Next time you see an iPhone 5 picture think “clone ripoff” not “leak”

The next time an iPhone 5 case “leak” pops up online you may want to ask yourself if it’s a clone from China. We’ve been asking ourselves that a lot over the last three years when a rumor pops up. Outside of the iPhone 4 that Gizmodo purchased from a thief, there have been a lot of leaked photos that have been straight up knockoffs.

Over the weekend a white iPhone case popped up online that most were heralding as the next iPhone 5, and it got me thinking a little bit. Given that Apple takes iPhone security very seriously leading up to a release, what’s more likely, a leaked picture of an iPhone or a clone straight out of China? That goes for most rumors that include leaked pictures of Apple products leading up to a release.

After doing this for close to 5 years now, I think I can probably count the number of legitimate leaks over that time on one hand. I’m not talking spoken leaks from “people in the know” or “someone familiar with the matter,” I’m talking photographic evidance of an upcoming product. It just doesn’t happen.

For instance, leading up to the actual white iPhone 4 launch there were a number of photos passed around the Internet that were purported to be an actual image of the white iPhone 4. It turns out that they were all very likely case mods made from products sold in China. I have first hand knowledge of this one. I came across one in the wild, and asked the owner straight up. It was shipped from China, where in his words, “they were pretty common.” The man was Chinese, from China, and had a family-friend ship it over for his son.

If clones are that easy to come by in China, what’s the liklihood that most of these photos that pop up from time to time are actually clones and case mods? Playing the statistics, I’d say it’s pretty obvious that the likliehood of a legitimate case leak is small enough and the clone likelihood is large enough that all of the photos are of clones, with a very small fraction of a percentage actually being of Apple products.

Keep that in mind the next time you get link-baited into clicking on a post. Take these posts for what they are: an opportunity to sepeculate about what the future may hold, and nothing more.

Source: 9to5Vids
Via: Cult of Mac

Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio