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Apple Cracking Down on Sites Selling Access to iOS 6 Developer Betas

Late last month, Wired covered the emergence of a cottage industry of businesses selling access to iOS developer betas prior to their official launch. Apple offers these developer betas to registered iOS developers. The fee for such a registration is $99/year. Some enterprising individuals have turned around and started selling their 100 possible device slots to users looking to install the iOS betas prior to their official launch.
Behind the scenes, each service uses the same simple backdoor: Registered iOS developers can activate up to 100 unique device IDs (or UDIDs) for their account, an essential tool for testing apps on multiple devices. Once registered with Apple, the activated device is also able to run pre-release versions of iOS, though developers are forbidden from sharing pre-release software outside their own team.

Ignoring these warnings, activation services charge a small fee to add a customer’s device to their developer accounts. When they hit the 100-device limit, they just register a new account with Apple.
This has been going on for a couple of years with no particular intervention from Apple. As Wired notes, it seems Apple just didn't seem to care, despite their wide availability.


That may have changed since the publication of the Wired article. MacStories has noted that many of the services listed in the original Wired article are no longer available. After reaching out to the sites, it seems that Apple has started taking action against these services.
While most of our emails bounced, we heard back from one of the site owners (who asked to remain anonymous), who confirmed his hosting provider took down the site after a complaint for copyright infringement by Apple. Similarly, the CEO of Fused tweeted in a reply to Andy Baio that Apple had been “fairly heavy-handed” with DMCA requests to UDID-selling sites hosted on their network.
MacStories exchanged emails with the owner of one of the services which made $75,000 since the release of the iOS 6 Beta in June.

Top Rated Comments

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32 months ago
This is good news! Less people complaining about how their device doesn't work properly when they are using beta software.
Rating: 27 Votes
32 months ago

People would have gotten the developer accounts if the price aren't such a ripoff.


they are a business investment if you're an actual developer.
Rating: 25 Votes
32 months ago

You shouldn't have to pay to get iOS 6 beta since it doesn't even make you any money.


Having your app polished and ready to go the second iOS 6 is publicly available just might make you some money if you have a worthy app to sell.
Rating: 25 Votes
32 months ago
But i thought this was the most underwhelming upgrade and nobody liked it? :rolleyes:

It's about time they did this, too many people who don't have any idea what they're doing are getting their hands on Dev. Previews.
Rating: 16 Votes
32 months ago
I too always wondered why they don't just cut back on how many slots they hand out. Or maybe offer different tiers. An independent developer only needs a few.
Rating: 16 Votes
32 months ago

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.


$99/year is bugger all, particularly for the services that you get included. Some people like find any excuse to bash Apple.
Rating: 15 Votes
32 months ago

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.


blah blah...


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.


They aren't "hunting down" people who are "beta testing". They are shutting down people who are using developer accounts outside the bounds of the agreement. When you sign up for a developer account you have to agree not to do that kind of thing.


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.


This example is nonsensical and doesn't really work out in your favor even. In your scenario McDeveloper made enough money to cover their fees plus some profit. It's not Apple's fault if your strawman lacks the talent or skill to create more than one app or sell it to more than 500 people in 5 goddamn years.


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.


The fee means a minimum barrier of entry so the wanna-be developer has some incentive to actually complete and ship some kind of app. It also provides some form of paper trail for a developer who might think about creating something nasty.


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.


Cry us a fricken' river. If you want to be a McDeveloper then Android is waiting with open arms.


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. :rolleyes:


It is job creation, it's not Apple's fault if Strawman McDeveloper chooses to do jack with their membership or is unable to release a compelling product.


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.


Sure, whatever. Apple always "needs" to face competition. Don't know why you people always root for this as their competitors always end up being incompetent or sleazy in ways that make Apple look like the paragon of perfection.
Rating: 14 Votes
32 months ago

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.


But if it was free then there would be even more people who load up beta software on their phones and then complain when it doesn't work right.
Rating: 13 Votes
32 months ago

Well what does Apple expect, they promise a Fall launch date... and it's Summer. Get with the program Apple!



Get with the program and do what?

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People would have gotten the developer accounts if the price isn't such a ripoff.


In all seriousness, what is a ripoff? A $99 fee to develop products in a ready made market? Or is it something else?
Rating: 13 Votes
32 months ago
Why do we even need 100 slots? I'm using a total of 2. Large development companies might need about 20-50 tops for testing apps on the new OS.
Rating: 11 Votes

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