Apple has warned leakers that sharing information about unreleased products could mislead accessory makers.
A new Vice report explains that the Cupertino company has told leakers in China that sharing information about unreleased products could lead to accessory makers creating products that aren’t compatible with unreleased products like the iPhone 13.
The company reportedly told a Chinese citizen to stop advertising leaked or stolen iPhone prototypes on social media, according to Vice‘s Motherboard, which obtained a copy of the letter.
“You have disclosed without authorization a large amount of information related to Apple’s unreleased and rumored products, which has constituted a deliberate infringement of Apple’s trade secrets,” the letter reads.
Apple reportedly urged the person to stop posting about prototypes because this leads manufacturers to make iPhone cases in the wrong sizes, as there are often many changes made between the prototype and finished product stages. Apple warned that companies might also make ill-fitting iPhone accessories if they’re relying on prototype designs.
The letter also implied that keeping details about unreleased products secret also has “potential commercial value” for third parties.
The global market for Apple accessories was valued at $19.9 USD billion in 2019, Motherboard explains. The report adds that the market is expected to grow to over $27.4 billion USD by 2026.