Mac OS X dev reflects on Apple, $100K tablet bounty, App Store piracy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Former Apple executive Avie Tevanian discussed his former company as he joins a Palm investor, a Web site has offered up to $100,000 for information on Apple's rumored tablet, and iPhone App Store piracy has been estimated to cause $450 million in losses.



Former Apple exec Avie Tevanian on Apple



Avie Tevanian, in an interview with CNET, weighed in on Apple's history with the touch interface: "The whole touch interface is probably at its very early stages, which is interesting because I know when I was at Apple we were working on it many years ago, certainly before I had left. It's good to see it getting out there. Everybody is starting to use it, but my guess is there is still a lot more to be done there."



Tevanian added that along with Apple, he keeps a close eye on Google and Facebook. "Everybody else is at a level below," he said.



He said he is "thrilled" with Apple's success and mentioned that prototypes of many of Apple's new products existed in one form or another back during his time at the company.



"The products you see I saw early versions of them when I was there," he said. "It is great to see them turn out so well."



Elevation Partners, a private equity firm announced Tuesday that Tevanian had joined the company as managing director. Tevanian served as chief technology officer at Apple up until 2006, and was instrumental in the development of Mac OS X.



App Store piracy losses estimated at $450 million



In an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., it was determined that the App Store has lost nearly $450 million due to software piracy since the store opened in 2008. Although it is difficult to exactly measure rates of piracy, apps that "phone home" when run on a jailbroken phone can be used to provide a rough estimate. Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.



The $450 million result was reached by a long series of estimates and assumptions. By taking into account the number of total app downloads (3 billion) and an estimate of the portion of these that are paid (17 percent or 510 million) along with an assumed piracy rate of 75 percent and an average paid application price of $3.00, the result is $4.59 billion potentially lost. Finally, the legitimate app purchase rate if the app could not be pirated was pegged at 10 percent, giving the final number of $459 million.



While these numbers are admittedly rough, the report surmises that Apple has largely ignored the piracy problem due to their focus on selling actual iPhone and iPod Touch units, much like the hands-off stance that that the company has taken with illegal music being loaded on iPods.



Site offers $100,000 Apple Tablet bounty



Today Valleywag announced a reward for information on Apple's much-rumored tablet device. Titled "Valleywag's Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt," the blog is offering amounts of money that increase with the level of information provided:

$10,000 for bona fide pictures

$20,000 for video of one in action

$50,000 for pictures or video of Steve Jobs holding one

$100,000 to let them play with one for an hour

As of now, while details about the device seem to be popping up at an increasing rate, no one knows for sure how the device will work or how one would interact with it at this point, hence the hefty reward.



Last year, AppleInsider first reported that the device would be launched early in 2010. Currently, all signs now point to a debut at Apple's planned event on Jan. 27 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 116
    plovellplovell Posts: 795member
    The quoted 75% piracy rate doesn't have a lot of documented support. This sounds like RIAA claiming billions in piracy, based solely on specious statistics. Does anyone have solid data?
  • Reply 2 of 116
    Tevanian sounds like a very sensible, level-headed guy.



    Good for Palm. It would be nice to see them succeed.
  • Reply 3 of 116
    Anyone who provides a picture of this Tablet before the introduction date, will not only lose his/her job ( at Apple or contractors), but could potentially go to jail.



    Let's all have patience until it is time.
  • Reply 4 of 116
    Apple hasn't sent out invites to the supposed event yet. What would be the drop-dead date for invites?



    There still hasn't been confirmation that Apple is the company that has booked the YB.
  • Reply 5 of 116
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    The person might lose his or her job, but jail time isn't a factor. Leaking photos would only be a breach of contract. Breaking a contract isn't criminal.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post


    Anyone who provides a picture of this Tablet before the introduction date, will not only lose his/her job ( at Apple or contractors), but could potentially go to jail.



    Let's all have patience until it is time.



  • Reply 6 of 116
    The piracy number feels particularly "stupid". I'd like to assume that simply because a phone is jailbroken doesn't make them count the running app as "pirated". I'd HOPE that they found someway to uniquely identify each phone ofr analytics purposes without violating privacy... I'm highly doubtful at this poit.



    ~ CB
  • Reply 7 of 116
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Tevanian sounds like a very sensible, level-headed guy.



    Good for Palm. It would be nice to see them succeed.



    Tevanian is going to work for Elevation Partners, who have invested in Palm. I'm not sure what he can do to make Palm succeed, beyond possibly making more money available to them.
  • Reply 8 of 116
    Couldn't a tablet be Photoshopped to claim the $10,000 reward? Wow, I am so taking advantage of their generosity I'd love to fake one, then claim it's real and get the $10,000 I could use that to start my business, buy a Macbook Pro, and give a few presents, still have enough left over for lunch and dinner.
  • Reply 9 of 116
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zak2009 View Post


    Apple hasn't sent out invites to the supposed event yet. What would be the drop-dead date for invites?



    There still hasn't been confirmation that Apple is the company that has booked the YB.



    Relative date should be within the two week window. However, Apple needs at LEAST one week warning so press can book flights. Waiting any later than that, especially for a public event, would be quite rude. Apple gave a 9 day notice for it's "It's Only Rock n Roll" event last year on Aug. 31st (for Sept. 9). If an event is going to happen, it'll probably be announced by next Monday.
  • Reply 10 of 116
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by plovell View Post


    The quoted 75% piracy rate doesn't have a lot of documented support. This sounds like RIAA claiming billions in piracy, based solely on specious statistics. Does anyone have solid data?



