I’m sure everyone who knows about Cydia must wonder how much money Saurik, aka Jay Freeman makes from it. Some of you might even wonder what happened to Cydia for Mac? Well, we have answers to these questions and a lot more.
Saurik has cleared out a lot of misconceptions in the jailbreak community about him and his Cydia store. A member went on about how Saurik was neglecting Cydia and even still he was managing to make a lot of money from the jailbreak community. Saurik cleared off this misconception that he makes 30% off of Cydia Sales.
“100% – 70% (developer) – 7.5% (PayPal) – 7.5% (EU VAT) is nowhere near 30%. Cydia also bears a greater cost than I thought it would for outgoing payments (as almost every developer makes no money, so the PayPal fees end up being really expensive every two weeks to send “almost no money” to thousands of people), and if you subtract bandwidth and servers and the two employees SaurikIT does have, you are left with quite little; what is left is spent back on the community, including bandwidth for non-Cydia things such as jailbreaks/TinyUmbrella, sponsorships of open conferences, etc. That TSS/SHSH server I run that people love so much alone costs many thousands of dollars a month.”
From this information we can see that Saurik makes about 15% off of sales and a major portion of the business is put back into the business.
“Stores like this really do not make much money… you can claim it all you want, and you can be pissed about it all you want, but it doesn’t change the facts: Apple pretty much breaks even on the App Store (public earning reports, statements in press conferences), the Android Market loses money (analysis by a judge in a lawsuit based on internal accounting documents), and other random stores you see (including Cydia) are lifestyle businesses at best and pits of despair and debt at their worst (anecdotal statements and evidence from developers of alternative Android markets I meet at conferences). For me, this all honestly takes up much more mental time and pain for sufficiently little money that if I didn’t feel this community was important I’d be stupid for continuing to subject myself to rants like yours.
You have to understand that the most popular applications in the ecosystem are from Intelliborn, and I only get 1% of their earnings due the Rock deal… which, if you remember, is a deal where I paid $1 and did not actually get any real control of Rock (in fact, I specifically told them they could continue distributing and hosting the app itself, and they declined). As Mario (owner of Rock Your Phone) said to the Washington Post (in the same article where these terms were published): “I saw an exit strategy and I wanted to focus on developing [apps]“.
Those who are wondering what ever happened to Cydia for Mac, here it is:
“I’ve apologized a million tons about this, in every single possible forum I could imagine (and some in which I never would have thought it could come up), and am apparently going to be hearing about this until the day I die… I bet “where is Cydia for Mac (you *******)” is going to be chiseled into my tombstone. I am truly sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I have learned a serious lesson from this, and I no longer even tell people what I’m working on, lest I get held to it.
As I have stated on numerous other occasions: I got almost universally negative feedback from it when I announced it, including entire articles online calling me stupid for even having suggested it. I seriously left a conference early feeling like I had been half-laughed off of the stage for even suggesting the idea (yes: that’s definitely an overstatement of reality, but I kind of felt that way at the time). It wasn’t until half a year later (when Lion was released) that any reasonable number of people decided to say “maybe saurik isn’t so stupid after all”.
Meanwhile, the real goal was “Substrate for Mac”, and when I started getting more testers I discovered that it didn’t really work and likely wasn’t going to work without a lot of serious effort. Contrary to then what you will likely claim: I then actually put in a lot of serious effort, but in the meantime Lion came out and actually made the problem a lot harder with its sandboxes. Remember: unlike on iOS, there isn’t a “patch your kernel with a jailbreak” step.”
You can read Saurik’s full responses and some real insight into some other topics as well from the ModMyi forum. Now the main thing from this article is the fact that the jailbreak community isn’t raking in millions and so there is no way Saurik could be making so much. What do you think of all this?
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