The iPhone Dev Team also announced successfully jailbreaking the 3.0 firmware beta. Apple could still complicate jailbreaking when 3.0 ships, but if history is any guide, the iPhone Dev Team members will readily crack that code as well.
The bottom line on iPhone development
Although Apple's iPhone store came in like a lion, months later its success has made it difficult for app developers to stand out from the herd. The store's 25,000 apps are virtually impossible to browse in toto, especially on the iPhone's tiny screen. Apple ranks applications by popularity and features some applications on a rotating basis, but the process is not transparent, and the huge number of apps mean many will never be highlighted. Not surprisingly, Apple and third parties are seeking other revenue models.
Both Apple and Cydia have turned to advertising for additional revenue. Cydia and Apple host ads in their storefront interfaces, while developers for either store can choose to have ads injected into their applications at runtime. App developers can incorporate their own advertising, using ad aggregators like AdMob, who reported the iPhone as its No. 1 ad platform in February, accounting for half the Web traffic from all U.S. smartphones. iPhone traffic was more than double the BlackBerry's 21 percent. Nokia still leads wordwide handset advertising, with a 43 percent share vs. iPhone's 33 percent.
As conspicuous consumers, Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch audience are highly sought. But current iPhone App Store limitations make it tough for app developers to deliver the unique capabilities that could give them the visibility to tap into this market. Background applications, despite their performance and battery life concerns, are one of the best paths to innovative applications. A perfect example is AwareSpot, a cross-platform app that alerts drivers to major traffic problems that runs on virtually every smartphone except the iPhone.
Given Apple's App Store overcrowding, it seems likely that jailbroken phones and app venues like Cydia Store will continue to be popular with iPhone customers, even after the 3.0 firmware ships.