Apple Threatens iPhone Prototype Seller With Police Involvement

iPhone 12 Pro Max next to Apple Magic Keyboard

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.

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Nail ‘em to the wall. There’s no excuse for this kind of espionage. Especially true if it ends up in the hands of people who use them to create exploits.

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD


Nailing them to the wall would be an abuse of nails. 

Besides, when any business behaviour adversely affects China’s bottom line or image, ie ‘corruption publicly exposed’, you don’t want to be on the receiving end

All the firm need do is threaten ‘maximum penalty for corruption’. Compliance is assured.