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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Jail-breaking Apple devices rises sharply

By Zhu Shenshen (Shanghai Daily)

16:18, December 02, 2011

More than half of iPhone and iPad users in China have jail-broken their Apple devices to avoid paying for applications despite Apple making it easier last month for owners to pay using the yuan, research firms said yesterday.

By the end of the second quarter, more than 51 percent of Chinese iPhone and iPad users were found to have jail-broken their devices.

Jail-breaking means to hack Apple's systems so they avoid paying for applications through the official App Store.

In the first quarter the jail-breaking rate in China was 34.6 percent, according to UMeng, a mobile system research firm.

With detailed guides which can be easily found in online forums, many Chinese users jail-break the Apple devices and download the paid applications for free.

In November, Apple said it would accept payment through Chinese banks to improve payment channels for users in the country and this measure was expected to boost the revenue of the App Store in China. Previously only dual-currency credit cards were accepted in the store.

"The new payment won't change anything," said Sun Peilin, a mobile analyst at Analysys International, a Beijing-based research firm. "Users who jail-break are not willing to pay for applications. They don't care about paying in dollars or yuan."

By the end of September, Apple China's App Store boasted more than 450,000 applications, of which over 56 percent are applications that have to be bought. The rival Android market has about 250,000 applications, said Analysys International.

In the third quarter, Apple's China revenue increased six-folds annually to US$3.8 billion yuan.

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