Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) closely guards its ecosystem. The tech giant releases a new version of its iOS operating system every year. Soon after the release, there is a cutthroat competition among hackers to jailbreak it. They have broken almost every version of the iOS over the past few years to let users go beyond the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s ecosystem and enjoy limitless new software.

Apple Inc.

Apple strictly against jailbreaking

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has strict restrictions as to how the iPhones and iPads can be used. For example, the company requires users to purchase all apps through its iTunes store. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) takes a 30% cut on every sale. And its bans any developer who doesn’t comply with its stringent regulations. In contrast, the Android devices can load apps from any app store users want. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is strictly against jailbreaking.

There have been allegations that hackers have forgotten their ideals and started working for money. In their attempt to outsmart the world’s most valuable technology company, hackers who succeed also have the opportunity to earn big cash. Jailbreaking a device removes crucial security features, allowing users new powers such as free tethering, ability to defeat location tracking, use alternative browsers and download apps from other stores. Recently, an advocacy group for the disabled sponsored a campaign to jailbreak the iOS 7. They said the iTunes lacks many apps that disabled people find useful.

Jailbreaking Apple devices becomes a profession

A few days before the Christmas, evad3rs, a hacking group, publicly released the jailbreaking tool for iOS 7 on a Chinese app store Taig. The hacking group was widely criticized for selling out its users to Taig. The evad3rs later terminated their deal with Taig. Last month, The Washington Post got its hands on a recorded conversation between a hacker Geohot, full name George Hotz, and a middleman who wanted to buy a separate iOS 7 jailbreaking tool for an astonishing $350,000. The middleman revealed during the conversation that the ultimate buyer was a Chinese company.

Sales of smartphone apps are expected to generate more than $27 billion in 2013, according to research firm Gartner. That figure is expected to reach $76 billion by 2017. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iTunes and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google Play Store are dominant app stores.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were little changed from yesterday at $553.50 in pre-market trading Friday.