Apple Disabling iOS 5 Beta Installs and Developer Accounts Over Sales of Device Slots?

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Since late yesterday, MacRumors has received a few reports of users who have seen their devices running various beta versions of iOS 5 shutting down and returning to activation mode. The reports have been sporadic, with some users suggesting that earlier beta versions may simply have been expiring and been disabled by Apple.

But according to a report from Karthik.K (via AppleInsider), the deactivations appear to be a concerted effort by Apple to crack down on registered developers who have been selling off extra beta slots to offer non-developers access to iOS 5 beta versions. Developers who have sold off their slots are apparently reporting that Apple has shut down their accounts over the violation of the company's developer terms, which limit beta iOS installations to the developer's own devices for testing purposes.
Many of my developer friends have reported that Apple has sent an email warning which said that they have identified the developer to be selling his slots for some users to get early preview of iOS.

And Apple has started closing the developer accounts for selling the slots and also, have flagged the UDIDs associated with that dev account, thus making the iOS 5 device unusable.

Many developers have received this letter and immediately banned their account from the developer's program.

Once Apple locks your iOS device, the phone will enter the initial setup mode asking you to connect to a WiFi network. And nothing happens more than that.
Apple allows developers to register up to 100 devices to a single developer account, which costs $99 per year. Each developer can submit a list of Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs) to be registered under their account, and some users have taken to selling off those device slots to non-developers for $5-10 apiece in order to pay for their own developer access and make a small profit. Going even further, entire websites have even sprung up to facilitate the direct sale of such slots.

As a result of those beta slot sales, access to the iOS 5 has been relatively wide open, facilitating significant disclosures about the next-generation mobile operating system despite many of the details technically being covered by non-disclosure agreements between Apple and its developers.

It is unclear why it has taken Apple so long to crack down on the behavior, as the selling of beta slots has been an open secret for quite some time. iOS 5 is set for a public release sometime this "fall", with the general consensus being that it should appear alongside the iPhone 5 in September or October.

Article Link: Apple Disabling iOS 5 Beta Installs and Developer Accounts Over Sales of Device Slots?
 

yetanotherdave

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2007
1,766
3
Bristol, England
have flagged the UDIDs associated with that dev account, thus making the iOS 5 device unusable.
That part is a lot of a dick move by apple. Fair enough suspending the account, but people on iOS5b this way are the people who are probably your most keen customers!
 

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
1,907
2,496
Tennessee
It's not surprising as it does violate the TOS. I agree with the article, though, in wondering why it took them so long. Perhaps the anticipation of iOS 5 was sufficiently higher than before that more slots were being sold in this way for Apple to notice and act. I don't blame Apple for disabling the devices since there is no good way for them to handle it otherwise. It's not that they've destroyed the device. The user just has to do a restore. Something they should have known before they chose to install beta firmware.
 

Watabou

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,424
753
United States
That part is a lot of a dick move by apple. Fair enough suspending the account, but people on iOS5b this way are the people who are probably your most keen customers!

It really doesn't matter. They should have known what they were getting into. And the developers broke their NDAs.

I agree that this should have happened a long time ago.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
I’m skeptical that Apple would bother.

But if they did, maybe it will help with all the ridiculous App Store 1-star reviews from people who say “this app crashes on iOS 5 beta!” :rolleyes:
 

torbjoern

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2009
1,204
6
The Black Lodge
The selling of beta slots includes a violation of the non-disclosure agreement with Apple. Who wants a beta OS on their device if they're non-devs, btw? Don't they know how buggy and sluggish it can be?
 

iPhone4UK

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2010
257
0
If you were on a devs account and like this article is saying what is the chance of apple shutting my phone down? would you/can you reinstall ios4?
 

yetanotherdave

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2007
1,766
3
Bristol, England
It's not surprising as it does violate the TOS. I agree with the article, though, in wondering why it took them so long. Perhaps the anticipation of iOS 5 was sufficiently higher than before that more slots were being sold in this way for Apple to notice and act. I don't blame Apple for disabling the devices since there is no good way for them to handle it otherwise. It's not that they've destroyed the device. The user just has to do a restore. Something they should have known before they chose to install beta firmware.

Once you are on 5beta, you can't go back to 4.x

I thought I'd get downvoted. But with 5.0b on my phone, if apple disables it, and I can't go back to 4, how is that good for anyone? And how has someone who isn't selling slots, but just wanted 5.0beta on their phone hurting apple?
 

