Anyone want to pay for a bad version of something you’re going to get for free in a couple weeks? Apparently, the answer is yes, as Apple is going after web hosting services that selling beta versions of the yet-to-be-released iPhone operating system ( iOS6). Apple offers beta versions to developers before it releases the software to the public. The idea is that developers can help with bugs and glitches and figure out if their apps will be affected. Once all, or most, of the kinks are worked out, Apple releases the operating system to the public, and we all blather on about updated features.
Unlike Google, Apple charges a $99 fee to developers to download the beta version. With that fee comes 100 user licenses. And therein lies the rub: some developers are trying to make their money back (and profit) by offering some or all of their licenses to the public.
Activation websites exploit the willingness of some Apple device owners to pay to get access to the very latest versions of iOS6 before they are officially made available – despite the fact that beta software is often prone to crashing and may not include all the features that appear in the software when it is finally released.
Let’s forget for a minute that this violates Apple’s contract and focus on the people that are paying for the bootlegs, because REALLY?!? If you think you need to buy a piece of software for your fancyphone just so you can have it first, I have what I believe to be this year’s flu vaccine chilling in an ice chest, in the trunk of my car that I’d like to sell you.
I doubt Apple will have much luck with the strategy too, since it’s asking web hosting companies to take down sites that offer the downloads instead of going after the developers themselves. There’s already a trend among the bootleggers to move their sites to non-U.S.-based hosting companies to try and avoid getting shut down.