Last Friday the Chronic Dev Team released Absinthe, a free tool for jailbreaking the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 on iOS 5.0 and 5.0.1. The release was met with such high demand that many were unable to install the jailbreak for nearly 24 hours due to intense traffic strains on the Greenpois0n.com servers.
Jailbreaking has become much more of a mainstream trend during the last few years, and the demand for this recent jailbreak reiterates that millions are still willing to hack their iPhones and iPads post-iOS 5.
Joshua Hill (also known as p0sixninja) is the frontman for the Chronic Dev Team. Hill has informed Cult of Mac that Absinthe received over 1 million first-day downloads on January 20th. This was before the Windows version of Absinthe was released the following day, so this number estimate is Mac downloads only.
To put this figure into perspective, the last public jailbreak to see such incredible adoption was the web-based JailbreakMe tool. The site served over 1 million jailbreaks for iOS 4 during its first day of availability last summer.
The success of Absinthe is notable in light of Apple’s recent software releases. Apple added over 200 new features in iOS 5 (several of which originated in the jailbreak community). Many argued that iOS 5 would remove the need to jailbreak because Apple had covered most of the bases this time around. Theoretically, if there are less reasons to jailbreak, then less people will jailbreak their devices. As the success of Absinthe illustrates, that is not the case.
Update: iPhone Dev Team hacker MuscleNerd has also tweeted that there were over 250,000 new Cydia installs over the weekend, indicating that a substantial fraction of Absinthe downloads were for first-time jailbreakers that created a Cydia ID.
Update 2: An official post on the Dev Team blog details the A5-based iOS device jailbreaks over the weekend:
- 491,325 new iPhone (4S) devices
- 308,967 new iPad 2 devices
- 152,940 previously jailbroken iPad 2 devices
Total: 953,232 new A5 jailbreaks in a little over 3 days