Tortri

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2010
759
9
The selling of beta slots includes a violation of the non-disclosure agreement with Apple. Who wants a beta OS on their device if they're non-devs, btw? Don't they know how buggy and sluggish it can be?

Early adopters.. people who just want to mess with their newest update before it's out.. accepting the fact it's beta and buggy..(mostly)
 

digitalbuilt

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2011
2
0
maybe

While the story may be true. I can tell you my test iOS5 iPhone did the same thing about 6pm last night, and it is a legit device, it was just still on the first Beta.
I doubt the sky is falling, except for those still on the first Beta (hint update to the new one).
And my dev account is still fine, and I never sold any device slots.
 

DrumsetDan13

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2011
5
0
happened to me!!

omg this happened to me last night! I lost my mind.

What happened was that I legally paid for a dev account but then decided that it wasn't for me, got a refund by apple but still had ios 5 beta 2 running. I should of been notified before losing almost everything on my phone, not smart by apple to do that to people who did actually pay.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
That part is a lot of a dick move by apple. Fair enough suspending the account, but people on iOS5b this way are the people who are probably your most keen customers!

And thus, the people most likely to howl when iOS 5 beta seems to be only beta quality :p Better to keep them away from it maybe.

Making a few people (who knowingly violated agreements) go back and set up their phones from scratch (can a Genius even do that?) is annoying to those customers... but might prevent much LARGER annoyances for customers if this practice were to grow in future. (Probably due to Google’s incorrect use of “beta” to mean “good enough,” when a true beta might not be!)

omg this happened to me last night! I lost my mind.

What happened was that I legally paid for a dev account but then decided that it wasn't for me, got a refund by apple but still had ios 5 beta 2 running. I should of been notified before losing almost everything on my phone, not smart by apple to do that to people who did actually pay.

That sucks :( Are you sure your beta didn’t just expire?

Apple targeting you isn’t the only way an iPhone can go into activation mode. A lot of people will probably take this rumor and think it applies to them—which it may not, even if the rumor turns out to be true.
 

aprofetto8

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2010
221
0
I have 3 devices on my dev account:

iPhone (mine) - beta 4
iPhone (wife's) - beta 2
iPad - beta 2

Last night, both my wife's iPhone and iPad deactivated.
 

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
1,907
2,496
Tennessee
Once you are on 5beta, you can't go back to 4.x

I thought I'd get downvoted. But with 5.0b on my phone, if apple disables it, and I can't go back to 4, how is that good for anyone? And how has someone who isn't selling slots, but just wanted 5.0beta on their phone hurting apple?

Yeah you can. I've done it. You do a full restore in iTunes. While the device is connected to iTunes hold down power and home until the device reboots and iTunes asks you if you want to do a factory restore. Did it several times with no problem.

I don't get the impression that they've done anything to people who haven't sold their slots. Just the people who paid for a slot without paying the dev fee to Apple.
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
omg this happened to me last night! I lost my mind.

What happened was that I legally paid for a dev account but then decided that it wasn't for me, got a refund by apple but still had ios 5 beta 2 running. I should of been notified before losing almost everything on my phone, not smart by apple to do that to people who did actually pay.

Sounds like you bought a dev account to run iOS 5 and then returned it with no intention of keeping it.

Just saying.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,303
29
Once you are on 5beta, you can't go back to 4.x

I thought I'd get downvoted. But with 5.0b on my phone, if apple disables it, and I can't go back to 4, how is that good for anyone? And how has someone who isn't selling slots, but just wanted 5.0beta on their phone hurting apple?

That's because most of these people don't understand that the DEVELOPER PREVIEWS are for developers to test their apps only.


omg this happened to me last night! I lost my mind.

What happened was that I legally paid for a dev account but then decided that it wasn't for me, got a refund by apple but still had ios 5 beta 2 running. I should of been notified before losing almost everything on my phone, not smart by apple to do that to people who did actually pay.

WRONG. You did not paid if you got a refund from Apple.
 

creeman

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2007
279
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A5274d Safari/7534.48.3)

I'm not sure if Apple would even care. I mean, they're getting $100 per account, if anything they're happy these people are buying these accounts! That's what I would think anyways.
 
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