Well, that didn’t take long – even by Apple’s standards. We told you
last Sunday that Toyota was offering a custom user interface theme pack as part of their advertising campaign for the 2011 Scion tC. Unfortunately, such an unusual move to promote the vehicle via a custom theme made available through a rogue store that happens to carry unsanctioned apps for jailbroken iPhones has backfired. Read on…
One could imagine that the fact that additional adverts pointing to said theme were spotted within the Cydia storefront app didn’t help either.
There was some confusion initially about that until Cydia creator Saurik chimed in to tell us that Cydia did not partner with Toyota’s agency Velti on in-store advertising since the banners were being served within the Cydia app through the ModMyi website.
Whichever deal was on table between ModMyi and Toyota has been invalidated as Apple has reportedly stepped in and asked the car maker to cease marketing aimed towards jailbreakers.
I received a call from our contact at Velti this evening as well as an email asking me to please take the theme out of Cydia. On the phone, he explained Apple had contacted Toyota and requested they remove the theme and stop the advertising campaign. They (Velti) in turn contacted me relaying the message. The reason Velti listed for the removal request of the theme emailed through our dev portal was “Toyota’s making us take it down…” Toyota had agreed to do so to “maintain their good relationship with Apple,” our Velti contact told me on the phone.
I guess that will show those pesky jailbreakers who’s who, Apple’s probably thinking. Joking aside, I can relate to Apple’s thinking – although I don’t support it. When a highly visible brand like Toyota begins cutting deals with Cydia, it derails credibility of Apple’s own iAd advertising platform they’re desperately trying to push. It’s also a wake up call for other advertisers that jailbreakers are a valid target audience, cynics might add. By some estimates, about nine percent iOS devices out there have been jailbroken for various purposes.