How sloppy security exposed Apple’s super-secret product plans

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This login screen for a Quanta Computer database led to sensitive documents containing details on upcoming Apple products. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
This login screen for a Quanta Computer database led to sensitive documents containing details on upcoming Apple products. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Incredibly sloppy security at one of Apple’s key suppliers exposed some of Cupertino’s most closely guarded secrets to anybody who could conduct a simple Google search.

For months, one of Quanta Computer‘s internal databases could be accessed using usernames and a default password published in a PowerPoint presentation easily found on the Web.

Quanta, based in Taiwan, is the world’s largest notebook manufacturer. In addition to Apple, Quanta assembles laptops and ultrabooks for dozens of companies, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sharp and Sony. The company is also supposedly assembling the upcoming Apple Watch and the long-rumored iPad Pro, though no official announcements have been made.

iPhone 6 with new Passbook icon shown in likely fake leak

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Pictures of what is allegedly a working iPhone 6 have surfaced on the Chinese social network Weibo. While tons of parts have leaked up to this point, this is the first time we’ve seen what appears to be the device powered on and running iOS 8.

The 4.7-inch device looks legit, although it’s authenticity cannot obviously be confirmed. On the screen, there’s a new Passbook icon. This hints towards the mobile payments platform Apple is expected to unveil at next week’s event.

Crystal Baller: iWatch leaks overclock the rumor mill

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This week's Apple rumors were all iWatch, all the time.

No one has seen a single hardware leak of the iWatch but that didn't stopped the rumor mill from going ape-shit crazy for Apple's future wearable device this week. We saw whispers of sweat sensors, problems with the feds, and even celebrity athletes testing Apple's future fitness device.

Once again, we're taking the black cloth off our crystal ball and shining it up to see if we can spot what Tim Cook really has in store for the future of Apple. Come see which rumors are guaranteed to materialize and which are about to vanish like ghosts.

Stare into our crystal ball to see past the rumors and into the future...

Ditching the traditional watch face

The rumor: iWatch will have a "slightly rectangular" 2.5-inch screen.

The verdict: Sounds promising. We've seen rumors that the iWatch will have a round screen or a square screen, but according to Reuters, it'll actually be rectangular and feature wireless charging and a pulse sensor. It'll also be able to handle calls and texts when paired with an iPhone. None of this would really be that surprising, plus Apple's been making interfaces for its other 2.5-inch wearable device for years.

Photo: Ga-rule

His and hers iWatches

The rumor: Apple plans to release multiple sizes of the iWatch.

The verdict: Too early to tell. One size doesn't fit all when it comes to smart watches, so the The Wall Street Journal says Apple will release multiple screen sizes of the device and load it with 10 sensors. Other wearables like Nike's FuelBand and the Jawbone UP both come in multiple sizes so they fit as snuggly as possible for everyone, but they don't have to worry about fragmenting the app experience with different screen sizes. Will Jony Ive be able to deliver multiple iWatch sizes without making app development a nightmare?

Photo: Dámaso Benítez

iPhone 6 will be a portable weather station

The rumor: Apple plans to add a barometer to the  iPhone 6.

The verdict: Maybe. Code in iOS 8 and Xcode 6 that references a new sensor for determining altitude was dug up by 9to5Mac. Apps can already calculate altitude using GPS and motion chips, but a dedicated sensor would improve accuracy and provide new information for fitness tracking. It would also make a riveting addition to Apple's lonely Compass app. Who knows, we might even see it in the iWatch if The Wall Street Journal's 10-sensor rumor is true.

No love from the FDA

The rumor: The Food and Drug Administration is holding up the launch of the iWatch.

The verdict: Hold until October. Apple is still waiting for government certification before entering mass-production, says Chinese site Laoyaoba. With July being the targeted month to start churning out iWatches, Apple still has time to wait for FDA approval if it's going to announce the wearable in October, and the wait might be worth it.

The iWatch's features are expected to be years ahead of other smartwatches; getting certification as a medical device would make it more appealing than just another gimmicky fitness band. It might even have a sensor that can taste and analyze your sweat if Laoyaoba's sketchy rumor turns out to be true.

iPad Air 2 is getting a redesign already?

The rumor: The iPad Air 2 will have recessed volume buttons and a new speaker grill.

The verdict: Probably not. NowhereElse loves publishing pictures of dummy Apple units more than Kanye West loves talking about himself, but their latest iPad Air 2 dummy, based on "leaked schematics," looks a bit off. The recessed volume buttons could be an idea Apple was experimenting with in production, but the allegedly new large speaker grill holes look better suited for grating cheese than channeling tunes to the masses.