I’m sure most of you have seen ads offering to give you access to iOS 5 beta by paying a one-time fee. Apparently Apple’s not too fond of that practice, and has begun issuing cease and desist letters and closing developers accounts of those who have inappropriately sold their account device slots.
Members of Apple’s iOS Developer Program are granted up to 100 slots that they can use to authorize devices on their account. These slots are intended to be used to grant beta testers access to your apps, to give your development team members access to pre-release versions of iOS 5, and so forth.
Because it is not yet ready for the general public, iOS 5 is currently meant only for testing purposes, and is restricted to paid members of Apple’s official iOS Developer Program. Selling device slots and allowing non-developers to test and run iOS 5 is a violation of the iOS Developer Program terms and conditions. Additionally, the following notice has been placed in all iOS Developer Program accounts (click image to expand):
Many developers, however, have been selling these slots online in order to make a quick buck – and Apple is not pleased. Some developers have reported getting cease and desist notices for engaging in this practice, and some developers have even reported that Apple has closed their developer account.
Any devices found associated with a developer account that has been identified as having sold their device slots will be flagged, and will no longer be able to run iOS 5 beta. In essence, this renders the device unusable unless it is restored back to the latest publicly released version of iOS.
Pre-release versions of iOS 5 are currently only available to developers and is currently in its fourth beta. iOS 5 will not be publicly released until sometime this fall.
It is unclear why it has taken Apple so long to begin enforcing this policy, as the practice of selling iOS 5 beta slots has been going on for quite a while.