For most of us, we jailbreak because we want to. We do it to get customized apps, tweaks, or to give our iDevices a complete makeover. Even though the process has become extremely simple, we still feel a sense of accomplishment after our device reboots and that Cydia icon is glowing off of the screen.

I’ve jailbroken friends devices for them, and showed them how to use Cydia to download things. While software like PwnageTool and RedSn0w do most of the iPhone hacking for you, it still isn’t recommended for the not-so-tech savvy. One Virginian college student has capitalized on that fact by turning jailbreaking into his full time job…

Kevin Lee, a George Mason University senior, claims he makes about $50,000 a year from hacking customers iPhones for them. The Washington Post is reporting that the senior runs an advertisement on Craigslist that describes his different services. Lee will unlock, jailbreak, and even customize your iDevice for various prices depending on what you want.

The entrepreneur started off with just five to ten customers a week, now it’s up to between thirty and forty. He even tells the Post that he’s helped out Mongolian Embassy members who were looking to have their iPhones unlocked for international travel.

The rest of the article gets pretty lengthy, but gives some good information on jailbreaking and is definitely worth the read. After an initial interview, Kevin Lee declined any further comment and his Craigslist ad has since been removed.

Though the Library of Congress deemed jailbreaking legal last year, many people still fear repercussions from Apple. I don’t think they could say anything about charging folks for jailbreaking services, but what about the Dev Team? They’ve publicly lashed out at others trying to sell jailbreak services using their products.

What do you think? Should Apple or the Dev Team have a say in this matter?

  • Lerimer Santana

    Not really, I do the same exact thing here in Puerto Rico and I charge an average of $30.00 for an idevice. I just say that since in using my own pc and tine I charge for it. I even tell them how to do it in their home. But they still pay me just to make sure everything works fine without mistakes.

    • Lerimer Santana

      I meant to say ” since I use my own pc and my time…” also I have about 30 to 35 clients a week.

    • Zac

      I thinks its fine people charge for this service yes it is free of charge if u wanna do it yourself but so is changing the oil in your own car but most people still pay someone to do it cause they don’t have enough knowledge to do there self don’t wanna mess with the self or don’t have the resources to do there self

  • Rob

    Ya. Not a fan of this. No different then downloading movies and selling.

    • Shrike1978

      I couldn’t disagree more. Downloading movies is illegle. Distributing them other people is even more illegal. Jailbreaking is completely legal and it’s totally legal to jailbreak someone elses device with their permission. This isn’t even the in the same ballpark.

    • willy

      look bitch jailbreaking is illegal, now go give steve jobs a bl0wjob

      • Taylor Harris

        I’m pretty sure it’s not… Why don’t you read through any forum, blog, or news site that is even remotely dedicated to posting iPhone related news. I think you’ll find you had no place to make such an abrasive remark.

      • SpideyRules

        Jailbreaking is NOT illegal (nice spelling, by the way) as even stated in THIS article. Try reading before you jump on a bandwagon, you ignorant douche.

        I do this for free for anyone who asks me to, as they’ve mostly just been really close friends, but this doesn’t present an opportunity.

        Also, please keep in mind that even if the US considered it illegal, Apple would then have to pursue other countries in which you can BUY JAILBROKEN DEVICES. Good luck with International Law, Apple!

  • Rob

    Ya. Not a fan of this. No different then downloading movies and selling. Dev team has right to be pissed.

    • Taylor Harris

      What the hell?? This is nothing like Downloading movies and selling them. Movies and commercial software are copyrighted, federally endorsed works that are punishable by law if their rights are infringed. The Dev Team voluntarily develops and distributes jailbreaking utilities without charge or license agreement, so the consequences nor the process of obtainence relate in any way to the illegal acquisition of movies or software protected by law. These adolescents are merely being resourceful and, rather than charging other people for the Dev Team’s software, they really just seem to be charging people for the inconvenience of the labor. I know that when the many people who approach me begging me to jailbreak their iPhones every time Apple releases an update, I don’t feel like doing it for them half of the time and would love to charge for merely the labor. Why is it you’re so quick to condemn someone for making money in such a creative way? What are you… 40?

