When the first iPhone was released in 2007, it didn’t have an app store. Instead, it came with a handful of Apple-made apps pre-installed and if you wanted to do anything else with the phone, Apple suggested opening the Safari browser and using web apps.

The following year, Apple introduced the App Store. But it wasn’t the first app store for iPhones – the unofficial Cydia app store came first, although it only worked if you jailbroke your phone.

Cydia and jailbreaking more generally aren’t as popular as they once were – Apple has made it a lot harder to jailbreak its devices over the years, and many features that used to require jailbreaking are now baked into iOS. But Cydia creator Jay Freeman (Saurik) says Apple’s refusal to allow third-party app stores on its platform is anti-competitive… and illegal.

So he’s lawyered up and filed a lawsuit.

The move comes at a time when Apple is under increasing pressure. This summer Epic Games sued Apple over its App Store policies after the game maker sort of forced the issue by publishing an update to its popular Fortnite game that was a clear violation of Apple’s policies… prompting Apple to boot the game from the App Store.

A month later, a group of companies formed the Coalition for App Fairness in an effort to push Apple (and Google) to change their App Store policies to allow for more competition.

Among other things, Saurik’s lawsuit alleges that Apple holds a monopoly over distribution of iPhone and iPad apps (including payment processing). Apple’s typical response is that this is how it protects users from installing apps that would compromise security or privacy. But it’s unclear if that will hold up in court, when other operating systems like Android, Windows, and even macOS allow installation of apps from third-party sources.

If the lawsuit goes to a jury trial and Saurik is successful, it could mean that Apple would eventually allow Cydia and other third-party app stores to be installed on iPhones and iPads without jailbreaking… although I suspect that some of the most popular apps will still probably require a jailbroken iPhone to run, since they’re designed to alter system files and settings that are normally protected.

via @saurik and The Washington Post

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. So sad that you have to sue to put software on your phone….that you own. On a side note the people who “need” the protection wouldn’t use alternative app stores anyways.