Today, it has been a full two months ever since Apple seeded the first beta of iOS 5 to developers. Beta firmware is always meant for developers and is never released publicly. Also, in order to install beta firmware on your iDevice, you need to get its UDID registered with a Developer Account that alone costs $99 per year. Many people sell UDID activations on the internet and now Apple is after them. Meaning that if you did buy iOS 5 UDID activation, chances are you might not be able to install iOS 5 beta 5.
Basically, one must get the UDID registered before installing iOS beta firmware. To find the UDID of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, follow this tutorial. If you are a diehard iOS fan, chances are you would want to try out iOS 5 beta no matter what. You Google your options and find out that if you buy iOS 5 UDID activation for a nominal charge, you will be able to install iOS 5 beta on your device. Scores of people have done this and have succeeded however it looks like things are about to change.
Yesterday, reports kept coming in that Apple was deactivating those devices that were running iOS 5 beta firmware on purchased UDID activations. You would have read the same on the plethora of other blogs on the internet, but here is the real deal. Actually, most of the "deactivation" reports that came in were from people who were either running iOS 5 beta 1 or iOS 5 beta 2, both of which were going to expire on August 1 and August 4 respectively. When a beta expires, you are taken to the setup screen from where you can not do anything except updating to latest iOS 5 beta or downgrading to latest iOS 4.3.x firmware.
So many people were merely confused, their devices were not being disabled or deactivated, it was just the beta firmware they were running, getting expired. There's absolutely no way for Apple to determine that a device which is running iOS 5 beta firmware, isn't being used by a legit developer for testing their apps on. There is however another way for them to single out non-developers. Some developers who allowed people to buy UDID activation reported that they received an email from Apple telling them that their developer accounts were being terminated and that they would not be able to submit application for a new account at least for a whole year.
It has come to our attention that you have offered access to the pre-release iOS 5 beta software for sale through the Internet. Your actions constitute a breach of your obligations under both the iOS Developer Program License Agreement (the “iDP Agreement”) and the Registered Apple Developer Agreement (the “Registered Developer Agreement”) and this letter serves as notice of termination of these agreements between you and Apple, effective immediately.
This is legal speak for "we know you have been selling UDID activations and we're taking you down." What happens after a developer receives this email and their account is terminated? All UDIDs associated with that account are flagged and removed from Apple's Activation Servers. Meaning that once iOS 5 beta 5 comes out, you will not be able to install iOS 5 beta 5 and the following error will be shown to you in iTunes, if you try to do so:
This obviously doesn't mean that everyone selling UDID activations has had their Developer Account terminated, though it can be possible that the developer to which you went in order to buy iOS 5 UDID activation may have been traced by Apple and all UDIDs associated with their account may have been flagged. Not to worry though even if your UDID gets flagged, you still might be able to install iOS 5 beta 5 once it releases, because if you have been following up on our extensive iOS 5 beta coverage, you'll remember that we always tell you how to install any iOS 5 beta without UDID activation.
Have you faced any similar issue? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.