Dissident from Hackulous explains the reasoning behind cracked iOS applications and their effect on application developers in a guest article on TorrentFreak.
You can head over to TorrentFreak to read the entire article or read some highlights below…
In 2008, Apple unveiled the App Store, a virtual marketplace for developers to sell their applications via an Apple-controlled channel. Since the beginning, one of the key missing features of this store has been a trial service, or even a refund policy. Considering that many competitor products have had these policies for years, some would expect them to be unquestionably employed by Apple, yet two years later in 2010 people are still being swindled by sub-quality applications. The iPhone “cracked app scene” started from the idea of people being able to trial apps before sinking their money into them; an especially useful and welcome exercise considering that such a large number of apps on Apple’s App Store are pointless, underdeveloped, overpriced, and with deceptive descriptions to boot.
Dissident presents four important details that “demonstrate that Hackulous’ brand of activity is not causing as much damage as the Dev Team and everyone else may think”.
1. Most of the pirates who use our services do so because they simply cannot afford to purchase the applications. One of the prominent members of the Dev Team, planetbeing, described the pirates who use our software as “predominantly in their early teens where money is scarce and time is abundant.” Since these users have never had any intention or capability to purchase the applications whether or not cracked versions are available, developers of these apps are losing significantly less than what they believe they are to these people.
2. Another portion of our pirates are those who have the capability of purchasing iPhone apps, but not the desire. These pirates typically do not “need” any particular application for free, they just want whatever application that can provide a certain level of entertainment for them. They are not so much making the choice between purchasing or pirating software A, but rather making the choice between pirating software A or B. So again, the profit lost attributed to this tribe of pirates has been overestimated; these pirates would not have forked over their money anyway, they would just move on.
3. Over three million devices are running our software, Installous, to download and install cracked iPhone apps. The people using these devices are Apple customers who are likely to purchase another device, purchase new Apple products, or refer their friends to Apple. As I have stated before, the people who use our services to trial iPhone applications actually help Apple more than they hurt it….
4. Piracy also helps to expose an application to the masses, much like music piracy helps artists and bands get more publicity. Without cracked app sites like apptrackr, a lot of applications would be left languishing in the pits of the App Store among the rest of the 240,984 apps (at last count) available. Only the top 100 free and paid apps and the top 10 free and paid apps in each of the 20 genres, summing up to 600 apps, get any considerable notice. A large number of apps only get to enjoy recognition from the people within the developers’ circle of influence. When they are placed on apptrackr, however, they are exposed to an extensive audience which make up millions of unique visitors a month….
Let us know in the comments what you think of his arguments. Are cracked apps a legitimate way of trialing an application?