    Agreed. There were a lot of 'estimated' numbers in there, and the assumption that EVERY app is pirated at those rates.



    I find the whole idea silly that someone would waste time pirating a $3 app when it also means you have to jailbreak your phone. I tried it once out of curiosity back on my old 1st gen phone and found it to be a total pain in the ass and a little frightening at how easy it could have been to brick it, and a little scary trusing a complete strangers hacked version of the OS.



    Why bother?
  • Reply 11 of 116
    adamcadamc Posts: 566member
    24/7 wall street only report everything negative about Apple so take whatever they wrote with a ton of salt.
  • Reply 12 of 116
    Quote:

    ...it was determined that the App Store has lost nearly $450 million due to software piracy since the store opened in 2008. Although it is difficult to exactly measure rates of piracy, apps that "phone home" when run on a jailbroken phone can be used to provide a rough estimate. Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.





    That's a hell of a lot of jailbroken iPhones, bet it's mostly in China.
  • Reply 13 of 116
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


    Agreed. There were a lot of 'estimated' numbers in there, and the assumption that EVERY app is pirated at those rates.



    I find the whole idea silly that someone would waste time pirating a $3 app when it also means you have to jailbreak your phone. I tried it once out of curiosity back on my old 1st gen phone and found it to be a total pain in the ass and a little frightening at how easy it could have been to brick it, and a little scary trusing a complete strangers hacked version of the OS.



    Why bother?





    I suspect it's much much more easier now than ever before.



    Plus the grey market in China, the iPhones are most likely broken en massé, so I bet it's just down to a simple routine.



    People there most likely buy a grey market iPhone completely filled with lots of apps, losing a lot more than $3 per phone.





    As far as the iPhone's security, there is none to begin with. So what is there to lose?





    read this pdf (in anything but Adobe reader as it's a security nightmare lately)



    http://seriot.ch/resources/talks_pap...onePrivacy.pdf







    Hopefully the iSlate will not come chained to a cell carrier, thus it can be open and people can run what they want.
  • Reply 14 of 116
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Site offers $100,000 Apple Tablet bounty



    Today Valleywag announced a reward for information on Apple's much-rumored tablet device. Titled "Valleywag's Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt," the blog is offering amounts of money that increase with the level of information provided:

    $10,000 for bona fide pictures



    - I think many tabloids would pay even more for a pict, but until Jan. 27th could be difficult to prove it's not fake.



    Quote:

    $20,000 for video of one in action



    - someone from those Asian firms that produce it, could risk it, but one of them already committed suicide after having lost a next gen iphone, right?



    Quote:

    $50,000 for pictures or video of Steve Jobs holding one



    - this one is just ridiculous!!! that person so close to SJ wouldn't risk for such a low price, or for any prize.

    Quote:

    $100,000 to let them play with one for an hour



    - so what? c'mon, this is only for free publicity to that website, and thanks to AI and others, they've just got that already.
  • Reply 15 of 116
    "We made up a few numbers and we're SHOCKED at the results!!!"
  • Reply 16 of 116
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zak2009 View Post


    Apple hasn't sent out invites to the supposed event yet. What would be the drop-dead date for invites?



    There still hasn't been confirmation that Apple is the company that has booked the YB.



    There is no actual drop-dead date for invites.



    Remember, this is more of a professional courtesy, not something dictated by a regulation. Heck, Steve Jobs could announce the tablet while he's pumping gas to other gas station customers on his way to the event. Companies release new products and services with no announcement whatsoever all the time.



    Apple has given one-week lead times for quite a few announcements; many of the main periodicals that would cover a media-only event already have local staff based in the SF Bay Area.



    The Yerba Buena Gardens management is under no obligation to announce who has booked their venue. My neighbor across the street could book it for his daughter's tenth birthday and not tell the media.
  • Reply 17 of 116
    You wanna talk about app store piracy?



    Well when i spend $50 on an iTunes card but then find out that Canadian customers can only buy apps with a credit card, YES I FLIPPIN FEEL LIKE PIRATING. Waste of my $50.



    Apple is screwing over their legit customers, effectively turning their customers against them.
  • Reply 18 of 116
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jspence View Post


    You wanna talk about app store piracy?



    Well when i spend $50 on an iTunes card but then find out that Canadian customers can only buy apps with a credit card, YES I FLIPPIN FEEL LIKE PIRATING. Waste of my $50.



    Apple is screwing over their legit customers, effectively turning their customers against them.



    It's not Apple's fault, it has something to do with some Canadian law.



    But I'm with you on the fact that it may encourage piracy. There is a legal way around it (pre-paid $25 and $50 Mastercards sold in some convenience stores) and this is what I do, but I know a few people that have been bugged down by that fact and resorted to piracy. I also suspect that the upgrade ratio to OS 3.x on iPod touches has been much lower in Canada because of this.
  • Reply 19 of 116
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


    Agreed. There were a lot of 'estimated' numbers in there, and the assumption that EVERY app is pirated at those rates.



    I find the whole idea silly that someone would waste time pirating a $3 app when it also means you have to jailbreak your phone. I tried it once out of curiosity back on my old 1st gen phone and found it to be a total pain in the ass and a little frightening at how easy it could have been to brick it, and a little scary trusing a complete strangers hacked version of the OS.



    Why bother?



    Brick how exactly if you can reset (DFU mode) your phone and restore it. Urban myth?
  • Reply 20 of 116
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,523member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Tevanian is going to work for Elevation Partners, who have invested in Palm. I'm not sure what he can do to make Palm succeed, beyond possibly making more money available to them.



    He could fill in the CEO on Apple products to which he is "not paying attention"..
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