It's hard enough for iOS developers to monetize their own mobile apps and games, but now they face the kind of competition some might never have expected: an app store in China that allows free downloads without a jailbreak.
According to several stories online, a group of hackers have set up the site that determines a user's whereabouts via geolocation and reportedly uses Apple's own digital rights management technology to distribute the same apps with the same enterprise licence ID.
The first reactions from developers and app industry watchers was shock.
There were soon as many or more commentators, however, who expressed a degree of cynicism that such a ploy might come out of the Chinese market, and a few seemed more bemused than angry at the idea.
Of course they do. >> China Has Its Own App Store That Lets Users Install Pirated iOS Apps Without Jailbreaking | bit.ly/11EPMFz— Samuel H. (@samversionone) April 18, 2013
Haha, this site has been around for so long theverge.com/2013/4/19/4241…— Tom (@tt3g) April 19, 2013
There have been no official comments from Apple about the Chinese store, and without more information much of the details around it remain speculative.
I don't know where this enterprise licensing 7659 pirating rumor started, but pretty sure that's not how they do it.theverge.com/2013/4/19/4241…— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) April 19, 2013
Given that developers tend to invest much of their own time and money into creating iOS apps, there were several suggestions that the Chinese app store--which FierceDeveloper refuses to link to out of support for its audience--should be dealt with harshly and open up a larger conversation about app piracy.
This says we should not pirate apps by small teams. The inference "sharing" apps or content of lager players is fine? flip.it/eX5nT— Grant Hull (@gbuffer) April 21, 2013
And if you're unfamiliar with Gresham's law, it can be summarized as follows: Bad money drives out good.