Apple went to extreme measures

Apple has begun to remove applications that use access to UDID, the unique identification number of each iPhone and iPad. 

Bad news, because UDID is what, in fact, many games use to make money. 

Analytical and advertising companies, as well as gaming networks, use UDID to target ads, save game information and track user activity in a particular application. It is worth removing the UDID – and the business in the mobile games market will change a lot. And this will hit both developers and Apple itself. 

However, the company cannot do anything else: According to rumors, the US Congress is already preparing for public hearings against a number of application developers. During the trial, they may well reach Apple. 


Many believe that unhealthy attention to the mobile industry was attracted by the scandal with the Path social application. Recall that it used access to UDID to copy and save users’ phone books on its servers, without asking permission from users. 

Apologies of the creators of the application and promises to improve – did not play a special role. Moreover, when it became clear that Twitter, Google, Facebook and thousands of other iOS apps operate in a similar way, the scandal took a new turn. 

Last week, 13 Americans filed a class action lawsuit in a Texas court against 18 major developers (including Rovio Mobile, ZeptoLab UK, Chillingo and Electronic Arts), accusing them of stealing contacts and search query history. 

After that, the Congress requested information on the methods of collecting information from 34 mobile application developers. Moreover, one of the letters reached Apple itself, or rather to its developers responsible for creating the Find My Friends application, which uses user location data obtained using Apple devices. 

It seemed like a request, nothing serious, but in fact everything is much more serious. The fact is that the request procedure is carried out before public hearings – a simplified and less formatted type of court hearing. And now none of the developers and, especially, Apple is not interested in it.

So, we can assume that the main reason why Apple is so hastily getting rid of UDID is the desire to avoid litigation, which may be followed by numerous multimillion–dollar lawsuits. 

However, there is an opinion that the rejection of UDID is the popularization of the GameCenter service. Wanting to tie all developers to it, the company made concessions to the American public by abandoning UDID. 

What will happen?

Apple has previously stated that it will reduce the use of UDID in iOS 5, but not completely. For congressmen, it could sound like this: “of course, there will be less theft, but we are not going to eradicate it.”    

Now Apple has taken seriously those who use UDID in their applications. At the moment, two teams of reviewers are engaged in removing similar projects from the App Store. There will be four such teams next week. 


Abandoning even partial use of UDID will lead to a transformation of the market. However, until recently, no one believed that Apple would do this, because UDID is what developers and the App Store earn money on. 

Moreover, it is completely unclear how UDID can be replaced in terms of tracking user activity and targeting ads. Moreover, if the loss of the first one will have a detrimental effect on the quality of social projects (beta testing will be much slower, and in general developers will receive a response from the user to any of their applications much slower), then the loss of the second one may well hit earnings.

However, given that the volume of advertising on the mobile market is still relatively small, then perhaps not everyone will feel this blow. On the other hand, many freemium and f2p applications earn precisely from targeted advertising – and abandoning it can be disastrous. 

Sources: http://techcrunch.comhttp://www.gamezebo.comhttp://www.bfm.ruhttp://www.cnews.ru

Write a comment...
Related news