SAN FRANCISCO, JailbreakCon 2012 — Jay ‘saurik’ Freeman just finished his presentation at JailbreakCon, and the creator of Cydia gave some interesting numbers regarding the jailbreak storefront. According to Freeman, Cydia developers were paid an estimated $8 million in sales last year. While it’s difficult for Freeman to specifically track the number of jailbroken iOS devices that are out in the wild, he said that an average 1.5 million users open Cydia each day.
Quoting a Flurry Analytics study from 2010, Freeman described a trend of 6-12% of all iOS devices running Cydia at any given time. When a device is jailbroken, Cydia is typically installed by default for users to find tweaks and hacks. Because jailbreaking goes through a drought season between major iOS releases from Apple, the amount of jailbroken devices drops drastically for short periods. When a new jailbreak like recent Absinthe 2.0 comes out, the total amount of jailbroken iOS devices will climb to around 12% of all registered devices sold.
While still only a small fraction of what Apple has paid out to App Store developers, $8 million a year in earnings is an impressive feat for a community characterized by rampant piracy.