Apple reportedly taking action against vendors selling iOS beta activations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple has been proactive in taking down a number of websites that sell developer device slots to non-developers looking to activate iOS prerelease betas.

MacStories reported on Sunday that "several" websites advertising a Unique Device Identifier (UDID) activation service no longer appear to be operating. The sites had previously been profiled in a story by Wired's Andy Baio on the new industry last month.

One site owner confirmed to MacStories that Apple had lodged a copyright infringement complaint with the site's hosting provider. He claimed to have made $75,000 since Apple began seeding beta releases of iOS 6 to developers in June.

?We do not believe our service was infringing and our services did not violate their guidelines for iOS 6″, the site owner maintained, adding that he is currently working on a new site ?with better and more secure data lines to handle Apple.?

iOS 6


Meanwhile, the report noted that the CEO of a web hosting company told Baio via Twitter that Apple was "fairly heavy-handed" in sending Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests to sites his company hosted that offered UDID developer activations.

Apple's $99-per-year developer accounts allow for activation of up to 100 devices for testing. Considering that one UDID activation-selling service was charging $8.99 per service, these websites could stand to make $800 per developer account, not counting other costs such as hosting or advertising.

Last year, Apple warned developers not to sell their account device slots. The company reportedly closed accounts of some developers that it had identified as having sold UDID activations.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member


    Good for Apple.  Clearly a violation of the developer terms.


     


    And why would anyone pay $9 to have a beta version of iOS on their device?  Stupid all around.

  • Reply 2 of 51
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,498member

    Quote:



    "We do not believe our service was infringing and our services did not violate their guidelines for iOS 6?, the site owner maintained..."






    Riiight...

  • Reply 3 of 51
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    I thought, due to a lot of reading, that apple was trying to do away with UDID. I'm not as well read as some of you with technology, but wouldn't this show up in iOS 6? Meaning, now it's here! ...and by the way UDID doesn't work any more. No more tracking guys!

    I'm generalizing of course, but are we seeing a new level of security that the Senators keep calling Apple out on?

    I would love to hear Sol's well thought opinion of this.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Vadania View Post



    I thought, due to a lot of reading, that apple was trying to do away with UDID.


     


    in terms of general consumer use, yes. But they have to have a way to validate the devices for getting and activating the betas and the UDID is the only way possible at the moment. Given that Apple discourages developers using their active device with an iOS beta since said device will not be eligible for any kind of Genius Bar/Apple Care service, it's not like they could track the device or any use of it as all it is supposed to have is the beta of iOS 6 and the developers apps for testing. 

  • Reply 5 of 51
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member


    OS X Betas are *not* for public consumption, nor is the public entitled to something a vendor decided to *not* give them. Apple's philosophy is that the consumer sees the final, finished release, not some beta. The first impression is to be made from the release. Even if the release isn't up to *some* users' standards, it is still better than an unfinished beta. And if the policy were that a late beta is open for public consumption, then so must an early beta. Not good.


     


    I applaud Apple for choosing thoughtful philosophy and principles over whatever misguided patronage might be gained from being too open for their own damn good.


     


    "Apple's $99-per-year developer accounts allow for activation of up to 100 devices for testing. Considering that one UDID activation-selling service was charging $8.99 per service, these websites could stand to make $800 per developer account, not counting other costs such as hosting or advertising."


     


    Open-and-shut case. Easily. 


     


    Regardless of how the public gets the Beta (via "other" means), it's understandable that Apple make their position clear on their own policies regarding the integrity of their product. 

  • Reply 6 of 51
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    charlituna wrote: »
    in terms of general consumer use, yes. But they have to have a way to validate the devices for getting and activating the betas and the UDID is the only way possible at the moment. Given that Apple discourages developers using their active device with an iOS beta since said device will not be eligible for any kind of Genius Bar/Apple Care service, it's not like they could track the device or any use of it as all it is supposed to have is the beta of iOS 6 and the developers apps for testing. 

    Thank you very much!

    / no sarcasm.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,432member


    Apple definitely needs to go after those people. Either somebody has a developer account with Apple or they don't. If they don't, then they should not have any access at all to any beta versions through non-Apple sites. Pay the $99 or GTFO.

  • Reply 8 of 51
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    charlituna wrote: »
    in terms of general consumer use, yes. But they have to have a way to validate the devices for getting and activating the betas and the UDID is the only way possible at the moment. Given that Apple discourages developers using their active device with an iOS beta since said device will not be eligible for any kind of Genius Bar/Apple Care service, it's not like they could track the device or any use of it as all it is supposed to have is the beta of iOS 6 and the developers apps for testing. 

