[UPDATE 1: July 6, 2011 12:40am]: MacRumors quotes a The New York Times article that has Walter Shimoon pleading guilty to leaking trade secrets about iPhone and iPad plans to research firm Primary Global Research.
How much does it cost to get hold of insider information about an unreleased device from Apple? Apparently no more than two hundred bucks per hour of “work”. Apple’s supplier of camera and battery components Flextronics has found itself in the middle of an international scandal involving its director Walter Shimoon who was busted leaking information pertaining to iPhone sales and the then unreleased iPad. His indictment, leaked by The Wall Street Journal, reveals he leaked trade secrets to a New York-based hedge fund called Kingdom Ridge Capital.
The juicy stuff included quarterly sales figures two and a half weeks ahead of Apple’s quarterly earnings release. Don’t for a second think that the fund didn’t use this knowledge data in order to manipulate stock – they profited a cool $560,000 in October of 2009 by taking advantage of the secrets Shimoon leaked. Philip Elmer-DeWitt scavenged court documents unsealed yesterday and published a nice summary on the Fortune blog. From FBI’s tapping records of Shimoon’s conversations with a Kingdom Ridge Capital person:
About the iPhone 4
Apple, he told his contact, was “coming out next year” with a new iPhone that’s “gonna have two cameras … It’ll be a neat phone because it’s gonna have a five-megapixel auto-focus camera and it will have a VGA forward-facing videoconferencing camera.” Apple announced the iPhone 4 — with its two cameras — eight months later.
About the iPad
“They [Apple] have a code name for something new … It’s … It’s totally … It’s a new category altogether… It doesn’t have a camera, what I figured out. So I speculated that it’s probably a reader. … Something like that. Um, let me tell you, it’s a very secretive program … It’s called K, K48. That’s the internal name. So, you can get, at Apple you can get fired for saying K48.” The iPad — code named K48 — was unveiled four months later.