This week, Wired (via CNN.com) ran a piece on the rise of jail breaking sites such as Cydia, which has taken off as Apple has banned some apps. Unable to find these apps at the Apple App Store users can head over to Cydia and download them, but there is a catch.. you need to jailbreak your phone, as in unlock it, which voids the warranty.
The question is whether jail breaking will catch on as app makers seek to get their wares out there. The problem for the app makers is that once rejected, there isn’t really much room for appeal, and after the time and potential money investment jail breaking might seem to be the only option. And this might not be limited to the Apple iPhone. With so many developers jumping on the app bandwagon, the number of apps being produced is increasing and so is the chance that more apps will be rejected.
But I for one think we’ll see the notion of jail breaking fade a bit in the months to come instead of taking off as others suggestion. One reason is that these app stores will bring new competition to the marketplace, and if one handset maker and/or carrier says “no” to an app, the developer can bring it to another handset maker or carrier. This week, PC World also reported on how this trend is already starting.
But the other reason that jail breaking isn’t going to be the future is because it would be bad for business. No major app maker is going to risk the wrath of a handset maker in such a market, especially if it could hinder future acceptance of apps. To do so would be shortsighted.
Equally shortsighted of course is jail breaking a phone. While many still do it, Apple is starting to crack down (not that they were ever lenient on the issue before). And just wait until some nasty virus or buggy app hits Cydia and ruins a few handsets. That could kill off the jailbreak concept better than a full-blown lockdown by Apple.
Sprint and Samsung Partner on Eco-friendly Phone
There is one very inconvenient truth about mobile phones that few report on—that mobile handsets aren’t so good for the environment. As I’ve touched on in past columns, mobile handsets are replaced by many users at a rate faster than TVs, Mp3 players or computers.
And while there have been efforts to recycle handsets, the other truth that isn’t so widely talked about is that most handsets end up in secondary markets until the end of life, and after that in landfills. However, some manufacturers are thinking ahead.
Sprint and Samsung have announced the debut of the Samsung Reclaim. This “green” phone is amazingly both affordable (available for $49.99 with two year contract) and is still far from a barebones model. It is made of bio-degradable plastic (including 40 percent corn-based plastic for the casing, as well as recycled materials for the components), and yet still features a full QWERTY keypad, 3G Internet connectivity, 2.6-inch screen and is compatible with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. While this phone won’t change the world (or save the planet), it is good to see the manufacturers thinking about their products and even in their afterlife.