In an interesting development, Cydia founder Jay Freeman (aka Saurik) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and its App Store monopoly in distributing software on iOS. The aim is to ultimately grant users and developers alternatives to the App Store for software distribution and payments.
This lawsuit seeks to open the markets for iOS app distribution and iOS app payment processing to those who wish to compete fairly with Apple and to recover the enormous damages Apple caused.
Cydia was launched in 2007 (a year prior to the App Store) and served as the default software distribution hub for jailbroken iPhones. Apple then launched its own App Store and quickly got into legal battles over Cydia’s status and the legality of jailbreaking altogether.
To this day jailbreaking is technically legal though it does void Apple’s terms of service and warranty. Cydia claims Apple forcefully shut down its chances of competing on the iOS app distribution front and this is the basis of its new lawsuit.
Were it not for Apple’s anticompetitive acquisition and maintenance of an illegal monopoly over iOS app distribution, users today would actually be able to choose how and where to locate and obtain iOS apps, and developers would be able to use the iOS app distributor of their choice.
Cydia discontinued its purchasing mechanism back in December of 2018 though it is still accessible on jailbroken devices. The new legal battle comes months after Epic Games filed a similar antitrust lawsuit against Apple’s App Store anti-competitive and monopolistic practices.