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Apple Punishes iFixit For Doing A Tear Down On Apple TV

from the really-now? dept

The past two Techdirt podcasts had special guest Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, discussing both the DMCA's anti-circumvention review process and the more general importance of the freedom to tinker. In those podcasts, Wiens talked a bit about some companies being more willing than others to support iFixit's efforts to help people repair or modify products they had purchased.

Apple, apparently, is not a fan.

The company, which is famous for its somewhat arbitrary decisions to reject certain apps from appearing in its iTunes store, has now pulled iFixit's app entirely. Though, this time it's not necessarily for "arbitrary" reasons, but because Apple is pissed that iFixit took the Apple TV device that Apple sent the company, and did a teardown on it.

Of course, that makes you wonder what the hell Apple expected iFixit to do, since teardowns are kind of its thing.
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.”

Live and learn.
iFixit notes that it's not too concerned about this. Its Android app still works, and it's been improving its mobile site so you don't really need an app in the first place. And also, iFixit offers open APIs that would allow others to make their own apps that use iFixit data (though whether or not Apple would approve such an app is another question).

But, still, in this age where so much of what we buy is computerized and a complete black box, one of the key points of last week's podcast was the importance of learning what's really inside these boxes. Given that Apple's earliest roots come from Steve Wozniak hacking around devices and building something better, it seems like a real shame that Apple is not only not supporting such activities with its own equipment, but it's actively punishing those who do so.
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Filed Under: apple tv, apps store, arbitrary, freedom to tinker, itunes store, kyle wiens, siri remote, teardown
Companies: apple, ifixit


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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 10:51am

    Raise your hand if you're surprised by the headline.

    That's what I thought.

    Now raise your hand if you're excited as hell for Fallout 4.

    That's better.

    A little exercise helps make the day go better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 10:52am

    We gave the dog a hot dog, we were SHOCKED to discover the dog ate it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Scote, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:02am

    iFixit is in the wrong

    Normally I'm with Techdirt on issues where Apple punishes someone for doing something they don't like. Not this time.

    iFixit, maker of cool tear downs and seller of vastly overpriced tools*, accepted a *pre-release* version of an Apple TV meant for developers to create applications - and they agreed to an NDA. They knew this, and admit they decided to roll the dice anyway and publish a tear down of the pre-release version because, clearly, they relish publicity. In their own words: "We weighed the risks, blithely tossed those risks over our shoulder, and tore down the Apple TV anyway."

    Had iFixit been punished by Apple for a teardown of a consumer release I'd be all over Apple for that.


    * Like this set of 15 jeweler's screwdrivers for a mear $59 (allegedly marked down from $80).

    https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Parts/Pro-Tech-Screwdriver-Set/IF145-239-1

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PeterScott (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:08am

      Re: iFixit is in the wrong

      Agreed. I read techdirt a lot but seldom comment.

      But this time the headline is one sided, and misses the basic truth here.

      iFixit violated an agreement that allowed them early access to hardware.

      That is what they are being punished for.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Nate (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:09am

      Re: iFixit is in the wrong

      This is exactly what i was going to post. There are consequences for breaking a contract, as iFixit learned the hard way.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Nate (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:09am

      Re: iFixit is in the wrong

      This is exactly what i was going to post. There are consequences for breaking a contract, as iFixit learned the hard way.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JMT (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 5:38pm

        Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

        There are consequences for giving a product that you don't want taken apart to a website whose raison d'être is taking stuff apart, as Apple has learned the hard way.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Socrates, 7 Oct 2015 @ 6:21pm

          Learning the hard way

          Nate: There are consequences for breaking a contract, as iFixit learned the hard way.
          Working at iFixit will be duller if it has to wait as long as "Joe Whomever" for every new device that is released. I suspect that learning will be quite prolonged.
          JMT: There are consequences for giving a product that you don't want taken apart to a website whose raison d'être is taking stuff apart, as Apple has learned the hard way.
          Abuse of thrust is almost always learned the hard way. Don't send interesting stuff to iFixit, they will treat you like they did Apple.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Scote, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:11am

      Oops

      Oops, allegedly marked down from *$90*.

