Apple apparently demands its third-party accessory makers sign agreements to make sure they won't dig up information on new Apple devices or face losing out on "future business opportunities" with Apple, according to reports.
Unnamed sources confirmed the agreements in the lead up to the iPhone 6 to 9to5Mac and the potential loss of future business if that agreement is violated. The unnamed sources also reported that signing the agreement led to delays in production.
According to Apple, leaked enclosures and information happen and that means "early case designs" begin to show up and can have an impact on revenues. So now, accessory makers are banned from "seeking, obtaining, or relying on advance specifications for future Apple products." This generally hurts third-party developers who have only a short time from officially released production specifications to shipment of product-- but if the third-party developers don't sign they will be banned from Apple stores.
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Apple's threats to accessory partners are serious, but it's not clear how the partners knowing more about the new product will really hurt Apple. Apple argued that more talk about the product before its launch could hurt revenue, but Apple thrives on rumor and speculation because it comes with free publicity. It just seems as if Apple made this power play simply because it could.