Unauthorized App Store Cydia Sues Apple for Anticompetitive Behavior

Back in 2008, Jay Freeman first released Cydia as an app store designed for the iPhone, offering apps a few months before Apple had its own App Store. Since then, Cydia has served as an app repository for jailbroken iPhones and iPads, making it easy to install unauthorized software on compatible devices.

appstore
Now Cydia is joining a growing cadre of developers accusing Apple of anticompetitive behavior, reports The Washington Post. Cydia on Thursday sued Apple, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to "nearly destroy Cydia" ahead of the ‌App Store‌ launch, which Cydia's lawyers say has a monopoly over software distribution on iOS devices.

According to Cydia, if Apple did not have an "illegal monopoly" over iOS app distribution, users would be able to choose "how and where to locate and obtain iOS apps," and developers would also have alternate distribution methods.

Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz told The Washington Post that Apple will review the lawsuit and that Apple is not a monopoly because it faces competition from Android. Apple also must maintain control over the way software is installed on the ‌iPhone‌ to prevent customers from accidentally downloading viruses and malware, which iPhones would be more susceptible to with a third-party ‌App Store‌.

The ‌App Store‌ is the only authorized way to install apps on an ‌iPhone‌ or iPad, with more than 1.8 million apps available worldwide. Over 28 million developers around the world use the ‌App Store‌ to distribute apps, and Apple earns somewhere around $15 billion in revenue from the ‌App Store‌ each year. Apple has a dedicated ‌App Store‌ review team that reviews every app submitted to the store, along with guidelines that developers have to follow.

Before the ‌App Store‌, though, there was Cydia. Jay Freeman told The Washington Post that he developed Cydia as a way to make it easy for customers to jailbreak their iPhones and install new software to support features created by developers who wanted to make apps and new functions for the original ‌iPhone‌.

According to his estimations, more than half of early ‌iPhone‌ customers were jailbreaking their iPhones to use Cydia, and in 2010, 4.5 million people were searching for apps weekly. By then, Apple had come out with its own ‌App Store‌ and started making it harder to jailbreak new iPhones, and over the years, also added features that were previously only available through Cydia, such as the Control Center.

Freeman claims that the risks of jailbreaking are "overblown" and are similar to downloading software from a PC. "Morally speaking, it's your phone and you should be able to do whatever you want with it," he said. The lawsuit claims that Apple used "coercive" terms to prevent customers from using Cydia, and as security ramped up, Cydia's business waned.

Cydia lawyer Stephen Swedlow says that the "legal climate" has been changing, which makes it the ideal time to file against Apple. Cydia is the "perfect claimant" for an antitrust case given that it has an app store that's an alternative to Apple's own offering. If the suit is successful, Cydia plans to once again compete with Apple, but without the need for jailbreaking.

Top Rated Comments

GizmoDVD Avatar
15 months ago
How dare they not allow Cydia and its ability to install pirated software!

for shame!
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
15 months ago

How dare they not allow Cydia and its ability to install pirated software!

for shame!
to be fair, it doesn’t offer pirated apps by default. It’s the user that has to add illegal repos manually. Back in the day it was great to obtain tweaks, but Apple has copied most of them by now so there isn’t much need to JB, at least for me, anymore
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FaustsHausUK Avatar
15 months ago
accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to "nearly destroy Cydia" ahead of the App Store launch
The iOS app store launched 12 years ago. This is... a bit late.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mubert Avatar
15 months ago

How dare they not allow Cydia and its ability to install pirated software!

for shame!
[LIST=1]
* Cydia doesn't offer pirated software. A user has to take the step of adding an unofficial illegal repository. By your logic, Chrome is responsible for piracy because you can point it to The Pirate Bay.
* The only reason piracy is even possible on Cydia is that Apple forces it to be! By refusing to sign Cydia, Apple makes jailbreaking a prerequisite to install Cydia. If Apple allowed other app stores and opened up a means for third party software to install apps, you wouldn't be able to pirate on Cydia.

