Hard-to-ignore "rumours" about the upcoming MBPs from stolen Apple Supplier documents

It’s looking like we’ll have a pretty clear picture of what the next MacBook Pros will look like way before launch:

Key snippets from the MacRumors article:

MacRumors saw the schematics after they were leaked online, and some of them feature the logic board of the next-generation MacBook Pro. On the right side of the machine, there’s a visible HDMI port, accompanied by a USB-C/Thunderbolt port and followed by an SD Card reader. The left side features two additional USB-C/Thunderbolt ports and a ‌MagSafe‌ charging slot, for a total of three USB-C/Thunderbolt ports instead of four as we have today.

The codename for the Mac is “J316,” which suggests that the logic board that we’ve seen is for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. There’s also a “J314” model that likely correlates to the 14-inch MacBook Pro that Apple is also rumored to be working on. Both machines are expected to feature the new ports, ‌MagSafe‌ charging option, and upgraded Apple silicon chips.

REvil has threatened to release additional documents stolen from Quanta Computer if Apple does not pay a ransom fee by May 1. REvil plans to release new files every day until Apple pays the fee, and Apple has not commented on the situation.

There’s at least two interesting threads here:
(1) Will Apple pay the ransom? (What will the consequences be for Quanta?); and
(2) Woohoo new MBPs!

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You had me at HDMI and 20 characters.

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Seems like there’s no LTE in the stars… sad whale. (But MagSafe! Yeah!)

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That is such bad news! :wink: If that 14" rumor proves true, I’m about to spend a bunch of money and then sleep in the dog house for a few weeks. But, it will be worth it!! :rofl:

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Practically speaking, how bad would this be for Apple if they didn’t pay up?

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That’s kinda what I’m wondering. If I was Tim Apple, I’d just accept that leaks happen and accept the free press. But, I suppose competitors might be able to pre-empt some of these specs somehow?

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Part of me hopes that Apple doesn’t pay them anything. Bring on the leaks! :smile:

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I feel like the difference would be made by what they had, and how super-secret that stuff was - and it doesn’t sound like Quanta has anything that’s super-sensitive.

If they had the engineering info to produce complete M1 processors that would be pretty bad. If it’s “3-6 months early release of the specs for upcoming desktops” then it kind of sucks, but I’m not sure what the value would be of paying to hide it. Especially if this is a “send Bitcoin to this address, and we pinky-swear to not leak anything else” sort of situation.

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There can only be a finite number of documents to leak. Leak one a day and we’re done in 1 week and forgotten in 2.

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Can’t see Apple paying. Even if they do, what stops REvil from releasing the documents. Apple will find a way to turn this to their advantage and pivot to account for it. Excited for the new MBPs!

Edit: I wouldn’t want to be Quanta!

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Companies pay ransoms in secret. Once it is public, companies like Apple usually refuse to pay to save face. Since this is made public by REvil, it is possible that Apple refused to pay, likely because the allegedly stolen information was not real or significant.

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Well that’s true by definition, but knowing how companies work I would predict that there could be (potentially) the equivalent of boxes and boxes of documents. Think of things like internal emails, pricing contracts, etc. Obviously the laptop design stuff is the juiciest to the general public, but that doesn’t mean the rest wouldn’t be potentially damaging.

That seems likely. An intelligent group wanting a ransom likely would’ve sent the specs to Apple rather than leaking it publicly - although the idea of criminals not being very intelligent is a popular theme in media for a reason. :slight_smile:

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Couple of things:
I paid off my credit in preparations for one of two things:

  1. MacBook Pro with XDR display
  2. iPad Pro 12.9 running Visual Studio Code natively, which should be closer now with M1 processors.

The other thing; if I were Apple, it’s like we have no competition, the competitors know about M1 already, that’s their selling point (extra ports are sugarcoating), we all know they are refreshing the whole lineup, I do not see what would really hurt them from competition standpoint.

But let’s see.

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My 2cts, and I know I’m an idealist:

These were leaked after a hack, and with the hacker demanding money not to release more.
However nice the news is, maybe we should just ignore it and don’t give criminals like that an incentive to continue their criminal activities?

I totally appreciate devs who trawl OS source code for clues, and “spoil” a keynote or two, but this is just plain criminal.

Would have been nice if the clickbait media had just ignored this one. (and yes, just saw a pig fly past, and it’s particularly chilly outside)

I’m not a lawyer, but would actually be curious whether a company could sue Macrumors (for example) for reporting on the exact (patented/copyrighted) content of the leaked papers, knowing they had been stolen, rather than just the fact they were stolen.

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These are all extremely important and valid points. Thank you for that friendly and crucial reminder.

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Agreed!

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Make that happen! :crossed_fingers:

Also not a lawyer, but in the case of a private company my impression is that there would have to be a contract in place for non-disclosure. A general legal principle is that it’s very hard to have a contract that only one party agreed to.

Once info is “out in the wild” there’s relatively little in the way of protections - especially when you’re trying to protect it from a media outlet. This is why companies have NDAs for employees, contractors, etc.

Patents are generally public record, and even if MacRumors were to be prohibited from publishing entire documents due to copyright reasons (potentially valid?) there wouldn’t be anything preventing them from (a) reporting on the contents, and (b) citing limited portions of the documents as part of their article. Kind of like how book reviewers can legally post small excerpts from a book and discuss the contents thereof.

Now…Apple could potentially sue Quanta if they had an agreement (they most assuredly do) and Quanta failed to take adequate measures to protect Apple’s IP.

And it’s possible that Apple has other agreements in place with MacRumors that might cover this sort of thing in a secondary or tertiary way. But I think it would be a really bad look for Apple to sue the news sites.

“Apple documents stolen from supplier” looks a lot better to me than “Apple sues MacRumors for discussing leaked documents that Apple couldn’t figure out how to secure properly”.

Aren’t all these rumors, no matter what the source, basically illegal? They could of sued Gurman a decade ago for leaking their trade secrets.

I have no idea, but it appears reporting rumors may be legal. In any event I wonder if Apple would want to risk losing much of the free publicity they get. How many sites would risk printing a story that might get them sued out of existence?

Besides, how do you prove the info was stolen without confirming the rumor?

https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6770&context=ylj