The memo also discloses several incidences where many sensitive data has been leaked to the media, like the leaked iOS 11 GM, which revealed the details of the iPhone X. The employees who leaked the data of the meetings where Craig Federighi detailed delays to planned functionality in iOS 12 to focus on improving existing features are also fired by Apple. It also warns of members of the press who might try to reach out to company employees on social media to gain information about Apple, a tactic known in the business as "reporting".
The Cupertino, Calif. -based company also warned employees to be wary of members of the press, saying "it's important to remember that you're getting played". A scoop about an unreleased Apple product can generate massive traffic for a publication and financially benefit the blogger or reporter who broke it. It specifies that the employees who lose their jobs for leaking unannounced information face "extremely difficulty" finding employment elsewhere. But the memo's nearly boastful recounting of leakers' legal consequences is disturbing - and sure to intimidate whistleblowers who want to leak something more important than the date of the next iPhone release.
Warren Braunig, a partner at Keker, Van Nest & Peters who specializes in trade secret law, thinks it's unlikely the arrests were related to employees giving information to reporters.
In Q4 2017, or call it Apple's fiscal Q1 2018, the high price of iPhone helped to see a record increase in the ASP (Average Selling Price), which clocked $796, up $100 YoY.
With this memo, Apple has made it clear that they have zero tolerance for leaks of confidential information. The first strategy allows Apple to price tag the next generation of iPhones with $750 and more, while in the second scenario Apple will have to cut down at least $50 from the proposed price of iPhones as suggested in the first strategy.
It concludes by sharing the news that 12 of the leakers in 2017 were arrested. Last year, another employee was sacked for leaking details about the iPhone X, iPad Pro, and AirPods to 9to5Mac. Past year they fired another employee for leaking details to 9to5mac. Among those were Apple employees, contractors and some partners in Apple's supply chain.
"The potential criminal consequences of leaking are real", said Apple's Global Security's Tom Moyer. "The best way to honor those contributions is by not leaking".