A report from Motherboard shows that in the past, many details about iOS 14 leaked from someone who bought an iPhone 11 only for developers in China for thousands of dollars.
According to Engadget, the report said the software version was in December 2019 but was extracted by someone in February and distributed to researchers (possibly hackers). However, Apple declined to comment.
It’s hard to say how much the leak affected Apple’s release plan for iOS 14. The company is not expected to release a preview of iOS 14 until WWDC takes place in June, and has been able to shorten or change features in recent months. Publishing software early can help with initial security assessments, but it can also damage Apple’s operating system launch strategy because hackers have more time to investigate internal vulnerabilities.
The leak of iOS 14 code also highlights the challenges of Apple’s control. Like many companies, their product development depends on a large chain of suppliers and other partners, and even companies that are not careful can reveal their secrets. While Apple may take steps to minimize the possibility of leakage, it is difficult to avoid such things in the future.