Thursday, April 28, 2011

Foxconn Factory Workers Arrested, Charged for Leaking iPad 2

Foxconn Factory Workers Arrested, Charged for Leaking iPad 2: "

A Chinese vendor at the Consumer Electronics Show in January proudly displayed an iPad 2 case, three months before the iPad was released. Photo: Jon Snyder/

Chinese police have arrested three factory workers accused of leaking the iPad 2’s design prior to the tablet’s release, according to a report.

Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that assembles electronics including the iPad, suspects the employees leaked the design to Chinese accessory makers, giving them a head start on making iPad 2 cases before the rest of the world.

“The local police on December 26, 2010, arrested three employees that were suspected of leaking the design, and officially charged the three employees for violating the company’s trade secrets on March 23, 2011,” Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported.

Is anyone surprised?

The accessories industry has historically been a leaky boat, because the people who create the plastics that come on iPhones and iPads are closely connected to the companies making third-party protective cases. As a result, quite often we see cases released for Apple products before the Apple products themselves — though the accuracy of the designs are hit or miss.

Several months before the iPad 2 debuted, accessory makers were proudly promoting protective cases for the iPad 2. We saw one ourselves at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The iPad 2 case vendor at CES explicitly told me he received the design details from someone at Foxconn. Not sly at all.

And when the iPad 2 officially released in April, the designs of many leaked cases fit the actual specifications of the tablet. The case we photographed (above) had a thinner profile, a hole cut out for a camera, and a slot in the bottom-right corner for the speaker. Everything lined up.


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