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Businesses Iphone The Almighty Buck Apple Technology

Apple Suffers 'Major iPhone X Leak' 114

Details of new iPhones and other forthcoming Apple devices have been revealed via an apparent leak. From a report: Two news sites were given access to an as-yet-unreleased version of the iOS operating system. The code refers to an iPhone X in addition to two new iPhone 8 handsets. It also details facial recognition tech that acts both as an ID system and maps users' expressions onto emojis. One tech writer said it was the biggest leak of its kind to hit the firm. [...] "As best I've been able to ascertain, these builds were available to download by anyone, but they were obscured by long, unguessable URLs [web addresses]," wrote John Gruber, a blogger known for his coverage of Apple. "Someone within Apple leaked the list of URLs to 9to5Mac and MacRumors. I'm nearly certain this wasn't a mistake, but rather a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee." Neither Mr Gruber nor the two Apple-related news sites have disclosed their sources. However, the BBC has independently confirmed that an anonymous source provided the publications with links to iOS 11's golden master (GM) code that downloaded the software from Apple's own computer servers. It's a big blow to Apple, which uses surprise as a key element at its events. The leak could take some wind out of its sails as it looks to wow consumers. In 2012, Tim Cook had said the company was planning to "double down on secrecy." At the quarterly earnings call, he blamed the leaks about the upcoming iPhone models as one of the reasons that slowed down the sales of current generation iPhone models. However, an analysis published over the weekend found that Apple itself has been the source of several of these leaks in the years since. Earlier this year, the company held a meeting to boast about its internal progress to curb leaks. The hour-long recording of the meeting ironically got leaked. Nearly all details, except the final press renders of the new iPhone models, have leaked. In a subsequent post, Gruber wrote: The BBC doesn't say definitively that the leak was sent by an Apple employee, but I can state with nearly 100 percent certainty that it was. I also think there's a good chance Apple is going to figure out who it was. [...] That person should be ashamed of themselves, and should be very worried when their phone next rings. Moments ago, 9to5Mac reported about a new tvOS firmware leak, which appeared "to be out in the wild today" that details the upcoming features of the next generation Apple TV streaming device.

Apple Suffers 'Major iPhone X Leak'

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  • Oh Please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Monday September 11, 2017 @02:43PM (#55175823) Journal

    "Leaks" about Apple products are just hyped up press releases.

    • Re:Oh Please! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Monday September 11, 2017 @03:01PM (#55175991)

      Sure, Apple "leaks" stuff all the time, as most large organizations do, but those mostly follow the same few patterns that you see at all large organizations:
      - They use "leaks" to clear out details that they'd rather not have sharing a news cycle with their big announcements
      - They use "leaks" to prepare the media and the public for a shock it won't like (e.g. higher prices, no headphone jack, etc.)
      - They use "leaks" to get people excited about products by hinting at features

      What the "leaks" NEVER do is spoil events by stealing thunder from their keynote addresses, which is exactly what happened here when you look into exactly how much got out. In fact, this one gets even worse, since it...
      ...spoils nearly all of the major news for their annual iPhone launch
      ...spoils the first event at the brand new location they spent billions of dollars building
      ...spoils the event that coincides with the 10th anniversary of the iPhone
      ...spoiled details about an updated Apple TV that wasn't on most radars
      ...spoiled everything just two days before the event, utterly deflating it

      So yes, Apple "leaks" things, but as a company that directly or indirectly employs hundreds of thousands of employees, they occasionally actually leak things too, and this DEFINITELY falls into that latter case.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by freeze128 ( 544774 )
        ...or maybe the leak drives focus AWAY from a CEO who is not as good at showmanship as the previous CEO. Honestly, It's only 1 day before the scheduled announcement. It's not enough time to allow any competitor to develop a competing product. After Tuesday, who cares if there was a leak? Everyone will know about the new products and features anyway.
        • ...or maybe the leak drives focus AWAY from a CEO who is not as good at showmanship as the previous CEO.

          Just because Steve Jobs really knew how to present things in a keynote with showmanship and Tim Cook sounds as exciting on stage as a monotonic teacher... eh... never mind.

        • It's not about the competition. It's about controlling the narrative. If you control the narrative, you get to be the one who starts off in control of setting expectations and reactions, which can have a massive impact on how your products are perceived by the public.

          Consider, for instance, how differently the release of information about specs can go. Apple's iPhones aren't known for having the best specs, but they generally seem to punch above their weight, which is to say that despite their specs frequen

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          well they need the surprise element so that even fanbois are reminded that the features already exist.

          if it is already discussed in the media that the features exist, then the journalists have harder time putting up headlines like apple does it again or something.

          really though, you can't tell the difference between iphone 6 and whatever their latest thing is.. like if you look at someone using it. it looks the same. nobody cares if it's the newest or not. thats the problem.

          apple is already at a place wher

      • Didn't a GPU leak during Jobs' tenture cause Nvidia or AMD to lose placement in Apple products for a while?

