Remember that memo not long ago where Apple vowed to crack down on unreleased device leaks
? Well, most of those come from the vast prairies of the Chinese social media equivalents like Weibo, and get picked up from there.
Understandable, given that iPhones are assembled in China by Foxconn, and many an employee there feel tempted to snap spy shots of parts and even snag whole engineering prototypes, sometimes for media fame and glory, sometimes for hackers and collectors. You know, for sizeable coin, as they love to say in Spartacus.
It turns out that Apple was really serious about its anti-leakage threats, as one such unfortunate soul is now learning the hard way, reports Vice
. At least one leakster, a Chinese citizen, has received a cease and desist letter from Apple about posting iPhone prototypes for sale on local social media. The letter that Apple sends out via its legal representatives in China Fangda Partners, reads the following:
You have disclosed without authorization a large amount of information related to Apple's unreleased and rumored products, which has constituted a deliberate infringement of Apple's trade secrets.
Through investigation, Apple has obtained relevant evidence about your unauthorized disclosure of Apple’s unreleased and rumored product. Your intentional infringement is specifically manifested as: publishing unpublished information about Apple’s new products through social media platforms, including but not limited to the design and performance of these new products.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 the letter, Apple gives the unnamed tipster the standard 14-day period to react, and demands they disclose the sources which provided them with the leaked iPhone prototypes. Apparently, some sellers of unannounced Apple wares got a similar letter, others yet haven't but the reverberations are already rippling through the vast Chinese blogosphere like prairie fire nonetheless.
For instance, we were surprised to see one of those prominent tipsters, Mr White, who just recently posted an iPod prototype with a 30-pin connector
, purge their account, and were wondering what could be the reason for him disappearing from Twitter. Well, Apple's cease and desist letters are one probable reason, and this time the company seems to be raising the stakes in the leakster game significantly.