Jailbreakers to Become New Targets for Major Corporate Marketing?

Since its inception, there was a dark cloud hovering over the jailbreak scene. People feared legal ramifications from Apple for “hacking” their iDevices, similar to what GeoHot is involved in with Sony. That all changed last summer when the government made an announcement that jailbreaking was legal by U.S. law.

Here we are, almost a year after the official statement, and the community is as big as ever. Saurik, the mastermind behind Cydia, estimates that there are between 10-15 million jailbroken devices in the wild. ModMyi founder Kyle Matthews shared a few other interesting statistics this morning about the iDevice hacking community that should catch the attention of major marketing firms…. 

Exposure is the reason that SuperBowl commercials are so expensive. Companies want to advertise their products and services in front of the biggest audiences possible. The bigger, the better. According to Matthews’ post, Cydia has 1.5 million unique users log in on a daily basis. By saurik’s estimates, somewhere around 9% of all iDevices are jailbroken.

These numbers were more than enough to capture Scion’s interest. The ModMyi article went on to mention that Toyota affiliate, Scion, had recently contacted them in regards to hosting a theme they had developed in their Cydia repo. The theme is part of an ad campaign for their 2011 tC vehicle, and is obviously only for jailbreakers. For those interested you can find the theme in Cydia by searching ‘Scion 2011 Theme.’

Scion was the first major company to use Cydia as an advertising platform, but they won’t be the last. Why wouldn’t you want to market to 15 million consumers in a highly sought after demographic? This would also be an opportunity to try different methods of advertising, like customizable themes, and not have to stick to boring banners.

The question really isn’t if larger companies will target jailbreakers, it’s more a matter of when. With the community rapidly growing, it can only be a matter of time before other corporations fall in line to submit themes, skins, and boot logos. I’m wondering what Steve Jobs thinks about his beloved devices being the platform for major ad campaigns and Apple not seeing any of the profit.

Do you think we will see other major corporations market in Cydia via themes or other methods?