iFixit teardown Apple TV 4 teaser 001

Those prolific electronics wizards over at iFixit have found out the hard way that breaking Apple’s NDA has consequences. The site fell out of favor with Apple after posting a teardown analysis of an unreleased 4th generation Apple TV with Siri Remote.

According to iFixit itself, not only has Apple yanked their iPhone app from the App Store but also banned their developer account. iFixit’s Apple TV unit was obtained as part of development kits provided to some developers who were selected to take part in Apple’s early access program.

After reaching out to Apple, iFixit was told their developer account was revoked due to the violation of its Developer Agreement which strictly prohibits publication of any information pertaining to unreleased products, especially those which are meant for developers.

“iFixit’s app was tied to that same account, so Apple pulled the app as well,” writes iFixit. “Their justification was that we had taken ‘actions that may hinder the performance or intended use of the App Store, B2B Program or the Program.’”

iFixit acknowledged that the developer unit they disassembled was sent to them by Apple, which “evidently didn’t intend for us to take it apart.”

“But we’re a teardown and repair company; teardowns are in our DNA—and nothing makes us happier than figuring out what makes these gadgets tick,” explains the firm. “We weighed the risks, blithely tossed those risks over our shoulder, and tore down the Apple TV anyway.”

Apple TV developer unit packagingApple TV developer unit image by Caleb Thornton.

The pulled app was outdated anyway and exhibited hiccups on iOS 9. In the meantime, iFixit has been hard at work redesigning their mobile website. As for the mobile app, they’re not planning on rewriting it for the time being.

“Our APIs make it easy for anyone else to build one, though,” they said. “In the meantime, we will continue to support our Android app, which includes native guide creation.”

People who relied on iFixit’s iPhone app to access their wonderfully put together repair guides can continue to use their previously downloaded iFixit application. New users, however, are advised to browse the iFixit website to access these handy repair manuals.

Source: iFixit

  • Fanboy 

    iFixit trying to explain that they’re a repair company doesn’t justify this, they clearly violated Apple’s NDA. They could have tore it down and had the article ready and published it on the dot of the release date.

    • Morgan Freeman

      I agree. Oh well, it’s not the end of the world!

      • Fanboy 

        I like your movies

      • White Michael Jackson

        Do you like my songs?

      • Snailpo


      • Bugs Bunnay

        Do you like looney tunes?

      • Gerardo Castro


      • Bugs Bunnay

        Relax doc! Just asking a question. Just so you know it’s duck season…

      • White Michael Jackson

        Tru. I got something coming out in a few years

    • Jim B

      bs, that is what iFixit does so Apple is dumb to send one to them if they were expecting them to watch movies on it instead.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        Baa baaa baaaa

      • Chris Gaunt

        Maybe I read the article wrong, but I think Apple banned them because they released their tear down before the ATV release. It was the timing not the action that banned them.

      • Shinonuke

        Jim B isn’t your average critical thinkers. He might not understand what you said there.

      • Chris Gaunt

        too subtle?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah i agree with you. iFixit did as apple wanted them to do. Thats is tear it down. But iFixit needed to hold up there end and wait to publish the article.

    • Manuel Molina

      After reading the article a few times, I agree to a level with you on the idea of tearing down and having the article ready on release date. However, I think deleting their app, banning their account, and removing them off the face of the earth was a bit much even in Apple’s standards. I think this was a bit over the top. Issue a statement/warning to remove the video or article down at least. Not saying they aren’t in their rights to ban them in the end though.

    • Antzboogie

      Stop crying.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    Probability of unbanning ifixit from the appstore. 1 out of 10. Where 1 is most unlikely and 10 is most likely.

    • Probably a 1 to be honest, Apple is kinda dicks like that. lol

  • Manuel Molina

    Ouch. That’s not just right.

  • George

    Wow apple is ridiculous, what pieces of shit. How does tearing down the apple TV harm apple in any way?

    • faefa

      it’s a developer unit, it’s not supposed to be revealed, they have no problem disassembling normal retail units, did u even read the article

      • Bugs Bunnay

        People read the article?!

      • George

        If it’s launching this month I don’t see how the unit is any different then the final product, overreaction on apples part.

      • faefa

        it’s a policy

      • Do you ever drive 36mph in a 35? Well that is also “against policy” but it is expected. Sending a dev device to a tear down site is just asking for this to have happened

      • kurt

        Policy is policy, they can’t make an exception for anyone. They can’t just say “Oh well, it comes out later this month, we’ll let it slide”. Thats not how a professional business works. It’s definitely not overreaction. Every company has policies and when they are broken, there are consequences. It’s common sense.

      • Chindavon

        Contract says don’t do it. You do it then get punished from breaking the contract. What’s so difficult here? These guys did it for the clicks.

    • Rowan09

      Copycats before the product is released that’s how it can hurt them. They should have just waited like everyone else. It’s like me getting a developer edition IPad Pro and showing the world the internals before it’s released.

  • iDude

    They know that this would happen. If they were so eager to break it apart to share to the community, they should’ve created the video anonymously. That’s how to avoid violating NDA. Same goes for wiretapping law IMO 😀

  • aw81

    What did they think was going to happen?
    They didn’t even have long to wait.

  • George

    My comment wasn’t even bad, stop removing comments for no reason. Enjoy your 20+ new 1 star podcast ratings.

  • Dizzlerocksj’s

    Got em sometimes we have to show restrain and wait not like anyone else was rushing to tear down a video of the apple tv