I want to develop an app for the iOS app store, but don't want to invest in a mac since they start very expensive. So I considered running Xcode via VMware using OSX Lion on my windows 7 computer. Would it be legal for me to create and sell an app if it was created on windows? Is Apple fine with it? Selling it on Cydia or other jailbreak stores are not an option.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just as a note, used Mac Minis are not expensive at all (couple hundred bucks in many cases) and can be used for development. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2012 at 4:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Seanmiddleditch Hmmm will have to look that up, although I don't want to buy a new computer :P \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2012 at 4:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea, just make sure it's an Intel based Mac, the old Minis are PPC and won't work with xcode/ios dev. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chuck D
    Aug 8, 2012 at 5:24

3 Answers 3


It is against the Apple and Mac OS terms of agreement to install Mac OS on anything aside from an Apple authorized machine. You are in breach of your user agreement by doing even that. So app-store stuff aside - you are in legal hot water.

However! Pushing that aside, I'd like to note at least one game has been published with a similar method as the one you have developed. If you see this article you can read about it.

The paragraph I want to quote is:

"And one final thing to know about releasing to the app store when you make your app on a PC: you REQUIRE a mac to upload the binary to apple.

ITunes Connect used to allow you to upload through http, but no longer. There is a binary uploader program in the iOS SDK that checks and uploads your binary to apple. That uploader program only works on a mac. So while you can build and test the entire app on a PC, you need a mac for 10 minutes to upload your final binary. I’ve seen someone suggest just going to an apple store and using a demo mac to upload. In my case I already had the mac mini, so it wasn’t terribly inconvenient, but it was a real surprise."

They developed on the PC but uploaded on a Mac Mini. But apparently others have uploaded via just a demo computer and done well.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome thanks! But basically I need to buy a mac anyway? Or could I use a friends? Also could I use itunes.apple.com/us/app/id383577124?mt=8 or itunes.apple.com/us/app/for-i-code-editor-for-the-ipad/… on an Ipad? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2012 at 5:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ You just need a Mac at some point that is capable of running the iOS SDK to upload it. Between you and I - just use a friends or a demo Mac (make it quick!). As long as it tied to your Apple ID, you're OK. As a side note, you can... but I would think you'd want to code on an desktop environment. If you're a PC kind of buy, check out Marmelade, MonoGame, Coronoa and other PC SDKs for iOS \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2012 at 5:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ EULAs are sometimes not upheld as legal documents in courts. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2012 at 2:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is kinda wrong. The Mac/PC vs OS X/other OS is again used incorrectly. You need OS X to submit the binaries. There is no need for a Mac to do it. So legalness put aside, you can do it through a VM. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 8, 2016 at 8:47

Even though legal advice should not be given here, it is a clean case as was noted earlier: you are not legally allowed to run OS X on non-Apple hardware.

However, to the question can you submit apps to AppStore the answer is yes. You can run OS X in a VM, develop there, send the apps to Apple and everything will be fine. Either Apple doesn't send any information about the machine (just the serial number would be enough to show it's not Apple HW), or they don't care.

So legal issues aside, you don't need a Mac to develop and submit, you just need OS X to do that. How you get it and run it is in your hands and there are no known cases where Apple would've not allowed an app that had been developed or submitted via OS X in a VM.

And, of course, if you happen to have Apple HW but prefer to run Windows/Linux on it, the legality of running OS X in a VM there is a bit greyer matter. You are running OS X on Apple HW in that case.


Can't run OSX in a VM. You don't need a new Mac though. Just buy some crappy used MacBook off eBay. That's what I did. I only use it to git pull, and then build in Xcode. Works great.


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