The biggest reason people run vanilla iOS is that they’re worried about the risk of breaking something in the course of a jailbreak. To be fair, some apprehension is quite understandable; after all, an iPhone is pretty costly. However, the key here is the larger question: is the process of jailbreaking your iPhone 5C a safe one?
In a word: yes. Of course you can’t guarantee that there’s no chance for failure – but it’s a very safe, reversible process; the jailbreak isn’t any more dangerous than running one of Apple’s official updates. Anything that touches the phone on a firmware level carries with it a small amount of risk, but unless you’re performing the jailbreak during a thunderstorm or something this is completely manageable. Again, it’s much like a normal update; there’s a certain, very small level of risk, but as long as you don’t do anything out-and-out stupid you’ll be fine and it works for all models including the iPhone 5s.
The other worry has to do with the apps you’ll be running. Jailbreaking your iPhone 5, 5c or 5s allows you to run all kinds of software outside of Apple’s official App Store; without the tight standards and conditions for making your app available to the public, you could release anything you wanted. Yes, iOS malware exists. Yes, you can brick a freshly jailbroken iPhone 5 in minutes if you really, really try. That applies for a whole host of other platforms, too, though. You don’t need to jailbreak an Android device to run a software that hasn’t passed through Google, but they’re not failing in huge numbers. Once more, the only time there’s serious danger is if you do something really, really dumb. If you download executables off of random websites and run them, you’re going to hit something dangerous sooner or later – but that’s no different from working with a PC. Do your research first and stick to apps that have been recommended by sources you trust when you can.
Jailbreaking your iPhone 5, 5s or 5s is a step toward turning a heavily curated, controlled experience into something a little more free and customizable. The gates are opened for all sorts of functionality that you can’t get without going around Apple. In a matter of minutes, you make an already great device in the iPhone 5 even more powerful. Apple will often play up the dangers involved in jailbreaking the phone and there are plenty of people who buy that line – but these dangers are, to put it gently, heavily exaggerated. If you run a jailbreak on your last 2% of battery power, you’re going to have some trouble. If, immediately after completing the jailbreak, you go into Cydia and download a host of random apps sight-unseen, you’re going to have some trouble. Otherwise, though? You’re going to be fine, iOS is an even better operating system without the artificial restrictions placed on it out of the box.
Let’s ask that question again, then. Jailbreaking your iPhone 5C: Is it safe?
The answer is a resounding yes. There are edge cases, certainly but, barring scenarios constructed specifically to make the jailbreak look more risky than it is, it’s a quick, painless process. Follow the instructions and you won’t have any difficulty at all.