For the last two years, the details about Apple’s latest iPhones have leaked before they were officially announced. And both times, the leaks were completely Apple’s doing.
Last year, just hours before its big iPhone 7 event, Apple’s Twitter account accidentally released a 15-second video that revealed the iPhone 7. The video confirmed the look and name of the new phone, as well as one of its colors (black) and biggest features (water-resistance).
Apple then tweeted two more times: It released another 15-second video showing the release date for the iPhone 7, and another tweet listing the iPhone 7’s major features. Both tweets were deleted shortly thereafter, but the damage was already done. Apple’s big iPhone 7 reveal was “spoiled” by the company’s own Twitter account.
— Sam Ro (@bySamRo) September 7, 2016
This year, two of the biggest leaks that reveal the next-generation iPhone also came from within Apple.
In early August, code for Apple’s HomePod speaker revealed important details about the next-generation iPhone, including its user interface and the now-famous “notch” at the top of the phone, where the display is cut out to make room for the phone’s front-facing cameras and sensors.
And this past weekend, the final version of iOS 11 leaked on Reddit, which revealed key details about the new iPhones Apple will unveil on September 12. We learned the likely names of these phones – “iPhone 8” and “iPhone 8 Plus” will look like the iPhone 7 with some updates, whereas the forthcoming “iPhone X” will be a completely redesigned phone. We also learned about key features of the iPhone X, including a new system to unlock the phone called FaceID, new animated emojis – called Animoji – that mirror your actual facial expressions and speak using your voice, and much more.
After details from the iOS 11 leak surfaced online, there was a great deal of finger-pointing. Some people were upset that blogs and media outlets chose to cover these “spoilers,” while others pushed back to say that these details still wouldn’t “spoil” Apple’s event, since the leaks cover many of the phone’s features but not necessarily its final look or implementation.
But regardless of how you feel about these leaks and how they were covered, the truth is that Apple is ultimately at fault here. Apple takes a great deal of pride in keeping its new products a secret before they’re unveiled – Apple even recently said it’s cracking down on leaks. But in the case of the iPhone X, Apple’s most important product in years, Apple’s own code ruined some of the surprise, like the name, the big screen, and some of the key features like FaceID. It’s unfortunate that Apple couldn’t keep the lid on the new iPhone, but it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Apple chooses to do about the amount of revealing information it hides inside its own code moving forward.