        • Yup, I believe it was nVidia that spoiled the surprise, and Jobs yanked their cards entirely from all Macs. Apple seems to have softened a bit since then. I've seen other CEOs announce things before Apple on a handful of occasions without Apple dropping them entirely, but Apple does seem to take punitive measures still.

          For instance, you'll see estimates suggesting that the mix of supplies for a particular part will be 80-20 from companies A and B. When A then says something before Apple is ready, you'll hea

          • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

            Yup, I believe it was nVidia that spoiled the surprise, and Jobs yanked their cards entirely from all Macs. Apple seems to have softened a bit since then. I've seen other CEOs announce things before Apple on a handful of occasions without Apple dropping them entirely, but Apple does seem to take punitive measures still.

            Every company does this - they say something is embargoed until a certain date. Which means you may know what you're making, but you're not allowed to say anything about it until a date has p

      • I'm not convinced 'spoiled' is the correct adjective, none of the leaked features were anything to get excited about.
      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        So yes, Apple "leaks" things, but as a company that directly or indirectly employs hundreds of thousands of employees, they occasionally actually leak things too, and this DEFINITELY

        Came direct from the Marketing department.

        These leaks are getting worse because Apple is struggling for relevance in a world where they're now almost beyond passe. This is just an outcry saying "Please, please pretend I'm still relevant". The mere mention of speculation of the hope of a leak before an Apple product announcement used to generate hundreds upon hundreds of comments. Now we can barely get 100 in a whole day and half of those are people saying " Yawn, this was completely expected".

    • "Leaks" about Apple products are just hyped up press releases.

      Not just that, leaks about those products are another reason to buy up existing iPhones like 7, 6s while they are still around. Before the newer phones are out that get rid of the home button, and lord knows what else. Not to mention a $400 hike in the prices of the phones.

  • Apple? Surprise? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Monday September 11, 2017 @02:44PM (#55175833)

    You could have surprised me. Every release they "leak" the details the morning of the presentation. This just happened a day early

    • RTFS much? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Yaztromo ( 655250 )

      I know it's too much to ask people to RTFA, but you can at least read the summary.

      This wasn't a features leak -- this was a leak of the entire iOS 11 Golden Master source code. Apparently for all current Apple products at that. Sure, some people have used the leak to divine what new features are in iOS 11 -- but the real damage is that the entire source for iOS 11 GM is now out there in the wild.

      That certainly isn't something that happens prior to every presentation.

      Yaz

      • Re:RTFS much? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2017 @03:16PM (#55176121)

        Yoz, apparently it was too much for you to read as well ... it's the master build not the source code. Yuuggge difference.

        • No, it's bad reporting on the BBC's part:

          However, the BBC has independently confirmed that an anonymous source provided the publications with links to iOS 11's golden master (GM) code that downloaded the software from Apple's own computer servers.

          Having looked into things further you are correct that the leak was of compiled binary data -- which isn't code. The BBC article says that it was links to iOS 11 GM code that was leaked, hence my error.

          Yaz

          • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

            Having looked into things further you are correct that the leak was of compiled binary data -- which isn't code.

            Object code is not code, when you require it not to be in order to save face.

      • So you're saying that iOS 11 is now open source? Hurray!

      • Re:RTFS much? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2017 @04:22PM (#55176653)

        A GM build != source code. We will see the GM build dropped or slated to drop tomorrow. iOS source, code, on the other hand is kept secret, and if there were a leak of that, there would be witch hunts.

        • Mea culpa. As I mentioned above, however, the BBC reported that the URLs were to iOS 11 GM code. The BBC misreported, and I based my comment off the bit of misinformation. What they should have said was that the binaries were leaked.

          I'd still say that's bigger (for Apple) than your usual "rumour" leak. At the very least, they have an unknown untrustworthy actor within their organization, who is acting with an agenda against the company in general.

          Yaz

  • by Kokuyo ( 549451 )

    It's been so long that any phone producer has come out with some major game changing technology that all this leaking and presentation stuff has become one giant marketing circle-jerk.

    When rockstars party, the music isn't all that important. The important thing is that the druges are pure and the groupies ready for anything.

  • I realize most anyone would pale as a presenter in comparison to Steve Jobs... but Tim Cook really is the wrong guy to have up there. He could announce "Apple has established a moonbase" and somehow make it sound boring.

    Additionally - if the leak regarding turning one's facial expressions into emoji really is "damaging" to Apple, then tomorrow's presentation is going to be quite the snooze fest. Seriously, is that supposed to be a surprise announcement that's supposed to wow people?

    • Tim Cook does virtually none of the presenting—most of what he does is the feel-good stuff, financials and introducing other people, so I'm not sure what you're complaining about. He's taking on the stuff that nobody could make particularly interesting anyway.

