Apple removes Ifixit's repair manuals from App Store

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I don’t understand why iFixit agreed to Apple’s NDA and accepted delivery of the unreleased Apple TV if they were going to violate that NDA by breaking the thing open publicly while the NDA was still in effect. They could have just waited a couple of weeks until the thing was released to the world and no one would have had any problem with it. Instead, they put an important part of their business on the line (their app was super useful, even if it was sometimes buggy) just to show us something we can’t even use or do anything with until the product is released.

I have to work under NDAs sometimes for my job, and if I violated one and got in trouble for it, I wouldn’t have much ground to stand on to complain about it. Additionally, if I violated an NDA, I’d almost certainly face legal repercussions for it. The fact that no one at iFixit is being sued over this sure must be nice for them.

I’m also kind of miffed that iFixit got one of these even though they were obviously not going to use it to develop an app. My group submitted a request for a unit so we could have our software ready to go on day one and our request was denied. Instead, one went to iFixit when they didn’t need to get one early for any specific reason. Then they squandered the opportunity and got themselves banned from the store, affecting their customers as well.


Mostly off-topic: (although relevant to Apple’s hostility toward those who like to repair their technology and keep it going instead of tossing/replacing when Apple toots the flute).

I’ve wanted to get away from Apple for a number of reasons; the Foxconn conditions (although I realize that this is a tech problem period, not just Apple is guilty of exploiting vulnerable labor), their continuing predilection for creating machines with soldered in ram, very-difficult to replace batteries, very difficult to open and repair machines, impossible to upgrade GPU, and a few other things. What are the alternatives? Very interested in hearing from people who really loved OS X and were longtime Apple users, who ended up finding another desktop solution that worked for them. I sort of unsuccessfully replaced my Apple phone (don’t get me started on Android), don’t use any other Apple portable stuff anymore, but I don’t know what to replace my Apple desktop with. I love OS X, (at least up to Snow Leopard). I considered building a Hackintosh, but I don’t want to deal with the ongoing maintenance of it. I am considering building a PC, but am not looking forward to going back to Windows at all. Also considering building a *nix PC, with a Windows partition for when I need commercial software (or virtualization? Seems like hardware is fast enough now for virtualization to be practical?).


hackintosh is not so bad if you use tonymac. i think you can also run OSX under virtualization now without any crazy tricks, but not 100% sure.


You did a poor job of tying together all the horrible things that Apple done. This is a cause worth fighting for but you need to be clear. The application was tied to their developer account. They violated the developer agreement so any application tied to that account went away with the developer account. That sucks but they also knew the risk for violating the NDA and they did violate the NDA by publishing before the product was released. It is very clear. For many, the way the Apple developer process and app store works is the reason to not use Apple products. Some want to push the company to make better decisions. Making it sound like Apple was doing something dishonest in this case to stoke this cause, is annoying and will not help get the message across to more than the echo chamber.



Apple _did effectively remove the repair manuals, but not because they wanted to remove the repair manual for any violations, but because it was a side-effect of banning an account that violated a contractual agreement.


The interesting thing about the foxconn conditions were that Apple had mandated that their areas be upgraded far above what the standard areas had – the cleanliness, the maximum hours the employees could work, pay, age ranges…

And yet, they were still the ones accused of the worst of the problems at Foxconn when they weren’t involved at all. Employee suicides? Actually came about because they weren’t getting the same sorts of pay as in Apple’s line and it was more beneficial for their family to off themselves and get a quick payout that to continue to build Xbox 360’s. Which was what they were building. Anything more than this was a fabrication by the media – especially Mike Daisey who was forced by NPR to recant his entire story as a fabrication (claiming he was a playwright as opposed to a journalist and was gathering source info or some other bullshit).

So…hate on Apple…but this one isn’t fair game.

That said, I’m < sarcasm >shocked</ sarcasm > that Cory didn’t mention these guys were blackballed for violating their NDA. SHOCKED at the poor reporting that almost seems as if he has a 15 year grudge against Apple. These guys even admitted PUBLICLY that they had no desire to use the Apple TV for any reason other than to rip it open and bragged they took the chance that Apple was going to notice. Given that they didn’t even own the device – but were holding a device that Apple was loaning them for an extended period – they seem sleazy even if I’ve actually benefited from their site before.

