Rogue iPhone applications stores coming online

By Iain Thomson on Mar 9, 2009 9:25 AM
Filed under Mobility

Developers fight against Apple hegemony.

Developers are setting up alternatives to Apple's App Store in an attempt to break the company's tight grip on what software can be used on its products.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a new applications site, Cydia Store, will open this weekend to sell applications for the iPhone without having to pay Apple its 30 per cent commission on sales. The store will allow downloads of application to iPhones that have been unlocked from authorised network providers.

Cydia Store is being set up by Jay Freeman, a 27-year-old computer science doctoral student in Santa Barbara, after he invented an application called Cycorder that allows the iPhone to be used as a camcorder. Apple decided that the application was not suitable and banned it from the App Store.

"The overworking goal is to provide choice," he says.

"It's understandable that [Apple] wants to control things, but it has been very limiting for developers and users."

Two other stores are reported to be in the pipeline. The first, Rock Your Phone, will give advice to iPhone users as to how to unlock their devices and run unauthroised applications. Another store will deal with applications at the adult end of the market.

Apple is not taking this lying down however. Last month it filed a 27 page statement with the U.S. Copyright Office stating its case that software that unlocked iPhones is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray estimate that the App Store generated $150 million in sales last year and project this to increase to $800 million in 2009.

 
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