When Apple unveiled iOS 5 last summer, a lot of folks saw it as a direct shot at the jailbreak community. The new software included a number of new features that replaced popular jailbreak tweaks like Notified and Xpandr.

And not only that, but the iOS update included new security measures to make downgrading to previous firmware versions extremely difficult. So you can see why it appeared that Apple was looking to stop jailbreakers in their tracks…

But recently I realized something. It’s been over a month since the A5 jailbreak dropped, and nearly two months since the A4 version was released. And not that we’re complaining, but we still haven’t seen an update to patch either one of them. This is a bit strange for Apple, considering that it patched the last major jailbreak, JailbreakMe 3.0, in less than two weeks.

Of course, there could be a number of explanations for why Apple isn’t giving the current exploits as much attention as it has in the past. For starters, the PDF hack used in JailbreakMe 3.0 garnered a lot of publicity — it was a major security flaw. So it makes sense that Apple responded quickly.

Then there’s the easy answer, which is that Apple just figured it would wait until iOS 5.1 to patch the current jailbreaks. In fact, the word is that the upcoming software update patches the exploit used by Corona.

But what if Apple hasn’t addressed the current jailbreaks yet because it just doesn’t care anymore. As Saurik pointed out, the iPhone-maker didn’t even think to leave a comment on the Copyright Office’s comment board regarding the upcoming expiration of the jailbreaking exemption. And we’re talking about a company that just last year pleaded with the US government to outlaw the practice.

Is the infamous cat and mouse game between Apple and iDevice hackers over? No. Next month’s iOS 5.1 will likely patch the current exploits, and we’ll have to start all over again. But you have to admit it’s interesting. Apple doesn’t look like it’s gunning for jailbreakers anymore — it looks like it’s backing off.

What do you think?

  • Kolton Naples

    whats that notifications skin

    • Kok Hean


    • FastBlurredNotificationCenter from Ryan Petrich’s repo is better.

      • BlurriedNCBackground got updated and it’s just as fast as FBNC from ryan petrich now.

  • Nice SBS theme – what is it?

  • No way. They been pretty busy with law suits, iPad 3, and foxconn. As soon things slow down a lil they’ll get back to business.

    • Apple pay lawyers for that..as for the iPad 3 that’s a under wraps project ..as for Foxconn that will be down to management ..and all other things are done by the own departments..
      They employ quite a lot of people doing different things..

      when the iPad 3 is out that’s when will see a update for this lastest jailbreak plug..

  • Anonymous

    I really hope they will just let us go. I mean come on. What is it hurtin that much. Pirating apps isnt done that much. In my dreams I see them supporting it but when I wake up I realise that would never happen. When the iPhone 5 comes out. I hope that there will be a untethered jailbreak.

    • Imahottguy

      Actually, app piracy is pretty big. A lot of losers, I mean people heh, jailbreak just for that purpose. It is sad but true. I know many many people that jailbreak to add functionality, not steal, but that is because the people I choose to associate with are not thieves. I hate that when some people think of jailbreak, they think it endorses piracy.

  • I think it’s not. I think it just learned to patch all the flaws in one OS update instead of minor updates like 5.0.2 or something. I mean, it’s too tedious for all of us to upgrade especially those who are not really interested in technology. It will be just be a pain in the ass for apple and that will not attract customers. The fewer the software updates, I think it would be better for the general audience because as mentioned, it is a very tedious task.

    • In fact, I would debate the opposite of what you said.

      With iOS5, you can now update directly from the handset and in smaller amounts too (not the ~350MB we used to have to download every.single.time) so I would have to agree with Michael Baker on this one, they have been shifting their focus elsewhere for the time being…but under a new CEO, you never know.

    • Imahottguy

      But with iOS 5 came delta updates. All that would happen is the user opens Settings.app and then taps on upgrade. In place updates are pretty painless, don’t ya think? Tap update, go to bed, wake up, upgraded iDevice.

