If you want access to the latest beta software from Apple, one workaround to signing up for a $99 developer account is actively being shut down. Several services have popped up over the last few years that offer regular Joe’s the ability to activate their device on someone else’s developer account, usually for a small fee in the neighborhood of $5-10. This has worked because developers are allowed 100 device activations on their $99 developer account, and some developers saw this as an easy way to essentially pay for their developer account and make a profit in the process.
Of course, Apple’s not too keen on developers using their accounts in such a manner; the practice violates the company’s terms of service for developer accounts. Apple has started contacting hosting providers for sites which sell UDID activations, demanding hosting providers take down the sites immediately or face Apple in court.
The move follows a high-profile Wired article about the practice of selling UDID activations, which found that Apple supposedly didn’t care that much about the service. Wired noted that one owner of a UDID activation-selling site had no fewer than 30 developer accounts registered to the same person at the same address with nary a raised eyebrow from Cupertino. Obviously, several developers are livid that Apple is shutting down their sites, with some blaming the Wired article for bringing the practice to Apple’s attention.
While others hem and haw about Apple’s practice, a few developers are planning on getting things quickly back in gear, with MacStories talking to one developer who plans to launch another site “with better and more secure data lines to handle Apple.”
Sites selling the iOS 6 beta aren’t the only ones in Apple’s crosshairs. Similar sites that sell access to the latest OSX beta, Mountain Lion, are reportedly being shut down as well. It appears Apple is finally starting to take control over their developer accounts, and that users who seek to test Apple’s latest and greatest software will have to shell out the $99 per service (iOS, OSX) to have legitimate access to the betas.