If you haven’t heard of the term ‘UDID Activation’ before, you’re probably not an all-out Apple addict yet. But if you have tried having your UDID activated before (probably back when Apple was about to sell iPhone 4 and you were stuck with your iPhone 3GS), you’re probably aware that it’s not quite legal, especially if it was dirt cheap to get a beta version of the latest iOS.
Okay, let’s define UDID Activation for the dummies out there. Let’s say you’re planning to sell iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 to get the iPhone 5 in October but you also want to know what you’re getting on the iPhone 5 before everyone else. You’ve heard about the revelation of the iOS 6 beta and you want to get your hands on it so you search the net for a free beta download. Unfortunately, you found out that the only thing you can do to access the iOS 6 is to sign up for the iOS Developer Program. It sucks, I know, because you have to spend 99 bucks just to get a peek at the iOS 6. However, there are people (app developers to be exact) who already have iOS Developer Program accounts and who can give you access to the iOS 6. How do you convince him to give you the beta software? You don’t have to because some of them sell iPhone iOS beta versions for 15 bucks below.
How It Is Done
If you’re an iOS app developer who has an account with Apple, you are given 100 slots in your account where you can activate 100 UDIDs (unique device IDs) for different iDevices. Now since you can’t possibly have 100 different Apple devices that need activating, the most ‘profitable’ way to use up the slots is by trying to sell iPhone OS beta versions. Yes, it’s very much illegal but it is also very present in the World Wide Web. In fact, if you search the term “UDID Activation,’ Google will give you links of websites that do exactly that. And they’re not just websites; they have customer service lines and live chat support! It’s a business that’s been going on for years so developers think Apple didn’t really care about copyright infringement!
But Apple Does
Yes, Apple does care. It’s money we’re talking about here! We’re talking about hundreds of 99 bucks gone because of this scheme! Just very recently, we’ve heard news that Apple has finally filed reports against sites that sell iPhone OS beta versions for copyright infringement. While most of the site owners argued that they have not infringed Apple’s mobile operating system, the tech giants answered that “unauthorized distribution is prohibited and may be subject to both civil and criminal liability.” Since last month, about 10 sites that sell iOS beta versions were shut down and there were also talks of terminated accounts in the iOS Developer Program.
Is it Fair?
Here’s the thing: It may be said that the shutting down of these websites is injustice to our beloved app developers because they paid for the slots that they sell. I mean, they paid for it right? If we say that they used their $99 as a capital for their businesses in selling iPhone OS’s beta versions, that doesn’t sound to illegal! But that’s just for normal people who do not make a living out of developing apps. If you come to think of it, buying beta versions for the purpose of using it isn’t Apple’s problem, it’s the developer’s and the user’s problem. Beta versions are full of bugs, need a lot of patience and figuring out and are in need of a lot of other improvements. So if you bought a beta version, you’ll definitely experience problems with it and all you have to blame is the person who sold it to you! And yeah, that isn’t Apple!