Apple Bullies Popular iPhone, iPad Inventory Tracker Sites into Shutting Down

Paul Lilly

Is this a sign that Apple's 2nd Gen iPad mini is in short supply?

Apple devices are incredibly popular and it's not unusual for there to be a shortage of whatever new gadget just came out. Coming soon, the hot new item Apple will be pimping is a new iPad mini with Retina display. There have been plenty of rumors leading up to the 2nd generation iPad mini's launch suggesting Retina panels for the device are in relatively short supply, which might explain why Apple is suddenly interested in shutting down inventory tracker websites.

Apple-Tracker.com's founder Mordy Tikotzky claims he received a DMCA takedown notice from Apple's legal department saying that his website, along with iPhone-check.com, are operating in violation of Apple's Internet Service Terms of Use. Tikotzky's websites scraped Apple's retail store sites to determine how much inventory was available.

"I have a good faith belief that the the website identified by URL below is unlawful because, among other things, the page scrapes and collects data from Apple.com in violation of the Apple.com Internet Service Terms of Use," Apple's attorney stated in the notice.

Tikotzky expressed regret for having to turn off his websites, adding that he's "not really interested in picking a fight with Apple." It's an unfortunate turn of events for consumers who, prior to the takedowns, could input their ZIP code and find out whether a particular product was in stock locally.

In subsequent Twitter posts , Tikotzky said he released the source code for his websites and tracking tool. While Apple may have successfully shuttered the original tracking sites, it's only a matter of time before copycat sites pop up, giving the company's legal department plenty to keep busy with.

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