absintheThis weekend the iPhone Dev Team and Chronic Dev Team released tools to jailbreak the iPhone 4s and iPad 2 running iOS 5.0.1. And it turns out an awful lot of people were waiting to do just that.

Just three days after the jailbreak utilities were first released, the iPhone Dev Team reports that nearly half a million iPhone 4S devices have been jailbroken. The iPad 2 numbers are a little funkier, with about 300,000 new iPad 2 jailbreaks and around 150,000 people who had jailbroken their iPads while running iOS 4.x now upgrading to iOS 5.0.1 and jailbreaking again.

The stats are compiled from the number of new devices pinging the server for the Cydia store for jailbroken devices. Cydia is installed when you jailbreak your iDevice.

In addition to enabling support for apps that aren’t available from the App Store, jailbreaking allows you to access hidden files and settings on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and make changes to the look and feel of the operating system.

Up until recently it was easy to jailbreak an iPad 1, iPhone 4, or earlier devices including all iPod touch models. But the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 both have new hardware that had proven more difficult to crack… until now.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...