iFixit, the popular online gadget-repair site is in hot water with Apple. The site, which focuses on electronics repairs and bills itself as the “free repair guide for everything, written by everyone”, often posts detailed tear-downs of popular Apple products, including iPods, iPads, MacBooks, and iPhones. However, it was the site’s recent teardown of the yet-to-be-released Apple TV that got them in trouble with Apple.
According to a blog post by iFixit co-founder and CEO Kyle Wiens, by posting the teardown before the official release of the Apple TV, the company violated Apple’s terms and conditions for developers. iFixit “got an email from Apple informing us that we violated their terms and conditions,” said Wiens. Apple subsequently pulled the iFixit app from the App Store, and banned iFixit’s developer account.
According to Wiens, they were aware of the risk they were taking by posting the teardown, but it was a calculated risk – “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.”
The New Apple TV Remote Was Also Included in the Teardown
iFixit is apparently not looking to re-introduce the app into the App Store any time soon, instead spending their time enhancing their mobile site. “Obviously we’d love it if our app was in the store. But our small team has limited resources, and for the past months we’ve chosen to improve our mobile website.”
The decision to focus on the mobile site as opposed to the app, however, was not spurred by the removal of the app from the App Store. According to Wiens, the app that was pulled “was outdated”, and full of bugs due to the iOS 9 upgrade. The focus on the mobile site is intended to “benefit all mobile users”.
The new Apple TV, featuring all new hardware and an impressive new remote, is set to release sometime in October. Select developers have already received developer units to jump-start work on apps running the new tvOS operating system.