Report: Piracy has cost Apple, iPhone devs $450 million


Update: Reader Phillip wrote in to tell us some outlets are concerned with the figures 24/7 Wall St. has presented. While we never claim these figures are 100 percent accurate (we attribute everything to their report, after all), we felt it necessary to point out some other takes on the info. Both Tech Dirt and Ars Technica are calling into question the figures, while our own TUAW suggests these figures are merely assumptions and could very well be "wide of the mark."

Original post: Score several million for the scurvy dogs. According to a piece over at 24/7 Wall St., the Apple App Store has lost over $450 million in profits to piracy since opening its virtual doors in July 2008. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconagh estimates that the App store has had three billion items downloaded by users since its inception, with only 13 to 21 percent (510 million) of those downloads being paid Apps.

It's a story we hear far too often. Developers are regaling us with tales of how much piracy hurts their profits and pirates are laughing maniacally at how easy it is to hock illegal wares, living in some dark, damp cave where no light or goodness can be found -- well, save for the light from their pirated iPhone game, anyway. This is done through "jailbreaking," an increasingly common practice of unlocking one's phone through black magic and evil incantations that allow non-App Store programs and items to be installed. Basically, it's God Mode for your iPhone.

So how can developers overcome this? Well, some are designing games that requires the phone contact a source to verify the version being played is legit -- an interesting concept that could help pave the way for better anti-piracy solutions. Either way you slice it, you have to be a real [negative adjective] to pirate a game that only costs you a few cents.

[Via Pocket Gamer]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.