Mobile Application Piracy

crackulous.gifThinking of creating a mobile application? I have previously posted about programming complexity and commonly missed requirements. Well, I forgot to add piracy prevention.

Most mobile developers ignore piracy as it often hinders legitimate users in some shape or form. Also, many developers are of the opinion that people who use pirate copies are unlikely to buy a copy.

However, I am starting to question this. With mass market popularity of app stores/applications the apparent losses become much greater and with application prices tending towards $0.99 we really have to ask if pirates wouldn’t buy a copy.

There’s a great post by the author of iCombat that quantifies piracy as up to 82.9% during the first week a new iPhone app is released. Clearly, the popularity of iPhone applications is also attracting pirates. Meanwhile, applications like crackulous just make things easier for end-users.

Hence, I think copy protection will become a more important requirement as app stores and applications become ever more popular.