Australian teen Sonny Dickson tests Apple tolerance with new iPhone leaks

“An Australian teenager who has built an online following by leaking pictures of upcoming Apple Inc products has done it again, showing off the purported fingerprint scanner of the latest iPhone ahead of its expected launch next week,” Michael Sin reports for Reuters. “Sonny Dickson, who lives with his parents in suburban Melbourne, attracted attention in August after he released detailed pictures and videos of the new grey and champagne casing on the upcoming iPhone. On Thursday, Dickson leaked what he says are the first detailed pictures of the new model’s new ‘home’ button with its rumoured biometric fingerprint scanner.”

Sin reports, “Apple declined to comment on Dickson’s actions, and he says they have never contacted him about it. Dickson told Reuters he has five to 10 sources in China who buy Apple prototype parts directly from factory-line workers, which are then sold from $250 to $500. His sources then send him photos and videos of the parts, which are posted under his name on his website and YouTube channel, which generate ad revenue.”

“While Dickson denies he is breaking any laws, experts are not so sure,” Sin reports. ‘He may not think or know he’s doing the wrong thing, but a court would say Apple is one of the most tight and restricted IT producers in the world, notorious for locking things down,’ said David Vaile, executive director at the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. ‘It’s also possible that generating ad revenue will open him to a wider range of offences.’ Dickson says he would stop if told to by Apple, where he has hopes of working one day. ‘I’m not doing it just to piss them off – I still buy their products.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nick dePlume II.

Related articles:
ThinkSecret’s Ciarelli gains pro bono legal help in defense of Apple lawsuit – January 19, 2005
ThinkSecret’s Nick Ciarelli says he can’t afford to defend himself against Apple lawsuit – January 15, 2005
Harvard Student and ThinkSecret owner Nick Ciarelli faces Apple’s legal wrath over product ‘leaks’ – January 13, 2005
Stop the presses! Apple sues ThinkSecret over ‘Headless Mac,’ ‘iWork,’ and other rumors – January 05, 2005


    1. … where were YOU living when you were a teenager?
      The first half of my teenage years I was, like most fellow high-schoolers, living with my parents. The rest were spent primarily, like most university students, in a college dorm.
      He may never grow out of this stage, or he may, as I did, “join” the military while starting my own family.
      He is a TEEN ager, fer crying out loud! Where did YOU live during that decade?

    1. When you are making millions of anything it’s hard to keep track of every single one of them, The effort required to track individual units would be cost prohibitive, so the only option is process controls like searching the workers. Looks like there is a leak or two. How does an Australian teenager put together a network of operatives like that? His future is with MI-6, not Apple.

      1. The point is that workers aren’t given permission to take parts out of a factory, with Apple’s well known desire for security/secrecy, it would stand to reason that any part for an unreleased product would have been removed without permission ie stolen. Just because he didn’t steal them himself doesn’t make it alright to publish them, and more importantly to profit (through ads) from them.

        1. Don’t disagree at all. I just wonder how the connections got made. A worker with a stolen part can’t really advertise the fact and if they are stealing to order, who is putting them up to it?

  1. “Dickson says he would stop if told to by Apple, where he has hopes of working one day.”

    I think he just sealed the end of that opportunity, if there ever was even a shred of hope involved. Critical employment requirement at Apple: Can you keep a secret? (Obviously not.)

  2. I don’t know Australian law, but what exactly is he doing that’s illegal? He has contacts in another country (China) who are doing the dirty work by stealing assembly line parts. He’s paying those contacts for PICTURES of the parts, he’s not buying stolen merchandise.
    If Apple wants to keep their products secret the burden’s on Apple to tighten their supplier network.
    This is one enterprising teen. I hope in the future he uses his powers for good.

    1. It is illegal to commission a theft.
      It is illegal to profit from theft especially after commissioning said theft.
      He is acting as a king pin of criminals and is therefor an international theft ganglord.
      Australian law may protect him as a minor, but he had better watch out if he lives past 19 yrs.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.