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Ipiracy Demystified

Ipiracy Demystified

Posted by guruje
Posting ads for 7 years

The above statement could be completed, but hopefully I am not in a classroom, neither iPhone has anything to do with the laws of motion. Yet iPhone apps and piracy has a lot to do with each other.

And also there are marketing laws involved in the story.

The majority of the iPhone users don't make fuss about iPhone app privacy issues. This is because the developers already made it sound devastating. If we assume that Apple lost $450 million worth of sales from piracy, we also have to assume that it would have been earning twice as much over that amount.

The issue of piracy especially for applications of iPhone remains a mystery, a myth concealed from the eyes of a common man. To demystify the issue requires a lot of balls for both iPhone users and for app developers to hear. Nevertheless, the issue never got my attention until I heard Apple fussing about it. Well the piracy issue is simple. It is everywhere, it is uncontrollable and it doesn't really damages Big B brands like Apple very much.


The term piracy is generally referred to as the illegal use of individual/intellectual property and specifically referred to the copyright infringements. There are some common understandings of the piracy; that it comes both in hard and soft form which means if iPhone apps can be pirated so does the iPhone can be, which is rarely seen. It nourishes where the apps are highly priced such as Microsoft OS or rarely available app. The major contributors towards pirated apps are torrents, P2P clients and warez sites which use file hosting for distribution.

However, the iPhone apps scenario is totally different. It is hard to precisely tell the extent of iPhone piracy and tactically endorsing it to a common source. Most commonly the DRM (Digital Rights Management) cracking methods are used for iPhone apps. The most famous these days is Jail Break.

With a slight googling about "How to crack iPhone apps” you can get enough details about app theft. Nonetheless there are various websites which keep on opening and closing and publishing content for hacking iPhone and iPhone apps.

Alright, if we do consider that there is a serious piracy threat for iPhone apps then the question is that how serious it is?

As the Apple platform is optimally open source therefore a lot of developers do their way of App making. This procedure as compared to non-open source platforms is more invulnerable as the coding is non synchronous and no defined pattern exists to crack the app. Secondly most of the iPhone apps are FREE or comes with lite-version, which reduces the need for the pirated app to about 80%. When you can get free app why would you risk travelling dark internet places to download archives which worth trouble. The problem comes to those apps which are rare and comes at a high price. Such as games and high productivity business app, developers suffer to some extent.

A developer who is well aware of the hacked iPhone apps is like playing a fool who can't really prevent it. At the end it's the survival of the fittest. Both the developers and crackers are coders so can the competitor be cracking your codes or any amateur who just wish to distribute you $50 app for free can do that too? That is a shame if you let them do that.

No. There is more to the other side of the story. The developers know that the users of the pirated app will never buy (at least in short run). Therefore the pirated app works just like a free sample increasing the apps usage and popularity for the developers free of cost without hurting the real brand image. Also it gives a pride feeling that I am using a $50 app for free. If only 30% of the valuable apps get cracked every year would they total an amount of more than $500 million? I don't think so.

4 Ps of Piracy

Price: The extent piracy may directly change with the price of the app.

Profit: The profit and piracy are inversely proportional

People: The more pirate app people use the more the app gets popular

Privacy: The more piracy, the lesser privacy

To sum up, the Apple iPhone app are the least prone to piracy as compared with other apps. The iPhone 3G is already difficult to jailbreak and apple's efforts in fighting piracy are already effective. With the coming of 4G and iPad this issue would almost be eliminated. Only the healthy proportion of piracy remains there for Apple.

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