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Apple gets Cydia app store lawsuit dismissed, for now

A US District Judge has dismissed Cydia's lawsuit claiming that Apple's App Store unfairly forced it out of business, but will allow Cydia to amend its complaint.

Originally filed in December 2020, the lawsuit by Jay Freeman, creator of Cydia, says that Apple used its monopoly position against the alternative jailbreaking store. Cydia claimed that it was forced to shut down because of Apple's allegedly unlawful control of app distribution on iOS.

Now U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has granted Apple's motion to dismiss the case. However, she has granted Freeman leave to amend his suit.

Should Freeman choose to proceed, he has until January 19, 2022, to file the amended suit. Then Apple will have until February 2, 2022, to respond.

Cydia launched as a jailbreaking tool, and a source of alternative apps and features for the iPhone, before Apple started its own App Store. It required users to first circumvent Apple's iOS security, but according to The Washington Post, some 4.5 million users were doing so at the peak of Cydia's popularity.

Apple subsequently patched at least the majority of ways its iOS could be jailbroken, making Cydia impractical to the average user. Freeman's suit also alleged that Apple tried to convince users that jailbreaking was dangerous, which he denies.

Freeman had sought trial by jury, plus damages and fees. The amount of damages would mean estimating all of the potential earnings lost since 2012, when Cydia says it was forced out of business. At its peak, Cydia earned $10 million in 2011 to 2012, by charging developers a fee for being on its store.

The dismissal of the suit was first reported by MacRumors.