Apple doesn’t change its homepage layout all that often, but for the rollout of the iPhone X, it’s shaking things up. The landing page of Apple’s website is now filled with a half-dozen animations showing off the tech inside the forthcoming iPhone. It looks like what you’d expect to find on the dedicated iPhone X page, whereas Apple usually uses its homepage to showcase a bunch of different products.
This in itself isn’t all that strange. If you’re visiting Apple’s website in the next few days, there’s a very good chance you’re looking for information on the iPhone X. And naturally, Apple would want to advertise its expensive new device.
But Apple’s rollout of this phone has been different from nearly anything in the past in a lot of tiny ways. Usually, once a product is announced, you don’t hear or see much about it, aside from some information around preorders. For the iPhone X, however, there have been a handful of odd little leaks, where the phone has popped up in videos on Reddit, YouTube, and other social networks after people caught them being used out in public.
First, a unit popped up in Seoul, then another was captured revealing a new live wallpaper. Then a few more: one in China, another unidentified, and some tweets from someone who got to try the device out. Another recent leak focused on the app switching gesture; someone else pulled up Instagram; and a YouTube vlogger basically included a hands-on with one in the middle of a recent video.
It’s very likely that none of this has been planned. Now that the phone is unveiled, Apple is probably using the month between announcement and launch to do wider testing, ironing out bugs and catching issues that might not pop up in a lab — like what happened with the Apple Watch Series 3’s habit of picking up unusable Wi-Fi networks. There’s some good reason to believe Apple doesn’t want these leaks out there, too: for instance, the YouTube video mentioned above was later pulled down, suggesting Apple didn’t want it to be published.
Still, there’s been a surprising amount of leaked appearances for a device coming from the typically careful Apple. It makes sense that Apple would go out of its way to stoke excitement for this phone any way it can, but blurry leaks aren’t really it’s style. Back before the Apple Watch came out, Apple gave the device out to a bunch of celebrities and had them post photos with it. If Apple wants to take that approach again, expect to see the phone in the hands of someone more along the lines of Pharrell than a random Redditor.