Were Apple March event rumors an inside job to weed out leakers?

Apple Park
Apple Park (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Numerous reports of an Apple March event have likely been proven a pipe dream.
  • Jon Prosser says the information may have been sent out by Apple to try and weed out internal leaks.
  • New reports indicate an event could take place in April instead.

Front Page Tech host Jon Prosser, one of three sources who hinted at a March Apple event taking place next week, says the information may have been disseminated by Apple to try and weed out leakers within the company.

In his latest video Prosser explains his side of events surrounding recent rumors Apple was holding an event in March, specifically on March 23. With no invites in sight less than a week out, it seems reports of an Apple event next week are seemingly a pipe dream. It was thought Apple would release new products including AirTags and a new iPad Pro

Prosser notes that he, along with highly-rated leakers Kang and l0vetodream (depending on how you read one tweet), told us that Apple planned to hold an event next week. When it became obvious that was not the case, many speculated Apple had moved its event (a virtual recording) in response to the leaks, but Prosser fervently states that this "was not a last-minute change from Apple".. His proof? According to Prosser, one source with a 100% track record told him in February that the Apple event was actually in April, but he chose to believe the March date because multiple other sources reported March and because it seemed more plausible.

So what happened? Prosser says that the date was "completely wrong", and that there was never a March event:

The reality is we were just flat out wrong. I was wrong, and the fact that we all got the same date from our sources around the same time tells me that Apple directly fed us that information. Wrong information.

Prosser noted further the leakers in question have differing (but extremely good) track records and have reported on different rumors, indicating it is very unlikely they have the same sources.

As we speculated yesterday, the whole saga seemed fishy. From Oliver Haslam:

What I'm most interested in here is the fact that leakers got this so wrong. Prosser now says that the event will take place next month instead. He'll apparently explain what went down in a future YouTube video. But whatever happens, I suspect he'll learn a lesson from this situation. So might the person giving him his information, too.That's doubly true if it turns out that this was all orchestrated by Apple's anti-leak team as a way to out those sharing information with the press.And now I need to know what that team's called. Something cool, I hope.

Could it be?

We know that Apple works to stop leaks, and has always been a notoriously secretive company. We also know that Apple has fervently warned its employees not to leak company information on pain of unemployment or even prosecution. From a 2018 Bloomberg report:

Apple Inc. warned employees to stop leaking internal information on future plans and raised the specter of potential legal action and criminal charges, one of the most-aggressive moves by the world's largest technology company to control information about its activities.The Cupertino, California-based company said in a lengthy memo posted to its internal blog that it "caught 29 leakers," last year and noted that 12 of those were arrested. "These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere," Apple added.

We also know that plenty of Apple employees are working from home right now, and it's easy to speculate that outside the walls of Cupertino and Apple Park, it might be a little easier to let some information slip over a text or email, and it might be a lot harder for Apple to keep track of. There has always been speculation that Apple has tried to out leakers in the past with false information, but no ex-employee in their right mind would ever admit to losing their job for sharing company secrets if caught, and not many leakers would admit to being fooled by bogus information especially not if different, reliable information was also available. That is until Jon Prosser. Can we ever be sure the March event was an inside job? Definitely not. One person who might know, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, says no:

Can we be sure of an Apple April event? Again, nope, but we don't have long to wait and find out.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

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