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App Piracy Service Installous Shuttered

Christopher MacManus at CNET:

A wee bit of bad news for Apple’s jailbreak community right on the eve of the New Year: Installous, a major portal for pirated paid apps from Apple’s App Store, won’t be around anymore.

I’m already weeping. Those poor jailbreakers!

In my personal experiences with the app, I could often download the latest iOS applications and games for free from a variety of sources within mere seconds. After downloading, you could then install the app on your iDevice as if you purchased it from Apple’s App Store. Additionally, during its prime, it wasn’t unrealistic to expect expensive App Store apps hitting Installous mere hours after release.

MacManus is admitting to using Installous to pirate “the latest iOS applications and games for free.” Classy.

The service is closing down due to a dwindling user base and a lack of interest.

It seems odd for Installous to close on its own for such simplistic reasons, considering its large user base and a possible moderate revenue stream from built-in ads.

So, MacManus either doesn’t buy that a shrinking user base is a worthwhile reason to close a service, or is naive enough to think that people who steal $5 apps for their $200 phones will tolerate “built-in ads.”

I wonder if CNET is hiring…

Update: MacManus (or someone at CNET) has heavily edited the story, pulling most of the first-person commentary out. I won’t be updating my block quotes. The site also added this:

Clarification, January 1 at 3:38 p.m. PT: The original version of this story gave some readers the impression that the author, and by extension CNET, condones illegal activities such as piracy. Neither CNET nor the author condones such activities. The story has been modified to reflect this, and the names of two piracy-oriented apps, which were originally included simply to illustrate how easy it is for people to steal paid apps, have been removed so as not to make such activity any simpler.

If that’s the case, someone should have caught this story way before MacManus published it.