Apple confirms tablet existence with cease and desist letter to Gawker

January Clearance Blowout ends 1/14“Apple has indirectly confirmed the existence of their rumored Tablet after Valleywag started a scavenger hunt for evidence, offering up to $100,000 for photos, videos, or a chance to play with it,” Jesus Diaz reports for Gizmodo.

Excerpts from Apple’s letter to’s parent Gawker Media:

While Apple values and appreciates vibrant public commentary about its products, we believe you and your company have crossed the line by offering a bounty for the theft of Apple’s trade secrets. Such an offer is illegal and Apple insists that you immediately discontinue the Scavenger Hunt.

The information you are willing to pay for, such as photos of a yet-to-be released product, constitutes Apple trade secrets.


Apple has maintained the types of information and things you are soliciting—”how it’ll work, its size, the name, the software,” as well as any possible details about the product’s appearance, features, and physical samples—in strict confidence.”

“Sure, it could be a note protesting the scavenger hunt in principle, speaking to any and all confidential knowledge of any unreleased Apple product, but this scavenger hunt is purely for Tablet evidence,” Diaz reports. “And, do companies send C&Ds for non existent devices? Not in our experience.”

Full article, with the letter, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “CYxodos” for the heads up.]


  1. @C1
    Free advertising is the cheapest form of the art. Apple do know how to leverage that well.

    Add onto that the hype and energy this produces. It ensures that the announcement will be echoed far and wide for longer than the traditional product release.

  2. In order to effectively respond to this type of activity, it would appear to me that Apple would have to take legal action against ithe it every time it occurred, whether the targeted device of the “scavenger hunt” is real or not.

    It seems strange/ironic to me that it is apparently OK to pay employees of media outlets to seek out this kind of information (e.g., spy photos of new car models).

  3. I don’t see how this confirms anything – I wouldn’t want people having $100,000 of incentive to steal secrets from my company either.

    I hope they do cancel it – not just to spite everyone, but because it I still don’t see how the tablet/slate will possibly ever live up to all these expectations. It’s a niche product at best, IMHO, and am still waiting for someone to convince me of it’s practical application.

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