Some people just can’t wait for Apple to release iOS 5, to the point where they’re paying registered developers to add their iPhones to the developer account, letting them get access to iOS betas without having to pay the full price of developer registration. If you were thinking about doing such a thing, you might want to hold off (and if you already have, you may wish to downgrade back to iOS 4), since we’ve heard reports of Apple disabling iPhones it has identified with such unauthorized beta access.
Supposedly, developers who have been engaging in this practice to make a few extra bucks (or just hook their buddies up with early beta access) are being contacted by Apple to let them know that the jig is up. According to reports, those accounts are being disabled, and the iPhone users who had been taking advantage of them have had their phones remotely locked-up by Apple, forcing them into an inescapable setup mode.
If true, this is some serious hardball Apple’s playing. We know the company takes control over its creations extremely seriously, but this sounds like an overreaction, even for it. Absolutely, developers caught selling off access should have their accounts terminated, but what purpose does going after end-users serve, other than forcing them to buy replacement iPhones? We’d be very interested to hear any kind of statement from Apple in response to these allegations.