Apple’s secret war on Mark Gurman

“You don’t have to read too far between the lines in The Outline’s Inside Apple’s global war on leakers to see how determined Tim Cook was to stop Mark Gurman, the ‘scoop machine’ who left 9to5Mac for Bloomberg a year ago,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt writes for Apple 3.0.

“Exhibit No. 1 of Apple’s ‘biggest leaks’ — iPhone enclosures stolen from factories in China — are photos of an iPhone 5 that Gurman, still in high school, snagged and posted on 9to5Mac four months before the phone’s official reveal,” P.E.D. writes.

“I asked Gurman whether he was aware that Apple had put a team of former NSA spies and FBI agents on his tail,” P.E.D. writes. “He declined to respond on the record.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All it takes is one leak out of Apple’s iPhone supply chain. It’s tough to achieve a perfect record with so many people involved in the process. We bet Apple can’t wait until the only eyes seeing future iPhone models during assembly are robotic.

New ‘iPhone 8’ video reveals what Apple’s device might look like at launch – June 23, 2017
Newly leaked cases claim to show Apple’s iPhone 8 – June 21, 2017
Leaked recording: Inside Apple’s global war on leakers – June 20, 2017
New video and photos of ‘iPhone 8’ dummy unit show vertical camera, black and silver case, and more – June 20, 2017
Newly leaked ‘iPhone 8’ parts give glimpse into rumored design – June 12, 2017


  1. When people are rewarded for leaking, which is treason in one sense, and disloyal otherwise, you will always have leakers.

    These days, even the smallest groups have leakers, because the notion of being on the inside, giving the scoop, is so emotionally rewarding.

    In all seriousness, this is a systemic problem across the board – not exclusive to Apple, not exclusive to any nation. Its a global pandemic. We all seem to be okay with that. We want to hear the secrets and when we find out who the leaker is, we say, leave them alone.

    This will never end, until we get serious about it, even the hint of a leak, if you smell like a leaker, it will end one’s career/life as it is.

    1. Gollum, you have it right; “the smallest groups have leakers, because the notion of being on the inside, giving the scoop, is so emotionally rewarding.”

      That’s especially true with the ‘social networks’ where people want to brag.

      1. I am going to take this one step further. The notion that one has knowledge over an other produces a sense of power. However to realize the potential of that power, one must give something up.

        In Apple’s situation, it’s inside knowledge of the next iPhone. A downtrodden, worker is willingly going to give this up for a moment of glory.

        To fix this, one must not need to expose information to feel superior. There has to be an alternate path towards growth of ones self esteem.

        If the boss were to harass an employee or vise versa, the natural corse of action is to counter balance the negative, by releasing some data or some other revenge.

        Some high case examples exist, that I wont go into. But my initial thoughts are, Apple’s leaks are because the workers feel like shit and they have something of value to leak.

  2. I always assumed Gurman was the mouthpiece of Apple. Actually I still believe that. I suspect he was on a plane next to an Apple exec talking about his little Apple news website. Being a high school then college student he was the perfect demographic entry into who they wanted to reach. So when interest flags, or they want to stoke the passions of true believers they throw him a bone. Everybody wins. Seriously, how is this less likely than some kid getting supply chain sources around the world and Apple execs to divulge to him sensitive secrets that no one else has heard?

      1. Do you still maintain that when Steve Jobs encouraged acting CEO Tim Cook to accept the job permanently, and urged the Apple Board of Directors to approve him as permanent CEO, that, distracted by ill-health and impending death, he was momentarily deluded or short-sighted? What about his pre-cancer buddy relationships with Jonathan Ive, Eddy Cue, and Scott Forstall, now all tainted personalities? Was he somehow betrayed by his lieutenants, like Julius Caesar?

        Is it not true that when Apple had a success, Jobs basked in praise, but when they faltered, he castigated others within his team? What was Apple’s most monumental achievement? — most would say the iPhone, something that the faithful now revile Tim Cook for, because he prioritised it over the Mac (even though iPhone is a Mac) and despite his having built it into a commercial juggernaut that put Apple on top of the world.

        As for personal security (privacy), IP protection (patents), and secrecy in R&D (leaks), Jobs emphasised the hell out of those topics; Cook has only doubled-down on them.

