On August 30, a small blog known for breaking Apple news called 9to5Mac published the biggest Apple scoop of the year: It managed to obtain the names of the next-generation iPhones, the iPhone XS and XS Max, as well Apple’s official marketing photos of those phones. (That same day, 9to5Mac also published the first official photos of the Apple Watch Series 4.)
Thirteen days later, Apple held its big iPhone unveiling in Cupertino, California. And while it confirmed everything in 9to5Mac’s scoop, it also happened to use those same marketing images that had previously leaked throughout its presentation.
This imagery is also the first thing you see when you visit Apple.com (as of September 14):
Apple doesn’t seem to mind using these photos of the iPhone XS, even though 9to5Mac published them on the internet 13 days prior to Apple’s event. I understand Apple had probably filmed and finalized all of the marketing materials for the iPhones a long time before 9to5Mac published its scoop, but I’m surprised Apple, with its ~$1 trillion valuation and its distaste for leaks and leakers, doesn’t want to use different photos of its new iPhones on the main splash page of its website.
One potential explanation could lie in how painstaking the company’s product photography process is, which one photographer who had worked with Apple in the past, Peter Belanger, detailed in a 2013 interview.
But assuming Apple has continued to use that same process to create the perfect images of its new iPhones, one has to imagine Apple at least took backup photos, or alternates compositions it could choose from. After all, the alternative is a constant reminder that its marketing materials leaked early, and the photos that were passed along in the weeks leading up to its big event were the real deal.