I’m not sure what my position about cracked iPhone apps is. I don’t endorse any type of piracy. Developers spend time working on applications and they do deserve to get paid for it. On the other side, you have kids that may or may not have much money and who don’t want to spend $0.99 on an application.

I think that a kid who downloads a pirated app would most likely NOT have paid for this app if the cracked version wasn’t available for free somewhere. This means that either way, the developer would not have earned money from this kid anyway. At least, the developer gets the name of his app out.

What I just described is what we may call “common piracy”. That’s the type or piracy we’ve known since the democratization of MP3 music files. Now there is another kind of piracy that I think is scandalous and should be highly punished by law… I’m talking about website that resell cracked iPhone apps.

I was browsing several iPhone blogs over the weekend when I came across a website called Mega. The website prides itself in being able to deliver 34,060 iPhone apps worth a total of $108,746 for free. Mega is an application that you can download through Cydia. Once installed, you will get a new icon on your springboard that looks like the App Store icon, with “Free” written all across.

When you launch the app, it looks just like the App Store. You can browse apps by category, you can search, etc… So far, nothing really revolutionary; there are several sites that already do this. Where I think it becomes outrageous is when the site tells you you have to pay if you want to download more than 5 applications a month. As you can see on the image below, the system has been thought through and strangely looks like Multi-Level Marketing.

Basically, if you have the free version, you can download up to 5 apps/month. To enjoy more downloads, you have to “recruit” new users. For $9.95/month, you can have full access and unlimited cracked apps downloads.

The fact that these people are reselling cracked iPhone apps just drives me nuts. I can understand people who crack applications and make them available for free to everyone. But this is just out of hand!

What is Apple doing against these people? They’re most likely aware of it. I had my share of problems with Apple’s lawyers and I know these guys are on top of what’s going on. Why aren’t these services taken down and brought to court?

  • I myself am a cracker, but I don’t distribute the apps cause I mad at apple, I crack so people can try the full app before buying it. In the long run it actually helps devs, if someone really likes the apps they usually end up buying it

  • ^^ oh and charging for cracked apps is insane, they don’t even give credit to the crackers, they claim they cracked them all

  • Stvoing

    What you are saying is completely right I can Imagine people winning money from something they haven’t even made, that for what I know is steeling.
    P.S.: Keep up the good work I read you blog almost every day.

  • Thanks for the comment, Stvoing 🙂

  • Hoax

    Let’s jus crack mega!! LOL

  • AlekNovy

    “”On the other side, you have kids that may or may not have much money and who don’t want to spend $0.99 on an application.””

    OR… *more importantly!*

    Those of us who WANT to buy legal, but apple doesn’t **allow** us to. The iphone and ipod touch are sold in over what… 90 countries or something? But the appstore only supports like 12 countries or so.

    I WANT to buy apps. But I’ve tried everything to get the itunes store to accept me, including a paypal account where I tried everything from virtual credit-cards to opening a paypal account for that purpose specifically.

    What’s the worth of an iphone or ipod with no apps? Very little, right? I might be just about to crack and go to the dark-side any day now.

  • Good point AlekNovy. I hadn’t thought about that.

  • paocer

    Mega is the worst of the pirates…

    there is another website (http://appulo.us) that is free and download without any limit or payment…

  • Polemicist

    I spend less than $10 a month on new apps? Why the hell would I pay money to site to get stuff that I won’t use just so I can get my moneys worth? HUH? I’m confusing myself. And yes paocer is correct. Grabbing things trying them out and then buying them is fine in my books. Paying some idiot to make them rich off illegal applications is stupid in my books. Appulo makes no money off the things people download. Mega is just trying to make mega bucks. Morons.

  • I tried cydia and the other jailbreak programs on my iPhone 3gs and my wifi stopped working. I tried reseting the network and lost everything I had on my iPhone is there away to reset network without loosing everything? Thank you.