The surprising reason Apple hates iPhone rumors

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The surprising reason Apple hates iPhone rumors
You probably can’t guess one of the reasons why Apple wants people to stop leaking the specifications of upcoming iPhone models.
Image: the Hacker 34/Cult of Mac

Apple hates it when people leak details about its upcoming devices. No surprise there. But an order to stop spreading rumors about unreleased iPhone models that the company reportedly sent to a Chinese citizen gives an unexpected reason.

Of course, the letter says Apple wants to surprise its customers with new products, which it can’t do if all the details have already leaked out. But that’s just part of it.

iPhone rumors hurt case makers

Apple also claims that leaked specs for iPhone cause third-party accessory makers to pre-produce cases in the wrong sizes. These companies are hoping to be able to launch cases on the same day Apple releases its next handset, so they base their designs on leaked specifications for the next model. These leaks are sometimes wrong.

Vice got a copy of Apple’s order to the unnamed Chinese citizen. It says that, because of iPhone rumors that turn out incorrect, “third-party accessory manufacturers may develop and sell mobile phone cases and other accessories that are not actually compatible with the unreleased products.”

Secrecy is in Apple’s DNA

Apple’s primary reason for trying to stomp out iPhone leaks is the one everyone probably expects. Apple wants to be able to announce its new products iself, not have the details widely reported months before the product launch.

The letter it sent to the Chinese Citizen says, “Apple has made every effort to take strict measures to maintain confidentiality for any information about Apple’s products before their official release to ensure that every time Apple releases a new product, it can surprise the public,” according to Vice. “The secret of Apple’s latest technological innovation is an important part of the company DNA.”

Possibly a letter to Kang

Vice doesn’t name the Chinese citizen who received this letter from Apple. But there’s a good chance it’s person who goes by Kang.

By one measure, Kang is the most reliable source for Apple leaks. But back in June, they said on Weibo that they’d received an letter from a law firm retained by Apple asking them to remove all information they’ve posted about unannounced Apple products.

But the letter could also have been sent to some other Chinese citizen who’d shared unconfirmed info about iPhone, iPad, etc.