      • Kind of like John Sculley.

        I remember being at WWDC in '91 when they were introducing System 7. The man was an utter snooze. Hell, even Bill Gates gave a better presentation...

    • They should just let Craig Federighi [apple.com] do the whole presentation.

      He's got the chiseled features of a strong, good looking man. He's got a fun, yet confident, demeanor. He commands respect, yet does so politely and without forcing it out of anyone. He's got the technical chops. He's a family man. And of course, he's an excellent public speaker.

      He's been the best part of the past Apple presentations he's been involved with.

      He should be the public face of Apple. He's a man that other men respect. He's a man that

    • Just wait until he tries to demo the animoji thing. Even the emojis will look bored.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Just wait until he tries to demo the animoji thing. Even the emojis will look bored.

        Aren't these "Animoji" things pretty much what 19-20 year old Colombian/Filipino girls already send me over Facebook/Whats App? Animated pictures of anthropomorphised bears/cats blowing kisses or heart floating away.

        I hope they're incompatible with Android. Realistically I don't want this crap from a 32 yr old man-child fanboy whom I definitely don't want to see sans pants. This is one feature I'd be happy to have as an Iphone exclusive.

  • How about: "Apple suffers planned media hype disguised as leak."
  • At the quarterly earnings call, he blamed the leaks about the upcoming iPhone models as one of the reasons that slowed down the sales of current generation iPhone models.

    Nope, that's BS for investors. I will name three other more pertinent reasons:

    Firstly, yearly upgrades are very incremental for all intents and purposes. I'd even venture to say that the modern smartphone warrants an upgrade every two to three years.

    Secondly, iPhones are not so much better than their sub $400 Android counterparts. They are better, true, but they don't justify a twofold increase in the price.

    Thirdly, you cannot expect to sell in increasing quantities absolutely the same bulky design w

    • I don't think that second reason is particularly relevant. Apple is still taking away 90% of the industry's profits (or have they dropped to the high 80% range?), and often end up supply constrained at the beginning of the cycle. Apple understands the market really well, and they're selling about as many phones of that price as the market can bear.

      Your design comment is probably the strongest—even though the design was a bit different, it wasn't enough. The internals of the 7 are a huge upgrade, but p

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        The internals of the 7 are a huge upgrade ...

        They're a huge sidegrade. They made some things better, like the taptic engine, but they made others worse, like the headphone jack. And to users, the former is completely irrelevant.

        One of the first things SJ did when he came back to Apple was remind folks that people don't buy computers based on specs. Nobody cares if the CPU in a new phone is faster unless their current phone isn't fast enough to do the job. Nobody cares if the taptic engine can make it bu

        • There are two big features that I think people would jump ship for: the camera and the size of the screen. (Setting aside that I actually think the form factor of the 5/SE is the best one in hand.)

          And indeed, Apple saw massive uptake of the original iPhone 6 because of the bigger screen, and the iPhone 7+ was more popular than expected. So if we're talking specifically about the 5/5s, we can definitely see a reason to upgrade there.

          There's a smaller—but still notable—subset of people that are go

          • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

            There's a smaller—but still notable—subset of people that are going to upgrade because of the camera. When I look at my iPhone 6, the biggest thing that I envy from the newest phones is the better cameras.

            IMO, we're a few years past the point where camera improvements became incremental. I can't really get excited about 2/3rds of a stop in a camera that packs that much resolution onto such a tiny sensor. The only way to get a big win (in aperture or in pixel size) is to make the camera bigger,

  • Maybe the leak wasn't deliberate?

    Is it possible that an employee navigated to one of those links while they weren't on a corporate VPN? e.g. they had the link and clicked on it while on a home or public wifi? Then a compromised router could have detected the URL and passed it on.

    Or maybe they had a web-page open while on corpnet where there was an internal announcement/email that mentioned the URL, and then they took their laptop home and the web-page was still open, and they accidentally clicked the link w

  • by hattable ( 981637 ) on Monday September 11, 2017 @03:52PM (#55176413) Homepage Journal
    Did slashdot just link to an article posted on slashdot itself as a story?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Did slashdot just link to an article posted on slashdot itself as a story?

      Slashdot is basically a giant virtual hamster wheel for the autistic to run around in, so I don't really see the problem in doing something self-referential.

  • That person should be ashamed of themselves, and should be very worried when their phone next rings.

    Can this guy be any more of a shill for Apple?

  • Now you can have a Jesus booth from THX 1138 in real life. It can read your facial expression and ask you "What's Wrong?"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • by antdude ( 79039 )

    Even if there were no leaks, Apple stuff had been meh these days. :(

  • Just like that guy who "accidentally" left a prototype phone in a bar a few years back.

    Hook, line and sinker.

  • It's a big blow to Apple, which uses surprise as a key element at its events

    Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Ok, our two weapons are fear and surprise...

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