Andy Baio on the Gray Market for iOS Beta Activations

Andy Baio:

If you’re a diehard Apple fan that desperately wants to run a buggy beta version of iOS 6 right now, your only legal option is to shell out the $99 to join the iOS Developer Program. Affordable for a developer, the barrier to entry is high enough to keep out casual fans from accidentally bricking their phones and cluttering up the Genius Bar.

But over the last couple years, a cottage industry’s popped up around illicit UDID activations — startups exploiting Apple’s Developer Program to sell access to prerelease iOS software, usually for less than $10 per device. The craziest thing? Apple doesn’t seem to care.

Must be a boom-and-bust seasonal business. Huge surge of interest with iOS 6 now, but who was using these services, say, a month ago? And I’m curious to see whether Apple remains ambivalent about these services now that Baio has shined a light on them.

Thursday, 21 June 2012