With leaks constantly springing up in Apple's pipeline ahead of major product releases, the company has done a little troubleshooting. Apple's top accessory manufacturers are forbidden from releasing products based on schematics sourced from anywhere other than itself, according to a new report.
There are sometimes authentic designs mixed among the schematics that emerge ahead of the release of new Apple products. To prevent third parties from picking up on those designs and telegraphing its plans, Apple is threatening penalties to its accessory partners that build out products before the iPhone maker is ready.
Apple is said to have made its top accessory manufacturers sign agreements stating that they won't develop products based on leaked designs, according to a report from Apple-centric outlet 9to5Mac. The site published a snippet of the alleged contract:
"...should Apple find that, prior to the release of a product, you have sought, obtained, or relied upon specifications of that product from sources other than Apple, Apple may choose to exercise its right to take action against you, which penalties can include, but are not limited to, Apple choosing not to stock your product in our stores."
In the contract, Apple also stated that violation of the agreement could result in the loss of business opportunities in the future. 9to5Mac says four sources have confirmed that Apple has cleared shelves in its stores of somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of third-party accessories, though it's unclear if the removals were to make room for new products or to punish manufacturers that created merchandise based on leaked designs.
To some, the new regulations on accessory producers may seem a bit strict. However, Apple has stated that too much hype for new products hurts the sales of legacy devices and it's that kind of shrewd manner of conducting business that has seen Apple rise to become the US' first company to be valued at $700 billion.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was engaging in an interview on stage at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco when news broke of his company's $700 billion valuation.
Cook said Apple is not focused on the number but is instead turning its attention to the things that make numbers. The Apple CEO also responded to a question about his company's ability to keep up the growth, stating that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs taught the company that placing limits on its thinking is never a good thing.