Saurik Discusses Cydia Revenues And Cydia For Mac Project


by cM Boy on August 4, 2012

If you have been jailbreaking your iOS device for a while and follow related news, you must know about Jay Freeman as known as Saurik, the creator of Cydia. Ever wondered how much money he makes from his unofficial app store? Saurik answered this question on a forum as well as he discussed what happened to Cydia for Mac.

This is Saurik’s reply to the person who said that he Freeman must be making a lot of money considering he get %30 cut off from all Cydia package 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.

So, given all of the above realizations regarding the actual numbers, you hopefully can realize this is just a silly fantasy: I wish I were making a lot of money. :( At least if I were making money, comments like yours wouldn’t be so depressing and hurtful: I’d be paid to take the abuse (and the time lost responding to stuff like this wouldn’t feel quite so pointless, depressing, and demotivating).

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]“.

jay freeman saurik

Those of you who are wondering about what happened to Cydia for Mac project, here is what Saurik have to say:

Look, I don’t think I “promised” anything, and if I did I’m sorry. 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 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.

Regardless, I pushed on some more, and even got some other people in the community to help come up with ideas of how to solve this, but it simply has never worked that well. So: I’m sorry, there is still no Substrate for Mac, and thereby no point in releasing a Cydia for Mac. However, I maintain that you really are not entitled to me writing it for you just because it may or may not be a good idea; this does not change because you’ve made a rant on a forum. [Source: via ModMyi]

Remember we have covered HackStore an unofficial Mac App Store that you can have as an alternative to official Mac App Store.

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