Symbian Piracy

If you go to Handango and check out their Symbian section, or go to some of the popular Symbian review sites like All About Symbian you can find lists of all the software available now for Symbian phones (basically the Nokia 9100, 7650 and SonyEricsson P800). I'd say at a rough estimate there's a hundred or so applications and games available. It's not equal to the number of Palm apps by any stretch, but it's quite enough to keep me busy trying everything out. Right now there seems to be at least one app for everything, which is really cool (and would normally be good for the developers who for now have a little monopoly in their area).

However, the problem is piracy. I CANNOT believe how bad it is. I mean, I can't say that my PC is crack free, but for the most part I buy my software when I can. I've spent probably $300 on software at Handango for example for my Palm and more for my PC. But just about EVERY SINGLE PIECE of software for Symbian has been cracked and is easily available online.

I'm not going to link to sites directly, but if you go to online forums like What Mobile the users regularly give advice about which sites - out in plain and open view - have the best cracked software.

But it's even worse than that. Do a search for "7650" or "Symbian" and you'll find several sites that have all the Symbian apps cracked and available online in the files section ready to download. Amazing. These aren't .ru sites. And as soon as more software comes out, people start asking for cracked copies and get it pretty much immediately. Since the maximum size (for now) of most Symbian apps is about a meg, and most run around 100k or so, you can put A LOT of software online without any problems. I get notices daily of new software that's been cracked and placed online.

This is nuts. I'm not sure what the real solution is to the problem since the files are so small, there's not a lot that can be done to protect them. I hate to see some heavy-handed DRM solution like MS's but it's a real shame that the last opportunity for independent developers to make some money from their software is getting smashed by blatant piracy!

It's definitely going to be a challenge to figure out how to make sure your app is paid for once you develop it. Softare that always communicates to a server for a large majority of its functionality most likely.


< Previous         Next >