Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Apple pulls iFixit developer credentials over Apple TV teardown

Apple pulls iFixit developer credentials over Apple TV teardown
Thread Tools
NewsPoster
MacNN Staff
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2015, 04:53 PM
 
Teardown and repair site iFixit, best known for their examinations of Apple hardware and repair guides, has seen its developer account closed and its app pulled from the App Store because it tore down a developer-only pre-release Apple TV, in direct violation of the terms and conditions of the developer agreement. The site took responsibility for the error, and apologized to app users for "any inconvenience."

"Not too long ago, we tore down the Apple TV and Siri Remote," the site said. "The developer unit we disassembled was sent to us by Apple. Evidently, they didn't intend for us to take it apart." The post later mentions that Apple sent the company an email explaining the violation, and its decision to close the developer account (and, since the iFixit app is tied to that account, pulled the app).

The company defended the move by saying it was "a teardown and repair company; teardowns are in our DNA -- and nothing makes us happier than figuring out what makes these gadgets tick. We weighed the risks, blithely tossed those risks over our shoulder, and tore down the Apple TV anyway." It is inferred in Apple's actions that the company would not have gotten in trouble if it had waited until the unit was available at retail and torn down a retail unit, as it generally does with iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products.

The company says its site and the content that made up the app is still available from the company's mobile and desktop websites, and that the app was going obsolete with the release of iOS 9 anyway. Still, the company will likely suffer for losing its developer account, as it will be unable to introduce any new apps and will, of course, have no further chance of obtaining pre-release hardware or software from Apple.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Sep 30, 2015 at 05:13 PM. )
     
chimaera
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Apr 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2015, 05:13 PM
 
From the story, I'm not clear if this was a mistake or not. At one point, it is referred to as an error. Later, it sounds like they took a gamble.

I do wonder why Apple sent pre-release hardware to iFixit. What did they expect would happen?
     
Mike Wuerthele
Managing Editor
Join Date: Jul 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2015, 05:22 PM
 
It can be both. They took a gamble, and made an error in doing so.

Yeah, I'm not sure why Apple gave them the sample either. Seems like a big mistake to make.
( Last edited by Mike Wuerthele; Oct 1, 2015 at 10:57 AM. )
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2015, 05:31 PM
 
It's possible that the developers picked to receive such units were drawn at random and, being registered developers who know the consequences of violations, weren't checked by a human. That'll teach Apple, but they appear to have fixed that problem permanently. Hopefully iFixit and all other developers learned something as well today.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
dscottbuch
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: rancho Santa Fe, CA, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2015, 05:32 PM
 
Really. It's not possible that iFixit was developing an iFixit app for the AppleTV? That would have been awesome IMO having the image on the TV while repairing something. I agree with many other posters on other thread this was all on iFIxit. They signed an NDA, got an advantage but doing that (the hardware) and then just through aware their word. Very bad on iFixit's part.
     
Charles Martin
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2015, 05:36 PM
 
dscottbuch: I'm with you and the majority of other commenters. An Apple TV app from iFixit would have been nothing short of delightful. Nose. Face. Spite, seems to me. Apple has clearly not had a problem with their teardowns of publicly-available stuff, so I think the bottom line here is that iFixit blew it.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
sunman42
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2015, 05:47 PM
 
iFixIt had a legitimate reason, as an Apple Developer, to get access to pre-release hardware: to assess what was user-repairable (an envelope they have always tried to expand) and design guides and special tools, if necessary, to offer for sale when the device was released for sale. I'm certain Apple has given them other prerelease hardware in the recent past. I'm guessing Apple felt this gave them street cred with the folks who like to look inside of their devices, if not actually repair or hack them.

What is hard to believe is that the iFixIt crew were so blasé about the terms and conditions of their Developer membership that they were going to a reveal of the accountants of a pre-release device that might have included components or structures not used in the production version, or that (in Apple's always paranoid view) could have given away some other part of the farm. Despite their humorous presentation of teardown and so on, iFixIt has always been very serious about the service they try to provide to users, specifically empowering them to assert their ability to master the techniques necessary to repair consumer digital electronics. It was a shame they had to damage their reputation by violating an contract (which is what agreeing to the Terms and Conditions amounts to) with a device manufacturer that had been treating them well. Will customers now suspect that they're equally blasé about assuring the quality of the parts and tools they sell?
     
Bittyson
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2011
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Sep 30, 2015, 07:55 PM
 
Sounds like an immature move on iFixit's part, not one to instill confidence that they take anything, including their work, seriously enough to rely on.
     
msuper69
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Columbus, OH
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 1, 2015, 07:35 AM
 
sunman42: iFixit did not have a legitimate reason. The Developer Kit was for use in developing ATV apps ahead of the public release. Developers do not have the right to open the box up and disclose the contents to the entire world ahead of time.
     
iBricking.com
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 1, 2015, 10:12 AM
 
When I saw the headline, I was prepared to blame Apple. Now that I understand it was a pre-release unit, I blame iFixit. Access to such devices is a privilege, not a right. They knew the rules and signed the contract. Furthermore, such items are loaners and must be returned to Apple, their rightful owner in every respect. On that basis alone, it was clearly wrong to "blithely" disassemble the Apple TV without asking first.
     
elroth
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 1, 2015, 12:13 PM
 
I expect that in a year or so, iFixit will re-apply for credentials, and Apple will approve it, maybe with some restrictions. Stupid mistake by iFixit.
     
panjandrum
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: West Michigan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 1, 2015, 12:51 PM
 
Yeah, this was a seriously bone-headed move on the part of iFixit staff. What were they thinking? Just wait for the product to be released and then do the tear-down. iFixit is a fantastic site, why would they jeopardize their standing with Apple for zero benefit (well, other than iFixit getting on the /. homepage today...)
     
Jaddie
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Buford, Georgia USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 1, 2015, 01:59 PM
 
I hope this relationship gets patched up, because I love Apple and iFixit.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:10 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,