Apple Takes Down iPhone Tracking Site
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Apple’s iPhone 5S is in high demand, but those eager Apple fans looking to buy the latest flagship device have had to do their share of waiting. Though sales of all iPhones reached nine million during the opening weekend, many are still waiting in digital queues to get their hands on the TouchID-enabled 5S, specifically in Apple’s newest color, gold. Now Apple has made it a little more difficult for customers to pick up the iPhone by way of a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice.
Web tool Apple-Tracker.com scraped Apple’s website to measure available stock in their American retail stores. Potential iPad Air and iPhone 5S buyers could simply visit the site, select which device they were interested in, type in their zip code, and quickly get a grid — displayed in red and green — showing where their devices were available.
Now Apple has asked for this site to be taken down, saying the way they scraped Apple.com for information violated their Internet Terms of Service.
In a notice dated October 17, a member of Apple’s legal team sent the takedown notice that reads, in part:
According to Apple’s legal team, no site is allowed to use any “deep-link,” “page-scrape,” “robot,” or “spider” service on Apple.com to pull information with intent to “obtain or attempt to obtain any materials, documents or information.”
In an online statement, Mordy Tikotzky, the founder of Apple-Tracker and iPhone-Check, said he plans to comply with the takedown notice and pull the tool from the web.
“I’ve decided to turn off the site. I’m not doing this because I want to, but rather because I received a DMCA takedown notice from Apple,” reads a post simply titled ‘Good Bye.’
“I’m not really interested in picking a fight with apple so….. I guess it’s time to just say good bye.
Before I go though I just wanted to says thanks to all of you for the nice comments and emails that you’ve sent in the last few weeks. It was fun while it lasted.”
The iPhone tracking tool quickly became popular as customers began looking for the in-demand devices. The site gained popularity when Apple announced the new iPad Air and iPad mini last month. Those looking to pick up one of these devices are still able to check availability before they go to their local retail store, of course, but they first must walk through the ordering process before they can see which stores have their selected device in stock.
Apple’s latest round of new releases has proven quite popular with their latest mobile OS, iOS 7, reaching up to 36 percent adoption rates within the first 24 hours of availability. It’s been rumored, however, that sales of the new plastic iPhone 5C have been sluggish since it’s release alongside the 5S.