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A prolific “leaker” hammered out missives about the iPhone 15 and iOS 17 – but the only problem is that it’s all bogus and speculation from a known fraud. Here’s what we’re going to do about it.
Every rumor trading site has a list of who’s right, who’s wrong, and who’s making things up. A series of rumors and fabrications on Wednesday and Thursday all stemmed from the same leaker, who is on everyone’s list of utterly unreliable sources.
At least they’re on the list of people paying attention.
The “leaker” in question, “LeaksApplePro”, has an incredibly long track record of fakes and outright lies.
No clear origin story, but a clear motivation
At this point we have lost track of what the original “leaker” event was. However, it came to a head when they said they were at Apple Park during a taping of the iPhone 12 event at the height of the pandemic.
To prove they were there, they tweeted an image of Apple Park. Unfortunately, it was easily reversed by Google as someone else’s image.
As if by magic, very shortly after they were captured, they claimed that Tim Cook then kicked everyone out of the building because they specifically leaked everything.
And they got 100% wrong on everything they “leaked” during the recording. Not a single point was correct.
We are not the only ones who know that LeaksApplePro is fake. I’ve talked to people in other Apple-centric locations, and I know that 9to5Mac and MacRumors both think the man is fake. And iMore’s Stephen Warwick published his thoughts on “LeaksApplePro” earlier on Friday.
To add to the stack, Mark Gurman has hammered the leaker twice. Most recently, he took a second shot on Thursday night.
Beware of all the stories you read today about iOS 17. All based on a troll account known to contain false information. Very surprised by reputable sites reporting about it. pic.twitter.com/PVQeauqr42
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) January 26, 2023
But there is still a problem. Much larger halls then AppleInsider or similar sites, are not very discriminatory. We’ve seen this character’s guess work pop up on the mainstream media and put it forward as fact.
The business and pleasure of leaks and rumors
People like to conceptualize, theorize, and so on, but we’re not talking about that. These people don’t present their predictions based on historical trends as gospel, or don’t present conceptual art as fact.
Apple leakers come and go. Over the past decade, the half-life of the leaker community is about 18 months. They burn out, they fade, they get exposed, sources get burned, you name it.
We know that there is at least one entire online community out there making stuff up and having fun poking fun at fake leak sites. And then there are people like LeaksApplePro, who are slandering Apple Watch bands from their Twitter account from a dubious company that seems to have scammed many.
Some people have legitimate sources. Mark Gurman, for example, made a name for himself in the field and was hired by Bloomberg for his bravery. Ming-Chi Kuo gets what it gets from the supply chain, and does better than most with what’s in the tea leaves.
Katy Huberty did a really good job judging what she had, but she’s out of the Apple game now.
After that it gets a bit shaky. DigiTimes has good resources within the supply chain, but has been completely wrong in timeframes or plans for the past five years. For example, for about a year they called what came out as the Pro Display XDR, a new iMac Pro – probably because it had a processor in its chassis.
Other resources such as ETNews and Jeff Pu don’t seem to have a good idea of the information they have. And most equity analysts come back with rumors they’ve heard elsewhere and include them in notes to investors, starting the cycle all over again.
And, while we’re at it, less Apple-focused giant tech media sites like Cnet buy fully into everything that floats on the river, including from LeaksApplePro and shaky people.
What are you going to do about it, AppleInsider?
We’re done with LeaksApplePro, and have been for a while. But the problem lies in the other locations that bite the hook.
This week’s total fabrications should be blindingly obvious to these other venues, almost all of which have 15 times the resources of us, and powerful corporations behind them.
After all, the leaker involved was wrong about everything they said about the iPhone 14 over the summer, claimed in October that the Mac Pro launched in November, and claimed in January that the MacBook Pro was coming a day early in March Apple debuted it with a press release.
And those mistakes are only in the last six months.
As I’ve said many times in the past, part of AppleInsider‘s mission is to tell you when something is true. It’s also to tell readers beyond our regulars when something that has received some attention elsewhere is utter nonsense.
In the coming weeks we will be implementing what we internally call the ‘BS meter’. We will be more clear in the headlines and introductory paragraphs where we stand on the matter.
What these things will do is clearly state what we think of the rumor in question before the click through. That way, if you want to read it and why we think it’s bullshit, you can.
If you just want to skip the nonsense, you can easily do that too.
Having said this, let’s fool ourselves sometimes. In addition to the internal review that takes place every day, as part of our year-end roundups, we’re going to try and review what we’ve done right and wrong as it pertains to the rumor mill and our editorials.
More about all this will follow.