  • GT

    I did that last summer, but if you want to make a ton of money, you have to buy iphones off ebay, jb and unlock them, then sell them back on ebay. People pay a lot more for jb and unlocked iphones, especially european countries and russia…

  • PhittyPois0n

    He he he, here in Zim I charge around US$40 for jailbreaking 3GS and US$50 for iP4. Customization around US#20. Also games, apps and tweaks around US$10…

  • paul

    in India the Iphone4’s not available, so we got people who ship in the AT&T one and Jailbreak and Unlock it, it cost’s about $1,000 for the Phone. Worth it since we cant get it any other way

  • Well i just had sex with Sakura and Hinata and it went great check me out on my website just click my name

    • Taylor Harris

      Haha that was nasty dude!!

  • jason

    I do it for free because the Devs do it for free . I usually post it on craigslist to ask if anyone needs to JB their idevices. Just shoot me an email then I will guide you how to do it yourself

  • Digitalus

    I don’t see what the problem is at all. It’s a perfectly legitimate business tactic. The Dev Team can’t do the job of installing the jailbreaks on devices & it’s not something everyone can or wants to do. There have to be experts and specialists in the field to cater to the masses.
    It’s the same thing with anything that requires expert help. Electronics, software, etc, these people don’t design the products but they spend their time and expertise making repairs or installations.
    Furthermore, since these tools are provided free of charge, there is no argument. The DT can be as vocal as they want in decrying these practices but in the end they made it possible.
    Then again the blame ultimately lies with Apple for creating this entire jailbreak ecosystem.

  • Biff

    I help out friends and that’s it. Cydia is the real winner though. If a device is jailbroken then that means possible and likely sales for them. So I believe that the dev team get something for their efforts. Can’t see them going through all the time and hassle for nothing on their part.

  • Kalps133

    One here in pune india is into jalibreaking since iphone 2g .. I remeber being charged around 30$ to add custum ringtones to my idevice.. To from unlocking to jalibreak to apps uplaod on iphone ipad etc is randmly charged betwwen 30-50 $
    Min of 15 cust a day ( till nov as unlocks have reduced aftr tat)
    Hes made a huge office of his own owns 3 macs .. Abt 4 engennr under him .. Also does hardware stuff of idevc… Is a huge amt of money in here n not a penney in name of investmnet.. Courtesy all the dev teams n their work …:)

  • soccerkrzy

    Haha, now that the numbers are out there, the guy is going to have to pay taxes on it!!

  • nat

    while i dont do it myself, i dont see why not. This guys is charging for service, nothing more than that. He isnt burning copies of softwares and sell it to others and ask them to jailbreak themselves, so this is more of a service rather than goods dealing.

  • ddr

    I do it for friends all the time, but don’t charge for it because, well, they’re friends, and I enjoy doing it anyway 😉

  • Fabio Rodrigues

    Hey Guys, thats why donation is meant for, if you use someone works you need to pay for it, I jailbreak and unlock iphones when they are compatible, and I charge for it because my boss pay my time of work, and I tell her that the tools for jailbreak and unlock are free, but they accept donation if someone want to do so, and a little part of the money we make with this work is donated to the dev’s

  • Greg

    I work in a cruise ship as a Bartender and unlocking and jailbreaking is where i get my extra income. Imagine we are 800+ crew in the ship and lets say about 30-40% has iDevice. And all of them seek for my service. Name it, i have it. Unlock, jailbreak, personalize, apps, movies, music everything. And in our job, everyday, new country so unlock is really a must. Especially when we are in the East Cost of USA and Canada then we cross the Antlantic to Norway. That’s why i got my iPhone 4 because of my side job.

  • Didn’t read the comments so maybe someone was smart enough to address this already

    Though the Library of Congress deemed jailbreaking legal last year—

    Yes they did they made it legal for you to Jailbreak and unlock your own phone… They never made it legal for you to unlock someone else’s phone or to charge for it

    “it is still illegal to market tools whose purpose is to help people hack. That means that while jailbreakers are off the hook, the developers who provide the unapproved apps may still be violating the law.”

