You might have noticed that there’s no longer an iFixit app in the
Apple’s App Store. We are sorry for anyone this has inconvenienced.
Not too long ago, we tore down the Apple TV and Siri Remote. The
developer unit we disassembled was sent to us by Apple. Evidently,
they didn’t intend for us to take it apart. But we’re 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.
A few days later, we got an email from Apple informing us that we
violated their terms and conditions—and the offending developer
account had been banned. Unfortunately, iFixit’s app was tied to that
same account, so Apple pulled the app as well. Their justification was
that we had taken “actions that may hinder the performance or intended
use of the App Store, B2B Program, or the Program.”
I have seen a lot of stupid comments from people I respect about this.
Look above, iFixit are writing the following: “We weighed the risks,
blithely tossed those risks over our shoulder”. In other words: they
knew this might happen, but they didn’t give a fuck. But Gruber’s
fantastic, and as (almost) always spot on.
There are a number of issues regarding this issue.
Apple should have known that iFixit would do this
Should they just pick the recievers at random, or pick developers that
intend to develop tvOS apps?
Should Apple exclude developers like iFixit?
I think everything went as they should have, and as we should expect
them to. Apple should just send out developer units to randomly selected
people, and they should throw out developers that don’t respect the NDA;
iFixit should do what is in their DNA, but maybe they should wait to
tear down devices until they are available for the general public.