      I have a hard time feeling sorry for iFixit when they claim their 15 screwdriver set is worth $90. They want publicity. They got it. Not an accident.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:13am

      Re: iFixit is in the wrong

      And I disagree with you all. Let me bring the last paragraph:

      Given that Apple's earliest roots come from Steve Wozniak hacking around devices and building something better, it seems like a real shame that Apple is not only not supporting such activities with its own equipment, but it's actively punishing those who do so.

      Nowhere in the article they are saying it's ok to break a contract or something but rather they are criticizing the company for blocking activity that actually gave birth to it. It's not painting ifixit as the victim but rather Apple as a complete hypocrite with an assholish icing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Scote, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:53am

        When did Woz violate an NDA to make Apple I?

        "Nowhere in the article they are saying it's ok to break a contract or something but rather they are criticizing the company for blocking activity that actually gave birth to it. It's not painting ifixit as the victim but rather Apple as a complete hypocrite with an assholish icing."


        Really? When in the history of Apple did Woz violate a developer NDA on pre-release hardware to create Apple I? I don't seem to recall that as being bullet point in Apple's history.

        Apple isn't punishing iFixit for doing a teardown of consumer release hardware. If the were then you might have had a point. But they didn't and you don't. Instead they are punishing iFixit for using it's developer account to get access to secret **pre-release** hardware, covered by a commercial NDA, and breaking that NDA so that iFixit could get commercially valuable publicity for it's business. It was an admittedly calculated move on the part of iFixit.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 12:52pm

          Re: When did Woz violate an NDA to make Apple I?

          When in the history of Apple did Woz violate a developer NDA on pre-release hardware

          The way I remember the story, the first prototype Woz created while he worked for HP, using his knowledge of what in today's world would be called HP's intellectual property, without their permission.

          It almost killed Apple in the cradle.

          He had to take his invention into HP later and get permission to start making and selling more. Luckily for Apple, HP saw no value in it and let him go forward, thinking it was no threat to them.

          The point? Woz didn't ask for permission first. Neither did iFixit.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            lfroen (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 1:07pm

            Re: Re: When did Woz violate an NDA to make Apple I?

            >> using his knowledge of what in today's world would be called HP's intellectual property
            No, your _knowledge_ in today's world is not called "intellectual property". Now, 'knowledge" is stuff in your head. Whatever is in company-supplied notebook may be an "IP". Anyway, when you're only "working on something" is not a violation of any sort.

            >> He had to take his invention into HP later and get permission
            So, where's contract violation? He _GET_ a permission. See the difference?

            >> Woz didn't ask for permission first
            Huh? What happened with "He had to ... get permission"?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

        ifixit says "We weighed the risks, blithely tossed those risks over our shoulder, and tore down the Apple TV anyway".
        So it's explicitly said by fixit that they knew it was not OK to break contract.

        The article is trying to portray Mike's new buddy as the victim, it's just that it fails as they are a victim of their own making

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 12:52pm

        Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

        I used to read techdirt on a daily basis because much of what was written here resonated strongly with my own interests and opinions. However, I stopped reading a few years ago because I found the only thing worse than the diehard trolls, was the diehard fanatics like yourself.

        This is a very clear cut case of a company violating the agreement they signed and this story is desperately trying to paint this as something it isn't.

        This is a complete non-story. Substitute iFixit for any other random developer account and the same result would be seen.

        As you fanatics are so keen to point out to the trolls, your parallel with how Apple started out is nothing but an incredibly weak straw man designed to distract from the real (non) story.

        I already regret getting sucked into this nonsense story.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 9:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

          Fanatics, you keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 3:58am

          Re: Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

          Seriously...

          It is clear ifixit violated the contract and Apple is not wrong in punishing them, technically.

          Substitute iFixit for any other random developer account and the same result would be seen.

          Precisely, it's about Apple, not ifixit.