BTW – building a Hackintosh isn’t that hard at all…if you need any sort of real time performance at all, don’t do virtualization. You can do it with Parallels and Virtubox (is that what it was called) but I think you have to edit some config files if I remember how I did it in the past. I built my own to have as a dedicated Logic Audio machine and actually keep it off the network as much as possible. Was actually a fun build…still using an older version of the OS as I didn’t want to deal with maintenance. It works, thats all I care about. Updates on anything that is a general purpose box is FUN. You’ll learn about cloning drives and all that if you need the machine for anything serious!


iFixit themselves has published that they knew that they would probably get their developer account yanked for publishing detailed tech specifications of a pre-production product AFTER THEY AGREED TO AN NDA that SPECIFICALLY said they could not.

iFixit has also decided, somehow, that they don’t need an iOS app any more – all the manuals etc are on the web.

But Cory’s off his meds, and all this is CENSORSHIP.


Easy fix for the vendors. Show the pictures of the insides of your crap, give us the manuals, let us see what is inside - schematics, parts brands, chipsets, chip datasheets - before we buy so we can decide on technical merits instead of on the slickness of the ad campaigns.

Then they won’t need any stinking NDAs. The competitors have moles in their labs anyway.

Because fuck NDAs and fuck closed vendors and their petty secrets games.

Steal and leak all the datasheets and reverse-engineer the world.


Given that you don’t really explain what it is that you do/don’t like about any of the platforms you mention except that you don’t want to use stuff that’s made by Apple, it’s quite difficult for people to recommend alternatives.

Back (slightly more) on topic - Apple aren’t hostile towards those who repair their technology; they ARE hostile towards those who consciously break an NDA on an unreleased product, regardless of their intentions, and I don’t think even iFixit are surprised or aggrieved at Apple’s attitude here.


But they ended up punishing Apple users more than Ifixit. This was just a ham-handed way of cutting off the nose to spite the face. App space should be for the good of the users, not a jewel Apple hands out only to those they like.

There are other ways of dealing with this.

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Talk about a one sided article.

Apple gives developers early access to its products for a significantly reduced price in exchange for developers agreeing to not disclose details of the products until a certain date. iFixit agreed to those terms, and accepted the developer Apple TV.

IFixIt then knowingly violated the terms of the agreement it made with Apple. Apple responded by terminating iFixIt’s developer account, and all associated Apps.

The fault lays with iFixIt who agreed to certain terms and then violated its agreement. iFixIt should have just waited until after the public release of the product, and all would have been OK. I suspect iFixIt just didn’t want to update its app, as it knew the consequences of its actions before it decided to take them.


Watch what you say, buddy! if people start thinking you’re disappointed with Boing Boing, you can get put on a list for talking that way.


I am unsure how Apple acted badly here. Apple provides developers early release to products at a discounted price in exchange for keeping quiet about the product until launch. This serves both Apple and the developers. Through this process Apple can look at developer issues, and try to resolve them before release. Apple has even killed features prior to release based on needed work.

It simply isn’t fair for developers to be able to discuss a product before it is released to the public, when the final product is subject to change.

I understand Apple’s App review process can sometimes be controversial [e.g. removing the drone app], but it acted more than reasonably in this instance.


What are the other ways of dealing with this? The NDA IFixIt agreed to and knowingly violated called for just this penalty.

The truth likely is iFixIt just didn’t want to fix its buggy app, and this was a way to get out of it all the while blaming Apple.


I understand this is how you become a “Targetted Individual”.


There is a list now??? You are freakin’ me out man!!!

That said, I personally think any reputable organization would ban Cory from ever speaking about Apple. His seething anger doesn’t allow him to say anything objective and even when there might be something of a point that might be made, his out and out dishonesty betrays his point. I enjoy tearing apart my machines and I enjoy the right to tear apart machines. But saying something like that doesn’t fit his agenda.

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“Significantly reduced” is an understatement. They were charged $1

Yeah, you would think that I was joking, but somebody was actually that obsessive.

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had nothing to do with ‘who apple likes’ and had everything to do with ifixit violating their NDA. they screwed up, and got exactly the punishment that was expected for that kind of violation. they can whine all they want, but it’s no one’s fault but their own.