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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
91 months ago
way to trample innovation...
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
91 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)
Avatar
91 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)
Avatar
91 months ago
Maybe the site can switch to tracking Nexus 5 or other popular Android product instead?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
91 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)
Avatar
91 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)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Apple Plans to Enable 5G in Dual SIM Mode With Software Update Later This Year

Monday October 19, 2020 9:20 am PDT by
iPhone XS models and newer feature both a physical SIM slot and a digital eSIM, allowing for a feature known as dual SIM, dual standby. This means you can have two lines of service on one iPhone, which is useful for purchasing data-only plans while traveling abroad or having personal and business lines on a single iPhone. 5G will not be available in Dual SIM mode on the iPhone 12 and iPhone...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...