According to DigiTimes, three Foxconn employees have been accused of leaking the iPad 2 design and were arrested back in late December 2010. They were officially charged with “violating the company trade secrets” on March 23.
Apparently Foxconn became suspicious when various online retailers began stocking their shelves with iPad 2 cases far before its launch. Earlier this year at CES, we heard there was an iPad 2 case floating around. There were also a slew of leaked images of other cases, as well as the device itself. prior to the tablet’s official debut. At the time, we were dubious, seeing as the rumor mill becomes flooded with an Apple product launch. But obviously many of the cases turned out to be perfectly suited for the iPad 2 and now we know why.
What’s baffling about the whole thing is that the Foxconn employees are being accused of leaking the design weeks–not months–before any announcement of the iPad 2. Why exactly Foxconn is choosing to ignore the many, many looks at iPad cases we had even before CES, we’re not sure.
This isn’t the first time Foxconn has had an issue with loose lips. The manufacturing facility first rose to notoriety back in 2009, when an employee committed suicide after losing an iPhone 4 prototype. There have also been plenty of potential insider information surfacing from China recently, including a 64 GB iPhone 4 prototype. Perhaps Foxconn is trying to make a statement to its staff with the arrests: Leak Apple product plans and pay for it.