Apple’s new iPhones have very few secrets left, and we already know how they will delight fans and frustrate them in equal measure. But Apple did have one big surprise still up its sleeve, right until today when the company accidentally leaked it.
Credit for picking up on Apple’s remarkable bundler goes to iHelp BR. The sleuth site, which last year uncovered the iPhone XS Max hidden in a beta of iOS 12, found Apple has not learnt its lesson. This time, Apple has blown the launch of its iPhone 11 range in a new beta of iOS 13.
Hidden inside iOS 13 beta 7, iHelp BR discovered a screenshot labelled ‘HoldForRelease’ (below). The image shows the notched home screen of an iPhone and the calendar is set to September 10. If this wasn’t clear enough, it also ties in with a shipping date of September 20, revealed thanks to a slip of the tongue last week.
September 10 is also a Tuesday, historically Apple’s preferred date for iPhone launches. 2019 was an exception (a Wednesday) because Tuesday fell on September 11 and Apple skips Monday launches as it complicates the attendance for international press.
Could all this be an accident? Highly unlikely. As iHelp BR found last year, for all its talk about secrecy, Apple enjoys hiding easter eggs in iOS betas. Both iOS 11 and iOS 12 pre-release code has leaked iPhone launches in the past and you don’t call a file HoldForRelease unless you want someone to open it’.
That said, come launch, iPhone fans are still likely to be surprised at Apple’s (awful) new iPhone branding, impressed by their much larger batteries and frustrated by what’s missing. But if Apple’s well-timed ‘accident’ can distract users from the recent hack of Face ID, complaints about its “user-hostile” battery replacements and open wallets before the company’s big 2020 iPhone redesign, then its mission complete.
See Apple, leaks can be useful.