Here's how Apple can stop the iPhone/iPad leaks...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mcdj, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Each year, as iDevices become more and more popular, and curiosity grows for the next iterations, the incentive to leak them, from within the supply chain, grows. And the leaks themselves are more elaborate and complete each year.

    For a factory worker on the production line, the temptation to leak is becoming too great. Whether it's mainstream blogs paying for exclusive rights to leaked photos of parts, or, previously unknown blogs like who are getting paid by the click, the procuring and distributing of photos and news of the next iDevice is becoming a profitable business.

    A few hundred dollars payout from a western blog for a few detailed snaps of the next iPad back plate, (or as we're seeing on an unprecedented basis, a multitude of parts smuggled out of the factory for dozens of clinical photos in great detail), could easily best a factory worker's weekly pay.

    With 1000s of workers in multiple countries having free range access to small, slim, pocketable parts being produced in the millions, the logistics of keeping it all on lockdown is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible.

    It's no wonder the leaks are getting worse. Tim Cook has increased iDevice production exponentially since taking the helm. The first few iPhones and iPads launched in the US first, while the world drooled, and were trickled out to the rest of the planet in staggered releases. But Tim Cook's supply chain prowess has meant simultaneous launch all across the globe. This means ramped up production. A lot more factories. A lot more workers. A lot more leaks.

    As the demand for Apple products surges and production grows to meet it, a funny thing happens. Increased production begets increased leaks, which begets less buzz. Gone are the lines around the block on launch day because Tim has upped production 10 fold. And so many leaks means less excitement on launch day. We're not waiting with baited breath to see what they announce anymore. We're just waiting to click the preorder button. The more we know, the less we actually care, in terms of our collective tech-lust for Apple products.

    That's great for Apple's bean counters in the short term, but so what? Great, Apple gets to amass more billions they barely know what to do with. Long term, it's damaging to one of the tenets of Apple's success...mystique. Steve Jobs was a salesman. Tim Cook knows very little about salesmanship, or mystique.

    The days of hype, buzz and One More Thing on launch day are gone. Move on Apple. Doubling down on secrecy? It's time to rethink this.

    So what's a company to do? It's simple really. Don't want leaks? Unveil the product publicly before it goes into production. Crack open the coffer and invest more heavily in prototyping. Build a mini Foxconn right in Cupertino if you have to. Build the final prototype, stuff a screen it, fire it up and announce the damn thing.

    Architects don't build buildings in secret under a giant black cloth. They build a model in secret, and put the cloth over that. Then they lift the cloth, show the world the model, then they build the building.

    Then Apple needs to scale back the releases a little, like the good old days, so they don't have to retool 100 factories to meet simultaneous global demand. Shut down all the newly obsolete secrecy channels and protocols, and spend that time, effort, and money on cranking out the final products a little faster, in smaller batches, so there's less lag between unveiling and launch.

    The public gets to see something they had no idea was coming on launch day. Then they get a few weeks to soak in the buzz and drool a bit, and when the new iPhone/iPad is finally available for sale, it will sell just as many if not more than if they had tried (unsuccessfully) to keep it under wraps in the backwards manner they do it now. Win win.

    Apple is already headed down a very different road in the post-Jobs era, with plastic phones and rainbow matchstick interfaces. If they don't foster some of the mystique the company was built on, they be just another Sony in 10 years' time. They'll have gone from making products everyone wants, to making products everyone already has.
  2. Giuly, Aug 30, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    How about a metal detector instead?

    Even the iPhone 3G was leaked, so maybe "that's part of it". Even in you're employing the KGB, at some point someone will inevitably walk out with some part in their hands.

    However, most of the times the iPhone was more than the sum of it's leaked parts.
  3. woodynorman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    Does the "general public" even have a clue about the leaks? I don't think so. I mean how many of the potential iPhone buyers go on Macrumors anyway? An extremely small percentage I would guess. The leaks out there go relatively unnoticed by most, IMO.
  4. woodynorman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    Does the "general public" even have a clue about the leaks? I don't think so. I mean how many of the potential iPhone buyers go on Macrumors anyway? An extremely small percentage I would guess. The leaks out there go relatively unnoticed by most, IMO.
  5. iBreatheApple macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    This is very true. Even the "generic" Apple lovers don't know about most leaks in rumors. I have friends who purchase every new apple product but ask me questions all the time about what's in the near future when there has been numerous leaks and rumors surfaced for quite some time.
  6. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
  7. SluGuru macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2013
    Apple does not mind many of the leaks and in fact many of them come from Apple itself to keep people guessing. And no a few hundred dollars does not best a weeks pay inside Foxconn. They get paid a few dollars a day. A few hundred bucks is akin to a month's salary. These people are eating meat that costs a few pennies, imagine what that must be like.
  8. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Stop leaks? I don't doubt that many of the leaks are intentional. It's publicity.
  9. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    If they built the prototype in house then announced it before it went in to production, it wouldn't be a few weeks before they could start selling it. It would be months. In the meantime nobody will want to buy the current generation, as everybody will know its on its way.