    O.k. I get it. I had to think about your response for a moment.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    So because you still have to plug in your phone or iPad to put the beta on it, the new UDID system wouldn't work, because you still have to download it through you developer account, which does not use the new UDID system.

    So when do you think everything will move to the identifier including developers?
  • Reply 9 of 51
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I'm curious to see how future posters will spin this into something sinister against Apple.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I'm curious to see how future posters will spin this into something sinister against Apple.

    I don't think this is against Apple, but I think it's some kind of move to the new identifier in iOS 6. However, as the person above this pointed out it, the new identifier wouldn't really have much to do with betas yet. That's a future thing I guess.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    vadania wrote: »
    I don't think this is against Apple, but I think it's some kind of move to the new identifier in iOS 6. However, as the person above this pointed out it, the new identifier wouldn't really have much to do with betas yet. That's a future thing I guess.

    You've lost me. I'm under the impression that UDIDs will still be in iOS and will still be used for selecting devices that can be used to install IOS betas for development purposes. The only thing the new ID program is for is to allow 3rd-party app developers to be able to identify devices without using the UDID.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    vadaniavadania Posts: 425member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    You've lost me. I'm under the impression that UDIDs will still be in iOS and will still be used for selecting devices that can be used to install IOS betas for development purposes. The only thing the new ID program is for is to allow 3rd-party app developers to be able to identify devices without using the UDID.

    Yes, absolutely!

    I was thinking too far ahead.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    As I said earlier, elsewhere, good on Apple for doing this. They should have started many years ago.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    Some of you guys really need to get over yourselves. No, no one should be selling developer activations. That's crossing a line and shame on them. But, really?

    If some superfan can't wait and just HAS to have IOS 6 on his iDevice, what's the big deal? It's gonna mystery crash, be incompatible with a lot of his apps, etc. Maybe he'll learn, maybe he won't. It's a lot like jail breaking... Generally a pain in the butt.

    How many of us have $99 developer accounts that, strictly speaking, maybe we really don't qualify for? I'd be all over the IOS 6 beta but I've been down that road and life's too short. See paragraph two.

    In the end we're not talking about curing hunger or a calamitous natural disaster... It's a phone.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    blogorant wrote: »
    Some of you guys really need to get over yourselves. No, no one should be selling developer activations. That's crossing a line and shame on them. But, really?
    If some superfan can't wait and just HAS to have IOS 6 on his iDevice, what's the big deal? It's gonna mystery crash, be incompatible with a lot of his apps, etc. Maybe he'll learn, maybe he won't. It's a lot like jail breaking... Generally a pain in the butt.
    How many of us have $99 developer accounts that, strictly speaking, maybe we really don't qualify for? I'd be all over the IOS 6 beta but I've been down that road and life's too short. See paragraph two.
    In the end we're not talking about curing hunger or a calamitous natural disaster... It's a phone.

    From the perspective of the buyer and the sell it's not a big deal and if those that can sell it and those that can find a way to make the transaction happen then so be it. But now look it at from Apple's PoV. They've surely known about this sort of thing for many years and very likely even considered this issue when they first designed the developer account system. I'd say they're only likely now coming down on them because it's becoming too rampant and could potentially become a problem for them. For that reason and that reason alone they have a responsibility.

    I'm not even sure what curing hunger and calamitous natural disaster has to do with anything. Most things aren't those things and surely not any of Apple's products so why mention it?
  • Reply 16 of 51

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    From the perspective of the buyer and the sell it's not a big deal and if those that can sell it and those that can find a way to make the transaction happen then so be it. But now look it at from Apple's PoV. They've surely known about this sort of thing for many years and very likely even considered this issue when they first designed the developer account system. I'd say they're only likely now coming down on them because it's becoming too rampant and could potentially become a problem for them. For that reason and that reason alone they have a responsibility.

     


     


    It's Apple's OS, their game, their sandbox, their rules.  They can play this (or not) any way they want.  I get it and have no problem with whatever they choose to do or not to do with regard to an OS beta.


     


         Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


     


         I'm not even sure what curing hunger and calamitous natural disaster has to do with anything. Most things aren't those things and surely not any of Apple's products so why        mention it?


     


    Because if we're going to get our panties in a bunch...


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    Good for Apple.  Clearly a violation of the developer terms.


     


    And why would anyone pay $9 to have a beta version of iOS on their device?  Stupid all around.




