On Thursday, Sep 5, iPhone 5S leaked photos of its "home" button had been making rounds over different social media sites. The iPhone 5s was controversial for Apple iPhone fans for its rumoured biometric fingerprint scanner.
Interestingly, the source for these seemingly elusive, and supposedly confidential, iPhone 5S leaks is an Aussie teen from Melbourne, Sonny Dickson.
"While we've already seen numerous leaks of various next-gen iPhone hardware, one thing that hasn't been seen much is the home button. While a pair of pictures made the rounds earlier today, all of the images so far have been fairly poor in quality. It's time to fix that. While the design differences have yet to be technically assessed, they could have a whole lot to do with the rumored biometric fingerprint scanner that numerous pundits and analysts have predicted. In fact, we'd count on it," Sonny wrote in his Web site.
See iPhone 5S leaked home button here from Sonny:
An Aussie teen is behind the iPhone 5S finger print scanner
Who is Sonny Dickson?
Sonny Dickson, an Aussie teen, is making Apple nervous of his Apple photo leaks
"Sonny has become the go-to source for apple news thanks to his many sources and developer skills allowing him to find hidden information in the codes of beta software left behind by unknowing engineers," according to his Web site.
Sonny became a name among iPhone leaks enthusiasts in Aug when he first release leaked photos of the iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, the iPad Mini 2 and the iPad 5.
However, Sonny made Apple Inc wary of his leaks when Google requested YouTube to take down Sonny's YouTube site where he posted some confidential Apple training videos.
In an interview with Reuters, Sonny admitted that he had traced IP addresses from Washington, D.C. and Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.
"Most of the traffic is from the U.S. - I've had 590 hits from Apple and about 53 from U.S. Homeland Security in August," said Dickson.
Sonny shared that his Apple leaked photos were sourced from 10 Chinese who purchase Apple prototype parts directly from those Chinese working at some Apple factories based in the country. These prototypes were being sold from $250 to $500, according to Sonny.
Sonny's sources will then send him photos and videos of the parts bought. Upon receipt, Sonny will release these Apple leaks under his name through his Web site and YouTube channel. He said that during the early stage of his transactions with his sources, they only communicate through Weibo, but now that he had been under Apple's radar, he and his sources transact through a Web site they hid secretly.
"I've been doing this for many years, so I know what looks fake and what's not. I trust what they say to me - but I also back up the story with other people to make sure what I'm posting is legit."
Sonny revealed that he had already been making money through ads posted on his Web site and other social media channels where he release Apple leaks. He said that his blog was already viewed by million people in Augusr and that made him A$2,000 richer through web traffic alone.
In an interview with Fortune, he hinted on how much he exactly earn through posting ad-supported YouTube videos, selling ads through his Web site and fixing iPhones and iPods.
"I could go over to Louis Vuitton today and buy one of their bags with the money I made this month."
According to Fortune, Sonny got hooked in Apple ever since its release of the original iPhone back in 2007. He said he started out as an iOS developer. He started being a familiar name in the industry when he extracted information hidden in the code of Apple's beta software but hit it big when he released a photo of the logic board of the unreleased iPhone 5 in 2012.
When told about Apple already becoming cautious about him, he had this to say:
"Some people think I may be breaking the law, but they don't really know what I do. I'm not breaking any laws that other people don't do."
However, industry experts were hesitant about this.
David Vaile, executive director at the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of New South Wales, said that Sonny might find himself facing charges in the future.
"He may not think or know he's doing the wrong thing, but a court would say Apple is one of the most tight and restricted IT producers in the world, notorious for locking things down. It's also possible that generating ad revenue will open him to a wider range of offences," Mr Vaile told Reuters.
Sonny, however, said that he will stop releasing Apple iPhone leaks if Apple will directly tell him. He said he has hopes of working for the company in the future.
"I'm not doing it just to piss them off - I still buy their products."
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