Apple hates leaks. In fact, that probably doesn't really drive home how Apple feels about leaks. Let me try again.
Apple despises leaks. It really despises leaks in fact. It's something the company has been trying to stop for years and it used to be really good at making sure nothing got out ahead of an official unveiling. Sure, some bits and pieces might be shared ahead of time but nothing like today. Nothing like the leaks we're seeing for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro.
It's relentless. And it's great for those of us who have to write about these things. But that doesn't mean that it isn't a problem for Apple and, to some extent, all of us as well.
All the leaks, all the time
It's fair to say that details about Apple's best iPhones will always find their way into the public domain. But do you remember when someone left an iPhone 4 in a bar — of course you do! — and we were all taken aback by what we saw?
We were surprised by the iPhone 4's squared-off design. The metal band around the outside that was actually partially the antenna array. The glass front and back. It was, dare we say, magical.
Now imagine, if you will, if we'd seen that design leak into oblivion before that iPhone 4 was left in the bar and subsequently shown around the world. That very iPhone caused chaos both inside and outside of Apple. But would that attention have been lessened today?
A thought experiment
Let's imagine, for a moment, that some unfortunate soul left their prototype iPhone 15 Pro in a bar tomorrow. It'd no doubt be concealed in something to make it look like a boring old iPhone 14 Pro, but someone would notice. Someone always notices.
Sure, there would be plenty of headlines and we'd see photos galore of what would be a big scoop for whoever picked the thing up first. But for Apple fans, those who don't spend their days writing about this stuff, would any of it be a surprise? Would they be shocked by what they saw?
Probably not, no. Unless Apple has pulled some stroke of genius and the leaks are all way off base, we know pretty much all there is to know about Apple's next round of iPhones. We know about USB-C, we know about that titanium construction, and we know that the Dynamic Island will come to the iPhone 15. We also know that the buttons are going away on the Pro models and we know that the famous mute switch is going the way of the dodo as well.
But imagine. Just imagine if we didn't know any of that and the same leak happened. The same iPhone 15 Pro was found in that same bar. Just imagine the impact that would have.
Which is best — leaks, or surprises
The thing is, as much as many of us enjoyed the old Apple events where something was announced that we'd never heard of or a product looked nothing like we expected, I'm not sure which approach I prefer.
Sure, that's fun and all. And yes, I like a surprise as much as the next person. But a year is a long time to go between iPhones and unless you count the odd new color, things would be a bit boring, wouldn't they?
The way things are, we might lose out on that annual announcement excitement but we gain smaller, more regular ones instead. And at the end of it all, every September, we still get to buy the new hotness whether it was a surprise or not. And that's the whole point, right?
We're going to use these things for a year at least. And that won't change whether we were floored by the announcement or, at least temporarily, underwhelmed.
Everyone will have their own feelings about leaks. Apple hates them for obvious reasons. We as people covering Apple news might feel otherwise. But everyone else? The people buying these iPhones?
I'm not so sure.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.