Apple doesn't like competition and it looks as if its iPhone App store is going to get some as three alternative applications stores are set to open shortly at least in the UK.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the first one, Cydia Store will encourage iPhone developers to sell their applications without having to pay Apple nearly a third of their revenues.
This will allow unlocked or Jailbroken iPhones to download applications regardless of the phones' networks or whether the applications have been approved by Apple or not.
Obviously, jailbreaking a phone will void its warranty and a non-unlocked phone won't be able to use applications from Cydia.
Cydia Store was set up by Jay Freeman after Apple refused to allow his application, Cycorder, to be listed on the App Store although its creator says it is used by more than one million iPhone users, about 1 in every 17 iPhone users.
Freeman defended his project saying that while Apple might be right in its quest to control development on the iPhone, it is ultimately very limiting for the developers and users.
The two other rebel application marketplace include Rock your Phone, which allows non-jailbroken iPhone users to use unauthorised applications and another one which will flog adult content to the punters.
Apple's App Store has been one of the surprising successes of last year with more than 22,000 applications available in store, more than 500 million downloads since its launch and an estimated turnover for 2009 of around $800 million.
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Freeman vs Apple will only yield one winner, although the former could seek some support from the European Commission to investigate whether Apple should have a monopoly on the distribution of software on its iPhone platform. But it could also open a Pandora box when it comes to security and other dubious software applications. Other online software marketplaces (Android, Microsoft, RIM, Blackberry) could also be facing the same monopolistic accusations in due time.
(Search Engine Journal)