Apple products manufactured in China (almost everything) are often subject to leaks way before the formal announcement or launch. On several occasions, prototypes and other hardware details of iPhone, Macs, and iPad surface on Twitter and its Chinese counterpart Weibo that seemingly creates a headache for accessory manufactures who want to stay ahead of the game by producing third-party goods based on these prototype designs. It seems Apple is unhappy with this development and wants to find the very source of leaks, as per a report. The company has also reportedly sent cease and desist letter to a Chinese citizen (name unconfirmed) who advertised stolen iPhone prototypes on social media.
According to Vice Motherboard, Apple‘s formal warning to the unnamed leakster reveals how the company is going after “resellers" often who acquire stolen Apple hardware from factories in China (in this case Longhua in Shenzhen) and sell them to collectors or hackers looking for an edge in finding flaws and developing exploits for the iPhone. Apple reportedly wants to bring down the grey market “they’re [resellers] part of." The letter, assessed by the publication, comes from Fangda Partners, Apple’s law firm in China, dated June 18, 2021. In the cease and desist letter, Apple is said to have asked the Chinese tipster to stop acquiring, advertising, and selling leaked hardware and requested a list of anyone who provided them with the leaked devices. In other words, the Cupertino-based tech giant wants the reseller to reveal sources within the company or factory partners. Finally, the company had requested the seller to sign a document promising to comply with the request within 14 days of receiving the letter, the report notes.
The letter, accessed by Vice, reads: “Through investigation, Apple has obtained relevant evidence about your [leakster] unauthorised disclosure of Apple’s unreleased and rumoured products… Your intentional infringement is specifically manifested as publishing unpublished information about Apple’s new products through social media platforms, including but not limited to the design and performance of these new products."
In a follow up to the letter, the publication, in a separate report notes that Apple is coming after leaksters as they harm consumers’ expectations when the products actually get released. The company also argues, “third-party accessory manufacturers may develop and sell mobile phone cases and other accessories that are not actually compatible with the unreleased products."