    Even if they did this, some apple employee would just leave the prototype in a bar!

    How many of the leaks are staged, and how many are genuine? Who knows. I queued up for my first iPhone (4), but just ordered my 5 online. I got both on launch day. Would I get up at 5 to go queue again? No probably not. Does that mean Apple earn less money from me? Not at all.
  10. iBreatheApple macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    Spot on. 100%. It's all about the $.
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Your idea has some problems.

    1. The competition would know what to gun for and how to beat it way to easily.

    2. The general public doesn't pay attention to this stuff its only us enthusiast which is a very small percentage of iPhone buyers. So that would kill the excitement for when it was actually released and no one would care, old news.

    3. The prototype would leak.

    4. This would kill sales of current devices.

    Here is my idea.

    Make 4-5 prototypes and intentionally leak them don't leak the real deal. You will flood the blogs with false info causing confusion and no one will know what to believe. Sure the real iPhone might get leaked but no one will know if its just another prototype leaked or what.

    This would work especially well if the real iPhone is totally off the wall with a 5" screen and all sorts of other stuff. Meanwhile everyone would believe one of the 4" prototypes was the real thing.
  12. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    Announcing the phone pre-production would just allow competitors to one-up the phone during the production months. These are just a few parts that are leaking and past leaks haven't always been correct. People who pay attention to the leaks will have more realistic expectations for the release while millions of others will still be surprised.
  13. JodyK macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2010
    Northern Atlanta suburbs
    I agree with you. Especially the Mac stuff isn't as known but the iOS device is becoming more talked about and followed by the general public. Have some Android friends that mention stuff to me and it's surprising.
  14. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    All that would do is shift the leaks. It wouldn't prevent them.
  15. R.Stoychev macrumors 6502a


    Dec 23, 2012
    Totally agree with you, the leaks don't go on tv or something, most of the people doesn't even watch that kind of videos on youtube etc.
  16. mr.bee macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2007
    Brussels, belgium
    I'm sorry but this is really naive.

    Every picture you see here, every rumour you heard is very well managed by Apple.

    it's the biggest company ever. They know VERY WELL how to keep things under wraps IF THEY WANT TO and they are very well aware of what they leak.

    Do you ever hear, "exec or labourer fired because of leaked photos"? Do you think the labourers can afford smartphones to take pictures? Do you think they care to post them on the internet between 11 pm and 4 am when they don't work?

    For a 'fan' boy, it can be very exciting to see a 'parts' or design picture, weeks before release. It's all very well managed by Apple. keeps the rumour, attention and media mill up before the event.
  17. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    iPhone 5 leaks were spot on.

    They is no telling who these leaks are from and these blog and tech sites pay big bucks for leaked images.

    What you are saying is like saying "who would risk robbing a bank with the possible repercussions." While to you and I that's obvious, but it happens all the time. Money is a powerful thing.
  18. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    No leaks ? Than this MacRumor site will go nuts with all kinds of speculations on Apple products coming out and most will be off the wall rumors.
  19. anonnymouse macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    When the general public sees "reports" assumed as "fact" in mainstream publications, then yeah, the public does have a clue. A misinformed clue (given Apple's way of actually doing things), but the great majority of iPhone buyers the last few months walk in with an air of surety that the Specialist is "holding something back".

    Not many of those same customers read MacRumors, but when the WSJ reports it, most people walking in the Apple Store assume it is a fact.

    That's a problem.
  20. dvdchance macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    Not everyone waits to buy a phone based on rumours, or even products available.

    Remember that half of all iPhones sold are still the previous generation.
  21. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I think most people just don't care. I'm the only person I can think of off the top of my head that knows there's an event on sept 10 or at least cares.
  22. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013
    :lol: same here. Even friends that enjoy Apple products and buy probably more than I do don't really know or care.
  23. bri1212 macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    I have to disagree. Apple leaks are what makes the products news. No one hears leak after leak about Samsung phones, not because Samsung is better at keeping them in, but because the leaks for Apple are newsworthy, even if they don't have any veracity.

    The leaks create buzz. I bet you can count the number leaks that did not come from, and were not authorized by Apple directly on one hand. The last major leak that was unauthorized may have been the iphone prototype being left in a bar.
  24. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    whaaaaa? so apple would be like other phone / tech company?
    the prowess of apple product launch / announcement is that they announce it now and launch NOW, or a week later. and that creates tremendous sales / spike in first launch. people dont want to wait several months for the
    phone launch.

    what your suggesting is like nokia announce the next lumia and the phone would only launch like 6 month time and people would forget about it.

    you see that samsung is following apple footstep with the galaxy phone, which is announce and then launch.
  25. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    This is what I was talking about people not caring. There are plenty of Samsung leaks and rumors etc. You just don't care about them and don't look for them.

    People not looking for 5S news also don't find it.

    I'll admit Apple rumors and leaks are "bigger news" but others are still out there.

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