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I’m on Channel4 News this evening talking iPhone Jailbreaking

I popped into Channel4’s studio on Friday evening to meet with Benjamin Cohen, their technology guru. Benjamin called during the week to ask my perspective on iPhone Jailbreaking and whether it was causing serious issues for developers.

If you’ve jailbroken your iPhone you can — amongst other things — get premium applications on your phone without having to pay for them. Ben was exploring this issue for a piece going out on this evening’s Channel4 News.

I explained that whilst it was a challenge; I didn’t think it was much of an issue — the greater problem being to ensure that the (for example) 3 million o2 customers now with iPhones actually understand the app purchasing process and download more than a handful of free applications. I’m reasonably confident that the vast majority of iPhone users won’t want to go anywhere near anything involving the phrase ‘jailbreaking’.

I went into a little more depth on camera with Benjamin, however I’m not sure if they’ll use much or any. You can read Benjamin’s overview of his feature on the website right now. You’ll see that the broad thrust centres around a game developer who estimates he’s losing quite a lot of revenue from people swapping his apps on jailbroken iPhones without paying for them.

Gaming is an entirely different kettle of fish from the general applications marketplace. I don’t see many folk jailbreaking their iPhones to get stuck into a free ToDo List application, for example. But I could imagine a few chaps creating an archive of premium games and giving them away free via bittorrent. That annoys me. Especially — as Benjamin points out — many iPhone developers are not billion dollar firms but individuals who could really use the money they’re being denied through pirating.

If you get an opportunity, switch on to Channel4 News at 7pm tonight and watch the piece.

Do also look out for a few seconds of me. Look for the guy wearing a pinstripe and talking in a semi Scottish accent. That’ll be me.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

4 replies on “I’m on Channel4 News this evening talking iPhone Jailbreaking”

Short but sweet.. and spot on.

Good words.

(I'm watching a film on the main TV, so watch 'tvcatchup' via firefox with user agent switched to 'iPhone' – doesn't matter, but I thought you'd like to know)


Of course, the choice of language in the headline sets the tone for the content – which means I don't need to read it. It's horribly, awfully biased from the very beginning, and immediately conflates “jailbreaking” with “piracy”.

I have a jailbroken iPhone, but it's not because I want to pirate apps – it's because I want to switch sims, use different networks, and not be constrained to also having to have an iTunes account (and by extension a user account with Apple) just to use my mobile phone. I don't buy anything from iTunes (I'm prevented from purchasing most of what I want to buy anyway by geographical restrictions) so I don't use it for music or movies, and I'm yet to come across an App that's of any use to me on the App store. Those apps I do have installed all come from the huge range of free apps available via alternative sources.

If I had the opportunity to choose the App store I bought software from, if I had the opportunity to give developers 100% of the purchase price, and if I didn't have to accept Apple's view of the world, then I'd probably make more use of my iPhone. As it is, it's a fancy test device for the small proportion of my own customers who access my sites using an iPhone.

I don’t understand the mentality of people who refuse to pay $5 or $10 for a good app or game they can play for years….Yet they will blow $20 on a crap pizza and some beer that’s gone in an hour. People are strange. That said….piracy is no big deal. Most people are honest…and the dishonest ones won’t be in any context. You learn to pick them when you see them and avoid dealing with them.

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