16 September 2019
Taiwanese entertainer Jimmy Lin holds a black iPhone 5S and what is believed to be an iPhone 6. Photo: Sina Weibo
Taiwanese entertainer Jimmy Lin holds a black iPhone 5S and what is believed to be an iPhone 6. Photo: Sina Weibo

The Taiwanese star shedding light on the next Apple generation

There’s just one man to look to when rumors start of a new release from Apple — Taiwanese actor and race car driver Jimmy Lin Chih-ying.

Lin is not a brand ambassador for the US tech giant nor is he involved in Apple’s product development. But somehow he has the pull to get his hands on the goods. Lin posted photos of the iPhone 5 on his Sina Weibo account in September 2012, two weeks ahead of Apple’s official release. And in August 2013, he uploaded a photo of the iPhone 5C one month before the Apple event for the new iPhones.

Li has proved a fruitful source of accurate news on the grapevine about new Apple gadgets and it could be the case again as fans anticipate the next generation of the iconic device.

Lin posted photos of himself last month holding a black iPhone 5S and a larger, silver iPhone 6. He even had top-secret details of the new site of the on/off button and the thinner, bigger yet pocket-size frame that sports a 4.7 inch display.

Given Lin’s track record, the iPhone 6 is sure to look just like this.

Apple hasn’t confirmed when the iPhone 6 will come out so how did Lin get his hands on the goods?

Some say it is a subtle strategy by the company to test the water before the official release. Given how furious the late Steve Jobs was when an iPhone 4 went missing from Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant before the product’s landmark launch in June 2010, it’s unlikely to have been a malicious leak. 

Others point to Lin’s close ties with Foxconn chief Terry Gou Tai-ming. Gou’s empire is still one of the major producers of Apple products so it’s possible that Gou lets Lin have a peep at new products before they come to market. But Foxconn could be in serious legal trouble if it did not happen without Apple’s say-so.

Another possible explanation is that this is a serial PR stunt by several smaller Taiwan-based IT firms and suppliers who are heavily involved in the research and development and manufacturing of Apple products. One instant benefit of stirring up people’s excitement in the running to an official release is a rally in the stock prices of these companies.

Lin hasn’t said how he came by the products and perhaps we’ll never know. But, when everybody is burning with curiosity, his unofficial release offers some welcome pointers.

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Lin gives fans a closer peep at the next generation of the Apple gadget. Photo: Sina Weibo

EJ Insight writer