          As you fanatics are so keen to point out to the trolls, your parallel with how Apple started out is nothing but an incredibly weak straw man designed to distract from the real (non) story.

          Hmmm, the real story is about Apple and the hypocrisy it displayed. I've disagreed with TD stories before but this one is not one of these times. From the beginning it was clear to me that the story was about Apple. Maybe the author could make it clear that there was a breach in the contract and Apple is in its right to take said actions but this is not the focus of the article.

          I already regret getting sucked into this nonsense story.

          You are free to ignore it as I've already done with many stuff but yet you are exposing your point and I'm disagreeing. Masochism?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 6:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

            Hmm.

            If it is not about IFixit, then it can't be about Apple either!

            Substitute Apple for any other designer of hardware that sends pre-release devices to registred developers and uses NDAs to prevent undisclosed hardware secrets from being smeared all over the internet, and you would have the same result: breach of NDA contract => all the repercussions thereof.

            Remember that iFixit used the pre-release version of the AppleTV that it got through its subscription to the Apple developer program. It's not as if Apple explicitly sent one to iFixit as some sort of bait. If iFixit had waited until the retail version came along, bought one (or gotten one from Apple for that matter), torn that apart and published pictures of that event, Apple would probably have reacted different (if at all). After all, iFixit has repeatedly torn apart officially released Apple products in the past, without any 'retaliation' by Apple.

            So you see, not the tear down of the hardware itself, but the publication of the details of the pre-release version of the hardware was the offensive action.

            And as such, it's much more about the breach of contract by iFixit than about the reaction from Apple.

            A f*-up by the author, sure, but I take it more as proof that he's just as human as the rest of us...

            As the guys from iFixit said: "Live and learn".

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        D, 6 Oct 2015 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

        Agreed. This is not a case of someone tearing down a product that they purchased. This is a pre-release developer tool that comes with an NDA. If you don't like the NDA you can wait 2 months and order the regular version like everyone else. iFixit could have posted a teardown of the released version without incident. They knew the consequences of violating the NDA (termination of their developer account) because they agreed to them and even acknowledged that they took a risk.

        iFixit is in the wrong and Mike Masnick completely ignores the truth of this story. Techdirt shouldn't even have posted it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

        Apple isn't stopping them from buying an Apple TV 4 when it's released, taking it apart, hacking around with it, and building something better.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      daggar (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:16am

      No they aren't.

      Apple is going to back down and those standing up for inane demands on pre-review material will be left stuttering. This is a case of one hand of a huge conglomerate not knowing what the other hand is doing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:24am

      Re: iFixit is in the wrong

      It is worse than that, iFixit had to enter Apple's dev lottery. So iFixit used their app dev account to gain access to a device in which they had no intention of developing for. I'm sure there are plenty of developers out there who would've loved to have gotten their hands on the early access of the dev kit, but iFixit decided they wanted more publicity and knowingly violated their NDA.

      I'm a bit shocked at the lack of asking some of the most basic questions there Mike. Instead you went ahead and threw a pity party for iFixit...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

        Well, until we see the actual NDA terms, I'm going to have to disagree. I'm a dev and have gotten pre-release hardware and signed NDA's on them, and not a SINGLE ONE EVER said ANYTHING about not tearing the device apart. Apple probably never even considered this. Notice in Apple's statement how wishy-washy the EXCUSE they gave for terminating their account. They had to make up some way that they had violated the NDA to punish them for breaking an unwritten rule of pre-release hardware.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Scote, 6 Oct 2015 @ 1:16pm

          Publishing not tearing down was the problem

          "not a SINGLE ONE EVER said ANYTHING about not tearing the device apart"


          iFixit didn't get in trouble for tearing down the secret, developer release hardware, they got in trouble for **publishing** the teardown, a teardown that revealed proprietary details of the pre-release hardware, details covered by the NDA.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Socrates, 7 Oct 2015 @ 6:03pm

            Re: Publishing not tearing down was the problem

            I concur

            I wholeheartedly support iFixit whenever they make tools to circumvent Apples attempts to bar owners from access to their own devises. I would be OK with iFixit selling such tools from day one (based on the unit they were given).

