Apple is reportedly targeting a frequent source of leaks i.e. third-party accessory makers, in order to step up the secrecy surrounding future iPhone and iPad releases, by threatening to ban them if they design any more iOS device cases or accessories based on product leaks, 9to5Mac is reporting. The source has learned that just ahead of iPhone 6’s launch, Apple demanded that a number of leading accessory makers sign agreements barring them from seeking out information about future Apple devices.
Apple reportedly used the Apple Store vendor agreement to ban accessory partners from seeking, obtaining, or relying upon advance specifications for future Apple products. Vendors who didn’t sign the agreement were told that their products would be banned from Apple’s stores in the absence of a signature. Furthermore, some vendors that did sign the agreement were subsequently dropped from the stores anyway, but say that they believe they remain contractually bound by its terms.
The agreement reads in part:
“…should Apple find that, prior to the release of a product, you have sought, obtained, or relied upon specifications of that product from sources other than Apple, Apple may choose to exercise its right to take action against you, which penalties can include, but are not limited to, Apple choosing not to stock your product in our stores.”
The report also reveals that Apple has recently removed between 60-70% of third-party cases from its retail stores, possibly to make room for the upcoming Apple Watch.