    I can’t find the exact quote I wanted but it was something like you can’t help others jailbreak

    Read more:,8599,2006956,00.html#ixzz1IqdkQuXM

    • SpideyRules

      FYI (and going by your own quote here), no one is “marketing the tools” to jailbreak. We’re simply using them. That’s not illegal as long as the act of jailbreaking itself isn’t.

  • Angelo

    I do the exact same here in Germany.
    I charge 10€ with a lot of packages from Cydia.

    Thats 14,30$ in your currency.

    I don´t think this is much because i am using my free time for this, and even if those Jailbreaking programms are quiet simple, from time to time it happens that one of those don´t work or there are problems with the SHSHs. Maybe i even should take more.

    Folks like us think this is simple. But the average person don´t even understands what is to do when i am trying to tell how to find your ios.ipsw

    • Taylor Harris

      Who really gives a fuck?? Most of us who jailbreak our iPhones likely download illegal digital media of some sort though BitTorrent anyways so why are any of us really any more concerned about charging to jailbreak someone’s iPhone than we are downloading the next James Bond movie a month before it’s released?? Give it a rest…

  • Jason Masters

    It’s perfectly fine it’s like charging a friend to help fix his pc if your good at something you are allowed to get paid nuff said.

  • Abdul abaca

    im wondering if you guys donated to geoHotz cause with Sony about hacking the psp. You know some of the JB tools he created for FREE along with other DevTeams they don’t get payed to create these tools which you are making a killing off. And I use those same tools to JB my iPhones & iPads and friends or family idevices and can’t see myself getting paid for something that was created for us for free. Greed is the root and the end of Jailbreaking iPhones.

  • lu

    i make sure and tell them that this it all free .and they don’t have to pay for any software or info on how to do it .99.5% of the time i let them know that, the next thing out there mouth is how much would you do it for because i don’t have the time or i just don’t want to do all the work it takes to do it .so thats when i clearly let them know im only going to charge you for the time it takes me to do it and i also let them know all the things that could go wronge by doing this . and if they have a 4g on an updated bandbase ill get then the “unlock chip”.

  • iKing

    I say no since it’s a service. Many people don’t understand how easy it is to change their oil, or oxygen sensors on their car but they still pay someone to do it.

    • QuarterSwede

      Bingo. Right on the money.

    • SpideyRules


      Excellent point!!

  • mngstr

    You guys are overcharging. I do charge people too. But only for repairs.
    Jailbreaking & tweaking, a pack of smokes or cheeseburgers and fries in return will do! 😉

  • Otávio Castro

    I’ve always done jailbreak on my iPhone. Since the IOS 1.1.4. In my town in Brazil have up to 10 clients a week. I charge for support, because not many people know how to operate the device and ask me for help. The price is 50 Brazilian reais. Somewhere around $ 30. The jailbreak process is simple, but common people do not have enough security to run the service. I do not think illegal or immoral. Long live the Dev-Team!

  • All you stealing ass holes ask the DevTeams if they Support you charging people for something they gave you for FREE. Again have any of you people that make lots of money from using the DevTeams and Geozhotz or any other member of the Jailbreak movement any Donations for the Legal Battles they are going through. I think NOT then what are you going to do when They ( All the DevTeams or people that contribute to the jailbreak community ) stop giving us users the tools we need to jailbreak our idevices and you make lots of money from. Just think if it were you and you had to come up with a new jailbreak every time Apple Decides to update it’s iOS and your doing it fro FREE and some Ass holes are making lots of cash off your hard work. And they do it for FREE THINK ABOUT IT. You’ll be the REASON Jailbreaking is no more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    • SpideyRules

      Hey. Guess what ABDUL. All the tools to learn how to repair computers and network devices is provided free on the Internet as well, but I’ve still been able to make it a career!

      Just because tools (knowledge included) are provided for free, doesn’t mean the SERVICE has to be! You’re doing something FOR someone. YOUR time and YOUR abilities are what you’re being paid for.