            But breaking the thrust with the flimsy excuse that "it's kind of our behavior pattern" shame iFixit. If they have to do without such perks for years it would be deserved.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 2:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

          You appear to have missed my main point. If I were a developer of iOS apps or similar devices and lets say I applied to the same lottery. Getting early access to a dev kit would be a pretty big deal. If my chances of receiving one of those kits was reduced because someone signed up just to breaks theirs, I would be pretty pissed. It is a developer's kit, not a demo model.

          It is pretty obvious they knew they were violating the NDA when they say "We weighed the risks, blithely tossed those risks over our shoulder, and tore down the Apple TV anyway". They acknowledge they ignored possible consequences, and are now complaining because they've received consequences...

          As for tearing down the device, I don't think that is really the issue. I would have to say publishing an article detailing the device while under NDA is probably more of what Apple is angry about.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 7:01am

          Re: Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

          "I'm a dev and have gotten pre-release hardware and signed NDA's on them, and not a SINGLE ONE EVER said ANYTHING about not tearing the device apart."

          Interesting. I am a dev as well and have obtained a lot of pre-release hardware. In every single case, the contract I signed contained a "no reverse engineering" clause. Teardowns are reverse engineering.

          But the real issue isn't that. It's the NDA. If iFixit had done the teardown and not published until general release, Apple would not have had an issue (or, worst case, would never have known).

          It's the disclosure that they have a problem with.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chris-Mouse (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 2:07pm

      Re: iFixit is in the wrong

      According to Apples website, the announcement of the new Apple TV device was made September 9th 2015. The edit history on the iFixit article indicates it was posted September 21st.
      It does not appear that iFixit released anything before Apple made it public. At worst, what they did was destroy a pre-release version to save them the trouble of standing in line at the Apple store to buy one.
      Given Apple's previous attitude to product leaks, I suspect that had anyone at Apple thought the NDA had been violated, there would be a lawsuit already.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Scote, 6 Oct 2015 @ 2:29pm

        Re: Re: iFixit is in the wrong

        Announcement of the **existence** of a product is not the same as publishing the unannounced **details** of that product pre-release.

        iFixit knowingly published non-public details of pre-realease developer hardware covered by a commercial NDA.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy2020 (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:03am

    Hey, those damn dirty bastards at ifixit did not listen to their Apple overlords. This is a blatant disregard of Apple's corporate personhood and they should all be in jail just like those people that don't buy every incremental iteration of the latest iDevices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    daggar (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:04am

    I expect this to decision by Apple to be retracted soon. Probably a case of two branches of a large corporation working out of sync-- unfortunate, but not uncommon. Hopefully bad press like this will pull them in line.

    Of course, Apple's famously arbitrary appstore review process is still problematic. When the only way to force a review is to heap bad publicity on the company, something should change.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      lfroen (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 1:00pm

      Re:

      Bad press? You must be joking. Not a week passes without Techdirt publishing something about how bad Apple is in some new in interesting way.
      Now it is someone break NDA they signed to get pre-release hardware. And they want to get away with it because Apple's roots are in "hacking"? Really? I for all my nativity thought that NDA is a contract you supposed to honor. It is not consumer EULA where everyone clicking "I agree" without reading.
      Apple people are not "pissed off". They are reacting to contract violation in a way that defined in very same contract. Surprise, ah?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2015 @ 12:53am

      Re:

      Actually, no.

      It explicitly says in the app store review guidelines that if you use the press to try to influence the review process, you will be banned permanently.

      I expect iFixIt to try to negotiate with Apple, but not via the press.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:16am

    Remember: All Corporations Have the Same Motto

    Our customers are OUR property!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Scote, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:40am

      Please read the article and links before making knee jerk responses.

      iFixit, in this context, *isn't a customer*. They signed up to receive early access to Apple hardware (secret pre-release hardware) as a software developer. That special, developer-only early access came with a Non Disclosure Agreement, which iFixit knowingly violated because they wanted the publicity. They could have just waited for the consumer release of the final product, bought one of the earliest ones (they've flown as far as Australia to do that) and made a teardown and there would have been no issue.

