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Shady Developers Selling Apple's iOS 6 Before Release

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A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the poor, hopeless souls in charge of making consumers like a site redesign. Every time Google (GOOG) or Facebook (FB) tweak their layouts even slightly -- think a fractionally bigger search bar -- they can count on protests from a sizable minority of fervent users.

Apple (AAPL), on the other hand, sees new versions of its products greeted like the Second Coming.

The trouble is that, through constant media coverage and events like the WWDC, Apple gets users everywhere pumped up about brand new products -- the Retina MacBook, with a display that apparently makes 6-month old computer’s look terrible, comes to mind -- and then takes forever to release them. For certain hardcore Mac users, any wait is too much wait.

As far as the new iOS 6 goes, the only legal way to get an early copy is to spend $99.00 to join Apple’s iOS Developer Program. If you’re not a developer, this may seem a bit pricey for a buggy, unfinished operating system.

However, as Wired points out, if you absolutely must have the new OS, but don’t have $99.00 to spend on it, there are options. Shady, backdoor options.

For less than $10, impatient iPhone, iPad, and iPod users can get the new OS from one of a large number of registered developers. Better yet, many of these offers come with secure payment, tech support, and even replacement plans.

When a developer signs up with Apple, they are given the ability to install the new OS on up to 100 devices. This allows them to test products across multiple machines. However, it also allows those of an entrepreneurial mind to sell activations to users for a lot less than the cost of a developer account and cut a healthy profit (one company made over $20,000 in revenue in one week). When an account runs out of activations, they just set up a new one.

Obviously, Apple frowns upon this sort of behavior, and developers are forbidden from sharing the new OS. However, due to either to apathy or the difficulty in catching developers who sell activations (what, after all, is the difference between a customer and a beta tester to the untrained eye?) no one reported having heard from Apple.

So, if you’re absolutely desperate for an early version of iOS 6, do a quick search of “UDID Activation.” It is against the rules though.

(See also: Google, Facebook Know You Hate Their Redesigns)
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