New website solicits crowdfunded reward for an iOS 7 jailbreak

Is iOS 7 jailbroken Yet

Is iOS 7 jailbroken yet? No. But if you’re the one who can turn that answer into a yes, there’s a growing bounty of crowdfunded dollars awaiting you. That’s the idea behind—a site where people can go to donate money to fund an open source jailbreak for iOS 7.

The venture has generated over $2000 at the time of this post, and it uses Stripe to accept donations from those eager to free their devices from Apple’s constraints. The prize money will go to the first developer(s) who release an open source iOS 7 jailbreak. As you might expect, there are quite a few stipulations involved in order to be eligible to win. Have a look past the break for the details.

The criteria for claiming the funds is as follows: The jailbreak must work for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s running iOS 7, including the latest iOS 7.0.4. It must be untethered. And it must be publicly released free-of-charge and under an OSI-approved license.

The proposed prize is the idea of Chris Maury, founder of accessibility company Conversant Labs. The remaining three visual members of the project will act as co-judges along with Maury. They include Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing, Kyle Wiens of iFixit, and professor Biella Coleman.

Why they’re doing it:

We strongly believe that users should have the freedom to control their devices. We wanted an open source jailbreak for iOS 7, giving users the capability to install what they want on their own devices and the ability to audit the code they’re using to do so. Jailbreaking is also critical to ensuring that the disabled are able to use their mobile devices as easily as possible. So we started a prize for the first people who can do it.

The hope is that this campaign will cause potential hackers to ramp up their efforts to provide a working iOS 7 jailbreak. So far, there have been 75 donations and counting, and I’ve watched the prize money steadily climb as I’ve worked on this post.

What do you think about this idea? Do you think it will ultimately result in a successful open sourced jailbreak, or do you believe it’s all for naught? Cydia creator, Saurik, has his opinion on the matter:

The primary problem I have with this website is that it attempts to change the dynamics from one of “people who do things that are fun to make devices more open” to one of “people who do things to win cash prizes”. Meanwhile, it changes the dynamics in the minds of the people contributing: normally, people contribute after the fact to the teams that built something that they found of value; under the model of this website, people contribute ahead of time, and then hope that the thing that is released works for their specific device (or even “runs on their computer”, etc.), and if it doesn’t they are kind of out of luck.

Head over to this Reddit thread to read more insight from Saurik. It’s quite the interesting read. He specifically mentions Elizabeth’s Stark’s Threshold as being a beneficiary of the idea. As noted in the Terms section of, Threshold will receive a 5% commission from the final crowdfunded totals.

I’ve reached out to Elizabeth Stark to get her comments. I will update this post when/if she decides to respond.

Again, what are your thoughts on the matter?

Update: Elizabeth’s response can be found in the same Reddit thread. There’s lots of back and forth conversation, and even Comex chimes in. I highly advise you to read the entire Reddit thread. Various views and expressed regarding the viability and ethics of such an approach. I, for one, think that there’s some validity to their approach, and that its attempts are noble, but that’s just my opinion. Judge for yourselves.