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    OS X Betas are *not* for public consumption, nor is the public entitled to something a vendor decided to *not* give them. Apple's philosophy is that the consumer sees the final, finished release, not some beta. The first impression is to be made from the release. Even if the release isn't up to *some* users' standards, it is still better than an unfinished beta. And if the policy were that a late beta is open for public consumption, then so must an early beta. Not good.


     


    I applaud Apple for choosing thoughtful philosophy and principles over whatever misguided patronage might be gained from being too open for their own damn good.


     


    "Apple's $99-per-year developer accounts allow for activation of up to 100 devices for testing. Considering that one UDID activation-selling service was charging $8.99 per service, these websites could stand to make $800 per developer account, not counting other costs such as hosting or advertising."


     


    Open-and-shut case. Easily. 


     


    Regardless of how the public gets the Beta (via "other" means), it's understandable that Apple make their position clear on their own policies regarding the integrity of their product. 




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I'm curious to see how future posters will spin this into something sinister against Apple.


     


    Let's get them in a bunch over something really important and not a freaking phone.  Yes, an extremely cool phone, but still just a phone.  And just a phone OS beta at that ;)

  • Reply 17 of 51
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,432member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blogorant View Post



    In the end we're not talking about curing hunger or a calamitous natural disaster... It's a phone.


     


    Who cares about curing hunger? Cure the breeding habits of certain people, and there would be no need to cure hunger, as if there is any cure to be found to begin with.


     


    A phone is much more important, unless we're talking about an Android phone of course. A game changing device like the iPhone has had a far more dramatic and substantial impact on the world than curing hunger. And what does curing hunger mean anyway? There is no magic pill that will eliminate hunger. 

  • Reply 18 of 51
    sflocal wrote: »


    Riiight...

    This kind of violation of a NDA/developer's contract calls for Mr. Job's thermonuclear war response. Sue the company and the principals Into bankruptcy and then grind each and every individual into poverty and seek intervention by the DOJ for criminal violations of Title XVIII.

    Then, get medieval on them!

    Seriously, this is as eggregrious a contort as can be had. I'd question the ethics of their defense counsel, absent their immediate capitulation.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,565member
    I've been buying UDID activations online since 4.0 Beta. I bought the iOS 6 beta UDID activation from an eBay seller for $4.99 and was activated within 2 minutes.

    As a tinkerer who likes to stay on the bleeding edge, it was worth it to me. I don't mind a few crashes or incompatibilities here and there.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    sennensennen Posts: 1,465member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I'm curious to see how future posters will spin this into something sinister against Apple.


     


    macrumours has some doozies:


     


    "In all seriousness, what is a ripoff? A $99 fee to develop products in a ready made market? Or is it something else? "


     


    "Plus a commission for everything you sell. You shouldn't have to pay to get iOS 6 beta since it doesn't even make you any money. "


     


    "I don't agree with people raking in the money from this, but without sharing I wouldn't be running iOS 6 right now. It's not hurting Apple because I'm not making money from it and I'll get the full release in the fall. "


     


    "It's not $99. It's $99 a year. Otherwise your apps stop being available. Over five years, that's some serious change for many young developers and/or hobbyists who just wanted to make some family apps.


    Android charges nothing to be a developer, with a one-time small fee to be in the Market. RIM only charges a one-time $25 signing fee."


     


    "Apple has become a big bully. They are of course not above downright theft of the ideas of the jb community (see click volume for camera) and of course these little guys can't sue the hell out of them cause they don't have the money. It's when the little guy tries to get by that they bully up against them. Instead of hunting people down who are anyway beta testing their software for free they might as well focus or restructuring the fees of the app store.


    I can't see how a small time developer should pay $500 over five years and sell their app at $1.99 to 500 or so users. That's $500 to apple plus another $300, $800 and it's $700 to the person that actually did all the work with the development.

    The app store and the devs fee are not there to sponsor apple's ios and xcode development. God knows they have enough money to pay for their own dev costs. They are supposed to be paying for developing their tools not offload it to the dev community. It's that community that's helping them ship on ios device after the other. Yeah I know this is kind of ot, but not really if you think about it. Some people that are small time in the app store or even hobbyists cannot be expected to pay $500 over 5 years just to try a few things out, that's like buying a new ipad.

    They even had the nerve to claim "job creation" for something like 210,000 developers. That's 20 million to apple's pockets per year without even counting the 30% per app cut. They are the first job creator that get's paid by the employee.


    Apple need to face real competition, really soon, if they don't the way their greed and obscene riches have gone to their heads the consumers and the developers will suffer as they do now."


     


    and so on...

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