they know the specifics of piracy.

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post #27 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

How is it that Apple, armed with what are probably billions of bright engineers, isn't able to create a "jail" that can't be broken in to?

Can't they use NSA-level encryption to secure whatever it is hackers need to jailbreak them? I suppose the adage "Anything is possible" is possible in these situations, but what makes it more miraculous is the fact that these jailbreaks occur days after an update is released, which supposedly has Apple's latest "jail keys."

Unless someone from inside Apple releases those keys?


They could if they wanted to.... IMO the jailbreaks and community behind it are R&D they dont have to pay for. Believe me , they pay attention and learn from with the dev teams do
post #28 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think some of this piracy can be combated by offering trial period apps over Lite versions with limited functionality. I have pirated apps, for instance the $99 TomTom app because I wasnt willing to fork over that much to test an apps usability. I didnt like it so I deleted it. I can many people doing this for much cheaper apps but then not deleting them.

By making it convenient to try out the app and then continue the use after the trial period is over I suspect devs will profit more. Id think leaving the duration of the trial period up to the developer. Its not unprecedented with FairPlay as Apples movie rentals use exploding DRM that seems to work out quite well.

It's funny you should mention the TomTom app. I went through almost the same thing, except legally. I couldn't decide between TomTom and Magellan without trying, so I bought the TomTom GPS. I didn't like it and thought it needed work, so I contacted Apple saying I wanted a refund because it didn't fit my needs. They refunded my $69.99 within 24hrs and I bought the Magellan app, which I loved. All of this was legal and done with an unbroken iPod Touch. I have received refunds for over 10 apps that I did not like or did not function as expected. Apple is willing to work with you if you have a genuine problem. (BTW, they refunded me directly to my credit card, not in iTunes cash.)

My thoughts--good for Apple. I'll keep paying as I am faithfully supported.
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post #29 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont see what unlocking has to do with jailbreaking or how selling an unlocked iPhone would alter the price for all carriers since pretty much all feasible carriers already offer the iPhone. Care to clarify?

If you spend lots of time in different countries, then you are going to want an unlocked phone -- not because your carrier of choice doesn't already offer the iPhone, but simply because you want to be "Carrierless."

I am a few minutes drive from another country, and less than three hours driving puts me in three more countries. I have relatives here in Europe that spend considerable time (weeks or months) in multiple countries per year. Having an unlocked phone means you can pop in a local pay-as-you-go SIM card; in order to have a local number and avoid long-distance/roaming charges, whereby your calls are bouncing back to your home country across the continent before reaching the guy just next door.

Having an unlocked phone is a real need for some people, simple as that. They are not interested in pirating software -- in fact they would like to use iTunes as normal, but run into problems since their phones are unlocked. This is why some countries like Germany (I think?)make it compulsory to provide unlocked phones.
post #30 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

two different games. not everyone that does one does the other.

If you bought the iPhone in the United States, where there is no official means to unlock it for use with any carrier other than AT&T, and you are intent on finding a way to use it with another carrier anyway, you are left with hacking the iPhone in order to perform the unlock.

Jailbreaking the iPhone is an unavoidable intermediate step in the process of such a hack.

So yes, everybody who does one (unlock) must necessarily do the other (jailbreak).

However, the reverse is not true - everybody who jailbreaks is not necessarily doing it so that they can unlock.
post #31 of 139
Oh, thieves can't live a single day without their bellyaching.

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post #32 of 139
You may not and all the advocates of jailbreaking who will post swearing black and blue that they don't run pirated Apps or even look at the App which duplicates the App store functionality except with pirated Apps.

All these people with their heads in the sand and their feeble justifications.

It's about freedom...

...freedom of App store developers to profit from their work.

Jailbreaking takes some of that away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

Please don't paint all jailbreakers as pirates. I use a jailbroken device but I don't pirate any apps. I buy my apps from the Apple App Store and I use free and paid apps from Cydia.
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post #33 of 139
No one has said anything about the EULA, you shouldn't be jailbreaking your phone...

But I can understand running the JB to take it to another carrier. You can't blame people for doing that
post #34 of 139
I bought my iPhone in Australia and it is officially unlocked, I can use any SIM I want and it has never been jailbroken.

There are several European countries which offer unlocked iPhones, Italy for example you could always buy one from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

If you spend lots of time in different countries, then you are going to want an unlocked phone -- not because your carrier of choice doesn't already offer the iPhone, but simply because you want to be "Carrierless."

I am a few minutes drive from another country, and less than three hours driving puts me in three more countries. I have relatives here in Europe that spend considerable time (weeks or months) in multiple countries per year. Having an unlocked phone means you can pop in a local pay-as-you-go SIM card; in order to have a local number and avoid long-distance/roaming charges, whereby your calls are bouncing back to your home country across the continent before reaching the guy just next door.

