Saturday, April 9, 2011

Apple Asks Toyota to Ditch the iPhone Jailbreak Theme

Toyota’s foray into advertising to iPhone users that jailbreak looks to be short lived thanks to a request from Apple that convinced the car maker to back out of that market. Toyota had been offering a home screen skin for the iPhone that advertised its Scion car, but the skin was available only through the Cydia app on jailbroken iOS devices.

Jailbreaking is the process of hacking an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Apple TV so that third-party apps not available through Apple’s App Store can be installed — a process that Apple doesn’t support. The Scion 2011 Theme from Toyota was distributed via the Cydia app repository, which is available only after jailbreaking.

Toyota’s marketing agency, Velti, contacted the Cydia team and asked that the interface skin be removed, according to Toyota agreed to pull the promotional app, according to a Velti spokesperson, “[to] maintain their good relationship with Apple.”

Apple isn’t saying why it asked Toyota to pull the app from the jailbreak community. The Mac, iPhone and iPad maker may be working to help maintain security on its iOS devices, or the decision could be about controlling all aspects of the platform, including advertising.

Regardless of Apple’s reasoning, the move sends a clear message to potential advertisers: Stay away from the jailbreak market.

By Carl W. Brooks

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