- Apple will probably launch iOS 14 to the public next September.
- Various iOS 14 features have been leaked in the past few weeks and months.
- A stolen iPhone 11 may be the source of a series of iOS 14 rumors and leaks that we've seen recently.
Even though we are months away from a new iPhone launch and only a few weeks away from Apple introducing iOS 14, we apparently know everything there is to know about Apple's next-generation mobile hardware and software. Despite Apple's best efforts, and despite Tim Cook exclaiming that Apple would be "doubling down,quot; on the product's secrecy, details about upcoming iPhone models and iOS releases are typically leaked months earlier.
When it comes to an upcoming iPhone launch, it's easy to see how information tends to leak. Apple's supply chain, after all, is incredibly vast. In turn, relying on supply chain partners and component suppliers to effectively control new designs and features is simply not realistic at the moment. However, iOS leaks are a completely different matter. While you may blame the supply chain for iPhone leaks, iOS leaks, in theory at least, should be much less frequent given that new features and code should rarely be left to Apple engineers.
And yet, every year, new iOS features begin to circulate months before WWDC. This year, of course, has been no different. In the past few months, a multitude of iOS 14 features have been leaked. From new HomeKit features to new iMessage functionality, it seems like we can't go a week without seeing new iOS 14 features leak.
So what exactly is happening?
All right, VICE reports that an earlier version of iOS 14 was leaked last February and has since been passed down among security researchers, hackers, and others:
The motherboard has not been able to independently verify exactly how it leaked, but five sources in the jailbreak community familiar with the leak told us they believe someone got a development iPhone 11 with an iOS 14 version dated December 2019, which was created to be used only by Apple developers. According to those sources, someone bought it from vendors in China for thousands of dollars, and then extracted the internal iOS 14 build and distributed it to the iPhone hacking and jailbreak community.
Not surprisingly, the interest in the leaked build is immense given the amount of money out there in the iPhone security arena. And while iOS leaks are normal, this case is particularly unusual given that the leaked version of iOS 14 started circulating 6-7 months before WWDC.
That said, the final versions of iOS are often very different from the early development versions. So while an early release of iOS 14 managed to make its way online, it stands to reason that the version we see Apple to present at WWDC next month will hopefully still have some surprises.