  • intelliscreenx

  • IMHO, Cydia and the jailbreaking community is the biggest testbed and idea factory apple could have for future iOS releases. I think they should allow jailbreaking and stop fighting it at all, because both sides can benefit from this.

  • blurriedNCbackground. It’s a jailbreak tweak

  • rapid rapi

    BlurredNCBackground + intelliscreen

  • Anonymous

    It’s not over. The execs at apple are currently in their headquarters preparing for the next battle.

  • Joseph Duffy

    JailbreakMe was different because it was a serious security hole, malicious (and jailbreak) code could be launched without the user’s notice.

    What’s interesting to me is the LONG delay since 5.1 beta 3…over a month. I think they are taking their time to patch the jailbreak, and since it is not web-browser related, it doesn’t require an immediate fix.

  • Andrieux Querido

    I think that Apple should use the jb to discover Nice tweaks to add on its iOS like it happened with the new notifications and push . Does anyone agree…?..

  • Anonymous

    to be frank,
    i think the iPhone’s sales are mostly due to the fact that its Jailbreak-able and i’m sure Apple knows that,
    Apple should not have made a big fuss about Jailbreak to begin with…

    • Anonymous

      Ahh….Neo. I know many people with iPhones and see many day to say even at my son’s events and I don’t know anyone with a JB phone. Working mom’s and Dad’ and even soccer mon’s don’t have time for that and could care less. I absolutely don’t think think Apples iPhone sales are ‘mostly’ do to the ability to jailbreak.

      • U may be right but on the other hand imagine the percentage that will leave IOS if it becomes “unjailbreakable”. Myself and alot others will leave for a platform thats more open cause obviously thats what “we” want. I know this and im a nobody. Certainly Apple knows a good estimate of how may iphones are jailbroken. Do u think they want to lose that percentage? Judging from Sauriks numbers id say not.

      • Anonymous

        as an economist, i back you & Saurik’s statements,

        if i were Apple, i wouldn’t care less about the Profit i make from selling apps all day long for it would be Minimal,
        so i would rely heavily on the Sale of Devices to maximise my profit, and this is what Apple is Exactly doing ^^

      • Anonymous

        Lol, citing moms, dads and working moms is irrelevant,
        They can simply as their sons to JB them..or charge a few bucks to give it to someone who could do so…
        In the end and nowadays everyone wants an iPhone, jail broken or not..and I said that the fact that it CAN be Jailbroken played a HUGE deal in its success!!!!
        Sorry for giving the fanboy in you a scare..

        oh and surprise surprise..i don’t jailbreak mine 😉

      • Imahottguy

        Of all the people I know from work, nurses, doctors, etc. there is only one person who has a jailbroken iPhone. I guarantee that us jailbreakers are in the very small minority. Same thing goes for Android phones. It’s not that these non-jailbreakers don’t know or are not smart enough to do it, they just choose not to. We cannot attribute iPhones success to jailbreak alone. perhaps it has a small part in it, but that has to be about it.

  • Chandana Kulatunga

    the bottom line is Apple just figured JB isn’t making iPhones less secure but sometimes increases it. It i hope it doesn’t hurt app economy that developers doesn’t make lot of noise either. And it gives iphones a chance to experince the Adroid market for that competitive advantage of keeping open mined people stick to app, and it doen’t hinder any of iphones sales either

    So Apple figured why worry?

  • Its about time they backed off. Steve jobs is gone no one cares about JB. I can’t wait six months everytime a good update comes to JB. The dream team are tired of looking for exploits. F**king crapple.

  • I too thought it was unusual that they have taken so long to patch it, but I ain’t complaining. I hope they’ve backed off- there’s NO denying that they’ve got a ton of their ideas from the jb community.

  • I personally think that Apple are just watching the jailbreak scene to see what tweaks are coming up & seeing if they are able to mimic them in their newest OS. I don’t think this is a bad thing since if they would bring the IntelliscreenX to a stock iPhone I think that would be fantastic.

