Chinese police in recent days said that on Sept. 4, they detained an employee of Foxconn, a major Apple contractor, for stealing shells of the new phone from a factory in northern Shanxi province. According to the local Communist Party-run newspaper Taihang Daily, police alleged the 40-year-old male suspect, identified only as surnamed Qiao, sold six shells for 6,000 yuan ($960) to an electronic gadget market in the southern city Shenzhen, a hub for gadget makers.
Apple completely failed in maintaining the secrecy of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus with every part and even working devices having leaked before its announcement. To maintain the secrecy of the Apple Watch it announced the device long before it would enter production. Keeping a secret that involves tens of thousands of poorly paid factory workers has proven very difficult.
Mr. Qiao apparently found an advertisement in July that said, “purchasing parts from Apple Inc. at high prices.” He called the number and someone offered him 1,000 yuan ($160) for every iPhone 6 shell he could provide.
On July 24, Qiao hid one shell in his pocket and avoided the security check by leaving at the peak quitting time. He sent the shell to the address in Shenzhen and received his money a few days later. Following the successful transaction, he stole another five shells that month.
Foxconn noticed the lost shells and reported it to the police in mid-August. Apparently they spent 20 days scrutinizing video surveillance, employee details, and courier information before determining that Qiao was the culprit.