Leaker claims Apple used a ‘multi-step sting’ operation to identify and fire their source ahead of WWDC

Over the last several months, a new “leaker” emerged on Twitter claiming to know a wide range of details about upcoming Apple software releases. The account shared what they claimed were details on new features coming to iOS 17, watchOS 10, and more.

On Wednesday morning, however, the account went dark and the source posted an update in which they claimed Apple identified their source and fired her through a “multi-step sting” operation.

The leaker, who went by the username Analyst941, first emerged last fall when they shared accurate details about the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island. At the time, it was a major revelation as up until that point, the iPhone 14 Pro had only been rumored to feature two separate cutouts, one shaped like a hole-punch and another shaped like a pill. Until Analyst941’s claim, there was no indication Apple planned to visually merge those two cutouts using software.

After a few months of silence, the source reemerged via the MacRumors forums and eventually via a dedicated Twitter account. On that Twitter account, Analyst941 shared what they claimed were details on iOS 17 features, watchOS 10 features, and more.

When 9to5Mac covered Analyst941’s leaks, we encouraged skepticism. After all, the source was sharing an unprecedented amount of detail on future Apple software releases. Historically, Apple has been very successful in keeping new software features from leaking, although there have been a few exceptions over the years.

Last week, Analyst941 posted on Twitter that Apple was actively working on bringing Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro to the iPad for the first time. The rumor claimed that Final Cut Pro was scheduled for a release on iPad in 2024, followed by Logic Pro in 2025.

Just days later, however, Apple officially announced Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad via a press release. The apps will launch a full year before Analyst941’s rumored timeline – May 23. This sheds interesting light on Analyst941’s credibility, and now, the source says that this was part of a “multi-step” sting operation through which Apple identified their source.

In public posts on Twitter, Analyst941 had said their source was a sibling who worked on Apple’s software teams, working directly with Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi. Even revealing that amount of detail about a source’s identity was foolish.

In a post on the MacRumors Forums on Wednesday, Analyst941 wrote a “farewell message” in which they explained the Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro mixups. If their story is to be believed, Apple planted the 2024 and 2025 timelines with a single employee inside the company. When that date emerged via Analyst941’s account on Twitter, they were able to identify the account’s source.

Analyst941’s source, revealed to be their sister, was reportedly fired from Apple once the leaks were pegged to her. The two now fear that Apple will take legal action against both of them:

I don’t want to share too many details right now because of the legality of things — but a multi-step sting has gotten my sister fired from Apple, and unfortunately I am afraid next is legal action being taken against both of us, separately .

The breaking point was multiple, if not almost all who knew about FCP/Logic iPad development was given a unique combination of release dates — unfortunately the combination I shared on Twitter matched the combination given to my sister as the FCP+Logic timeframe, along with other small factors.

9to5Mac’s Take

Whether or not this story from Analyst941 is true is unclear, and we’ll likely never know for sure. That being said, there are a few things to consider. First, at least one of the account’s claims was partially corroborated by other sources – a revamped watchOS 10 interface with a focus on easier access to pieces of information.

Second, the source seemingly knew that Apple was actively working on bringing Final Cut Pro to iPad – they just had the incorrect timeline.

Finally, the source almost exclusively “leaked” information that was clearly traced to software development. While they did share certain “hardware” features, these were all things that would also have a software component.

To me, this entire story reeks of lies and saving face. Still, it’s interesting to think about how seriously Apple takes leaks that come from inside the company. In the case of iPhone rumors, most leaks come from Apple’s vast supply chain. That’s why the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island didn’t leak until right before its announcement.

Software leaks, however, are easier for Apple to track and monitor. If this story from Analyst941 is true, it’s just the latest example of Apple’s skillful ability to do just that. If not, the account is gone and we can move on to rumors from more established sources. And of course, WWDC itself is less than a month away, which will further reveal just how much Analyst941 knew about Apple’s plans.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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