John Gruber for Daring Fireball:
As best I’ve been able to ascertain, these builds were available to download by anyone, but they were obscured by long, unguessable URLs. Someone within Apple leaked the list of URLs to 9to5Mac and MacRumors. I’m nearly certain this wasn’t a mistake, but rather a deliberate malicious act by a rogue Apple employee. Whoever did this is the least popular person in Cupertino. More surprises were spoiled by this leak than any leak in Apple history.
That’s what I sounds like to me, too — the builds were already online and someone within Apple leaked the links to 9to5Mac. From there, the same links were posted on Reddit and potentially downloaded by thousands of people.
Apple stopped signing the GM build, but not after the damage had been done. They have lost the element of surprise for Tuesday’s keynote, but once the iPhone X gets into our hands, the leaks won’t matter. The actual phone and experience will. That’s where they haven’t lost anything. 1
It must be incredibly disheartening for the folks that poured their heart and soul into iOS 11 and iPhone X, only to have it spoiled a few days before the keynote. It must also be tough for Tim, Phil, and the other execs to take the stage Tuesday and act like this is the first time we’re seeing everything. I’m sure they will still handle it with aplomb.
Neither Mr Gruber nor the two Apple-related news sites have disclosed their sources.
However, the BBC has independently confirmed that an anonymous source provided the publications with links to iOS 11’s gold master (GM) code that downloaded the software from Apple’s own computer servers.
Such an incredibly shitty thing to do. I’m sure Apple will find out who it was.
All these leaks kinda render the bingo cards pointless, though. ↩︎