Toyota Motor’s Scion brand has announced that it has signed an ad deal with the Cydia app store and the modmyi jailbreaking community, which marks the first time that a major commercial brand has signed an advertising deal around what Apple deems as illegitimate activity. Scion is also making its debut on Cydia by offering a free iPhone theme.
Scion also features apps in Appleâ€™s own App Store mostly related to its automotive lineup and the Scion A/V music portal. While Scion and by extension Toyota see this as an opportunity to reach an audience that sees jailbreaking as the only path to personal customization of Appleâ€™s iPhone and iPad, much like Scion sees itself as a carmaker that allows personal customization of their vehicles with full warranties, Apple might see this as an opportunity to retaliate against Scion and Toyota for condoning the activity, since its sees such communities as nuisances rather than contributors to the success of the iPhone and successor devices.
Apple has always taken a hardline stance against jailbreaking since the release of the first iPhone, which led to the development of Cydia long before the debut of the official App Store. Another major reason Apple takes a dim view towards jailbreaking is due to the usage of undocumented APIs that it usually reserves for its own use, while arguing that it causes security issues and is even illegal, an argument shot down by the librarians in the Library of Congress last year, which Apple continues to protest by developing new measures designed to block the activity in hardware and software updates.
Update: Not even two days after the initial report, Toyota has ended its campaign with Cydia and modmyi, due to a C&D request issued by Apple to the firm handling both the ad campaign and the theme development. Toyota goes on to cite its wish to maintain its relations with Apple, despite this morning’s announcement of a new automotive telematics system which it will co-develop with Microsoft for its vehicle lineup as a competitor to GM’s OnStar service. This demonstrates Apple’s continuing crusade against jailbreaking and the irrational logic it uses against its most dedicated customer base.