    • Fabio Rodrigues

      WATER IS FREE!!! but you pay to have it at home, because others have to work to make it possible

      Charge for service is OK! (but if you do relying on others people work who create it for free you shold at least DONATE some for those who CREATE the tools, thats what I think)

  • Patriot

    Jeez, what a tool. The dev team does this for us purely out of the goodness of their hearts and some poser hacker gets to reap what he has not sown?! This guy has to stop as nothing good for the community will come out of it

  • Rob

    I’ll retract my original statement. It’s not as bad as stealing movies. But seeing how this would be non existent with out the dev team, I think the people charging should donate money to the dev team as without them this income is no more.

    • SpideyRules

      This makes sense, but remember it’s also a choice. Not everyone who uses the Dev Team tools donate. That’s why they’re called donations.

      @Patriot – The Dev Team does do this out of the goodness of their own hearts, and I’m sure they don’t EXPECT any kickback for doing so. I’m sure 80% of the jailbreak community would purchase these tools, and probably about 30-40% of them do donate, but the Dev Team knows this already.

      Make no mistake about it, ALL jailbreakers who don’t donate “get to reap what they have not sown.”

    • Fabio Rodrigues

      “I think the people charging should donate money to the dev team as without them this income is no more.”

      AMEM!! +1

      • iosninja

        Developers write code for other motives. We are honing our programming skills, but mostly getting our names out there. Having people use your hack or computer program is a far greater benefit than giving you $10. When you go for an
        interview at google and tell them you have over 10,000 people using programs that you’ve written or helped write, you’ve got a better chance at landing the $180k per year job than the guy that doesn’t. You don’t understand programmers at all if you think that the donation is our top priority. It helps, but most of us have other jobs that pay quite well as developers. However, we are told what to program and mostly how to code it so working on our own projects allows us to develop our skills in the direction that we want and get experience in things that we would not otherwise if we only wrote code at our jobs. In addition, the better we are and the more our name gets out there, the higher our probability of having several sources of income as a result of our coding ability. Donate, don’t donate, it doesn’t really matter, the coding is done before the hack is released and the donations come in so everything is simply a bonus but not a necessity.

  • Spider good point but would you take your car tv boat RV RC Truck or have home repairs to someone certified or the guys ad I found on Since no one had said anything about having a Store front or any real certification using the tools in question, besides you can look on YouTube and find 9&10 year olds showing you how to jailbreak your iPod touch or whatever idevice you own and there doing a great job if I say so. Another point here in Sacramento a guy had charged my friends coworker $50.00 to jailbreak&unlock his iPhone 4 the guy really did a job on his iPhone 4 with some janky boot logo kept restringing the works the brought it to me it was on FW 4.0 so I restored it then went to and you know the rest. There still on 4.0 I’m on 4.1 jail broken unlimited Data with mywi sending wifi through my house and AT&T hasn’t sent me that text or email about me tethering & a kid showed me on YouTube for free.

    • SpideyRules

      No I wouldn’t take my vehicle to someone who’s not certified, but again, that’s a “buyer beware” situation. It’s all about choice. You have to remember, the people getting the service also CHOOSE to pay. No one is holding a gun to their head to get the service done, or who to get it done by.

      Let’s all remember that “lazy” people (and I use that to mean those who don’t want to research how to do things themselves) are usually willing to pay for almost ANYthing. People pay for pizza delivery, even when they have the ability to go get it themselves.

  • Rob why not. Stealing is stealing as a fact I think this is worse because the movie studios make billions and how much do the dev teams make???????

    • SpideyRules

      Movie studios produce movies FOR THE PURPOSE of making money. The Dev Team is not creating these tools for the same purpose.

      There’s your difference. Chew on it and if you don’t like the taste, spit it out and quit yelling at people for having an opinion. (There’s no need for 7 question marks. THAT’S your difference between a discussion and an argument.)

  • Wow yelling I’m taking your typing tone as yelling I can see you now pounding your each key as you type LOL im in tears.

