Saurik talks details on Cydia and clears up popular misconceptions
We all know what Cydia is and who Saurik is, but have you ever wondered beyond that? Like how much money does he pull in or what happened to the Mac version of Cydia? You've might of gotten some answers to these questions, but have no way of knowing if it's the correct answer. Well get ready; Saurik is here to address some popular misconceptions about Cydia and clear things up. Head inside for the discussion.
First let's talk about why he's doing this. In the ModMyi forums, a user went on a rant about Saurik abandoning Cydia and other work while continuing to get “tons of money” from the jailbreak community and many more accusations.
The first issue he addressed is the misconception that he makes 30% from every Cydia sale:
“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 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 cost many thousands of dollars a month.”
As you can easily see (or calculate) Saurik isn't making much money at all from Cydia. Continuing on this subject:
“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 earnings 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 marks 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.”
As for the highly anticipated Cydia for Mac, here’s what he had to say:
“I bet “where is Cydia for Mac” 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.”
“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 IOS, there isn’t a “patch your kernel with a jailbreak” step.”
When accused of hating “any and all competition” and as a result not supporting DreamBoard, Saurik replied:
“I do not promote DreamBoard themes because DreamBoard is a project that the developer gave up on, which means that it is barely maintained and has lots of bugs (some of which involve users getting stuck in themes they can’t turn off): I actually was quite prepared and happy to add a section in the Theme Center for it, and even had suggested it to the DreamBoard developer, but by the time that became relevant the product mostly died.”
After Saurik mentioned he doesn't make money developing WinterBoard, he continued on saying:
“It isn't like someone competing with WinterBoard actually undercuts me; it certainly is not the case that if I were to get “competition” that that would somehow light a fire under me and cause numerous other changes to WinterBoard to suddenly happen..”
We all know there are people out there too cheap to pay a couple bucks for Cydia packages so they pirate them instead. What we didn't really know is just how many of them are out there, and the answer really took me by surprise. For a little context, the ranter suggested that “conservatively” over half of Cydia users never pay for anything, in which Saurik replied:
“The real number is more like 90%: the number of people who pay for something with Cydia is actually quite small. Of those, over half of them have purchased only a single product. (I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess what product that is, but it is fairly obvious.) 80% of users purchase 3 products or less.”
If you'd like to check out the thread that all this went down on, you can do so by clicking here. There's a couple more things mentioned on that thread that's really worth checking out. I recommend you read it when you have the chance.
After hearing all of this I have a lot more respect for Saurik. He puts up with a ton of this kind of childish critics who have no idea what their talking about, and manages to remain polite. I'm not going to lie, I thought Saurik pulled in a lot more money than he does. After hearing he doesn't really make any money, and still continues to stick with and support the jailbreak community just shows how great of a guy he really is.
What did you take from this?
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