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Apple is really desperate to stop product design leaks

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/29/2021 sjackson@insider.com (Sarah Jackson)
Apple © Provided by Business Insider Apple
  • Apple sent a cease-and-desist discouraging ads of leaked or stolen iPhone prototypes, VICE reports.
  • The company reportedly said such leaks are causing companies to make phone cases in the wrong sizes.
  • Apple reportedly wrote in the letter that keeping its newest products a surprise is part of its DNA.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Apple has sent a cease-and-desist letter in a sign of a greater crackdown on product design leaks, Motherboard reports.

The company reportedly told a Chinese citizen to stop advertising leaked or stolen iPhone prototypes on social media, according to Motherboard, which obtained a copy of the letter.

"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," the letter reads, according to Motherboard.

Apple reportedly urged the person to stop posting about prototypes because this leads manufacturers to make iPhone cases in the wrong sizes, as there are often many changes made between the prototype and finished product stages. Apple warned that companies might also make ill-fitting iPhone accessories if they're relying on prototype designs.

The global market for Apple accessories was valued at $19.9 billion in 2019, according to a report from ResearchAndMarkets.com last year. The report adds that the market is expected to grow to over $27.4 billion by 2026.

Read more: Your Apple laptop is probably repaired at a facility workers say is a 'sweatshop'

The tech company said another reason it wants to stop the leaks is to retain the element of surprise that accompanies its product launches.

"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," the company said, according to the letter reviewed by Motherboard. "The secret of Apple's latest technological innovation is an important part of the company DNA."

Besides telling the person to stop obtaining, advertising, and selling its leaked products, Apple also asked them to share who gave the devices to them, Motherboard reports.

Apple did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

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