      They broke a commercial NDA, not a consumer EULA. iFixed pretty much forced Apple to punish them lest Apple's developer NDAs be ignored by other developers and partners in future. iFixit admits to doing this knowingly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:26am

    Just do it...

    Just paint a swastika on the apple logo. Apple has always been run by holier-than-thou know-it-all's who think THEY know what's best for everyone else.

    It's one of the reason I LOATH publishing to the app store and why I mostly publish to Android or Amazon now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PRMan, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:44am

    Lost my respect

    I lost a lot of respect for iFixit over this. They have shown that they cannot be trusted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 6:04pm

      Re: Lost my respect

      Not really sure why this would affect your trust of them, unless you work of Apple of course...

      A lot of comments here reek of skin in the game. Most of iFixit's readers would be happy to get an early peek under the hood of products. I'd be surprised if many felt the need to leap to Apple's defense.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 8:50pm

      Re: Lost my respect

      They have shown that they cannot be trusted.

      I wonder how many other electronics companies will take this view. Clearly they are not willing to honor agreements that they sign.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 9:48pm

      Re: Lost my respect

      I'm sure they feel pretty bad about losing your respect.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 7:03am

      Re: Lost my respect

      I actually gained respect for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    avideogameplayer, 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:46am

    Is this a case of ifixit turning into ifuckedup?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 11:49am

    I don't think that their tools are unreasonably overpriced.

    Overpriced, yes. Unreasonably so, no.

    That 15 piece screwdriver set is about $4 per driver. Which is about what Craftsman precision screwdrivers used to sell for -- the old standard for top quality consumer-grade tools. Professional brand name tools still sell for considerably more.

    I don't expect that these are actually as good as Wera screwdrivers. And they certainly don't have the same benefit as Wera -- near certainty that they are close to the best quality available.

    But iFixit does have a good overall reputation, and it's on the upswing. They aren't in a position to be cashing in on their old brand reputation with bottom-tier tools (hello Craftsman). So their brand is worth a healthy mark-up over similar tools from a random seller. I expect that these have a generous profit margin, and I expect that are suitable for serious hobbyist use albeit a little riskier than buying Wera and similar branded tools.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 1:32pm

    iFixit got exactly what it deserved. I'm not at all sympathetic about Ifixit being removed because Apple sent it to them to review not to rip it apart and to violate the IP of the device.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dogwitch (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 1:50pm

    so even if you own the product.. its still illegal to take apart.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 6 Oct 2015 @ 3:04pm

    I get that they violated the NDA. But still, you send a company that takes every device it gets apart, and make it promise not to take your device apart, and then you're surprised that they took it apart--c'mon.

    Add to that, the company sending the device is known for douchey behavior and closed ecosystems, and all that adds up to it being hard for me to have much sympathy for Apple here.

    But yeah, two wrongs don't make a right, and you would think that buying devices through normal channels, where you don't have to sign anything, would be safer for a company that does tear-downs. That's what I mostly do as a reviewer, and has the added benefit that the maker can't cherry pick the samples that I see.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark, 6 Oct 2015 @ 3:06pm

    This headline is misleading

    The headline is misleading, bordering on (if not exceeding) factually incorrect, and the text of this piece does nothing to correct those problems. Apple didn't "Punish[] iFixit For Doing A Tear Down On Apple TV"; Apple punished iFixit for violating the terms of the NDA iFixit agreed to when it became part of the Apple TV pre-release program.

