Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Spoiler Alert

Apple nearly did it. After a last year’s internal secrecy missteps, including too-early ads for the iPhone 7 and a framework in a MacOS update that showed the new MacBook Pro design before it launched, they pledged internally to tighten up even more and prevent leaks from within the company.

And then, on Friday, a firmware file for the to-be-released HomePod was pushed to public servers — presumably an accident when sending an over-the-air update to those privileged to be using a HomePod today. Along with details about the HomePod itself,1 the firmware file also contains information about a next-generation iPhone.

I’d love to know how so much could be made public with a leak like this. Why could a firmware file for an unreleased product accidentally be pushed to public servers at all? Why aren’t there greater controls in place to prevent something like that from happening? Why would seemingly-finished illustrations of a next-generation iPhone — an unannounced product, and Apple’s biggest annual release — be included in that firmware instead of placeholder graphics?

  1. It has a screen in the same way that a scoreboard is technically a “screen”, but the reported resolution is the same as the 38mm Apple Watch — strange for a device with an ostensibly circular display. ↩︎