Months after the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch, it is now being reported that Apple had just before the launch demanded third-party accessory makers sign an agreement that prevented them from seeking device information until the smartphones were announced officially.
The agreement by Apple focuses on continuing the secrecy of its devices and said that violating the agreement could lead to the loss of "future business opportunities that Apple and/or its affiliates may present to you [accessory makers])," mentioned sources with "first-hand knowledge" of the matter to 9to5Mac, citing the wording of the agreement.
If true, then agreement-abiding accessory makers would certainly be delayed in bringing their accessories to the market, and customers may then be forced to pick up first-party Apple accessories instead - which in most cases are more expensive, apart from limiting the choice of early adopters significantly. To compound this, Apple is reported to usually only provide specifications to its partners and accessory makers after the announcement of the products, giving the OEMs very little time to design their products before market release.
As we have seen in the past, accessory makers have on several occasions tipped designs that are right on the money ahead of the product's launch, and Apple is not the only OEM to have been affected by this. The report adds Apple executives say these leaks impact the sales of current generation models.
It has been understood that the agreement given by Apple is the same which is given to Apple Store accessory partners. The agreement mentions them to strictly rely on official Apple release and not make any other accessories beforehand based on news reports and rumours.
"...should Apple find that, prior to the release of a product, you have sought, obtained, or relied upon specifications of that product from sources other than Apple, Apple may choose to exercise its right to take action against you, which penalties can include, but are not limited to, Apple choosing not to stock your product in our stores," said a part of the agreement.
The report adds that Apple has already removed some 60 to 70 percent of the third-party device cases from its retail stores. This move also ties in with the Cupertino-based tech firm's need to make space in stores for upcoming Apple Watch.