Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will soon be rolling out a change in how its products, specifically those running on its mobile platform iOS, connect to Wi-Fi networks. This change has led to troubles for at least one startup named Nomi which decided to layoff some personnel, a report from Recode reveals.
According to the site’s Jason Del Rey, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has decided to randomize the MAC addresses of iOS devices running on iOS 8. This means that a device on this platform will not have the same MAC address, a unique string of 12 characters that is its ID for a Wi-Fi network, when it connects to a network.
The problem for Nomi, which Recode said recently raised $13 million from venture capital firms, is that it uses a device’s MAC address for one of its tracking products. The firm sells services to businesses to track customers, such as retail stores tracking their traffic.
According to the report, the change Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has decided to make will take effect some time this fall. Furthermore, Nomi is said to have laid off at least 20 of its employees in part because of this change.
All is not lost for Nomi, however, as the same report cites the CEO of Nomi saying that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is just making clear that they want another method of tracking iPhone users. This means that if after the changes to iOS 8 take effect, Nomi will not be able to track iPhone and iPad users using MAC addresses anymore, they will be able to do so using what the company calls beacons.
Beacons, Recode notes, are devices which will be able to send messages to phones within a specific vicinity. In the case of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices, “iBeacons” will be able to send messages to these gadgets.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that the layoffs for Nomi is massive considering that if at least 20 people have been let go, about a third of their whole workforce were included in the move as they only have about 60 employees. Recode says that beacon installations do not require as much manpower to complete.