Consistent with much current industry research, we feel piracy will only increase in 2013 for a few reasons.
The number of mobile OS’s are growing. In addition to popular iOS and Android, as well as ‘backseat’ platforms such as Blackberry and Windows, Tizen and Ubuntu are entering the scene (stage left!). More specifically, Android, the fastest growing OS due to compelling price points*, lacks a robust and standardized security process. For, iOS, although Hackulous has shut down, other websites, especially those hosted in minimal or unregulated territories such as China, we believe will continue to be plentiful and widespread as alternative sources for jailbroken apps. Additionally, many global developers may continue to maintain the importance of a ‘free’ development environment as they view jailbreaking as being about innovation (even though piracy is a consequence) and having the ability to create outside of the iOS sandbox.
Although the lack of iOS 6 jailbreak has been suggested as contributing to the Hackulous shutdown, it is always an arms race for the hacking community. In fact, today, hackers are touting a significant milestone of iPhone 5 running 6.0.2 as finally being jailbroken (iPhone Dev Team member – planetbeing – has revealed his jailbroken iPhone 5). The purported logic from the hacker for not yet releasing the exploit that enables the jailbreak is that it allows hackers to be able to maintain a “window” into new firmware for future jailbreaks. Hence, software publishers can’t expect piracy levels to decrease. In fact, our continued growth in providing more and more customers (we’re deployed on over 200 million devices) with app integrity via our app hardening and tamper proofing products underlines widespread concern on the prevalence of piracy attacks.
Furthermore, as mobile computing continues its stakehold as today’s mainstream platform, the underlying app economy multiplies to address multi-platform software requirements across diverse industries, such as mobile banking/payment, digital media, gaming, etc. Hence, the software piracy and app integrity challenge will undoubtedly follow in at least a linear manner.
*- “The tablet market has seen greater price competition from Android devices as well as smaller, low-priced devices in emerging markets,” Gartner said. “It is ultimately this shift toward relatively lower-priced tablets that lowers our average selling prices forecast for 2012 through 2016, which in turn is responsible for slowing device spending growth in general, and PC <http://www.phonearena.com/news/Global-IT-spending-will-grow-in-2013-but-devices-spending-growth-pushed-down-by-cheap-Android-tablets_id38248> and tablet spending growth in particular.”