Apple Shuts Down iPad Air and iPhone 5s In-Store Pickup Tracking Site

Several times in recent days, we've mentioned a website called Apple-Tracker.com that was allowing customers to easily monitor in-store Personal Pickup availability of iPhone 5s and iPad Air models.

The site offered a much more efficient method of checking for availability than on Apple's online store, showing product availability of all capacities of a given color/connectivity combination at the 20 closest retail store locations to a given zip code on a single screen. In contrast, Apple's online store requires users to select a single color/connectivity/capacity combination, enter a zip code, and then navigate through four pages of availability listings to see all 20 closest stores.

apple_tracker
Late yesterday, the site's operator suddenly shut down the stock tracker, citing a takedown request from Apple's lawyers sent to Heroku, the cloud app platform where the tool had been built. The request had been sent by Apple on October 17 when the site was tracking iPhone 5s availability, but it had since expanded to include iPad Air and was preparing to track Retina iPad mini stocks as well. In particular, Apple cited the tracker's violations of the terms of use for its own site:

Your Use of the Site. You may not use any “deep-link”, “page-scrape”, “robot”, “spider” or other automatic device, program, algorithm or methodology, or any similar or equivalent manual process, to access, acquire, copy or monitor any portion of the Site or any Content, or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of the Site or any Content, to obtain or attempt to obtain any materials, documents or information through any means not purposely made available through the Site. Apple reserves the right to bar any such activity.

"Mordy", the tool's author, notes that he has no interest in fighting Apple on this issue, and so he has shut down the site.

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Top Rated Comments

epiksol Avatar
138 months ago
way to trample innovation...
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kalsta Avatar
138 months ago
Tim Berners-Lee has called Apple out on this sort of policy before. The web was founded on the principle of free sharing of the information posted there. No one is hacking into Apple's private network—this is all freely available public data.

Feel for you Mordy!
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hexagenia Avatar
138 months ago
Put your Developers where your lawyers are....

Admitted fanboy, but this is just bogus. Apple's availability couldn't be more difficult to use, hasn't seen improvement in multiple year's, and often doesn't yield timely information. Way to go Tim! Recognize a helpful site? Nope. Threaten with lawyers? Yup. Great model for the industry!:confused:
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
138 months ago
Maybe the site can switch to tracking Nexus 5 or other popular Android product instead?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deeddawg Avatar
138 months ago
Maybe the site can switch to tracking Nexus 5 or other popular Android product instead?

Are there any such products that are both popular and difficult to find in stock?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lkwan Avatar
138 months ago
i think it was extremely foolish for apple to request for this site to be taking down....

Now their employees will have to waste their time fielding even more calls for inventory checks...
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)