Apple seeded disinformation about March 23 event to root out leakers, leaker says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2021
Likely as part of a counter-intelligence program by Apple, top leakers were wrong about Apple having an event on March 23 -- and this is a sign of trouble for their sources inside the company.

A virtual Apple event is expected to take place at the Steve Jobs Theater
A virtual Apple event is expected to take place at the Steve Jobs Theater


Apple is a secretive company that prides itself on the ability to surprise and delight its customers. The ability for leaks to escape to the media is in direct opposition to this, and it is increasingly obvious that Apple is on the defense.

Many reputable Apple leakers reported an Apple event would take place on March 23. Invites for an event usually arrive no later than a week prior, but March 16 sailed by with no indication of an event.

Leakers have mostly remained silent about the misstep -- except for Jon Prosser. In his latest video, he claimed that Apple used a controlled leak to get the March 23 date to all of the leaker's sources.

There is a long history of companies, governments, and other entities using fake information to out a "mole" or leaker. By distributing fake details to a select number of employees, Apple is able to whittle down where leaks are coming from.

Prosser says that he has a separate source that has reported an April event since early February. He chose to ignore that source since every other source indicated March 23.

According to Prosser, the April event will be a pre-recorded video with details of multiple products being released. The "AirTags" and a refreshed 10.2-inch iPad are expected to be announced. There is a slim chance of "AirPods 3" or the next iPad Pro appearing at the event as well.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    I hope it’s true. I get tired of not being surprised at product unveiling events. 

    Before someone chimes in with “you should stay off rumor sites”, I’ll mention that there are more than simply rumors on AI. I can come here for Apple news, read about new HomeKit products (that aren’t from Apple), etc, and still see headlines that could reveal something about an unannounced product.
    edited March 2021 jas99viclauyycdewmeaderutterGraeme000BeatsOferbestkeptsecretwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 28
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    Apple should really go to town on this and leak all sorts of credible but not actually coming soon products.

    There are already good examples vapour-like predictions of about to be released products that have yet to ship: Airtags, 14" MBP, new AppleTV. They've been in every rumour cycles for a year or more!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 28
    I hope it’s true. I get tired of not being surprised at product unveiling events. 

    Before someone chimes in with “you should stay off rumor sites”, I’ll mention that there are more than simply rumors on AI. I can come here for Apple news, read about new HomeKit products (that aren’t from Apple), etc, and still see headlines that could reveal something about an unannounced product.
    Or you simply go to apple.com there you will find everything Apple without the rumors. Because here you will find rumors, true and false.
    darkvaderlkruppOfer
  • Reply 4 of 28
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,146member
    I hope it’s true. I get tired of not being surprised at product unveiling events. 

    Before someone chimes in with “you should stay off rumor sites”, I’ll mention that there are more than simply rumors on AI. I can come here for Apple news, read about new HomeKit products (that aren’t from Apple), etc, and still see headlines that could reveal something about an unannounced product.

    If you don't want to know about unannounced products, you should stay off rumor sites. 

    The rest of us WANT leaks, and want them earlier than we get them now.

    So hopefully it's not true, and the March 23 event was simply canceled before it was announced.
    MplsP
  • Reply 5 of 28
    Fred257Fred257 Posts: 244member
    Apple is such a perfectionist boring company.  The rumors of innovation are the only exciting thing about it.  Without it, Apple has no excitement for me, none!!
  • Reply 6 of 28
    darkvader said:
    I hope it’s true. I get tired of not being surprised at product unveiling events. 

    Before someone chimes in with “you should stay off rumor sites”, I’ll mention that there are more than simply rumors on AI. I can come here for Apple news, read about new HomeKit products (that aren’t from Apple), etc, and still see headlines that could reveal something about an unannounced product.

    If you don't want to know about unannounced products, you should stay off rumor sites. 

    The rest of us WANT leaks, and want them earlier than we get them now.

    So hopefully it's not true, and the March 23 event was simply canceled before it was announced.
    As an Apple shareholder and decades-long fan, I'm not part of your "rest of us."  I think Apple and the community would be better of if there were fewer leaks.  Apple invests billions in R&D, and copy cat products for every Apple success follow incredibly quickly.  Leaks help other companies start their copy machines even sooner, reducing (to some degree) Apple's ultimate revenue for these products, thereby limiting Apple's incentive to innovate.  Also, Apple's reputation is hurt by not delivering on products that they never even announced.  Finally, I like the surprise and wonder of learning about new products as part of their official debut; nowadays (and this has been this way for many years), Apple's announcements are mostly anti-climatic.  

    Staying off AI would do little to shelter one from exposure to rumors, so this isn't an anti-AI point.  I simply commend Apple for doing anything they can do keep their secrets secret.
    Graeme000hcrefugeeBeatsArszyOferwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,481member
    mknelson said:
    Apple should really go to town on this and leak all sorts of credible but not actually coming soon products.

    There are already good examples vapour-like predictions of about to be released products that have yet to ship: Airtags, 14" MBP, new AppleTV. They've been in every rumour cycles for a year or more!
    So you’re saying that the extra garage stall that I installed for my Apple Car was premature?