  • & is your name Rob spider

  • SpideyRules

    It’s an open discussion. I can reply to whomever I want that speaks in here, no matter who the comment / question is directed at.

    And FYI – I only use caps to stress certain important words or phrases. You’re using punctuation as a way to try to force your point.

  • Relax pop a pill smoke some Purple and stop abuesing your KeyBoard spidermanrules ok everything is going to be alright ok!!!!!!!!!

    • SpideyRules

      Again with the punctuation to prove your point. All you proved is that you’re completely unwilling to listen to anyone but the voices in your head.

  • jobs are being lost every single year due to huge technological advances. Now we have to be creative to make money! In year 2020 most jobs will be all gone. We are moving into a great transition!

  • @k98

    I jailbreak idevices for free but only for friends and only if i have time. I can understand why others charge because it takes time amd resources to be on top of each jailbreak method. A lot of shops around me charge $10 pet jailbreak and another for unlocks.

  • I do the same thing in Sacramento … but I’m ALSO doing repairs, and I make NOWHERE NEAR 50K!!!!!

  • dabe

    It would be horrible to sell free jailbreak unlock tools on a cd or something. That isn’t what people are paying for. What about people who have 0 computer skills and no
    friends with computer skills either? Or who don’t want to spend the hours educating themselves on jailbreaking unlocking. I see that as a legit SERVICE key word there SERVICE.
    P.S. never made any money jailbreaking but I made about 1,000 unlocking and reselling overseas (15-25 iPhones). Slow money that pans out to be about minum wage, if the dev team wants a cut of that let me know.
    I’m very grateful to them, and those helping others jailbreak unlock for a reasonable fee.

  • Zac

    Again – oil changes are free but we pay people everyday to do it for us , does that make those people wrong for charging listen to those voices and if it’s not the same ur a retard

  • Rob

    Free oil changes. Jackpot. Don’t have to pay for oil or filter? Where is this place. I always have to pay for the items for an oil change. Filter and oil(aka jailbreak). Labour is on top if you don’t do yourself

  • Fabio Rodrigues

    Free oil changes= Do it yourself

    Am I wrong?

    If I dont want to get my hands dirt because I dont have the necessary skills for it, would someone else do it for free for me if I buy the fiiter(jb tool) and oil (iphone) ?

    Some would charge others dont, you choose who do you allow to put the hands in your stuff, but if you paid you’re more likely will have the right get feedback if somethings dont work as it awas planned unless you were advised

  • Zac

    Exact u just said u fxxxxxxx idiot ur right if u do it ur yourself the labor is free u pay for the oil just like if u jailbreak yourself the labor is free and u pay for done of the themes an tweaks …. The funny part is it arguing like u do shit for the team I’d bet my fn phone y’all are the say people downloading for installous and loading cracked cydia apps … Stupid ass u write ur comment all cocky like ur think u have done said something smart read mine … Understand it then read yours and see Joe stupid u sound like said “retards”

    • Fabio Rodrigues

      Hey I agree with you, but not everebody seems to understand “free oil change”

  • Zac

    Exact u just said u diot ur right if u do it ur yourself the labor is free u pay for the oil just like if u jailbreak yourself the labor is free and u pay for done of the themes an tweaks …. The funny part is it arguing like u do shit for the team I’d bet my fn phone y’all are the say people downloading for installous and loading cracked cydia apps … Stupid ass u write ur comment all cocky like ur think u have done said something smart read mine … Understand it then read yours and see Joe stupid u sound like said “retards”

  • Zac

    Ditto fabio I guess that metaphor was to much for some …. If he can’t even understand that … I hope he’s not jailbreaking his own phone …. Email maybe we can meet up and I’ll for you , only $20 bucks haha

  • Fabio Rodrigues

    hey guys, off topic I think, but did some of you remember that credit card ad :

    “a father goes to a game with his son”
    “tickets for the game with our card = $70
    “one hot dog with our card= U$20
    “öne tshirt with our card= $50
    see you team win= priceless”

    I would say
    “watch the game at home= free but $$ my energy bill will come beggining of the month”

  • Gabriel