In the earliest days of the iPhone, Cydia arose as a rival distribution channel to Apple’s App Store, built specifically for jailbroken smartphones. Now, more than decade later, Cydia founder Jay “Saurik” Freeman has decided to shut down in-app purchasing through the Cydia mobile store after he acknowledged a bug related to PayPal digital token authorization that affected “very few users,” via TechCrunch. Through Cydia, users could buy mobile software designed to run on a jailbroken iOS device, but the jailbreaking community has grown smaller over the years as Apple’s iOS ecosystem has grown more robust and secure.
“The reality is that I wanted to just shut down the Cydia Store entirely before the end of the year, and was considering moving the timetable up after receiving the report (to this weekend),” Freeman wrote in a Reddit post published late last week. “This service loses me money and is not something I have any passion to maintain: it was a critical component of a healthy ecosystem, and for a while it helped fund a small staff of people to maintain the ecosystem, but it came at great cost to my sanity and led lots of people to irrationally hate me due to what amounted to a purposeful misunderstanding of how profit vs. revenue works.”
Freeman said that shutting down the service doesn’t actually help him financially, as he still has to pay for hosting the archived Cydia repositories, a cost he says his new job helps him cover. So instead of shutting the store completely, he decided to simply disable the purchasing mechanism. It sounds as if the Cydia project itself may imminently come to an end, but Freeman says he’s planning a more “formal” post next week to better explain the PayPal issue and also outline the roadmap for Cydia going forward.