Sometimes developers will break NDAs to release inside information ahead of release which has happened a number of times with iOS over the years. Recently Apple offered developers the opportunity to order limited new Apple TV units early by request into a lottery selection. The purpose of the unit is to test their tvOS apps on a real device before release. As reported by Macrumors, iFixit released a teardown on 4th generation Apple TV using the developer unit. iFixit has since been banned by Apple for breaking NDA resulting in the iFixit app being pulled from the App Store. Banning developer accounts for breaking NDA isn’t unusual, and is the standard response from Apple.
Why couldn’t iFixit wait a few more weeks to post their teardown? I hope it isn’t just for web traffic. Worse is if another developer has been denied a unit for testing an app. In a blog post, iFixit mentions that they “weighed the risks” and decided to ignore their contract anyway. Disregarding business contracts and NDAs is bad business, and shows their web visitors that doing business with them is risky. The post doesn’t mention how iFixit obtained their developer unit, but I assume it was through the lottery request order available to developers in early September.
I’ve mentioned co-founder of iFixit, Kyle Wiens, before about his hiring methods using grammar. He asserts that “good grammar is credibility” and people who make fewer mistakes in writing also make fewer mistakes in other work. Too bad the iFixit team made a doozy of a mistake here. I feel bad for any developer that may have been unable to obtain a developer unit having lost lottery selection to iFixit.
Sorry, iFixit has lost my respect and my business.
Please, respect your contracts and agreements.