From iPhones to Macs, Apple rumors generate buzz and headlines like no other company, and everyone from small enthusiast sites to large mainstream publications (and, of course, the site you’re reading now) follow and report on rumors and leaks with tremendous interest. But over the past week, it’s becoming clear that Apple wants to put a stop to it.
It started with a post from leaker Kang on the China social media site Weibo. As spotted by MacRumors, the leaker, who accurately predicted the iPhone 12 and HomePod mini and has a near-perfect track record according to AppleTrack, claims that Apple’s lawyers warned Kang about posting information that may “mislead customers, because what is disclosed may not be accurate.” Kang suggests that Apple went after other leakers as well.
Apple’s actions seem to have worked. Kang said he “won’t post riddles and dreams in the future,” a reference to the tactic used among leakers to describe rumors in fantastical terms. One of the most popular and accurate, L0vetodream on Twitter, often describes the information they post as something seen “in my dream.”
Apple has also gone after artist Jermaine, who goes by the name Concept Creator on Twitter, who creates renders based on leaks. He recently worked with Jon Prosser on a render of the AirPods Max months before they launched that was extremely close to the final design.
Speaking of Prosser, his Front Page Tech site reported this week that Apple is so concerned with leaks that it is making some employees wear body cameras similar to what police officers wear. Although somewhat light on specifics, the report says “specific Apple teams” are being asked to wear the “sophisticated tech.” It doesn’t mention whether the cameras are mandatory, worn for a full shift, or whether Apple has full access to footage. Quite frankly, it all seems a little too crazy to believe but coupled with credible reports of Apple reaching out to leakers, it could be true.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Apple has declared war on leakers. Back in 2012, Tim Cook said one of his main objectives was “doubling down on secrecy” and in 2014 he told Good Morning America that Apple “believe(s) fundamentally that people love surprises.” Over the years, leaking has gotten worse, however, with barely any products making it to launch without leaking in full. In fact, we already have seemingly credible information about the iPhone 14 as well as several future products, including augmented-reality glasses and a folding iPhone.
If Apple has its way, however, the Apple Car might actually be a surprise, anyway.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.