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 sonnydickson.com 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.