Apple apparently wants to bring the preliminary revelations of product details in social media better under control: The leaker “Kang” was warned by a law firm acting on behalf of the iPhone company not to publish any further confidential content and to delete postings that had already been made.
The disclosure of the information could benefit competitors or even deceive end customers, if some information is incorrect, the reason given was given. The letter would also have received other leakers, writes Kang.
Spec list for the iPhone 12 published in advance
In the past year, Kang published several accurate information on Apple products in advance on the Chinese network Weibo, and some of his information was also translated into English and passed on to Twitter. This ultimately included correct details on the specifications of the entire iPhone 12 lineup and the HomePod mini, which was also newly introduced at the time. He never published secret product photos, only texts – some in the form of puzzles and alleged dreams – according to Kang, but this, too, is undesirable, according to the legal letter. It remains unclear what consequences were threatened.
Rumors and speculations about new Apple products are almost as old as the company itself, which, especially since the return of founder Steve Jobs, has always relied on meticulous secrecy in product development and correspondingly surprising announcements.
With the billion dollar business of the iPhone, a market for leaks and the disclosure of trade secrets has long since formed. Advance information on specifications and construction plans can be worth gold for accessory manufacturers. For the next generation of iPhones, crucial details usually leak months in advance, and much of the information is now exchanged via social media.
Tougher crackdown on leaks
According to the latest reports, Apple is now increasingly insisting on secrecy among suppliers: In addition to a background check of the workers who finalize Apple products, video surveillance and the destruction of prototypes ensure that no components leak to the public at an early stage. Several years ago, the group announced strict measures to its own employees in cases of betrayal of secrets.