    Apple hasn't said word one when iFixit tore apart publicly available products; however, the pre-release Apple TV isn't publicly available yet. This has nothing to do with corporations being bad or Apple hindering the freedom to tinker; this is about iFixit disobeying the terms of a contract it agreed to in exchange for access to a pre-release product. And as others have pointed out, iFixit knew they were violating their NDA. There are many cases of corporations overreacting and stifling consumers. This is not one of them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 5:46pm

      Re: This headline is misleading

      "The headline is misleading, bordering on (if not exceeding) factually incorrect..."

      What part of "Apple Punishes iFixit For Doing A Tear Down On Apple TV" is factually incorrect? Whoever you think is in the wrong, this is still exactly what happened.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 8:52pm

        Re: Re: This headline is misleading

        Seems like it's the publication, not the teardown, that is being punished.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 2:08am

          Re: Re: Re: This headline is misleading

          I think it's obvious that "teardown" in the title implies publication. This is iFixit after all, what else are they going to do with it?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 6:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This headline is misleading

            Well I had never heard of iFixit, so I wouldn't know what they would do with it. Seems a more accurate headline would have been "Apple Punishes iFixit For Publishing A Tear Down On Apple TV in Violation of NDA". Not quite as catchy though. Or really just "Apple Punishes iFixit For Violating Contract" but that doesn't make the story sound very exciting, does it?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Moonkey, 7 Oct 2015 @ 7:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This headline is misleading

            Wait until the NDA expires? This only takes a bit of thinking to be reasonable.

            Don't set up strawman arguments, because Apple was trusting that companies would not say anything about the TV until the general release of the TV. Again, the point here is that Apple was not punished them for tearing it down, but for publishing the internal workings.

            The reason why it can be interpreted as factually incorrect is because it can make people assume they were punished for TEARING it down. Not publishing pictures or videos, etc.

            Now, I'd have a completely different opinion if the Apple TV had serious flaws right before the general release and someone broke the NDA to tell people about that, but no.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan, 6 Oct 2015 @ 3:41pm

    Apple has always been a dick. Their dead messiah was a prime grade asshole yet continues to be worshipped by the iSheeple. The company has no qualms raping their most fervent supporters with overpriced midrange devices. So, is anyone really shocked with Apple's latest dick move?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Scote, 6 Oct 2015 @ 4:41pm

      Re:

      Right, because offering high quality products at a commensurate price is "rape."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        techflaws (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 9:50pm

        Re: Re:

        Commensurate price? Really? What about the costs when taking a model with twice the RAM? You do not even have to factor in the discount Apple gets for buying ginormous amounts of RAM to see that this is outrageous.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 6:10pm

    Wow. Leaving out a tiny detail really alters the impression of this story.

    By publishing a developer's release, I'd say ifixit is lucky they didn't face a lawsuit. It's incrediably difficult to lauch products before a Chinese factory hasn't reverse engineered it and/or sold the cheap version. The lead time between product lauch and however long shipping takes to get to China is usually all they have. Apple has done well in keeping products secret until their release in the past, and I have to assume a part of that is due to respect from developers for their NDA's.

    Whether someone personally likes Apple or not, the company deserves respect. Their products have altered the design and direction for many consumer products and offer much needed competition in the marketplace. Obviously there are a lot of consumer's who do like their products. Considering this was a "screw you" moment from ifixit, I think Apple's response was mild.

    Lesson learned that every story is only than half of it, no matter where it comes from.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 8:03pm

      Re:

      Are you serious? Respect is earned, not given, and some people like me don't like apples design language, hardware or software. They have influenced things in ways I find hard to believe, and have no respect for them whatsoever. Their dead co founder was an arrogant perfectionist and deserves nothing but scorn for his lifelong behavior.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        techflaws (profile), 6 Oct 2015 @ 9:53pm

        Re: Re:

        I always found his reality distortion field funny. He smelled like ass cause he didn't shower for weeks but said it could not be because he was drinking only juices. Yeah, right.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2015 @ 6:16pm

    I really need an edit button.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    fail, 7 Oct 2015 @ 5:26am

    Apple probably wasn't really paying attention to who it was sending it to. I mean companies send free product to reviewers all the time since it makes for good marketing and PR.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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