Having an unlocked phone is a real need for some people, simple as that. They are not interested in pirating software -- in fact they would like to use iTunes as normal, but run into problems since their phones are unlocked. This is why some countries like Germany (I think?)make it compulsory to provide unlocked phones.
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post #35 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

It's funny you should mention the TomTom app. I went through almost the same thing, except legally. I couldn't decide between TomTom and Magellan without trying, so I bought the TomTom GPS. I didn't like it and thought it needed work, so I contacted Apple saying I wanted a refund because it didn't fit my needs. They refunded my $69.99 within 24hrs and I bought the Magellan app, which I loved. All of this was legal and done with an unbroken iPod Touch. I have received refunds for over 10 apps that I did not like or did not function as expected. Apple is willing to work with you if you have a genuine problem. (BTW, they refunded me directly to my credit card, not in iTunes cash.)

My thoughts--good for Apple. I'll keep paying as I am faithfully supported.

They are good about that. I once had a problem with a gifted TV Show from the iTS. Not only did they refund all the purchases to my account and all for the gift to go through, they even gave me 3 free shows to DL for myself. It was quite painless.

Despite that, I find having to go through that rigamarole of asking for a refund less convenient than simply testing a jailbroken app on my own. I think for everyone’s sake a developer set trail period would be a good thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

If you spend lots of time in different countries, then you are going to want an unlocked phone -- not because your carrier of choice doesn't already offer the iPhone, but simply because you want to be "Carrierless."

I am a few minutes drive from another country, and less than three hours driving puts me in three more countries. I have relatives here in Europe that spend considerable time (weeks or months) in multiple countries per year. Having an unlocked phone means you can pop in a local pay-as-you-go SIM card; in order to have a local number and avoid long-distance/roaming charges, whereby your calls are bouncing back to your home country across the continent before reaching the guy just next door.

Having an unlocked phone is a real need for some people, simple as that. They are not interested in pirating software -- in fact they would like to use iTunes as normal, but run into problems since their phones are unlocked. This is why some countries like Germany (I think?)make it compulsory to provide unlocked phones.

That does suck. In regards to distance, I can’t imagine having to change SIM cards simply because I drove to a different US city.

I would contend that most people jailbreak to get additional control over their phone in the way of software, not unlocking the firmware. For instance, I jailbreak for various reasons (none of them for stealing apps for the sake of stealing them) and I unlock so I can use tethering because AT&T doesn’t give me an option to pay for it.
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post #36 of 139
Frankly, it's amazing like everything, which Apple does. Apple's eliminated absolutely all reasons to jailbreak. Under present conditions jailbreaking is clear sign of being rationally inept. And thieves jailbreak nevertheless! Unbelievable.

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post #37 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Frankly, it's amazing like everything, which Apple does. Apple's eliminated absolutely all reasons to jailbreak. Under present conditions jailbreaking is clear sign of being rationally inept. And thieves jailbreak nevertheless! Unbelievable.

“Absolutely every reason to jailbreak”? You are kidding, right? You can’t think of a single thing an jailbroken phone can do that doesn’t make the user irrational and inept? Sapprobaby pointed out this great lock screen app update the other day. I’ll wait to see if Apple includes something with iPhone OS 4.0 on Wednesday, if not I’ll spend the $5 for it. That is just one of many things.

http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=7288
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post #38 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Absolutely every reason to jailbreak? You are kidding, right? You cant think of a single thing an jailbroken phone can do that doesnt make the user irrational and inept? Sapprobaby pointed out this great lock screen app update the other day. Ill wait to see if Apple includes something with iPhone OS 4.0 on Wednesday, if not Ill spend the $5 for it. That is just one of many things.
http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=7288

Sol! It's two button press, then use image as wallpaper. I always have present month calendar like that.
And you're ready to trade the support of Apple authorized carrier against this? It's rational ineptitude.

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post #39 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Frankly, it's amazing like everything, which Apple does. Apple's eliminated absolutely all reasons to jailbreak. Under present conditions jailbreaking is clear sign of being rationally inept. And thieves jailbreak nevertheless! Unbelievable.



What about themes? Pointless right? No more pointless than a fart app...... what about tethering?
What about a decent video cam for pre 3GS phones? (one app store ones suck)... what about all the utilities ...
post #40 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Sol! It's two button press, then use image as wallpaper. I always have present month calendar like that.
And you're ready to trade the support of Apple authorized carrier against this? It's rational ineptitude.

Use image as wallpaper? WTF are you taking about?

No, Im not willing to give up AppleCare support, but I willing take the nearly non-existant risk that Ill have to give my phone to Apple for repair without being able to restore the OS.
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