Cydia Files Appeal in Higher Court in Legal Battle Against Apple
Cydia parent company SaurikIT, LLC has filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed the company's antitrust lawsuit against Apple last month, according to court documents. SaurikIT had voluntarily asked for the case to be dismissed so the appeal process could begin at the higher court.
SaurikIT sued Apple in late 2020, alleging that the company has an illegal monopoly over iOS app distribution given that the App Store is the only authorized marketplace where users can download apps on the iPhone and iPad. The complaint also alleged that Apple has "consistently tried to snuff out alternative app stores," including Cydia.
Cydia launched in early 2008, months before Apple's own App Store. The app allows users who "jailbreak" their iPhone or iPad to install apps outside of the App Store, as well as themes and tweaks that customize the look and functionality of iOS. For example, long before Apple introduced the Control Center on the iPhone, there was a tweak available on Cydia called SBSettings that offered similar functionality.
The lawsuit alleged that Cydia was the "the App Store before the App Store" and the "first comprehensive solution" for expanding the iPhone's capabilities, although it's worth noting that another unofficial App Store known as Installer launched prior to Cydia.
SaurikIT is owned by Jay Freeman, who is one of several developers and companies who have sued Apple for alleged anticompetitive behavior in relation to the App Store over the past few years, with others including Fortnite creator Epic Games, streaming music service Spotify, FlickType keyboard app creator Kosta Eleftheriou, and more.
Apple has repeatedly denied that the App Store is a monopoly given that it faces competition from the Google Play store on Android devices. Apple has also repeatedly touted the privacy and security benefits of the App Store, arguing that third-party app stores on the iPhone could expose users to fraud, malware, and other risks.