Apple Cracking Down On Sites Selling Access To iOS Betas

Last month, Andy Baio wrote a story for Wired detailing the world of selling access to Apple beta software to non-developers. Specifically, Baio’s piece focused on sites that, for a price, allowed regular people to have their UDID (unique device identifier) activated for installation of iOS betas, which Apple makes available for developers only. To install an iOS beta, a developer has to register his/her account with Apple, which costs $99 per year and allows for the configuration of 100 devices in the so-called “Provisioning Portal” through the aforementioned UDID.

While becoming a registered developer costs $99, sites selling UDID activation did so for a low price, usually within the range of $10. Baio wrote:

For a small developer, unauthorized activations are a lucrative business that’s likely worth the risks. UDID Activation publishes their order queue on their official site, which shows more than 2,300 devices activated in the last week alone. At $8.99 for each activation, that’s more than $20,600 in revenue, with $2,277 paid to Apple for the 23 developer accounts. Their homepage claims that more than 19,000 devices were activated so far, and that’s only one of several services. And since device activations only last for a year, each service can reuse their expired slots with no additional cost.

After noticing several of the sites mentioned in Baio’s article had become unavailable in recent weeks (,,,,, we reached out to some of them asking whether Apple was behind the takedown of their “services”, which infringed on Apple’s developer agreement. 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.

In the email, the site owner said that their website made $75,000 since last June, when Apple released the first beta of iOS 6 to developers. “We do not believe our service was infringing and our services did not violate their guidelines for iOS 6”, the site owner commented, adding that they will soon launch another similar site, “with better and more secure data lines to handle Apple”.

The owner of another site replied to our emails with a “no comment”. According to him, “the Wired article has caused all these sites to go down”.

Indeed, it appears Apple has started taking action against these sites recently, and more precisely after Wired ran the story on UDID activation. Last year, Apple reportedly closed developer accounts of people who sold their available UDID slots to other users; this year, it appears Apple has chosen the more direct path of shutting down websites and their services by filing DMCA requests to their hosting providers.

When Wired published its story, Apple added that “unauthorized distribution is prohibited, and may be subject to both civil and criminal liability”. It is unclear whether Apple terminated memberships to the Developer Program this year as well.

Surprisingly, one of the most popular sites selling access to iOS betas,, is still online. However, their “UDID order queue” – a webpage displaying the amount of total sales – fails to load, and the same page on their “backup site”,, displays the latest sales as being from June 28.

Apple seems to have taken action against sites selling access to OS X beta downloads, as well. A popular one,, put a notice on their website saying “we will no longer be putting up downloads on for Apple Betas”. Their website is still up, and rather than hosting the download links themselves, they have now switched to torrents for sharing links to iOS and OS X betas.

As we previously wrote, access to Apple beta software should be restricted to developers, as they know how to provide meaningful feedback and report bugs to Apple.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.