On eBay, a developer is listing an ‘extra’ Apple TV for sale and using a silly loophole to get around Apple’s policies to make a quick buck.
From the eBay listing (via 9to5Mac):
This unit is brand new and unopened. I have two developer accounts and was awarded development kits on both so figured I would let this one go to another developer so you can work on apps too.
It is against the policies of Apple to resell this unit “while it is running Apple pre-release software” according to the terms of service but good news! This unit ships without any OS installed on it. You can just download the firmware update from the developer portal and restore it with iTunes when you get it. If you don’t have access to the firmware update via an Apple Developer account, I can refer you to a place where you can download it after the auction.
At the time I write this, the bidding is at roughly $1,000. Chances are, many developers who were turned away from the Apple TV lottery really do want one.
My heart wants to believe there are developers out there with incredibly good ideas for Apple TV and want their apps ready at launch. Deep down, I’m hoping they are the ones willing to overspend on Apple TV via eBay.
My brain tells me otherwise. The seller’s intentions may be in a good place (at least to them), but the execution is way off mark. There’s no way to qualify the buyer is a developer.
The seller could have easily turned one of the units away, too.
Ethically, this is all on shaky ground. Part of the Apple TV review agreement states you can’t write about it. This auction is akin to my take on Apple TV developer hardware (which I sadly don’t have) being penned by one of my colleagues.
This auction may turn heads at Apple, too — and that’s potentially worse that selling free hardware.
Developers should now expect changes; maybe Apple will only loan hardware moving forward, or severely tighten up the agreement language surrounding free review hardware.
I hope Apple doesn’t do such a thing, because most developers obey both the spirit and letter of the law. If they did, though — we’d know why.