    I’m not invested in either side of the leaker controversy but this new tactic by Apple throws an interesting new twist into the game. If we’re going to keep playing these games, why not shake things up a bit? It’s been getting dull of late. 
    edited March 2021 mknelsonbageljoeytokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Why can’t these leakers be charged with stock manipulation and fraud?
    Beatsjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    darkvader said:
    I hope it’s true. I get tired of not being surprised at product unveiling events. 

    Before someone chimes in with “you should stay off rumor sites”, I’ll mention that there are more than simply rumors on AI. I can come here for Apple news, read about new HomeKit products (that aren’t from Apple), etc, and still see headlines that could reveal something about an unannounced product.

    If you don't want to know about unannounced products, you should stay off rumor sites. 

    The rest of us WANT leaks, and want them earlier than we get them now.

    So hopefully it's not true, and the March 23 event was simply canceled before it was announced.
    What, exactly, can one ‘know’ about unreleased products... NOTHING because they are unreleased. These rumors are also the cause of anger and hatred toward Apple when the actual product doesn’t match up with the rumors. It’s why the Apple Discussion Forums will not allow discussion, speculation, or anything about unreleased products or company policies. The quickest way to get your posts deleted is to announce a rumor. 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 28
    No, we did it to prevent the bad press from no March iPad event this year
  • Reply 11 of 28
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,374member
    No doubt heads will roll 

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ykZcFYgADfI


    Japheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 28
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,615member
    lkrupp said:
    Why can’t these leakers be charged with stock manipulation and fraud?
    The FTC Act prohibits publicly trade companies from lying: 

    https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act <--
    https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act/ftc_act_incorporatingus_safe_web_act.pdf <--

    Section 45.1 of that act says:
    Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful.
    Apple may be breaking this act by lying about product release dates (if it did in this case.) It's arguable. The FTC spends a lot of its budget investigating and enforcing this very rule. Investors and stockholders make investment decisions based on rumours like new product announcements. If the rumours are false and intentionally false by Apple, this could be an infraction of the law. If I was Apple, I would limit the false rumours to "less financially important things" like the selection of colours of iMacs.
    Japhey
  • Reply 13 of 28
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,568member
    darkvader said:
    I hope it’s true. I get tired of not being surprised at product unveiling events. 

    Before someone chimes in with “you should stay off rumor sites”, I’ll mention that there are more than simply rumors on AI. I can come here for Apple news, read about new HomeKit products (that aren’t from Apple), etc, and still see headlines that could reveal something about an unannounced product.

    If you don't want to know about unannounced products, you should stay off rumor sites. 

    The rest of us WANT leaks, and want them earlier than we get them now.

    So hopefully it's not true, and the March 23 event was simply canceled before it was announced.
    That’s useless, because major media assets report on this as well. As far as those of you who want these leaks for your life thrills, too bad. There’s nothing saying that you should get them. Some of these leaks are bad for the company, and that bothers a lot of us, even as we discuss those leaks that do come out, right or wrong, because once they’re out there, we may as well. But many of use would prefer that Apple maintain its secrecy. 
    BeatsbageljoeyDetnatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 28
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,213member
    There is a long history of companies, governments, and other entities using fake information to out a "mole" or leaker. By distributing fake details to a select number of employees, Apple is able to whittle down where leaks are coming from.

    A “mole” in spy terms is someone in the employ of another country or corporation. Those that have read the likes of John le Carre or Tom Clancy would know about “the canary trap” where different stories are provided to different employees to find the leaker.

    once discovered though, does Apple sack them, or keep them and keep feeding them bull dust? An interesting decision.
    edited March 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 28
    lkrupp said:
    Why can’t these leakers be charged with stock manipulation and fraud?
    The FTC Act prohibits publicly trade companies from lying: 

    https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act <--
    https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act/ftc_act_incorporatingus_safe_web_act.pdf <--

    Section 45.1 of that act says:
    Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful.
    Apple may be breaking this act by lying about product release dates (if it did in this case.) It's arguable. The FTC spends a lot of its budget investigating and enforcing this very rule. Investors and stockholders make investment decisions based on rumours like new product announcements. If the rumours are false and intentionally false by Apple, this could be an infraction of the law. If I was Apple, I would limit the false rumours to "less financially important things" like the selection of colours of iMacs.
    Except that apple didn't release anything to the public. They disclosed plans with a number of employees about an upcoming event with mostly likely the usual not to be shared with anyone outside of the company or with other departments not needing to know. Some of those people then ignored their responsibility to protect that info and leaked it.
    Beatsbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamTRAGwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 28
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,105member
    lkrupp said:
    Why can’t these leakers be charged with stock manipulation and fraud?
    The FTC Act prohibits publicly trade companies from lying: 

    https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act <--
    https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act/ftc_act_incorporatingus_safe_web_act.pdf <--

    Section 45.1 of that act says:
    Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful.
    Apple may be breaking this act by lying about product release dates (if it did in this case.) It's arguable. The FTC spends a lot of its budget investigating and enforcing this very rule. Investors and stockholders make investment decisions based on rumours like new product announcements. If the rumours are false and intentionally false by Apple, this could be an infraction of the law. If I was Apple, I would limit the false rumours to "less financially important things" like the selection of colours of iMacs.
    Jeez...

