Tim Cook is not a happy camper, according to this new report from The Verge.
On Tuesday, Tim Cook sent a cute little email to Apple employees covering the “frustration” at Apple over contents of company meetings, and product details being leaked to the press.
Of course, that full memo has leaked:
Dear Team,– Tim Cook
It was great to connect with you at the global employee meeting on Friday. There was much to celebrate, from our remarkable new product line-up to our values driven work around climate change, racial equity, and privacy. It was a good opportunity to reflect on our many accomplishments and to have a discussion about what’s been on your mind.
I’m writing today because I’ve heard from so many of you were were incredibly frustrated to see the contents of the meeting leak to reporters. This comes after a product launch in which most of the details of our announcements were also leaked to the press.
I want you to know that I share your frustration. These opportunities to connect as a team are really important. But they only work if we can trust that the content will stay within Apple. I want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to identify those who leaked. As you know, we do not tolerate disclosures of confidential information, whether it’s product IP or the details of a confidential meeting. We know that the leakers constitute a small number of people. We also know that people who leak confidential information do not belong here.
This memo comes after Apple has already ramped up attempts to stop leaks, so it’s safe to assume that they aren’t completely happy with their progress.
It is worth noting that Apple — though they are still frustrated with leaks — have certainly cut back on the information making its way out of the company early.
As someone who publishes leaked information, here’s what I know:
Many leaks, particularly coming out of China, have for the most part slowed to a crawl. Sources that I’ve communicated with from within supply chains in China are willing to share much less than before.
This isn’t isolated to me, either. Many of the leak accounts based out of China that became popular on Twitter last year no longer publish leaked information. Just a couple of a months ago, Apple went on a legal spree of contacting these accounts and demanding they “snitch” on their sources, or else be reported to the police. Since the laws are a bit different in China and citizens have less “freedom of the press” protections there, Apple’s scare tactics seem to have worked.
Most recently, even the more reliable / credible sources took a hit to their accuracy after Apple successfully pulled off a few surprises at the September iPhone 13 event.
Myself, Ming-Chi Kuo, and the usually reliable Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman were all incorrect about a number of things we anticipated for that event.
Whatever Apple is doing to try to stop leaks is working, but it’s only a matter of time before the people publishing the leaks simply adapt to their new tactics.
The Apple vs. Leakers race has always been a thing, and it will continue to be a thing — because there’s no winner in a race that never ends.