        Any distraction caused by building the Spaceship campus was Jobs’s doing. It was his cockamamie idea in the first place and Cook dutifully carried out the necessary contractual obligations, honouring Jobs’s wishes, possibly even against his better judgment.

        In my view, Cook has made the most of a tricky succession by continuing Jobs’s projects, maintaining Jobs’s focus on innovation, privacy, and security, honouring Jobs’s commitments to diversity and sustainability, and hammering away at simplicity of user experience — what made Apple great in the first place.

        He’s really been as much like Jobs as he could be without violating Jobs’s insistence that he not ask what Steve would do, but to be himself.

        You don’t want to, but I give him points for all of that, because I divine that if anyone other than Tiny Tim had taken over at Apple, we would not be seeing any brilliant Jobsian chess moves. We would be seeing a replay of blunders by Nokia, Palm, Blackberry, Microsoft, and all the other conventional players that didn’t understand Jobs, didn’t like him, and got checkmated.

        1. “Do you still maintain that when Steve Jobs encouraged acting CEO Tim Cook to accept the job permanently, and urged the Apple Board of Directors to approve him as permanent CEO, that, distracted by ill-health and impending death, he was momentarily deluded or short-sighted?”


            1. Good. Because I thought you were trashing TIm Cook because he wasn’t Steve Jobs. Maybe you had different reasons, such as that he lacks imagination or something. My point is that he’s a better imitation of Steve Jobs than anyone else I can imagine. Others’ imaginations may vary.

            2. I loathe Tim Cook not only because he is gutting the once great Apple, but more importantly, his public position on controlling free speech and a free press through government coercion.

            3. I rather suspected your reasons were political, because the corporate numbers didn’t brand him as a loser. But I respect your position. Political reasons matter, as long as they are not disguised by claiming corporate malfeasance, as some have dishonestly tried to do.

            4. I will, but only if you admit that your accusations against “Pipeline Timmy” are pretexts for disparaging his social and political statements and actions. There is no shame in naked truth, Santayana said, only in subterfuge. After all, those of us who starved for Apple offerings are due to be satiated with new Macs this year and next, and the pipeline stigma will be likely be diminished to nothingness.

            5. Well, no I won’t, since Pipeline’s coronation, the creativity and product delivery of Apple has been a farce. The thrill is gone, as BB King once crooned….with Pipeline it’s “always next year.”

            6. Hey Botman, Apple delivers. It’s always Microsoft that is promising to fix sh!t in the next version, and never quite gets there.

              Herself is right, your hatred of Tim Cook is irrational. I hate Microsoft for being evil double crossing monopolistic scum, and hey, they richly deserve it.

              Tim Cook took the mantle of Apple at the hardest possible time, and Apple and its customers and users are far richer for it.

              Could others have done better? Maybe! Maybe Forstall was the guy, who knows.

              Yes, others may well have done better, but it’s Tim Cook who has been the chef in charge, making sure that there weren’t too many chefs spoiling the broth.

              Given Apple’s pre-2nd-coming of Jobs history, things could have been a LOT worse for Apple. It might have been that fool Ballmer succeeding and gloating over Apple today, rather than being turfed out on his a$$ running a loser basketball team.

              Whichever way you look at it, Botman, Cook has done a stellar job. His pipeline has popped out new products, and more are yet to come.

              You can scream, moan and ask for kisses all you want, Tim Cook’s results speak volumes – and they speak much louder and vastly more successfully than some robotic anonymous voice at MDN forums.

            7. Herself, you are far too generous with botvinnik. You are willing to let him off of the hook based on his “reasons were political”? Nope. Sorry. That is not acceptable.

              A person can disguise bullcrap in a variety of forms, including political and religious trappings. That does not legitimize the bullcrap. botninnik is free to believe what he wants, no matter how distasteful or ridiculous some of his beliefs (and evidence/reasoning behind those beliefs) might be. But that does not mean that he gets a free pass for promoting bullcrap in political clothing.

  3. I can’t be the only one in the world that deals with comments becoming a one-character-wide vertical stream when they are in their later reply threads.

    lets discuss

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