A swathe of new "inside" information about Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 Ultra, and the next iteration of its iPhone software, iOS 17, has been making the rounds on a slew of reputable websites that have all been misled by the same fake leaker.
It started earlier this week when stories began to emerge about major changes coming to iOS 17. Apparently, Apple's next version of its iPhone software won't feature many visual changes but may include tweaks to the Music app, Mail, Reminders, Files, and the Find-My App.
Perhaps more interestingly, this build of iOS 17 also includes references to Apple VR, and references to a new iPhone 15 which will feature the Dynamic Island, just like Apple's current best iPhone, the iPhone 14 Pro, as well as improved USB-C transfer speeds. The iPhone 15 "Ultra" would also include more improvements over the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, including a faster chip. This all sounds tremendous, but there's just one problem. It's all fake.
All of the coverage you've seen this week stems from information from one source, LeaksApplePro at HowToiSolve, which is widely understood by the Apple community to be a completely fake account with no track record of leaking accurate inside information about Apple's plans. In fact, it is notorious for making up information or regurgitating and repeating pre-existing information, as well as guesswork.
Everything leaked this week is plausible, lending some credibility, but a quick glance at LeaksApplePro's other work reveals a dismal track record. Less than two weeks ago the same source claimed Apple would release its new M2 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro in March alongside a new Mac mini, explicitly stating this would be an event, not a press release. The company unveiled both by press release two days later.
Yet on October 30, the same source claimed "if it wasn't obvious, there's a November event coming" where Apple would release the same Mac mini, MacBook Pro, a new Mac Pro, and a new Pro Display XDR.
The account has also previously falsely claimed the iPhone 14 would feature Touch ID by way of an under-the-screen fingerprint reader, and that the new Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max wouldn't add anything new to the experience despite claiming a source had "hands-on time" with both. To name but a handful of examples from a portfolio of errant, malicious, and false leaks too numerous to count.
The account's older work is even more outrageous. Notably, a string of tweets in 2020 saw LeaksApplePro claim that he was inside Apple Park as Apple filmed its iPhone 12 event, pretending to live tweet leaks as filming took place. He claimed Phil Schiller would return for the event, that Apple would show a "one more thing" product based on its AirPower wireless charger, that the iPhone 12 would have curved edges, and that Apple Card was coming to Spain, Germany, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Canada, India, and Australia, revealing a further lack of insight by not referring to some of the market as "UK." Unfortunately, the leaks abruptly stopped after Tim Cook asked everyone to leave the Steve Jobs theatre because "I was unveiling everything." I'll take "things that didn't happen" for 500, Alex.
My absolute favorite LeaksApplePro moment is the time he pretended to be inside Apple Park while they were filming the iPhone 12 event, and that Tim Cook threw everyone out because he was live tweeting it https://t.co/1To2ECLjNR pic.twitter.com/8EfkjaINuwJanuary 26, 2023
But don't just take our word for it. "The guy is just speculating while claiming they’re legit leaks and he knows everything," Max Tech's Vadim Yuryev tweeted Thursday. "I pointed it out and he got upset and blocked me everywhere." Appleosophy's Holden Satterwhite said they came "to the same conclusion a few years ago" and that LeaksApplePro was "the first to be on their banned sources list."
Finally, the world's foremost Apple insider, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman took to Twitter Thursday evening to note "Beware of any stories you read today about iOS 17. Entirely based on a troll account known to make up fake information. Very surprised at reputable sites covering it." Yeah, us too, Mark.
Gurman drew attention to the same fact last year, noting LeaksApplePro was a "completely made up 'leaker,'" noting that "making up information and lying in the Apple space became popular over 2020 when people were stuck at home, but it’s thankfully calmed down." Maybe it hasn't calmed down quite enough yet.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9