Let this be a warning to you if you’re currently doing this. It’s not a secret that if you aren’t a developer, but want access to iOS 6 betas, you can pay one of many sites to register your UDID and grant you access.
Wired covered the industry of businesses selling access to these betas last month, and now Apple has apparently finally started cracking down on these sites.
Behind the scenes, each service uses the same simple backdoor: Registered iOS developers can activate up to 100 unique device IDs (or UDIDs) for their account, an essential tool for testing apps on multiple devices. Once registered with Apple, the activated device is also able to run pre-release versions of iOS, though developers are forbidden from sharing pre-release software outside their own team.
Ignoring these warnings, activation services charge a small fee to add a customer’s device to their developer accounts. When they hit the 100-device limit, they just register a new account with Apple.
As spotted by MacStories, many of the services listed in the Wired article are no longer available. After contacting those sites, it seems Apple has started to take action against these services.
While most of our emails bounced, we heard back from one of the site owners (who asked to remain anonymous), who confirmed his hosting provider took down the site after a complaint for copyright infringement by Apple. Similarly, the CEO of Fused tweeted in a reply to Andy Baio that Apple had been “fairly heavy-handed” with DMCA requests to UDID-selling sites hosted on their network.
MacStories also exchanged emails with the owner of one of the services who says their service made $75,000 since the release of the first iOS 6 beta in June.