  • Apple loves jailbreakers. They do all the research and development users do all the testing. It is cost free to apple. It’s not an accident that they allowed Siri to be open sourced. They are curious to find out what the capabilities are and what users respond to. Apple loves jailbreakers as long as the community remains a small percentage

  • Don’t most iPhone users jailbreak their device? Why prevent something when everyone likes it? They obiously can’t promote it but they can be scuttle and allow it. An iPhone can do a lot I things and jailbreaking it opens the doors to more possibilities. Therefore apple could be using Jailbreaking an a way to gain customer satisfaction because customers bought the device and own the right to use it and any way they please. -possibility.

    • I believe I read a number around 10 million a while ago. Far far far from “most”.

  • Anonymous


  • maybe jailbreakers spend more on apps, and or spends more time on the devices..pepple who care about the device is going to spend more time looking at it?

  • lol, it’s very funny that you asked: “What do you think?” and people started talking on the Notification Center, IntelliScrenX etc…Anyway, does anyone remember three times in a roll? 4.3.1 – 4.3.3 and apple didn’t close the hole, so it’s actualy not the first time it happens.

  • What kind of article is this? Seriously.

    Jailbreakme was open sourced and documented within weeks if I remember correctly. Absinthe is not, only partially. Apple cares about security, they don’t want people using these jailbreaks to create malicious software. Absinthe is more closed, its not as big of a threat..

  • what is the sbsettings theme, I tried iphone congruency sbsettings but that is not it

    • Anonymous

      try Notification Center Congruency

  • Anonymous

    Apple is actually better off if the carriers would unlock the devices, eliminating the main reason to jailbreak iPhones. The ecosystem as a whole will suffer if too many devices are jailbroken.

    Unlocking devices the consumer owns only makes sense, but the US lacks strong enough consumer rights laws to mandate this. The big carriers do not want to unlock devices as it gives small carriers legitimate access to millions of iPhones (and quality Android devices) through the used market.

  • Imahottguy

    There is no way that Apple is “backing off”, they just see that the current exploit must not be that big of a risk. It will be patched in 5.1, no doubt about it. They have to close the exploits, they are security risks. Plus I highly doubt that they suddenly are cool with the jailbreak community. Are you saying that Apple will soon put an option in iTunes that would allow us to install Cydia, and have root access? Mark my words, that will never ever happen.

    • Anonymous

      I concur.

  • What’s that music add-on for Notification Center?

    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    In a way, Apple is already winning in the jailbreak scheme of things. iOS 5 presented such a drastically modified system, that not only did a stable jailbreak take a while, but even now, not al
    Tweaks are iOS 5 compatible. Corona is a sloppy mess–might work for many but it was utter garbage for me. Just to put it out there, I’ve been jailbreaking since 2007, back when installer.app and apps like Ziphone were the only way to pull off third party mods. Apple is building stronger OSes, and even if they are not pLugging exploits every two weeks with a .x upgrade, the systems are becoming tougher to crack in the first instance.

  • Anonymous

    All I can say is: I really hope you are right.

  • Something to note is that the PDF engine is controlled by Apple, and therefore it’s easy for them to patch an exploit. Corona exploits a string overflow in IPsec Tools, which isn’t controlled by Apple.

    Strangely enough though, there’s nothing about the exploit in the IPsec Tools bug tracker. In fact, SourceForge says there’s been no activity on the project since June 2011.


  • dun think it is backing off….more like thinking of a more hard to crack security measure…..pending lawsuits, and getting supply of iphones / ipads up is more of their concern….

  • I’d have even greater respect if it was about finally recognizing we own the devices, and since rabid Steve isn’t running things they can focus on more important things. But it’s probably in the pipeline shortly.

  • Anonymous

    Apple won’t stop jailbreaking. They are counting on them to find exploits and bugs.

  • I wish the iPhone could come jailbroken but the one thing apple hates is hackulo the source that gives you free apps,they would probably come jailbroken already but people most likely jailbreak is because freer apps,I mean who doesn’t want free apps!? That’s why apple doesn’t like jailbreakers 🙁