    What product release dates did Apple lie about?  Apple never announced any product releases, and it never announced any event.  If this digging of leakers is true, Apple is only guilty of discussing the event internally, never to be publicly disclosed,  which is perfectly acceptable.  
    rob53fastasleepbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 28
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    I hope this is true and would be smart. Too many knockoff Apple companies realize rumors into shi**y products and when Apple does eventually perfect and release their product we get some iKnockoff moron claiming “Apple copied!” as if Apple spends 2 weeks to develop new products and tech.

    Fred257 said:
    Apple is such a perfectionist boring company.  The rumors of innovation are the only exciting thing about it.  Without it, Apple has no excitement for me, none!!


    The rumors are more exciting than the actual products? Pathetic.

    I’d rather Apple sustain their company and revolutionize lives than to have random people get their rocks off of rumors.
    baconstangDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 28
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,263member
    lkrupp said:
    Why can’t these leakers be charged with stock manipulation and fraud?
    It's more about insider trading, which is much easier to prove than stock manipulation and/or fraud. There's all kinds of stock manipulation, including a ton of it perpetrated by our former president. What Apple hopefully was doing was discussing pending products within normal Apple meetings (like others have said), tracking everyone who was at these meetings then following when the leaks happened. It wouldn't be very difficult for Apple figure out who the leaker(s) were. 

    I presume the leakers leaked the information so that the recipients could purchase or sell AAPL (and others) ahead of the announcements. This is blatant insider trading. Stock manipulation is a more general, overall opinion-based (usually) collection of comments without (necessarily) any actual information. As for fraud, I don't see Apple corporate actually doing this. If you wanted to go after the leaker for fraud, that's fine but I'm not sure the leaker had enough standing to actually commit fraud. If the leaker was a high ranking Apple employee or on the Apple Board of Directors, they might absolutely have committed fraud. Any kind of lawsuit of this kind is difficult to pursue because opinions don't count (just like mine). 

    The hilarious thing about the (lack of) March 23 event is how many analysts and youtubers were caught with their pants down. Almost all of them felt the information was valid, including high ranking leak announcers. If this was an Apple insider trap, it was a very good one and should slow down a lot of analysts and commentators from trying to get the news our first. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 28
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,615member
    sflocal said:
    lkrupp said:
    Why can’t these leakers be charged with stock manipulation and fraud?
    The FTC Act prohibits publicly trade companies from lying: 

    https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act <--
    https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act/ftc_act_incorporatingus_safe_web_act.pdf <--

    Section 45.1 of that act says:
    Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful.
    Apple may be breaking this act by lying about product release dates (if it did in this case.) It's arguable. The FTC spends a lot of its budget investigating and enforcing this very rule. Investors and stockholders make investment decisions based on rumours like new product announcements. If the rumours are false and intentionally false by Apple, this could be an infraction of the law. If I was Apple, I would limit the false rumours to "less financially important things" like the selection of colours of iMacs.
    Jeez...

    What product release dates did Apple lie about?  Apple never announced any product releases, and it never announced any event.  If this digging of leakers is true, Apple is only guilty of discussing the event internally, never to be publicly disclosed,  which is perfectly acceptable.  
    You assume that no Apple employee intentionally, under Apple's direction, released the date of March 23rd intentionally to the press. You assume that it was done without Apple's sanction. I don't make those assumptions. I stated if Apple had intentionally spread false rumours then that may constitute an infraction of the law. You don't know who leaked it or whether the leak was sanctioned by Apple. You are just guessing, whereas I don't make your assumptions.
  • Reply 20 of 28
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,615member

    dormlock said:
    lkrupp said:
    Why can’t these leakers be charged with stock manipulation and fraud?
    The FTC Act prohibits publicly trade companies from lying: 

    https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act <--
    https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/statutes/federal-trade-commission-act/ftc_act_incorporatingus_safe_web_act.pdf <--

    Section 45.1 of that act says:
    Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful.
    Apple may be breaking this act by lying about product release dates (if it did in this case.) It's arguable. The FTC spends a lot of its budget investigating and enforcing this very rule. Investors and stockholders make investment decisions based on rumours like new product announcements. If the rumours are false and intentionally false by Apple, this could be an infraction of the law. If I was Apple, I would limit the false rumours to "less financially important things" like the selection of colours of iMacs.
    Except that apple didn't release anything to the public. They disclosed plans with a number of employees about an upcoming event with mostly likely the usual not to be shared with anyone outside of the company or with other departments not needing to know. Some of those people then ignored their responsibility to protect that info and leaked it.
    You don't know if Apple intentionally told employees to release something. We know the public got hold of the data, but we don't know if Apple intentionally made that happen, or if Apple was just trying to identify a leak. We don't know.
    watto_cobra
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