As the App Store approval process for applications becomes more and more absurd, developers are looking for new ways to get their apps in front of the general public. In the last few months, a few alternative stores showed up, but one really stands out: Cydia.

Every jailbreaker is familiar with Cydia as it is already the application of choice for downloading third party apps that are not allowed in the App Store. Developers who see their apps rejected from the App Store now turn to Cydia. The latest example is how the Google Voice application was banned from the App Store, only to be available a few hours later in Cydia.

A less known aspect of Cydia is the Cydia Store, which was launched in March of this year. It is a part of Cydia that allows developers to charge for their applications, exactly like the App Store does. Reading this MMI article, it seems that the Cydia Store is doing well as Jay Freeman aka Saurik, the creator of Cydia, reports that “the Cydia Store has had about 53,000 purchases for a grand total of about $210,000 spent“.

We are still far from the 1.5 billion downloads from the App Store but we’re getting there…

The Cydia Store brings a whole new market as a viable option. Freeman states “In the last day, ~470,000 unique devices reported into my server (when I last checked, months ago, this figure was ~350,000). In the last week, ~1.5 million. In the last month, ~3 million. In the last two months, ~4 million devices. To be honest, this actually surprised me: I thought the jailbreak community had a higher attrition rate: that I’d be seeing a much smaller percentage of ‘identifiers of jailbroken devices that were seen in the last two months'”.

I think that just like me, people are growing tired of Apple and its dictatorship, and they are looking for ways to maximize their iPhone experience. I know this first hand as the jailbreak page of this blog is one of the most visited. I also get between 5 and 20 people a day thanking me on Twitter for helping them jailbreak their iPhone.

When you pay $300 or more for an iPhone, you don’t want anyone telling you what you can and cannot do with it, even though Apple wants to make jailbreaking illegal with some ridiculous claims.

Cydia truly is a real alternative to the App Store. The only downside to Cydia is that you have to jailbreak your iPhone. Many people are still worried about the process, or simply don’t have the technical skills to do it. But as jailbreaking becomes more and more popular, I am convinced that Cydia has a bright future ahead and that iPhone owners will finally be able to get the most out of their iPhones.

If you’re on the edge about jailbreaking, here are 30 reasons to jailbreak your iPhone.