Apple has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Chinese citizen who advertised stolen iPhone prototypes on social media (via Motherboard).
Leaking Apple Prototypes
There is a gray market for iPhone prototypes smuggled out of manufacturing facilities. These devices are sold to collectors and hackers looking to develop exploits for iPhones. A Twitter account with the handle @Jin_Store had advertising some of these devices, like an iPhone X prototype.
Apple’s letter demanded that the seller to “stop acquiring, advertising, and selling leaked Apple devices” and provide a list of their sources for these devices. The letter was sent by Fangda Partners, Apple’s law firm in China, on June 18, 2021.
Additionally, the letter asked the seller to sign a document promising to comply with the request within 14 days of receiving the letter. In 2019 an investigation by Motherboard had revealed other sellers, but it’s unclear how many of these letters Apple sent.