But keep drinking the kool-aid, for whatever reason you do.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
15 months ago
Yes. How dare a company have policies!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zchrykng Avatar
15 months ago

It's Apple's platform. What do these people not understand?
It’s my phone. What do you not understand?
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple bitcoin app scam

Bitcoin Scam App Approved by Apple Robs iPhone User of $600,000+

Tuesday March 30, 2021 12:30 pm PDT by
A scam bitcoin app that was designed to look like a genuine app was accepted by Apple's App Store review team and ended up costing iPhone user Phillipe Christodoulou 17.1 bitcoin, or upwards of $600,000 at the time of the theft, reports The Washington Post. Christodoulou wanted to check on his bitcoin balance back in February, and searched Apple's App Store for "Trezor," the company that...
parler app

Apple Approves Parler to Return to App Store

Monday April 19, 2021 7:51 am PDT by
Following the removal of the app in January, Apple will now allow the social media app Parler to return to the App Store following changes to how the social media network moderates content, CNN reports. On April 14, in a letter to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck obtained by CNN, Apple said that the app has improved the way it moderates content, and says those changes are "sufficient" for it...
Apple vs Spotify feature2

Spotify Executive Justifies Antitrust Pressure on Apple and Calls for Other App Store Payment Providers

Tuesday June 1, 2021 9:05 am PDT by
Spotify executive Horacio Gutierrez has explained in a wide-reaching interview with The Verge why the company believes Apple is a "ruthless bully" and what it would like to see change. Last month, Gutierrez penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that chastised Apple and some of its business practices. Now, Spotify's head of global affairs and chief legal officer has expanded on the logic ...
app store safe secure

Developer Highlights How Fake Apps Scam Users Via Apple's In-App Purchasing System

Wednesday April 7, 2021 4:59 am PDT by
Apple hosts millions of apps on the App Store, calling the platform a "safe and trusted" place to discover apps. While mainly true, Apple has come under criticism for hosting many different scam apps on the platform, some even raking in millions in revenue. In February, developer Kosta Elefherious highlighted how many of his own apps, including the popular Apple Watch keyboard, FlickType,...
parler app

Parler Returns to the App Store With Improved Moderation

Monday May 17, 2021 7:43 am PDT by
The controversial social media app Parler has today returned to the App Store, several months after Apple suspended it for breach of App Store rules. Parler was removed from the App Store in January because Apple said that it failed to take "adequate measures to address the proliferation" of "threats to people's safety." According to the Washington Post, Parler has now implemented a...
app store blue banner

Apple Highlights How the App Store Prevents Fraud Amid Legal Battle With Epic Games

Tuesday May 11, 2021 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today announced that, through a combination of automated technologies and human review processes, the company protected customers from more than $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions in 2020. Apple said secure payment technologies like Apple Pay and StoreKit (In-App Purchase) play an essential role in keeping users safe:With online data breaches frustratingly common,...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Apple Says Tile Trackers Sold Poorly in Apple Stores

Friday May 14, 2021 4:53 am PDT by
Earlier last month, Spotify, Tile, and Match (owner of Tinder), testified at an app store antitrust hearing spearheaded by the U.S. Senate. During the hearing, Spotify called Apple's App Store "an abusive power grab," while Tile said Apple uses its platform to "unfairly limit competition for its products." Now, in response to their testimonies, Apple's vice president and chief compliance...
app store blue banner

App Store Ecosystem Responsible for Estimated $643 Billion in Billings and Sales in 2020, According to Apple-Commissioned Study

Wednesday June 2, 2021 10:00 am PDT by
The App Store ecosystem facilitated an estimated $643 billion in billings and sales in 2020, an increase of 24 percent year-over-year, according to an Apple-commissioned study done by Analysis Group economists. [PDF] The study, "A Global Perspective on the Apple App Store Ecosystem," comes as Apple awaits a decision in its ongoing trial with Epic Games, much of which focused on App Store...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud General Feature

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...