Was Apple employee behind alleged iPhone 8 leaks?

Commentary: Influential Apple commentator John Gruber says he's "nearly certain" that someone at Apple is behind the information seeping out.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

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These are the Animojis allegedly leaked in the last couple of days. Is someone at Apple shortly going to receive the one on the left?


It's one thing when an employee who's testing a phone prototype gets tipsy and leaves it behind in a bar.

That can happen to any company. It might even happen twice

However, some observers suspect a recent round of leaks reportedly including product names and features of Apple's new iPhones suggests something more sinister is going on. 

Influential Apple commentator John Gruber took to his Daring Fireball site on Saturday to suggest these alleged secrets weren't leaving Cupertino's very tight security because of carelessness.

"I'm nearly certain this wasn't a mistake," he wrote, "but rather a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee."

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The company has been doubly determined in recent times to seal the potential for leaks. Earlier this year, however, a recording emerged of an internal discussion about, well, leaks.

Gruber believes Apple simply wouldn't be so blasé as to leave the information visible to anyone with a computer. Instead, he says the GM (Golden Master) builds of the iPhone's operating software -- the final versions ready to go to developers -- were stored in a public database, but only accessible via "long, unguessable URLs."

He takes an extremely dark view of the consequences. 

"Whoever did this is the least popular person in Cupertino," he said. "More surprises were spoiled by this leak than any leak in Apple history."

Many would like to believe this isn't so. They'd like to hope that this is all part of an elaborate Apple disinformation package, designed to make Tuesday even more of a show. 

However, if there is some resentful killjoy element lurking within Apple, you can bet the company's security services will be extremely active in rooting it out.